Africa is, undoubtedly, a blessed continent with beautiful landscapes, stunning scenery, a wide range of exotic wildlife among many other things.
This is why many often dream of backpacking Africa, with the sole aim to explore and live new adventures – which is a fantastic idea by itself.
But just before you take that step to visit Africa as a backpacker, there are some important tips that you need to know. This is where this guide comes in handy.
Here are 7 backpacking tips that anyone visiting Africa needs to know.
Don’t panic about the long driving distances
Prepare to travel long distances when you get to Africa. It is a big, wide continent and you will most likely be moving from place to place. Just try to enjoy the moment as you go on the bus ride. You will get to meet new people, visit places that you have only read of before, and taste new food – so, the bumpy roads or breakdowns should not be much of a deal.
Take along medicines, sanitisers, and soaps
On a backpackers budget to Africa, prepare to meet unpredictable weather and some discomfort travelling on a long bus, pickup truck or ferry. So, you would do well to take along some medicine and sanitisers to maintain your health even as you explore Africa.
Wear sunglasses to combat the dust
There will be lots of dust during your travel. So, protect your eyes from the dust with sunglasses. All your travel electronic equipment such as cameras, laptops or mobile phones should be protected with cases. Remember that you will be travelling on roads that are not tarmacked. Also, you should take eye drops along to keep your eyes from getting too sore. You should also not forget to pack clothes that you wouldn’t mind them getting dirty. To keep yourself clean, you can also take along baby wipes.
There is African time
In Africa, there is no rush or hurry. Things might happen after the scheduled time and you need to get along with it. So, if your bus or train is a few hours late, it’s fine. This is Africa. Some things are done the African way through African time.
Africa is really cold
The weather here is quite unpredictable and diverse. It can get really cold when you arrive at some places and you would need your winter gear to save you at that point. When backpacking, don’t forget this.
Use bus intervals to urinate quickly
Travelling on the bus means that there would be stops at intervals. You won’t be told how long you have when the bus stops. It means that for whatever reason at all that the coach does not have a toilet and you need to get down, do everything after you must have urinated because you might have between 30 minutes to an hour break on your journey.
Prepare for unreliable internet
On a backpacking trip to Africa, there won’t be stable access to the internet. While some hostels have WiFi, it still boils down to if the place has a fast-paced network coverage or not. This means that you would need to rely on your personal internet connection. You would simply have to get a new SIM card as you visit a new country. And this can be easily done, although you may require a passport and some other documents. So before backpacking, inform those that matter to you that your network access may be unreliable. However, a good thing about this is that you get to interact better with other backpackers in the hostels.