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Is Touring to Africa Secure? Here is What You Have to Know

It was our first time in Sub-Saharan Africa. I had dreamed of touring throughout Africa ever since The Lion King. Nonetheless, the second we arrived I used to be nervous to be in Johannesburg, South Africa. What if we have been carjacked? What if I acquired killed by a hippo? What if I contracted a life-threatening illness nobody had ever heard of? What if I have been to get misplaced within the wild?

We arrived and not using a plan or clue to what we have been doing. One yr later, Cameron and I’ve pushed by way of South Africa, Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya in our trusty Land Cruiser.

It was solely a fraction of the African continent. In any case, the continent contains 54 nations all with their very own historical past, tradition, and languages. It’s a fascinating place to journey and ought to be your subsequent vacation spot. Illness, wildlife, crime, poor roads these are all security issues that any first-timer to Africa. In our expertise that shouldn’t be a deterrent to journey in Africa.

Is Touring to Africa Secure? You’re Nervous As a result of…

The Malaria

Kids in Malawi

When individuals are questioning if touring to Africa is secure or not they’re usually curious concerning the malaria. Malaria is just like the boogeyman of Africa. It’s a life-threatening illness attributed to a parasite carried by mosquitos. Malaria is a threat all through sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in populated areas. The signs of malaria are flu-like (chills, fevers, nausea). We’ve been instructed by anybody that has had it that it just about feels such as you’re dying. It’s a severe illness that may be lethal if left untreated and kills practically 3000 kids a day, primarily from sub-Saharan Africa. 

Preventative medication can be found similar to Doxycycline and Malarone. Doxycycline doesn’t produce loopy goals, prices lower than Malarone, however does result in solar sensitivity. Malarone is simpler in prevention, can be utilized as a treatment, however it’s extra expensive and results in vivid goals and typically upset stomachs. One ought to notice that neither of those medication can absolutely forestall malaria.

Holiday in Mozambique Photographing Locals

Right here is our expertise with malaria and prevention: On arrival in South Africa, Cameron went to a personal physician in Johannesburg to get a Yellow Fever jab and a health care provider’s session. An hour later he had a full bag of prescriptions from a specialised physician and immunization to Yellow Fever. That go to value him $86 – sure that’s American {dollars}. Examine that to $260 at a dodgy public clinic within the states (or $880, which is what my physician charged my insurance coverage within the US). When it got here a malaria treatment we picked up a field of Artemether and Lumefantrine for $3 over-the-counter in Mozambique, simply in case we have been to contract the illness.

Within the twelve months of journey round Africa, we solely took doxycycline for 3 weeks alongside the shores of Lake Malawi in Malawi. We have been there in the course of the wet season and since malaria in Malawi (often called Cerebral malaria) is the deadliest type we thought greatest to watch out. On common we put on lengthy sleeves and pants at night time, sleep underneath mosquito nets, apply bug spray when applicable, and ask locals if the mosquitos are prevalent and have by no means had malaria.

With the mandatory precautions you may defend your self towards malaria, and it shouldn’t be a motive to keep away from touring to Africa. It’s at all times price doing all your analysis to see if the place you’re touring to is a malaria zone and discover out which season you can be touring. Mosquitos want water to breed so dry season is usually malaria free. We’ve met vacationers in Cape City whose docs led them to spend upwards of $2000 for medicines for Africa, they usually have been by no means in a malarial zone. Don’t be these individuals.

The Roads

Just another day on an African road
Simply one other day on an African “street”

It’s true, a few of the roads in Africa are downright terrible. Should you’re planning to self-drive in Africa then the protection and situation of the roads are a real concern. Whereas we did drive on the worst roads of our lives, our journey from South Africa to Uganda was largely on paved roads. Granted, they simply weren’t in the most effective form.

roads in Africa

I’d say that South Africa and Rwanda had a few of the greatest roads and Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and even Namibia (unhealthy corrugation) had a few of the worst.  Should you’re nervous about driving on the roads in Africa attempt to obtain the app for routing recommendation and be a part of the Fb group Overlanding Africa. The Fb group is full of people that have overlanded the continent, together with us, and might present present recommendation on routes and the state of roads.

The Folks and Normal Security

At first, once we checked out touring round Africa I consulted just a few mates that had been on an overland tour. “Africa isn’t secure, haven’t you heard about (fill within the clean),” they’d say. Occasions just like the Westgate Buying Mall assault in Nairobi, the Chibok Faculty Kidnappings in Nigeria, and UN employee kidnappings within the Congo actually stick behind peoples heads when they’re determining the place to journey.

It doesn’t assist that listening to “Rwandan Genocide” and “Idi Amin” nonetheless make many individuals shiver with concern in a not so distant historical past. Little thriller as to why so many individuals get nervous for his or her security in Africa.

You could have additionally seen a film or two about Africa that depicts lawlessness and excessive hazard. Whereas there are nations throughout the continent that aren’t secure to journey in the mean time, this definitely isn’t true for all of 54 nations in Africa. Really, for probably the most half, we felt safer in Africa than elements of america and Europe.

Don’t imagine me? Visions of Humanity can agree with me! They record Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Tanzania as extra peaceable than america. Whereas there are some nations that I’d not advise touring to it’s essential to comprehend the entire continent just isn’t some large war-zone as depicted by the mainstream media.

