The incredible experience of traveling to Africa is a once in a lifetime event for most people. To have a smooth trip, here are my top 5 tips when booking and traveling to Africa.
Make sure you have the proper documentation. I recently sent a client to Africa and discovered that if you are under the age of 18 (even though you are traveling with both parents) you must have your official birth certificate along with your passport. Always check to make sure you do not need additional documentation before you travel anywhere! Always purchase travel insurance!! You have a lifeline with travel insurance. If you got sick, you have extra medical coverage that will cover you.
There are several recommended and required vaccines for travel to certain areas in Africa. Check with your doctor to find out which ones you require. To bring, it is recommended to bring a small pharmacy with you. Anti Malarial medication, antibiotics, painkillers, hydrocortisone cream, and insect repellant with DEET.
I truly believe that the best way to travel around Africa would be to go with a tour group. As the old saying goes, there is safety in numbers. Leave designer labels and your expensive jewelry at home, it only makes you a target. Always be aware of your surroundings, especially when taking cash out at the ATM. I recommend taking a bag that locks with you such as a PacSafe brand bag. Be aware in the markets of scammers and people inflating their prices of goods.
The people are very friendly in Africa. They love foreigners and will greet you with a smile and a “hello”. Many folks in Africa are very conservative, be mindful of this with your language and your dress.
Items to Bring with You
Hand sanitizer, sunscreen, new US Dollar Bills (no earlier than 2006, a lot of places will not accept “old” US currency), an battery operated torch (Africa goes through power outages), baby wipes, and I mentioned it before but malaria is no joke. Bring insect repellant with DEET in it.
Above all, enjoy this incredible adventure and take tons of photos to remember for a lifetime!