Whenever I think of the massive, wondrous continent of Africa, a vision of the simmering sun setting beneath the expanse of marulas and baobab trees fills my eyes. The vision really is as iconic as it looks and unless you saw it yourself you wouldn’t know how picturesque it is. Being a unique blend of natural wonders, vibrant cultures, renowned prehistoric sites, all sprawling remnants of many of the world’s greatest ancient civilizations living alongside modern cities, nothing beats this continent.
The ultra-diverse continent is full of beautiful countries backed by a rich heritage. You can explore exquisite safari destinations or witness incredible underwater marine life in coral-rich oceans. Whatever you do, you will always find yourself enjoying nature.
And, if you have the chance to explore its recesses, consider it a divine gift.
Whenever you travel to a new place, let alone a new continent, you should keep a travel guide handy. Since there are a ton of travel requirements, certain restrictions, and even guidelines for different countries, every traveler, whether alone or in a group, should do proper research on their final destination before boarding the plane. .
Since I recently traveled to a few countries in Africa including Kenya, Ethiopia, and Tanzania, I have listed some hiking rules, important information, and travel tips below. This will help every first-time traveler have a safe, comfortable and enjoyable stay here.
Best time to visit
Since Africa is a huge continent with varied landscapes, climate and wildlife, you should choose the best time to visit your country of choice based on your interests and what you hope to see during your vacation.
If you want to go on a safari, visit between May and August as the wildlife is easy to spot and you may see elusive creatures like rhinos, lions and leopards. Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe offer incredible safari experiences. If you want to see the marine life there, you can visit various tourist spots throughout the year. Zanzibar in Tanzania, Sainte-Marie Island in Madagascar, Camps Bay in Cape Town in South Africa, the Bazaruto Archipelago in Mozambique and Lamu Island in Kenya are some of the most beautiful beaches on the continent.
Usually, the mainland is sunny during the months of September, October, March and April.
The best countries to visit
- South Africa
What to expect?
In North Africa, people mainly speak Arabic and follow Islam. It is famous for its natural wonders like the Nile, the Sahara Desert, the Red Sea and the Atlas Mountains.
For the best safari destinations, you must visit East Africa and enjoy amazing wildlife sightings. Most people love to travel to Kenya or Tanzania to witness the Great Migration which takes place every year between July and September. You can also hike to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro or take a short flight to stunning honeymoon destinations like Madagascar, Seychelles, Reunion and Mauritius. Uganda is the best travel destination for gorilla trekking.
In the southern part of Africa, you can travel to popular tourist destinations such as Cape Town, Victoria Falls, Sossusvlei, Kruger National Park and Chobe National Park.
Central Africa is the least visited region in Africa due to political instability and poor tourist infrastructure.
- If you are planning a trip to Africa, you will need to get vaccinated a few days or weeks before your arrival date. Depending on where you are traveling, you may need a yellow fever vaccination or polio vaccination. Consult your GP at least 2-3 weeks before your trip to Africa.
- Since malaria is a serious problem in many parts of Africa, you should take antimalarial drugs, wear long-sleeved clothes and pants, and use insect repellent.
- Sunburn is a serious problem in Africa. So make sure you carry sunscreen with you at all times.
- Only a few towns have good health facilities and most rural areas have only a basic health system. Thus, you need to get travel insurance that covers all your travel activities, as well as emergency repatriation.
- Tap water is not drinkable in Africa, so prepare refillable bottles and ask your hotel or lodge to fill them for you.
- As there are several water-borne diseases such as schistosomiasis in Africa, do not bathe in rivers and lakes unless it is safe to do so.
- Same-sex couples are advised to act discreetly in public and to respect local laws and customs.
Additional Travel Tips
- Make sure you don’t travel alone to remote and isolated places as crime rates are high in some parts of Africa.
- Pay attention to ATMs as there are not many in remote areas. Try to withdraw cash whenever possible.
- Be careful when driving in some parts of Africa as local driving standards may be low in some areas.
- Wear modest clothing as some parts of the continent are conservative.
- Keep appropriate footwear and clothing in your luggage if you wish to experience the many wonders of nature.