Tips and inspiration for your trip
Top 5 things to see in Africa
Africa's vast expanse has so much to offer visitors, whether they're travelling to Africa for the first time or have been here many times before. Here are a few suggestions of places not to miss on your African adventure.
- When we think of a trip to Africa, often the first thing that springs to mind are the majestic animals that live here. The Animals of Eastern Africa are, indeed, a must-see and a safari experience here will be one that you remember for a lifetime. Drive through the vast African plains of Kenya and see the Big Five, (Elephants, Lions, Rhino, Leopards and Buffalo) in their natural habitat.
- The Landscape of Africa is truly unlike that of any other continent and its sheer vastness, strange colours and dramatic features can make you feel as though you’ve entered a totally different world. Nowhere is this landscape more impressive than in Tanzania, home to the world-famous Mount Kilimanjaro. Camp at its base before climbing this epic Mountain. Remember to pack warm clothes for this visit, since it can become colder here.
- For travellers who love nothing more than to wander a country and see its stunning architecture, then the ancient buildings of Morocco are an unbeatable experience. Whether you visit the royal palaces and gardens of Marrakech, or the Berber creations that lie in the desert, you won’t be disappointed.
- For a relaxing trip, why not travel along the breathtaking Garden Route in South Africa, stopping off at vineyards, lodges, incredible restaurants and animal sanctuaries along the way. This route has long been followed by visitors to South Africa and has become a firm favourite thanks to its laid back atmosphere and beautiful scenery.
Things to know before travelling to Africa
Africa is generally a welcoming place and is easy to travel. However, here are a few reminders to ensure the your trip goes as smoothly as possible:
- The variation within the African continent is huge! If you are travelling to more than one place, make sure you’re prepared for whatever you may encounter. This means, different clothing, different documents and different medicines. Some areas of the desert or places such as Mount Kilimanjaro can reach sub-zero temperatures.
- Speak to your doctor before you travel to find out what vaccinations and medications you will need before you travel here.
- Clothing wise, make sure you pack according to the different climates you may encounter as well as packing appropriate clothing for the different cultures you will come across too. Whilst shorts may seem like a good idea to combat the heat, some Muslim areas of Africa can take offence.
- Make sure that you inform your bank about your travels to avoid being cut off and left out on a limb. Have cash on hand (with a little extra just in case). Most of Africa takes US dollars, so this is certainly a good choice for currency during your travels.
- If you have any dietary requirements, prepare to have to look bit harder for food. Alternatively, ring along some snacks that you will be able to keep in your suitcase or backpack.
- While English is widely understood, French and German are also useful if you’re having trouble communicating.
- You may see some confronting things. Depending on where you go and the purpose of your travels you may see some extreme poverty as you go about your travels.
- Africa is a stunning, fascinating, life changing place and wherever you go, you will have the time of your life.
As a vast continent, Africa naturally has a vast selection of dishes beloved by various different countries and areas. Here are just a few that you might like to sample during your trip…
- In South Africa, try the treasured classic of Cape Breyani. A flavourful dish made of marinated meat, rice, lentils and spices, topped with fried onions and hard-boiled eggs. This dish has everything you could want in terms of flavour and fuel for a day of exploring Africa.
- After a day in the sun of a Kenyan safari, why not sample nyama na irio? Mashed potatoes, corn, onion and beans are served with spiced, roasted meat. This dish is loved throughout Kenya and is generally seen as the ultimate comfort food here.
- It may be an obvious choice, but Moroccan tagine is a staple in the North African country for a reason. Its varieties are endless and it can be sweet, spicy, wholesome or practically anything you’re craving. Taste this age old classic in one of Marrakech’s rooftops restaurants as you enjoy a view over the city.
- For a more experimental take on seafood, give this Tanzanian seafood curry a go. ‘Pweza’ is the word used for octopus and it is cooked into a delicious stew made of lime, coconut milk and fresh herbs and spices.
- For a sweet treat, try Mandazi, an East African treat that can be found in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. A deep fried dough, this delicious snack is East Africa’s answer to the doughnut, but so much better.
Major Cities in Africa
Whilst Africa is a vast continent, it has relatively few cities, this means that each city is incredibly different, with a vast array of cultures, sites and fascinating things to see and do.
- Cape Town, in South Africa is known worldwide as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Discover it’s unique atmosphere which combines coastal relaxation with everyday bustle. You can also find a fascinating mixture of tradition and modern day, here, as well as some cutting edge, modern restaurants, hotels and architecture.
- Kigali in Rwanda is not only one of the safest and cleanest cities in the entire African continent, but it is also stunning. It is a well-organised city with a great infrastructure and peaceful atmosphere, covered in greenery which adds so much to the charm of this place.
- Windhoek is the capital of Namibia and is a stunning option for those travelling to this incredible country. As a former German colony, it is covered in colourful houses that are built in a German style, and you will love the traditional beauty of this pedestrian-friendly city.
- Stroll around the quirky streets of Marrakesh in Morocco and see the rich history of this place. Visit palaces, hammams, gardens and mosques and see why visitors adore this city. As an added bonus, Marrakech is relatively cheap, meaning you can enjoy luxury accommodation whilst spending very little.
- Nairobi in Kenya has the greatest population in Eastern Africa and is an important financial hub for the whole continent. Few places allow you to experience city life on such a massive scale, whilst still being relatively close to a thrilling safari in the nearby desert. It’s a fascinating place to visit as a reminder that Africa is so much more than vast grasslands.