If you are getting ready to visit the continent of Africa for the first time, you will no doubt be excited about your trip, and rightly so. Africa has so much to offer, from the amazing people and the fascinating culture to the varied wildlife and the delicious cuisine. But, as with everywhere you travel there are certain things such as jabs, insurance, and even obtaining currency that you need to bear in mind! Me and Jay very recently visited Morocco and had a great time. It was my first time visiting Africa, whereas Jay is from South Africa. Here’s a few things to bear in mind if it’s your first trip there!
It is important to respect their culture and to pack with common sense.
Pack your case carefully – Some places in Africa are predominantly Muslim and, therefore, they are quite conservative. It is important to respect their culture and to pack with common sense. Avoid tiny shorts and miniskirts. It is also a good idea to bring some tops with you that will cover your shoulders. In Morocco I wore baggy pants a lot of the time and always carried a sarong with me to cover my shoulders. Even though the town we were in was very liberal, I still felt much more comfortable dressing to fit in. It’s always better to err on the side of safe and respectful, than be an ignorant tourist.
You need to get comprehensive travel insurance – Before travelling to Africa, it is vital to take out comprehensive travel insurance. This is because medical facilities may be very limited in the area you are visiting. You could find yourself in a sticky situation financially if you don’t take out insurance. After all, medical bills can easily mount to excessive amounts, especially if you need to be transported to a hospital far away. Taking our insurance is an obvious point for any trip, but even more so if the areas you are visiting are very rural or remote, and if you’re doing any extreme sports/activity. If you’re on a safari trip, doing any kind of sport make sure your insurance will cover any injuries as a result of those things.
See your doctor before you travel – It is important to book an appointment with your doctor a couple of months before you are due to travel. This is to make sure that your vaccinations are up-to-date. You can check what vaccinations you need for certain countries via the NHS’s website. You need to give yourself plenty of time, as some vaccinations require a follow-up, which can only be done around four weeks after the initial injection.
Leaving things until the last minute can be a bit of a nightmare. I left a few vaccinations too late before a trip to Thailand and I’m lucky that I never got ill on that trip! Vaccinations are required because of diseases that are prevalent in Africa, including yellow fever, typhoid, hepatitis, and cholera. Malaria is also common. You can get your tablets online to prevent such illnesses and protect your health while abroad. The last thing you want to do is spend your hospital in a holiday bed.
Taxi cabs in Essaouira
Understand the local law – It is a good idea to read up on the law before you go to Africa. There are a number of areas that cannot be photographed, such airports, government buildings and even certain bridges. It’s also the same with countries such as the UAE. Not all of these areas are going to be clearly defined or marked, and so it’s important to be cautious.
Bring snacks if you are picky with food – Enjoying a new cuisine is one of the delights of going abroad. However, if you’re a picky eater, it’s a good idea to bring some snacks with you. Food that’s suitable for Vegans or Coeliac may be limited if you’re in rural parts of the continent. If you’re doing a more down and dirty trip like camping then taking some food with you is a good idea rather than hoping that the local supermarket stocks things you like and things that are suitable for you when you’re out there.
I really cannot wait to visit more countries in Africa. I’m hoping to head to South Africa with Jay in the near future. I would love to see where he’s from and learn more about the country. Zanzibar also looks absolutely gorgeous for a long and relaxing vacation.
Have you visited Africa? What are your favourite countries/cities to visit there? I’d love to know so I can add them to my travel list!
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