Quick Short Guide to Exploring Africa

Home to every kind of outstanding vista on earth (well, maybe not icebergs, but almost everything else), the continent of Africa provides travelers with a unique adventure wherever they decide to explore. From metropolitan cities to lush beautiful rain forests, and vast deserts to the world’s highest free-standing mountain, you can choose between countless vacations options. It is very hard to see everything this beautiful continent has to offer.

If Africa is on your travel bucket list, as a must-visit location, the following travel guide will help highlight what you need to do to prepare and ensure your trip runs as smoothly as possible. 

Best Areas in Africa You Must See 

It’s almost impossible to create a top list of the areas you cannot miss when you visit Africa; there’s too many to count! Not to mention, Africa has so many different things to see, it truly depends on what type of vacation you want to have. However, the following areas in Africa can help you narrow down where to go if you are truly at a loss.  

Serengeti Safari
Tanzania

There are so many places to go on Safari in Africa, but a Serengeti Safari is truly magical.

There are so many places to go on Safari in Africa, but a Serengeti Safari is truly magical.

The Serengeti, located in Tanzania, is home to not only the biggest number of predators on the planet, including lion, cheetah, and leopard, but it’s also somewhere you can witness one of the most unique experiences on this Earth: The Great Wildebeest Migration. The Great Migration, a world-famous event for many reasons, is the annual migration of vast herds of grazing animals. Wildebeests, zebras, and antelopes are some of the animals you will watch with wonder. Serengeti National Park is the best place to see this iconic event. A truly memorable trip that should be on every travelers bucket list. To plan your trip, and witness this for yourself, book a Tanzania safari with a trusted provider. 

Read on: Want to find out what a luxury Safari is like? Read all my guides on planning a safari trip here.

Seeing penguins upclose in South Africa is one of the best experiences you can have while traveling.

African Penguins
South Africa

When thinking of animals in Africa, do penguins come to mind? It’s possible they don’t, and I don’t blame you. Who knew!? But in Boulder Beach, South Africa is the location these beautiful animals call home. Boulder Beach is located right outside of Simons Town, a short drive from the popular Cape Town tourist destination. On the beach wild penguins come to nest and also hang out year-round. While you can’t walk along the beach where they nest, you can get incredibly up close to them on the provided walkway, on a separate (non-nesting beach), or even swim in the ocean with them!

Read on: How to plan a trip and visit the Penguins in South Africa here.

The Sahara Desert
Northern Africa

Visiting the Sahara Desert is one of the best things to do while in Northern Africa.

Measuring 3,320,000 square miles and stretching across nearly all of northern Africa, the vast Sahara Desert offers a unique experience—complete peace and quiet. For those who live increasingly busy lives, there’s something alluring about somewhere which is untouched. Here you will find serenity and solitude. A desert often brings up an image of vast, barren sandy landscape, but in the Sahara lives a number of species, including sand fox, Barbary sheep, Dorcas gazelle, and more. 

Read on: I took a 3-day tour to the Sahara Desert from Marrakesh and wrote all about the amazing experience, you can find it here.

Africa’s Culture: Things To Know

Travel offers the opportunity to explore new cultures, learn more about the world around us, and meet the people who inhabit it in every destination. When visiting Africa, it is critical to be aware of significant cultural differences that may occur during a visit. Although Africa is huge, and culture can vary from country to country, there are some general things to be aware of. Want to know more? Check out this article.

Show Respect to Elders

This particular cultural trait is one that may be prevalent to vary degrees throughout the world. But, in Africa elders hold a very special place in the community. African culture values the past and the present, which is why elders are held in such high regard. To show respect, be sure to acknowledge elders. They will most likely be served first during mealtimes. I recommend asking them questions and learning about their life.  

Eating With Your Right Hand

A well-known African tradition, the right hand is used for eating, the left is used for other, less sanitary tasks. Therefore, to adhere to this tradition and not cause offensive, don’t touch any African food with your left hand.  

Pointing

You may be used to pointing, whether to direct attention or to highlight what you’re trying to say. This is even more common when you are in a country where a language barrier may occur. Throughout Africa you should keep pointing to a minimum. It is considered very rude to point in Africa. You may even hear a hissing sound if you do it on accident.

Final Thoughts

Planning a trip to Africa, can be overwhelming. Everyone has an opinion on this beautiful vast land. Rest assured that no matter what you choose to do or where you choose to stay you'll have a beautiful time. 

One last thing... even though researching ahead of time is great, I definitely recommend bringing a African Travel Guide along with you. Here are some books I recommend...

One of the most common questions I get: What is the best camera for travel photography? I personally love my Nikon D5600. I use the kit lens and a Sigma wide-angle lens (for Nikon) which I am genuinely obsessed with.

Read on: Full list of travel gear I use on every trip

And of course, if you have any questions DO NOT hesitate to reach out to me via Instagram, Twitter, or just shoot me an email (tessajuliette at gmail dot com). 

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