Africa is a continent comprised of 54 distinct countries whose shores kiss major waterways such as the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Gulf of Guinea, and Mozambique Channel. Whew! That’s a lot of water! I am always stumped when people ask me which country is my favorite one to visit. For me similarly, it is like asking me which of my children are my favorite. Just like my children, each country is different, and you enjoy the country for the people, culture, and vibe it reveals to the public. Africa is a vast land that has six main climate zones found to the north and south of the equator, for instance, Equatorial, Humid Tropical, Tropical, Semi- desert (Sahelian), Mediterranean and Desert.
So let’s explore some of the excuses why people do not travel to the continent…….
Excuse #1: tickets to Africa are expensive! While there may be some destinations that are more expensive than others there are plenty of locations that are very affordable. For example, you can purchase a roundtrip flight from SEA (Seattle, WA) to NBO (Nairobi, Kenya) on Air Canada & SWISS for $560. That is less than some domestic flights! Another example, LAX (Los Angeles, CA) to CPT (Cape Town, South Africa) roundtrip airfare on Lufthansa for $579! You cannot beat those prices! I am going to provide one more example, so people understand these aren’t fluke prices. ORD (Chicago, Illinois) to DAR (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania) roundtrip for $637 on Lufthansa. These fares quoted are not abnormal nor are they on lesser known airlines.
Excuse #2: lodging is too expensive! Contrary to belief lodging in most African countries is very reasonable compared to the US and Europe. A good way to stretch your dollar is to book a locally owned and operated hotel. Locally owned hotels may have competitive pricing and offer additional discounts that larger chains may not offer. Staying at a locally owned and operated hotel helps boost the local economy. Supporting local businesses builds strong communities as more money stays in the community. Local businesses often create more jobs and provide better wages to their employees. Remember the conversion from the dollar to the local currency is often more favorable.
Excuse #3: Africa is only good for volunteering and safaris. Unbeknownst to some people, many countries on the continent have music festivals, wine connoisseurs, art exhibits of famous and emerging young artists, food scenes, galleries, museums (Museum of Black Civilizations in Dakar, Senegal), film (Nollywood), etc. Most cities in Africa are established and busy with the beat of the everyday hustle and bustle.
Excuse #4: Africa is full of disease. The continent of Africa is not full of disease, Africans tend to very clean people. Due to the tropical climate there are mosquito borne illnesses (like everywhere else) who tend to carry diseases like Yellow Fever, which also exists in South America and Asia. Just as with many countries around the world the water quality may and can cause illnesses such as Typhoid and Cholera, however, to combat this drink bottled water. If we are truthful about this issue the water in many US cities and states if unfit to drink. In fact, according to the EPA as many as 63 million people in the US have been exposed to potentially unsafe water more than once during the past decade from California to New York. Flint, Michigan declared a state of emergency for its water that sicken pretty much the entire town. There are other US cities that have been exposed to unsafe water still today. Some cities are even asked to boil their water before they drink it.
Excuse #5: Africa is dangerous, and you should not travel their alone. The continent of Africa is not as the media portrays it as some crime ridden place where you cannot safely walk about the streets. It is like any other place where there may be some streets or areas you may want to stay clear of at certain times of the day, but other than that I have never had an issue in any African country or felt unsafe. These statements often come from fear mongers who have never stepped foot on the continent and do not intend to do so. I personally travel to Africa multiple times per year and have travel to countries by myself. I have no qualms about visiting the continent and feeling my safety is at risk.
One of my favorite anonymous quotes is “Excuses are the tools of the weak and incompetent. Used to build monuments of nothingness. Those who excel in it seldom excel in anything else but excuses.”
I employ anyone who wants to visit the continent to go visit whether as a single traveler or in a group. If you are hesitant to go by yourself, I put together group trips and have a travel club. You may join me and others as we embark on trips to the continent and the Middle East. Currently, I have a special where the yearly membership to the travel club is just $1. Visit my website (https://ketourtravel.com/) for more details and Safari za furaha! (Happy Travels in Swahili)
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