Tips for planning your first African trip

Africa is increasingly becoming the destination of choice for many people across the globe. Before, people were quick to jump on flights to globally appealing destinations such as Paris or Thailand, and they were always hesitant to book trips to various parts of Africa. However, people are now vacationing in Africa in droves, because of the exciting activities on offer that involve more than just wildlife and nature safaris. Africa is comprised of 54 independent states and 9 territories that have unique cultures. Regardless of which territory you choose to vacation in, you can always rely on the warmth and the welcoming spirit of the African people.  Here are tips to help you plan your first African trip:

Find a friend to bring along

To start with, find a friend; preferably one that has been to Africa before, that you can bring along to the trip.  Some people like to pick a country based on whether they know someone that has been there before. This is a great way to have a knowledgeable companion to keep you company as well as to give you intimate knowledge of the culture of the region.

Set aside at least two weeks for exploration

Depending on where you want to go and where you are coming from, you will need to give yourself time to adjust to the changes not only in relation to time and weather but also in culture. Your body needs to adjust before you can start exploring and experiencing a new country. Also, a trip to Africa may mean subjecting yourself to long road trips, which is not an experience you want to rush.

Prepare to step out of your comfort zone

Many African countries offer five-star service and experiences at very affordable rates. However, when in Africa, you must be prepared to step out of your comfort zone every so often. For instance, you may have to shower with cold water while in a remote village and sometimes you may have to use your hands while eating. The point is to allow yourself to relax and experience something new.

Be mindful

In Africa, people are typically conservative and very firm on their morality and principles. While there, be mindful of the culture and the people. This means that you should be respectful, particularly to elders and people of authority. You should also try as much as possible to dress conservatively; try not to bear too much skin or draw a lot of attention to yourself.

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