Africa has a lot to offer travelers looking for a quick getaway. Unfortunately, with extreme weather, exotic wildlife, and ancient cultures, many misconceptions about Africa exist. However, 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 and heatstroke.
Africa Weather in the Winter: Africa has unpredictable weather, but heat and rain are the two most popular complaints from travelers during winter. 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: Over 100 World Heritage Sites are 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. Africa’s wildlife is diverse and beautiful, from ostriches to elephants to lemurs. 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. Being respectful in a country where their culture is dominant is essential. This means 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 you come home with count. You should remove the clothes 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 avoid coffee and alcohol because they dehydrate the body.
- Look out for dangerous animals: Animals are like humans and have their own kind of intelligence. They may even want to get to know you. However, if you encounter an animal acting too friendly, don’t pat or touch it. Instead, move out of the way and leave the area immediately. Remember that African animals are wild; they live to survive and do not necessarily communicate with humans.
- Dress to represent your 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 you visit. However, dressing like a local can be the only way to get into the culture and understand it truly. 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 differently than you’re used to. You may also learn new things about yourself or the world at large.