Travel to Africa Guidelines
Obviously, the biggest lure of a trip to Africa is the opportunity to go on a safari. Seeing lions, giraffes, gazelle, rhinoceros, elephants, buffalo, and other animals in their natural habitats is a great treat for children and adults alike. Nevertheless, you should still be aware of the right season to go to any specific African country if an African safari is your main priority.
To ensure that you will be able to see the most animals on your safari, it is best that you take note of the actual peak seasons for every African country. Following these guidelines will guarantee that you are at the right place at the right time during your travel to Africa.
Things to Do and The Best Time To Go To Africa
If you do some research before your travel to Africa, you will find that the weather can greatly vary between the Eastern and Southern parts of the continent. This news can actually have advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that the varying season means that travel to Africa is actually plausible all year round. The disadvantage is that going to an African country during an unfavorable season means that you might not be able to make the most of your trip.
The best time to go on a safari to Kenya or Tanzania is during the months of February to March and June to November. The dry spell during these months means that animals are likely to gather around large watering holes. You will therefore have a greater chance of spotting a larger variety and density of African wildlife at any one time. You will also be able to view the animals even from a distance since the dried out vegetation will not hinder your line of sight.
Avoid going to both places during the months of April to May since that is when the rainy season occurs. Animals will be harder to spot during these months since they will likely be taking shelter from the downpour. Likewise, December to January are also unfavorable months for travel to Africa. The exceedingly hot and humid weather will make the viewing experience particularly uncomfortable. Conversely, December to March are actually good months to travel to Africa for a safari in Uganda. The relatively drier season makes it easier for tourists to trek up the mountains to view the famous mountain gorillas.
Although the dry seasons may have been favorable for the first few locales, the end of the dry season is actually more favored if Zambia is your destination in your travel to Africa. September to mid-November is the best time to visit Zambia if you want to see large herds of elephants, zebra, buffalo, and many other animals all gathered in one place.
A safari in Zimbabwe is best experienced during the months of July to October. However, travelers that are more adventurous would also do well to go during the months of August to December. Those are the best months to enjoy white water rafting on the rough rivers of Zambezi.
Botswana offers some of the most expensive safari destinations in Africa due to the general inaccessibility of the many wildlife parks. A small plane often has to chartered just to reach those parks. You should therefore make sure that you actually travel to Africa during the right season so that you will get your money’s worth in Botswana.
June to September is the peak season to visit the secluded wildlife parks. However, the expensive prices might deter many travelers. If you want to save some money while still enjoying your safari, you can also opt to go in the months of April to May when many airfare deals are put up for grabs.
December to March is the best time to visit Namibia if bird watching is your priority. However, the months are also the most humid of the year so you should be prepared to sweat it out.
While South Africa may have wildlife parks that can withstand the heavy rains, it is still best that you make your travel to Africa during the months of June to September. The dry and cool weather during these months is much more favorable for animal watching.
Following those weather conditions that you should observe during your travel to Africa, there are other things that you should take into consideration.
- The first step in smart packing is to thoroughly research on the specific region that you will be visiting. Obviously, you should avoid areas that are suffering from war, famine, or political unrest since the people there will be less accommodating of tourists.
- Petty theft is prevalent in most of Africa. Therefore, you should aim to always be observant of your belongings as you go about your trip. The best way ensure that you are well prepared for any emergency is naturally to pack smartly and properly.
- Another precautionary method is to simply be more mindful of your appearance when walking around on foot. Avoid wearing fancy jewelry or flashing large amounts of cash.
- You should also avoid wearing expensive watches on your wrist or cameras on your neck. Although you might want to take a lot of pictures during your travel to Africa, it is still better that you keep your gadgets hidden so that you do not draw any unnecessary attention. Simply use your eyes to take in the sights in public markets and monuments, and just make use of your cameras when you are safely on board a private vehicle.
- Likewise, always keep your passport and other important documents on your person at all times. Store the originals in a discreet place underneath your clothes and keep only the copies in your room. This precautionary measure will serve you well in case thieves decide to ransack your sleeping quarters or hotel room.
- Aside from your valuables, your overall health is also something that you should strictly observe on your trip. Children in particular should have had all of the necessary vaccines against the most common illnesses.
- Specific African countries might also have particular health requirements that need to be satisfied before you are allowed entry. Nevertheless, vaccines against hepatitis A, meningococcal meningitis, typhoid and rabies are the most common vaccine requirements for travel to Africa. Likewise, although there is no vaccine for malaria, it is best that you take anti-malaria prophylactics before your trip for good measure.
Plus, to make sure that you have a safe journey, it is really best that you accomplish thorough research regarding your destination beforehand. This will ensure that you will not be discouraged entry into the continent. Likewise, being fully prepared will also guarantee that you will have less chances of encountering any harmful advances or sicknesses on your trip.
