How to Travel in Africa

How to Travel in Africa
Africa is a huge and amazing continent, which offers some of the best adventure travel opportunities in the world. It is also a very intense place filled with extreme poverty, life-threatening diseases and many other hazards. The successful traveler needs to be alert and aware of the constantly changing hazards, and able to see beyond the problems. The wildlife is truly amazing, most of the people are great and an incredible adventure is available for people who can overcome the obstacles.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Challenging

Step 1
Find a good travel doctor. Health risks are probably the most challenging aspect of most African travel, so plan your trip accordingly. Conditions vary greatly between regions, and an immunization that is recommended for Kenya, may not be needed in Morocco. A general list of recomended immunizations for the continent includes hepatitis A & B, typhoid, yellow fever, measles-mumps-rubella (one inoculation) and tetanus-diptheria. Malaria, dengue fever, and other mosquito-borne diseases are present in many areas, and the best protection is mosquito netting. A variety of prophylactics are available, so ask your doctor.
Step 2
Choose a region, and start exploring. Kenya and Tanzania are very famous for wildlife and mountains, but a great adventure can be found in almost any corner of this huge and diverse continent. Southern Africa is also very famous for wildlife, and the terrain is diverse and very interesting. Most African countries require passports and visas for entry. Tourist visas can usually be obtained at international airports, but travelers need to be aware of each country's rules. Always carry a good supply of small photos for this purpose.
Step 3
Join a good safari. Seeing one or more of the famous game parks is an essential part of any African journey. There are many options, which vary from low-budget camping trips to luxurious five-star extravaganzas, so shop carefully. The Masai Mara and Simburu National Parks of Kenya are often combined in a weeklong journey and offer fabulous scenery and dense wildlife. The Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Parks of Tanzania are also very good choices, and with a bit of luck and planning you might see thousands of wildebeests migrating.
Step 4
Try an overland truck. These trips are not for wimps, but they are probably the best way to really experience Africa, and the prices are reasonable. The journeys vary in length from one week to two months and involve riding in the back of a large 4-wheel drive truck and camping in remote areas. Many companies offer this type of travel, but be aware that these are serious journeys, and pick the company carefully.
Step 5
Jump on a train. The trains of Africa vary from luxurious to barely moving, but most of them reward the rider with a great experience, and they usually travel through remote places where cars and buses can't go.
Step 6
Climb into a crowded bus. Most of the African buses are old and very crowded, but they offer the hardy traveler a grand cultural experience. Buses that travel long distances on paved roads can be comfortable, but it is best to look at the bus before you buy a ticket.
 

Tips & Warnings

 
Be patient and travel with an open mind, but keep your eyes and ears open, and be aware of ever-changing hazards. Finding a trustworthy taxi driver in the large cities is crucial, so be cautious of hiring taxis on the street. The fancy hotels screen their drivers, so this is a good place to find one. If you like him, get his card and use him for the rest of your trip.
 
Be patient and travel with an open mind, but keep your eyes and ears open, and be aware of ever-changing hazards.
 
Finding a trustworthy taxi driver in the large cities is crucial, so be cautious of hiring taxis on the street. The fancy hotels screen their drivers, so this is a good place to find one. If you like him, get his card and use him for the rest of your trip.
 
Cities and war zones can be very dangerous, and should be approached with caution. Check the local news often for warnings. Robbing tourists is quite popular in a few areas, so use caution and try to blend in. Fancy jewelry and expensive computers and cameras are very tempting targets.
 
Cities and war zones can be very dangerous, and should be approached with caution.
 
Check the local news often for warnings.
 
Robbing tourists is quite popular in a few areas, so use caution and try to blend in. Fancy jewelry and expensive computers and cameras are very tempting targets.

Article Written By John Mattson

John Mattson is an architectural engineer, adventure writer, and photographer who has traveled to many remote corners of the earth. He has recently self-published a colorfully photographed book of 26 diverse and extreme adventure stories titled "Dancing on the Edge of an Endangered Planet."