10 Helpful Travel Tips to Prepare for a Trip to Africa

November 5, 2022
A grassland in Africa with five zebras walking around it

Is traveling to Africa high up on your bucket list? You’re not the only one! African safaris are among the most popular travel destinations. And according to statistics, about 62.9 million tourists visit Africa each year! Traveling through Africa is bound to capture your heart, from the fascinating cultures to the abundant wildlife and stunning landscapes. There isn’t much that compares to traversing this wonderful continent. However, you must adequately plan your vacation to get the most out of it. For this reason, we have put together this helpful list of travel tips to prepare for a trip to Africa. So, buckle up, put on your safari hat, and get ready for a trip you won’t soon forget.

1. Set aside plenty of time to see all the charms of Africa

The first thing you must keep in mind is that such a trip should not be rushed. After all, you’re exploring this vast continent filled with things you surely shouldn’t miss. And when will you have a chance to see Africa again? Therefore, we recommend setting aside an adequate amount of time. In most cases, two weeks is just enough time to explore a country or (even possibly) two. However, by extending the time available, you’ll be able to explore even more countries with vastly different cultures, landscapes, and wild animals.

2. Prepare an itinerary

Every unforgettable trip should always start with an itinerary. This is a surefire way of taking full advantage of the limited time you may have during your travels. However, ensure your passport and visa are in check before starting this step! Once ready, it is best to pick out a couple of destinations, do your research on each of them and plan what you wish to see and do while there. Of course, this itinerary does not have to be followed to a tee, but it will still serve its purpose of allowing you to have a rough idea of what you can do each day. But if you want to leave this part of planning to someone else, why not let AI plan the trip for you?

A man and a woman looking at a map while standing near a grass

A physical map can also be helpful during a trip to Africa.

3. Get your body ready for a trip to Africa

While preparing plans for your trip to Africa, do not forget to prepare your body. A trip to Africa can be taxing; therefore, it requires a healthy body prepared for everything it may encounter there. There are numerous vaccinations needed before visiting Africa, including those for polio, typhoid, yellow fever, and hepatitis. Pay a visit to your doctor and inquire about the necessary steps you will need to take before your trip.

When traveling, do not forget to pack the medicine you take for your possible chronic conditions as well as the medicine you need on occasion. Furthermore, in case you are bitten by a mosquito in Africa, your doctor can advise you on the best treatment to take to avoid contracting malaria. Lastly, stomachache is a common concern since there will be a drastic change in your diet. Be sure to pack some form of laxative and probiotic. 

4. Think about acquiring travel insurance

Traveling in Africa can be full of surprises. However, what do you do when these surprises are negative ones, such as an urgent medical concern? Therefore, we strongly advise you to acquire travel insurance. It is one of the most important travel tips to prepare for a trip to Africa that we can give you. Such insurance is incredibly useful, and it will give you peace of mind knowing you’ll be safe no matter what may occur during your travel. 

Furthermore, if you decide to rent a car or live that van life in Africa, you are more likely to be a victim of attempted bribery. Police bribery attempts against locals and tourists alike are particularly well-known in countries like Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Tanzania. Furthermore, if any sort of theft occurs, your travel insurance will truly be helpful.

A van traveling across Africa with a view of a giraffe on a green field.

To stay safe, you should rent a car with a driver who is acquainted with the rough terrain of Africa.

5. Get acquainted with the law in the location you are traveling to

Not many people are aware, but each country in Africa has different rules and regulations you must follow. A situation you definitely don’t want to encounter is getting in trouble with the authorities in a foreign country. In order to make sure you’re a law-abiding tourist, do your research on each location you will visit and note down different things you may need to remember. 

6. Put your valuable belongings in a safe place before your trip to Africa

Although you may be tempted to simply carry your valuable belongings with you to Africa, we strongly advise against it. And if you leave them at home, harsh weather and theft may occur. So, if you truly want to make your belongings safe, it is best to rent storage while traveling. Of course, there are things that can and can’t go in storage, so think about your items and their safety and place appropriate belongings out of harm’s way. Trust us; you won’t regret it.

7. Avoid possible issues by having multiple copies of your documents

Your travel documents are some of the most important valuables during your trip. After all, they will ensure a safe trip through the country and a safe return home. Make sure you have numerous copies of them at your home, in your luggage, backpack, and places alike. 


A woman writing things down on different pieces of paper while looking at a map.

A few different copies of a map and your itinerary may also come in handy.

8. Only pack weather-appropriate clothing

Although this travel tip may be a no-brainer, you would be surprised just how many people come unprepared for the harsh weather present in Africa. Research the usual weather in the locations you will visit, and pack light, comfortable clothes and hiking boots if you do decide to trek around the various landscapes. And, if you’re visiting different Muslim countries, it is best to remain modest and respectful in terms of clothing. 

9. Be prepared to use cash

Although most places you’ve visited previously may be used to credit cards, this is not the case when it comes to Africa. ATMs are only present in larger cities but carrying all of your money can also be dangerous. We advise carrying enough money for the trip between larger cities and keeping your money in various places since this will ensure you still have some money left if an unfortunate theft occurs. Very importantly, inform your bank of your upcoming trip, so they won’t suspect there are any fraudulent charges to your card.

10. Get comfortable with the idea that things won’t always go the way you planned them

Even if you follow all of the previous tips to prepare for a trip to Africa, this one tops them all – you can never be prepared enough. Of course, the previous steps are necessary, but they will not stop unplanned events from happening. For example, you may not find access to Wi-Fi in many African areas, which is why you should not have a workcation here. On the other hand, electricity may be out; you may lose your way or misplace your bags. Just keep a clear head and know things won’t always go as planned.

Related article: 7 Workation Destinations for Digital Nomads


Chillwall AI are creators of a superhuman concierge helping visitors to discover new travel experiences without searching.

Author Info: Jesse Blevins

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