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Africa, the birthplace of the human race is often generalised as a whole country. In reality, a trip to Africa will introduce you to 54 distinct countries that encompass multiple climates, landscapes, religions and cultures. Holidays to Africa will open your senses to grassy savannah plains stretched across entire countries from east to west Africa and finally dipping south while the endless Sahara desert consumes the north. The miracle of Africa is the endurance of its wildlife and its people in what can often be extreme conditions. But don’t underestimate the cosmopolitan oases to be found.
- Complete a pilgrimage to the wondrous rock-carved churches of Lalibela, Ethiopia. Visit during one of the big Christian festivals and witness the powerful scene of hundreds of white-robed believers crowd the underground churches that date back to the 12th and 13th centuries.
- Visit the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, south Egypt and explore the tomb of Tutankamun.
- Get lost in the souks of Marrakech while scouring for bargains or succumb to the cultural charms of Fez and the dark, winding streets of its Medina.
- Sit patiently at a watering hole in Etosh National Park, Namibia and wait for the wildlife to surround you. From the Big 5, such as lions and elephants and giraffes, to smaller mammals like warthogs and hyenas - the cast of The Lion King is bound make an appearance.
- Take in the unique character of Cape Town and it’s instantly recognisable skyline of Table Mountain, arguable one of the most beautiful cities in Africa.
- Keep in mind that if you plan to travel to multiple countries, you will need two free pages in your passport for each country you intend to travel to.
- Generally, most northern, southern and eastern countries allow travellers to purchase a visa upon arrival, whereas a lot of western and central countries require you to apply for a visa beforehand. However, be sure to check requirements before you begin your travels!
- It can often be difficult to get hold of local currency before you leave, so always try to have some dollars (widely used) and euros (more so for northern and western Africa).
- Make sure you visit your personal doctor before travelling to Africa, in case you need vaccinations or preventative medication for Malaria, for example. Some vaccinations are needed over a course of time, so don’t leave this until the last minute!
- Sunscreen and feminine hygiene products can be hard to come by in certain parts of Africa, so stock up before you leave.
- Dress according to the country you are visiting. Shoulders are generally fine for most countries, though the knees should be covered. Predominantly muslim countries will have stricter dress codes. Look at what the locals are wearing and follow suit.
- It’s very common to greet or acknowledge people you pass in the street, this is just a polite custom and won’t solicit unwanted attention.
- Africa is fairly well-connected when it comes to travel, though it can be slower than you’re used to. Keep your travel plans fairly loose and overland travel can be a great way to witness the country you’re in.