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Travel Africa On A Budget

11 April 2016   |   11:17 am

Taking into consideration the public transportation system, the crowds, the buildings, and the overpriced hotels, Africa can be a pretty intimidating continent to travel to, around, and/or within. Factor in a situation where you’re traveling on a budget, and you might start quaking in your boots.  It doesn’t help that tour agencies are fond of hiking prices either. However, the cost of things shouldn’t discourage one from seeing Africa. You can still travel Africa and avoid going bankrupt as long as you’re willing to be flexible. Here’s how:

Pick A Destination

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The first thing you need to do is decide what part of Africa you want to visit. It’s a really big continent with lots to see, so it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Narrow down your travel options. You can visit East Africa and enjoy safaris in Masai Mara or Tanzania. Also, Malawi is a great place to relax and catch your breath before continuing to Southern Africa. You already know how popular, and expensive, South Africa is. So, if you’re visiting the southern part of the continent, maybe consider more affordable but equally fun locations like the Mokolodi Nature Reserve in Botswana or the Bwabwata National Park in Namibia. If you choose to visit Western Africa, you will be presented with very rewarding choices; Friendly people, beautiful coastlines, and interesting villages are just a few of the things West African countries like Ghana, Senegal and Mali have to offer.

 

Draw Up A budget

mokolodi reserve

After you decide on a final destination, ask yourself how long you intend to stay, and how much you have to spend. Trips around Africa can get expensive, and prices will sneak up on you. Make sure you plan ahead and choose options that are more affordable when looking at accommodation and activities. How much are you going to spend on feeding daily? How will you move from place to place?  Are you setting aside any money for souvenirs? You may feel like traveling on a budget will restrict you, but you might actual experience a lot more than you would have otherwise.

 

Explore Alternative Options

Photo Credit: Tales and Travel

Photo Credit: Tales and Travel

When you think Africa, you think ‘Safari’, but most of these are pretty costly. If you do your research well, you can always get more affordable options that still let your experience everything you came for, like the Serengeti in Tanzania.

Experience what it’s like living in an area virtually untouched by the modern advancements of the world by partaking in ceremonies in Turmi, Ethopia, or visit Mali and get a real feel of the locality. If you plan well and early, you can co-ordinate with other travelers and split the costs of these trips.

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If you prefer the seaside, a lot of African countries actually have amazing beaches. You can take a day off from your adventure and just have some fun in the sun; you’ll find the perfect beach for you among the many coastal cities.

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is something that’s on almost everybody’s bucket list, but you could also consider some not-so-popular peaks in Africa. I promise it’s just as rewarding. And, for those who really want to try something unconventional, you can experience the Bedouin culture by going on a camel trek. It’s nothing but stars and beautiful landscape.

A great way to save money and still enjoy your trip is being wise and making budget-conscious decisions. Opt for cities and countries that have more affordable options as opposed to those that are clearly more expensive. Why go to Senegal when transportation in Mali is much easier and cheaper? Botswana is just as beautiful and fun as South Africa, and if you go diving in Dahab instead of Sharm el-Sheikh it’s still the same Red Sea.

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