5 Things You Should Know When Planning a Student Trip to Africa
Although you may have gone on numerous student trips, there is nothing more thrilling like an overseas trip to Africa.
A holiday in Africa brings you one-on-one with historical wonders such as the Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, the Big five of Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya, the annual wildebeest migration, Mt Kilimanjaro – the tallest freestanding mountain in the world, Victoria Falls and more. Simply put, Africa is a dream holiday destination, customized for young explorers.
What’s more, Africa holidays are student budget-friendly. Most of the countries in this part of the world are emerging economies, which means most things are affordably priced compared to what you would pay here in the USA.
For example, camping safaris cost as low as $60 per student per day. A liter of gas costs about $1 depending on the country you visit and so on. But how do you plan a trip to this continent, hours, or days of flight away from home?
1. What to Pack
Have you heard stories of expansive terrains with wildlife and open jungle? Well, you obviously need a pair of binoculars and a camera to capture the moments of wonder. You might also want to pack your smartphone so you can share your experience with your followers on IG and friends on Facebook. In addition to these gadgets, here are a few more items that you should pack for a trip to Africa.
Travel Documents and Money – Carry a valid passport and obtain a visa depending on the country you are visiting. Include your travel insurance and medical cover among the documents. Cash money is acceptable at different transaction points like restaurants, hotels, and park entry. A credit card is also a convenient option to reduce your luggage and the risk of walking around with huge sums of money in a new country. In case you need local currency, you will find enough forex bureaus to change your dollars in all African cities.
Personal Effects – Pack the personal items like sunglasses, contact lenses, lotions, and toothbrush you need for individual comfort. While you might buy them abroad, it could be difficult to get specific brands that you are used to here in the US.
Packing these items will also reduce your expenses while abroad. A comfortable trouser, hiking shoes, and a backpack for some water and snacks will also help. Leave some room to purchase souvenir items from African.
Phone, Notebook, and Camera – Everything about Africa is worth documenting. Your camera and notebook will help you capture and freeze your experience. The phone keeps you in touch with family back at home, with the embassy, tour agent, and friends following your escapade in Africa.
The items you pack and their quantities will depend on the duration of your tour as well as the availability of these items at your destination.
Avoid carrying heavy luggage that limits space for souvenirs and gifts from Africa. Africa is one destination where backpacking will be more rewarding than spending nights in expensive hotels. Pack all the vital items, but try and be as lightweight as possible.
2. Vaccination Needed
Good health will enable you to enjoy the splendor of Africa. So, make sure to consult your doctor and get all the necessary vaccinations before traveling.
Each country has unique rules on vaccination for travelers from the USA. According to the CDC, all traveling students should get the following vaccination:
Routine vaccines for polio, rubella, mumps, diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, and measles.
Yellow Fever vaccination is also crucial because the disease is endemic in certain countries. You will be denied entry in most African countries unless you provide a yellow fever vaccination certificate.
Based on your travel activities, like spending time in the wild, other vaccines like cholera, meningitis, and rabies will be necessary.
Malaria is also common in Africa and an antimalarial drug will guarantee safety. Talk to your travel agent on the specific health and vaccination requirements for the countries you intend to tour. Most importantly, make sure to consult your doctor.
3. The Best Time To See The Wildebeest Migration
You cannot claim to have visited African without experiencing the spectacle that is The Great Wildebeest Migration. Plan your trip so that it coincides with this phenomenon that has been added to the Seven New Wonders of the World. Since the migration does not happen throughout the year, your timing must be precise.