#AfriTravel Bucket list: Tips for travelling the 'dark' continent

2016-12-27 08:31 -
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Travel to Africa is a growing trend for 2017. That's the word across a number of prestigious travel sites and aggregators. 

With the likes of Ethiopia, Morroco and South Africa ranking amongst the must-visit Mother Continent lists, not forgetting Tanzania, DRC or Egypt - there is no denying travelling in Africa can be complex as the regions within are so diverse that its simply not a one-size-fits-all solution when arranging trips. 

Africa is a vast and a highly diverse continent rich in culture, dramatic scenery and extraordinary animals, says Gomolemo “Lerato” Manche, Chief Ignitor at Lerato Travel. Lerato Travel is a young dynamic travel and lifestyle company founded by Manche.

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"Africa offers some of the most amazing travel experiences in the world, it is easy to see why many tourists choose to explore this diverse continent. What also makes Africa so unique is that it offers a bit of everything from wildlife safaris to holidays and cultural tours." 

So what do you need to know about travelling to Africa? Here Manche shares five tips for travelling to Africa.

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1.       Travel at the right time 

“Africa is known to be warm and sunny throughout most of the year and it’s beautiful no matter what season you choose to travel to the majestic continent.

The summer season is extremely hot and humid in most parts of Africa and on the other hand winter is dry and colder. Game viewing is best in winter as the thirsty animals congregate at waterholes, trees are bare and vegetation is sparse making it easier to spot wildlife.

This is also when the risk of malaria is at its lowest. In summer, the African landscape is beautifully green and bird watching is at its finest. However speak with your travel agent as they can advise the best time to travel.

For example December in Nigeria is too hot and dry so rather travel in June.”

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2.       Pack only the essentials

“It is tempting to pack an outfit for every eventuality but in my experience less is more and it really is only necessary to pack the essentials. There is nothing worse than travelling heavy and if there is anything that you forgot to pack – it is likely that you will be able to get it at your destination.”

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3.       Toss out your expectations and embrace the different cultural experience

“There are many perceptions of Africa and it is easy for these to guide your expectations. My advice is to go with absolutely no hopes and ideas of what to expect. Africa is so diverse and no brochure, website or photograph does it the justice it deserves. Therefore, I recommend allowing yourself to craft your own perception by truly embracing the different cultures and experiences that the continent offers. At Lerato travel we are an experience based travel agency, so we try and ensure our clients can also have rare and exclusive travel experiences that suits their individual desire.”

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4.       Eat local cuisine & don’t be afraid to experiment

“Stepping out of your comfort zone is always unnerving especially in a different country but to truly experience what Africa has to offer, you need to experiment. Africa offers some of the finest cuisine and presents a variety of dishes. Entrench yourself in the traditional heritage by trying different dishes and I can guarantee that you will be pleasantly surprised.”

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5.       Go cashless

“This is the safest and most reliable way to spend when you travel. Carrying cash can be dangerous and merchants and businesses in more developed markets have point of sale terminals for you to swipe your card. Also with the advancements in technology, Africa is adopting mobile which means that you are able to pay using your phone which is especially popular in emerging markets.”

“I have travelled the world and have been to some of the most breathtaking destinations but there are not many places that can compete with Africa. There is no other place in the world where you will find the diversity of topography, people, culture and wildlife. Your trip to Africa will be full of adventure, excitement, relaxation, exploration and certainly life-changing. Also remember to keep in mind that dealing with a travel agent means you can ask for advice from an expert that will have your best interest at heart,” Manche says.

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