We at all times felt welcomed in Africa by the individuals of each nation. Youngsters greet us with waves and smile and we’ve had moms run to us with their infants in tow smiling. Normally, individuals are very inquisitive about us, particularly in rural villages. In cities, we’re at all times handled as mates, and basically, locals are simply very pleased that we selected to go to their nation.

The Web

Mt. Kilimanjaro at Sunrise
No web close to Mt. Kilimanjaro – however who cares!?
Scared of Africa

The web in Africa shouldn’t scare anybody from coming, however for people who should be on-line for enterprise functions – I perceive. Earlier than touchdown on the continent my expectations for the web speeds in Africa have been low. I wasn’t certain if we might be capable of keep linked outdoors of main cities.

Scared of Africa
Scared of Africa

I’ve touched extra on the web scenario in Africa right here. If you’re simply coming to Africa for a two to a few week vacation you can be greater than effective with the web speeds. We’ve solely stayed in just a few lodges in Africa that didn’t have any entry to web. Most vacation goers could have the connection skills to verify e mail, submit to Fb, and Skype name house. If you’re doing extra of the overland and tenting factor like we did, I’d advise choosing up a neighborhood sim card on the airport and loading it with knowledge so you may keep linked on the go.

The Wildlife

Lion Blood
That’s one full lion

Generally, it’s arduous to grasp why anybody would need to head to Africa when there are simply so many animals that may kill people. Lions aren’t precisely pleasant and though elephants are thought of “light giants” they’ll and do squash a human immediately. Some might examine lion assaults and elephant encounters and swear off the continent as a complete.

African WildlifeAfrican AnimalsWildlife in AfricaAfrican Elephant

The fact of those wildlife interactions normally has some side of human error. Don’t go swimming or hang around on the banks of the Zambezi River, respect animals private house, and don’t stroll round wildlife areas alone and not using a torch at night time. On the finish of the day, animals assault after they really feel threatened.

It’s price noting that almost all of human deaths attributable to animals happens to locals. Sadly, it’s the folks that dwell with the African wildlife day by day which are extra prone to hippo assaults, snake bites, and elephant confrontations. The prospect of a vacationer getting damage by a wild animal is slim. Most tour operators and lodges take security measures to make sure a secure journey to Africa for his or her company.

The Warmth

Best Camera For Safari Dust Zebra

It’s at all times sizzling in Africa, proper? Not precisely. Africa is numerous with tall mountain ranges, huge savannah, coastal areas, and luxurious rainforests. There are additionally two fundamental seasons in Africa – dry and wet. Regardless of the terrain or season the African warmth isn’t any motive to keep away from touring Africa.

We’ve spent chilly nights in Tanzania solely to be sweating off 10 lbs out within the solar the very subsequent day. We’ve hiked excessive into the jungle for gorilla trekking solely to seek out ourselves reaching for our jackets. The dry season is usually hotter than the wet season, however we have now discovered that in lots of elements of Africa the wet season, though cooler, is humid. It’s essential to analysis beforehand about what to put on. It ought to be based mostly on the place you’re headed and season.

Usually, any journey to Africa ought to be accompanied by a jacket for early mornings and night time time. Layers are nice in an effort to get modify to speedy shifts in temperature by noon.

Planning your journey to Africa could seem overwhelming, however relaxation assured that Africa is prepared for you. Are you prepared for it?

What to Pack for Africa

The World Pursuit At Kilimanjaro Tanzania

Packing the proper safari garments is at all times a good suggestion, but it surely’s by no means important as a result of you may put on no matter you need. We additionally go in-depth on the greatest ladies’s safari garments!

Things to do in Crete

Overland Tour in Africa

Touring Africa by yourself could be formidable to many vacationers. Nonetheless, there isn’t a have to concern with overland tour corporations who will present the ropes and a good time. You may take a look at a few of them right here to check the totally different corporations and presumably rating a reduction.

Grayl Waterbottle
Journey Water Bottle

Plastic air pollution is an issue in Africa so it’s greatest to not contribute to the issue of shopping for plastic water bottles in all places. The faucet water round Africa is usually not secure to drink, however a water air purifier, just like the Grayl waterbottle, works effectively!

Travel in Zanzibar
Digital camera Gear

Chances are high you’ll desire a digicam in your journey to Africa. Our favourite pocket-sized level and shoot digicam for fast journeys are the Sony RX100V. It takes implausible photographs and video and is the scale of your palm. 

For extra skilled images we use our Fuji XT-3, and LOVE IT.

Safari Hat

A superb hat is each trendy and useful. In peak dry season there’s little to offer shade, UV rays are intense and might simply burn the unsuspecting traveler. Take a look at our full break down of the greatest safari hats right here!

Safari Pants

Light-weight pants which are made out of artificial materials are large to have in your pack. It’s what we put on most days when touring round Africa as they’re comfy, antibacterial, and defend our legs from mosquitos (malaria).

Safari Shirt

You’ll desire a safari shirt whereas on safari. They’re light-weight and hold the bugs away. Plus they appear preferrred in photographs and mix into the setting round you!

Africa Guidebook
Information Guide

Generally it’s good simply to have an actual guide in your fingers when touring. We suggest choosing up a Lonely Planet to get you thru the wi-fi nights. Are you happening safari? We at all times carry our Robert’s Southern Africa Chicken Guide and a very good mammal information.

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