Those traveling to Africa are usually apprehensive about the experience that awaits them. Some are excited, while some are completely afraid that sometimes the stories they have been hearing about Africa might as well be true. However, it’s not always true that all the negativities you associate Africa with are normally true. The continent is a very nice place to visit, with very friendly people who will always open up their arms to all kinds of visitors. However, you must be careful about your own safety and security and to help you have a wonderful trip to Africa, here is a look at some cool trips you should always consider.
Don’t be afraid
The first tip towards a wonderful travel experience in Africa is that you should never be afraid. Since most people, especially those coming from Europe and the west think that Africa is too dangerous, whenever they travel, they tend to be too afraid of things the that might happen to them. Just know that in Africa you will find people just as you’ll find in any other place and if you do things right, then you have nothing to worry about. Of course, there are some bad elements, which you should be careful about but these also exist in other places including your hometown.
Know the right form of payment
For convenience when paying for the goods and services you will be acquiring well in Africa, you need to understand that the common mode of payment is cash. It is true that there are outlets that accept credit cards, but you may not find so many of them. If you know that you’ll be venturing into the rural areas, then be sure to have a good amount of cash in the local currency. It’s convenient, safe and easy to use cash compared to using credit cards while in Africa. But if you are a gambler and you know that you will be visiting the minimum deposit casinos, then you might as well carry your credit cards.
Don’t exchange your money at the airport
This is a common mistake that most travelers to Africa make especially those flying into the continent for the first time. They think that the airport is the only place where they can get a place to exchange their dollars or euros or their base currencies. In as much as there is nothing that is particularly wrong with this, it is usually very expensive. This is simply because the bureaus at the airport have very high grades and they’re always keen on making as much money as possible from tourists. Instead of changing your money at the airport, simply go to the central business district and walk into the many exchange bureaus you will find and convert your cash. This will save you a lot in terms of value and the exchange rate.
Be flexible about your plans
When coming to Africa, don’t come with a very fixed mind and a detailed itinerary with the idea that you must visit every place on your list. This is simply because things may not work as you might have planned. Delays are normally inevitable in Africa and it is not like America or Europe where timekeeping is of great concern. You should, therefore, have room in your plans so that you can accommodate delays. Also, you should know that there so many places to be visited and you cannot sample all of them in one trip. Therefore, check on a plan and ensure that the plans you’ve made will give you the ability to get the most out of your trip.
Don’t be afraid of public transportation
You’ve probably heard of terrifying stories about using public transportation in Africa. You may have been told that the road conditions in Africa are bad and the conditions of the vehicles are also pathetic. However, you should not be afraid of using public transportation considered that going for a private means of transportation will be more expensive. For long distances, if it is not a place that you can get an air ticket, then don’t dare to go for private means of transportation. There are buses and nowadays the road conditions have improved and they’re very decent vehicles on roads.
Don’t give handouts
When traveling to Africa, you are likely to meet very many underprivileged children in the streets. Being that you’re from a developed country or you are white for that matter, they will always ask you for money as you go about your business. In as much as it is not a bad thing to give them money, you should not consider giving them handouts. This is simply because giving handouts may expose you to the thugs on the street and when you give these kids handouts, the older kids will come once you turn your back beat them up and take the money. This is not a nice way to show charity to them. If you feel compelled to help, look for a local NGO that deals with helping orphans and vulnerable children and channel your donations through them.
Listen to the locals
The other tip that you must never forget when traveling to Africa is the need to listen to the locals. Understand that you are coming into their land and not all of them are out to hurt you or do you harm. In fact, you may meet some very friendly individuals who would be willing to help you in every way possible. Therefore, it is imperative that as a foreigner, you listen to what the locals have to tell you. Listen to them regarding the places you need to visit and the places you don’t need to visit. Also be very careful about the warnings they will give you. Remember, crime is everywhere and the fact that you’re a tourist – which can always be known by any person, makes you a potential target to the gangs and thugs, especially if you’ll be visiting the cities. Therefore, don’t see yourself smart and ignore the advice given by the locals.