Things to Do During Your Travel to Africa
Even with the negative image of malnutrition and shortage of resources, there are plenty of more positive things to focus on when talking about Africa. Some people in different parts of the world are unaware of the many scenic views that this continent possesses. A lot of mountaineers, trekkers and adventurers travel to Africa to explore its wondrous forests and badlands. With the Indian Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea and Suez Canal surroundings 54 countries, Africa also boasts its fine beaches and shorelines. If you wish to travel to Africa, you can find the ultimate tour packages online. Whether you want to check out the animals, do some star gazing and shop around the local towns, there is an online tour operator that is ready to give you the ultimate African tour experience. You should be all excited about your travel to Africa. Here are some of the things to do while you’re in this huge landmass.
Close Encounters with the Animals
If there’s something people who travel to Africa would want to do, it’s definitely to check out its wild animals. Tanzania is a popular destination because of places like Masai Mara, Ngorongoro Reserve and Serengeti. It’s best to visit the wildebeest, zebras and hooves during January and June. The Rwandan forest also allows tourist to have an up close encounter with gorillas. Kenya, on the other hand, is best known for its unique back riding experience with the zebras. Also do not forget to drop by its scenic lakes and visit the flamingos within Lake Nakaru. Rhinos are also prevalent at the Solio Reserve and Mount Aberdare. Maun in Botswana is another popular place for safari expedition. A lot of tourists enjoy riding its safari drive and a close encounter with the donkeys.
Enjoy its Beaches
Daredevil trekkers also enjoy Africa because of the adventure it offers. The Mneba Island in Tanzania provides one of a king snorkeling experience to tourists because of its unexplored waters. The island is private and only houses ten cottages. For divers who want a crystal clear view of unique marine animals, the Quirimbas Archipelago in Mozambique is a haven. It has also been a historical place when explorers used it as a resting place. For white sand and relaxing shorelines, the Trou aux Biches in the Indian Ocean is the perfect choice. It also serves delectable food and offers recreational activities. The Lake Malawi also boasts its calm body of water and freshwater animals. May is an optimal choice for visit but the lake is just well all year round. It is home to more than 10,000 species of fish. The stone formations and boulders around the shorelines makes the Seychelles Island a dream destination of every beach lover. It has a very fine white sand and had been a popular destination for couples. UNESCO has also awarded the Lamu Town as one of its Heritage Sites because it was once a shelter for native tribes hundreds of years ago. It also one of the most calming beaches in South Africa and perfect for those who want to get away from the busy streets of the city.
Up for Some Adventure
If you are into backpacking and camping, the Spitzkoppe in Namibia would provide good shelter with its gigantic boulders ad granite peaks. Trekking, jeep riding and mountain hiking while viewing zebras and antelopes are best enjoyed in the Nyika Plateau Park in Malawi. Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is another popular itinerary for mountaineers. Many tourists travel to Africa to reach the zenith of the highest mountain in Africa. Victoria Falls is one of the best destinations for adventure seeking travelers. Whether you want to jump off high bridges or swim along its crystal clear coasts, this falls would definitely provide daredevil experience to every tourist.
If you want to ride through strong water currents and white raft your way along the rapids, the Zambezi River is for you. Moreover, Africa also boasts its beautiful desserts. Travel to Africa wouldn’t be complete without visiting the world class Sahara desert. You can do sand boarding and ride on an ATV bike. When dusk bites in, people flock at the foot of the Dunes because of its majestic view for star gazing. For history buffs, the Pyramid of Giza is an ultimate destination. Built around 3000 BC, local tourist guides would walk foreigners around the ancient burials and even let them ride on a camel. Another historic landmark in Egypt are the Nile and Sphinx.
Shop with the Locals
During your travel to Africa, it is best to do your part to help their economy. Africa has a wide range of products locally made by artisans and crafters. Their products mostly reflects their local culture, history and art. Some good places to shop would be in Morocco, in Accra and in Tanzania. The Djmaa el Fna in Morocco will enchant you with its busy town square with food kiosks, local sellers, dancers, and snake charmers and henna tattoo artists dispersed around the place. People also travel to Africa to shop at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. Apart from the international clothing brands, jewelries, art products and other goods, tourists also enjoy the overlooking to mountains and sea. Khartoum in Sudan, one of the safest places in Africa, also offers local food products and tea variants.
Africans are also good when it comes to entertaining their guests. Dubbed as the Paris of Africa, the Algiers is one of the best cities to visit when you travel to Africa. It has overlooking cafes and breath taking walkways. Jazz lovers would definitely enjoy the Jazzamba Lounge. If you want a unique party experience, the Comptoir in South Africa is the perfect place to have cocktails and wine. Stanley’s Terrace, situated near Victoria Falls, provides a unique English ambience. You can eat your heart out or have a drink while enjoying the scenic view around this terrace. Toursist can also enjoy an Alexandrian ambience, the Cap d’Or in Zaghloul can be a good choice for relaxation and drinks. Other places to visit would be the Shahrazad, Bab Hotel, Baxter Theatre and Tomoca.
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