Africa is not to be missed on the world map. The colonial era has left clear traces on the fibrous borders, but the fascinating cultures are well preserved and nature is on the verge of vanishing. If you’re looking for magnificent cultural and natural experiences, Africa is the place to go.
Egypt cannot avoid its great attraction; the pyramids and Giza. The ancient history remains fascinating. Like frenetic Cairo, camel rides in the sandy desert, boat rides on the Nile and diving in the Red Sea at Sharm el-Sheik. The ancient city of Luxor with the Valley of the Kings is a good starting point.
North Africa is ideal for travel if you want to clear the sky and don’t want to spend too much time on transportation. Here you can soak up the sun, stimulate the senses and explore a different and impressive culture, and while there can be intense places and chaotic cities, there are always quieter alternatives too.
Ghana is the most obvious and popular country to visit. The country attracts many volunteers and rightly so. It is easy and safe to travel, English is spoken and it is possible to immerse yourself in Danish colonial history, for example at Christiansborg Fort, go on jungle safari and surf the waves off the coast.
And what are these basic guidelines to keep in mind in Africa? In terms of health, for example, vaccination against diseases such as Yellow Fever, Malaria or Hepatitis A. Although you should also take into account hygiene measures such as always drinking properly bottled water without ice (or bottled water with gas, a good trick to ensure that the water is treated), use mosquito repellent, avoid risky sexual behavior, use sunscreen and carry medicines and antiseptics in case you suffer any injury. Of course, you should also take out a good travel insurance policy.
Taking into account these basic aspects, we will now classify the safest countries in Africa to travel with Viajes Etnias, in relation to the level of safety for Western tourists and by way of prior information to help start planning a trip (data taken from the map of warnings prepared by the Government of Canada):
In all these cases that have been cited, our trips have expert guides and previously studied itineraries in which we have verified that everything will run smoothly and you will enjoy the best of each country.
Where to vacation in Africa
When traveling it is important to know in advance the chosen destination, not only prepare the route, choose flights and accommodation, know something about their culture and customs, it is also necessary to know what kind of dangers we can find and how to solve it, so the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation reports, on its website, which countries are more dangerous and which ones should not be visited.
El Salvador because it has one of the highest homicide rates in the world and there are criminal groups called “maras” (gangs) operating throughout the country; in Honduras the insecurity situation is serious, especially in the large urban centers of Tegucigalpa, Ceiba and San Pedro Sula; in Nicaragua where there are strong disturbances in several parts of the country; Venezuela has a very high level of insecurity, and homicide and kidnapping rates are a cause for concern.
In St. Lucia, with the start of the high tourist season, the number of violent street robberies, rapes and especially armed robberies in homes has increased again; in Guatemala, in February, the Fuego volcano erupted; and finally, in Suriname there may be cases of infection by the dengue, chikungunya and zika viruses.
Where to visit in Africa
For us, Africa is something else. Another world. The most different continent of all. For the good, the incredible and the wonderful… but also for the bad. Traveling in Africa has broken all our schemes, it forces us to adapt to another environment, another speed and another way of doing things. To a completely different way of living and feeling them.
As we were saying, Africa works at a different pace and, possibly, it is not the pace you had imagined. Many things will go wrong, fatal or worse. The maps will not coincide with the roads you will find, your GPS will almost never have coverage and you will possibly get lost a thousand and one times. You will end up sleeping in a salt desert, among a million stars, or in a forest warming yourself by a campfire.
You will see how your car, your clothes and your backpack will be covered with dust and dirt five minutes after washing them. Orange sand that refuses to come out of your shoes, even though it’s been more than a week since you ran down Dune 7. Everything will be full of the sand of the dunes of the Namib Desert, the sand that covers the granite peaks of Spitzkoppe, the sand that you will see on the roads of Moremi National Park or in Etosha. And, perhaps, then, you will not feel so different from the Himba women who use that reddish earth to cover their bodies, to braid their hair. Or the elephants, who smear themselves with mud every chance they get to resist the high temperatures and protect their thick skin from the sun.