Africa is a beautiful, and wild, continent. If you’re traveling to Africa, you must be very excited. This country is full of exciting culture and opportunities to explore; you’re guaranteed to have a fantastic time! However, you do need to do your research before you travel. Africa is very different to Western civilization. Here are some essential African travel tips for you.
Essential African Travel Tips
Be Aware of Begging
Begging in Africa is found everywhere, so you need to be careful. You’ll soon realise that you can’t give to every single beggar, as you’ll have no money left. Keep a small amount of spare change on you and give to those who you feel need it, if you like. Bear in mind that begging children will be forced to give money up to a parent or gang leader, so give them food if you want them to benefit.
Ignore Unwanted Attention
In African countries, people will stare at you. This is usually harmless, and they are simply being curious. Hey – who doesn’t like to people watch!?!? Visitors have become fun to watch. Try not to let stares trouble you and let it go over your head.
Say No Thanks to Touts
You’ll usually be wealthier than everyone you come across, so you’ll be a target of scams and touts. People will try to sell you things you don’t want, and lie to get you to buy. Simply say no thanks and avoid them. Nothing is free, no matter what they tell you!
Don’t Exchange Money on the Street
People might try to get you to exchange money with them on the street by giving you a good rate. Bear in mind that this is illegal, and you shouldn’t let anybody know how much currency you have with you. It’s also a great way to get robbed, and just isn’t worth the hassle.
Bargain for Everything
If you’re interested in a service or product, make sure you bargain. If you pay full price, you’re being ripped off. If you pay 25% of the asking price, you’re STILL being ripped off. Haggle, haggle, then haggle some more. You can even get a cheap flight to other locales.
Spread Out Your Money
Never, ever take all of your money out with you. Dole out your money, and don’t bring it all with you, to keep it safe. If you take it all with you, you run the risk of getting robbed or pulling out too much in front of the wrong people.
Watch Out for Hippos
One of the best African travel tips is to beware of the wildlife. There are different snakes, insects, and other large wild animals. Hippos are huge killers in Africa. Probably more so than crocs and lions. While they look slow and docile, hippos are angry, unpredictable, and fast. Keep your distance and never get between a mother and her baby.
Africans are friendly, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t be confident and smile. Speaking to them will teach you a lot, and you’ll likely get recommendations on where to go and where not to go. However, please bear in mind that it might not be wise to get too friendly with them. HIV is common, so you can’t be too careful.
Above all else, the most essential African travel tip is this – remember to have a great time!