Africa has a lot to offer travelers looking for a quick getaway. Unfortunately, with extreme weather, exotic wildlife, and ancient cultures, there are many misconceptions about Africa. But de-stigmatizing the continent can help people better understand its people and cultures.
Africa Weather in the Summer: Africa’s weather can be scorching. However, a little preparation goes a long way when traveling to the continent in the summertime. Be sure to pack light clothing and be sure that you are staying hydrated. Staying hydrated won’t just help you stay cool, but it also helps prevent sunburns as well as heatstroke.
Africa Weather in the Winter: Africa has very unpredictable weather, but heat and rain seem to be the two most popular complaints from travelers during the winter months. Wear layers when you are traveling to Africa at this time. If you are making a trek into the wilderness, be sure to bring warm clothes.
Africa World Heritage Sites: There are over 100 World Heritage Sites located across Africa. Like the Great Zimbabwe Ruins in Zimbabwe, some of these sites have been on the World Heritage list for decades. Others, like the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Stone Town or Mali’s Djenne rock art sites, have only been around a few hundred years.
Africa Wildlife: Numerous species of animals are found throughout Africa. From ostriches to elephants to lemurs, Africa’s wildlife is diverse and beautiful. Most people don’t have a lot of interaction with wildlife while on vacation, but if you take a trip to Africa, you can expect to encounter animals such as lions and antelope. So keep your eyes open and draw as little attention to yourself as possible.
Africa Culture: Africans are known for their strong culture. It is essential to be respectful whenever you are in a country where their culture is dominant. This means that you should not check out local places and dress modestly (don’t walk around in short shorts). Also, just because you won’t see many Western people doesn’t mean that the culture is not diverse.
If you’re looking to visit the continent, consider these tips:
- Pack light: Obviously, travel with backpacks will weigh you down. Instead, pack light. Bring your favorite beach towel and a poncho for when it rains. You don’t need a new outfit from a high-end store; the clothes that you come home with are what count. You should even get rid of the clothes that you brought for your entire trip and instead take clothes that are uniquely yours.
- Be sure to stay hydrated: When you’re in an area with high temperatures, it’s important to stay hydrated. One tip would be to purchase some travel bottled water. Maintaining a proper diet will also help you stay healthy. Also, make sure that you drink fresh fruit juice when it’s available. You may even want to consider avoiding coffee and alcohol altogether because they dehydrate the body.
- Look out for dangerous animals: Animals are just like humans, and they have their own kind of intelligence. They may even want to get to know you. However, if you encounter an animal that is acting too friendly, don’t pat or touch it. Instead, move out of the way and be sure to leave the area immediately. Remember that animals in Africa are wild; they live to survive and not necessarily communicate with humans.
- Dress to represent your own culture: Africa is an amazing place to learn new things. You may even want to take pictures like you are a part of the culture that you are visiting. However, dressing like a local can be the only way to truly get into the culture and understand it well. Even though it may seem ridiculous to some people, you must take this step.
The world is an inherently cultural place. When you travel, you may be forced to interact with others in a different way than you’re used to. You may also find that you learn new things about yourself or the world at large.
List of countries in Africa
Central African Republic
Sao Tome & Principe