Traveling to Africa is one of the most adventurous experiences you will ever embark on. Not for the sake of adventure but the thrill of diversity within each individual country itself with the people, culture, artistic expressions, wildlife, nature, culinary fare, lifestyle, dialects, beauty and so much more.
If you are traveling to the continent for the first time, great and congratulations! Just imagine for a moment, how you felt when you encountered something magnificent for the first time in your life. How was it? Was it the rush of positive energy, the thrill of serenity, the beautiful sounds, fresh air, or rush of excitement? Whatever it is or was, you felt so good it almost felt like a transcendental experience into another energy field or dimension. Those moments and experiences shifted your perspective or gave you a new found respect, wisdom or gave life to some dormant force or inspiration to be, do, or whatever it is or was, you are no longer the same person. At some point in our lives we have all felt this and we know we are in complete alignment or something magnificent is happening or happened. It's a feeling we never want to forget or let go. Allow yourself to fill or expand that experience with a trip to the cradle of humankind. “Africa – You can see a sunset and believe you have witnessed the Hand of God. You watch the slope lope of a lioness and forget to breathe. You marvel at the tripod of a giraffe bent to water. In Africa, there are iridescent blues on the wings of birds that you do not see anywhere else in nature. In Africa, in the midday heart, you can see blisters in the atmosphere. When you are in Africa, you feel primordial, rocked in the cradle of the world,” Jodi Picoult (American author).
If you already feel refreshed or inspired after reading that, then you are in the right place. The thrill of visiting Africa for the first time especially, begins long before you set foot in your first country of choice. Africa is vast, with rich vibrant culture and heritage, lush wildlife, safaris and savannahs, reverting history, resources and landmarks, awe-inspiring people, exotic cuisines, music, dance, and inspiring stories that will shift your perspective and fuel your imagination.
There are endless opportunities to explore, activities and themes to consider and plenty of room for relaxation. Whether you are an adventure seeker, avid solo traveler, leisure traveler, connoisseur seeking to roll along a golden landscape, your eyes plying the plains for a spectacular sight of wildebeest, or you seek peace, relaxation and tranquility, or want to awaken your taste buds with culture rich cuisines, kick up your feet in pristine white sandy beaches or luxury filled experience, you indeed can experience it all, depending on how well you plan and how open minded you are.
Identify your Needs, Wants and your Budget:
Identifying and determining what activities you would love to explore and your preferences is something to think about. This allow you to be organize and not so stressed out, after all you are traveling to a new country and territory for the first time. You must plan accordingly to avoid any unnecessary confusions. Also, determining how much you are going to spend, plunge and understanding or familiarizing yourself with currency exchange is extremely important. Every country have their own currency and you need to take that into consideration.
How much time do you have?
This is very important. We recommend setting aside at least two weeks for you to make your travel worthwhile. You have to take into consideration flight time and what kind of experiences you seek. Since you are traveling to Africa for the first time you need at-least two weeks to soak in all the beautiful memories and experiences and making your money worth. I guarantee you, you would even wish you had more time.
Who are you Traveling with, Group/Family/Children?
Whether you are traveling alone, or in groups or family with children, this is very important in order to plan accordingly. Traveling alone is not easy let alone in groups or with children. Everyone has their own preferences and we don't all think alike neither are we the same. However, we can make some sacrifices for the sake of the group and unite as one with certain activities or comfort.
Get your Immunization:
Since you are traveling to a different territory with a different climate condition and weather, consult your doctor and get it done. The point of this isn't to scare you but to make sure you avoid any interruptions during your trip due to unforeseen health issues, allergic reactions etc. Your doctor will advise you better, but also you know yourself well so be aware.
Show Respect and Appreciation:
Show respect for indigenous culture, lifestyle, and people. Respect in Africa starts with greetings. When someone greets you you are expected to greet back with similar gesture or better. It shows courtesy, respect, and, maturity. Whatever cultural nuances, assumptions or expectations you have, you must have a mind that is open to everything yet attached to nothing and show respect and appreciation by saying thank you to kind gestures. Accept people as they ought to be, avoid all biases and kindly ask questions if you are curious about something. If you do not like something, kindly say no, thank you. Kindness goes a long way.
Be alert in every sense of the word and be where you are. You are in a different country and in the company of different people with different personalities. What may seem intruding in western culture isn't the case in Africa as many if not all African cultures encourage helping others even without them asking. If you are familiar with the saying, "it takes a village to raise a child" - that is so true in every African country. Also, it is important to note some people may complain about too much begging but it's up to you to give or not, in either case be kind. If you can give and if you cannot you are not obligated to, however be kind. Again, pass kindness around.