After months of saving and planning, your trip to Africa is nearly here!
What can you do to get the most out of this once in a life time experience? Here are 5 tips to make your trip even more memorable.
Tip Number 1: Make friends with the locals. If you can only remember and use one of these tips, use this one! Far too many travelers rely on tourist books, they fear the locals and they stick with other tourists. If you want to get the most out of your trip, ask the locals for tips and advice, make friends with them and ask them for local tidbits of info. More often than not, locals will keep you safer than you’d be wandering about on your own and you’ll get to see a fresh side of the area as well.
Tip Number 2: Always carry a flashlight. This might seem a bit strange, but I can’t tell you how many times my mini light has saved me a ton of frustration! Lack of power is often a problem in most parts of Africa, and being prepared is just smart.
Tip Number 3: Make your own African mini first aid kit. Bug bites can really put a damper on your fun, so I always carry antihistamines in my kit. I also carry Ibuprofen, 2 cold tablets, 4 anti diarrhea pills, a bit of toilet paper, a handkerchief and a small bottle of rubbing alcohol. Remember, basic medical supplies like these can be hard to come by if you are traveling in rural areas.
Tip Number 4: Carry small bills and change in the local currency and stash your cash in several different spots. It’s pretty common that you want to buy something and the seller can’t break a larger bill. Save yourself the trouble by keeping small bills. Hiding your cash in different spots can save you money, too, as your seller see that you only have a small amount of cash on you.
Tip Number 5: Bring undershirts, and lots of them. It might seem counter intuitive, but layering with an undershirt is a must in Africa, you’ll be surprised at how much cooler it keeps you. As a side note to this tip, you might want to bring an outfit that is a little dressier, too. Africans love dressing up, and you might feel out of place is all you have is cargo shorts and tank tops.
Here is just one more bit of advice, embrace local traditions and customs as much as possible. This will go a long way to helping you get the most out of your trip and make new friends.
Enjoy your trip to Africa!