Finally, you have made up your mind and booked tickets to your favorite African destination, and you can wait to land and start your trip. You are pumped about the great experience that awaits, you can’t wait to interact with the locals, eat their foods and even date a few of their girls. But hold on for a moment!
Do you know what it takes to have a successful trip to Africa? Have made all the necessary preparations needed to ensure you will stay safe and sound once you land in your destination. Though there are lots of horror stories about Africa, they should not be a deterrent for your visit, but you still need to be careful. Here are few tips worth having for a hassle-free trip to Africa after you are done with all issues relating to renew your passport-:
Don’t get malaria
Malaria is one of the common diseases you don’t want to have while in Africa. Its symptoms are so severe that you will be forced to stay indoors until you get healed completely. And the bad news is that contracting malaria in Africa is as simple as getting a mosquito bite as you sleep or sometimes during the day as you hike the mountains.
However, there are a few things you can do to reduce your chances of getting this deadly tropical disease. Since it has no vaccine, it is recommended you carry anti-malarial drugs in your med kit. You should also carry insect repellants and lotions if you will be spending time in a malaria-prone area. If you will be sleeping in hotels, you will find most of them providing mosquito nets, but it’s still good to be extra cautious.
Listen to the locals
No one knows the places you will be visiting better than the locals. For your own safety and for you to enjoy your trip, always listen to them. Whether they are your guides or random people warning you about certain things in the country, take heed and do as they say. In most occasions, they will mean well and ignoring them may land you into very serious trouble.
Get the vaccinations you need
As you hassle with how to renew my passport, you should also think about how to avoid getting sick while in Africa. For many years, the continent has been marred by lots of diseases, and if you are coming from the West, you may get unnecessary exposures which might end up ruining your trip.
However, the good news is that there are travel vaccines for most of the diseases, and provided you ensure a certain degree of care about what you drink and eat; you will not have to worry about getting sick in Africa. To know the specific shots you should take, visit the nearest travel clinic and let them advise you according to your destination. You should also not forget about the Yellow Fever card as most countries will require to have it before they allow you entry.
Be careful with the tap water and food
Certain countries in Africa have relatively safe tap water and good foods. For example, you can drink directly from the taps in Namibia and South Africa. But as you move up north to countries such as Kenya and Tanzania, don’t trust the tap water. Always go for bottled water from international brands. The same caution should also be observed with food.
You may be tempted to try out the street foods, but before you do so, check out the hygiene standards of where you want to it. If you notice anything to suggest that they may not be observing reasonable levels of hygiene, don’t risk taking the foods there. There are lots of good restaurants in major cities and towns in Africa and getting quality meals will never be a problem if you are in the cities.
Be cautious about your security
You have probably heard that the crime rates in African countries are high. Strive not to form part of the statistics by being reckless and exposing yourself to the bad guys. As far as your security is concerned, here are a few tips worth observing-:
- Don’t walk in the CBD alone at night
- Don’t visit ATM in lonely places or change your money in the streets
- Never leave your valuables in the car unattended
- If you are using car rental, don’t stop for hitch-hikers or stop to offer help to someone by the roadside. This is a trick thugs use to attack and rob foreigners.
- Don’t ask anyone direction. Always ask a uniformed policeman, uniformed guard, at the storefronts or a taxi driver
Don’t engage in unprotected sex
If you plan on having sex while in Africa, be advised that the countries over there have a higher prevalence of HIV/AIDS, and if you don’t take the necessary precautions, you are likely to end up with an infection. Now, you should know that the disease has no cure or vaccine and once you have contracted it, the best is to manage it. It is a serious problem in Africa and if you must have sex, don’t engage in the act when you are under influence and two, always use a condom. In this manner, you will also avoid other sexually transmitted infections that might end up causing you a lot of misery.
Be aware of scammers
The other thing you must be aware of when in Africa are the scammers. You will encounter them in different shapes and forms, and the most important thing you need to know is how to identify them and then avoid them. As usual, if you are given an offer that sounds too good to be true, then know that probably it isn’t. Watch out for the following types of scams-:
- Offering services or tours for free. They will charge you at the end of the tour.
- Calculating taxi cost at the end of the journey. Agree on the cost before you board.
- Selling tickets at inflated prices
- People pretending to be refugees or beggars and asking you for money.
- Weird payments at the borders such as health assessments fees, faster service delivery charges etc.
Observing these tips and using your common sense should be sufficient to help you have a wonderful stay in Africa.