Traveling to and within Africa can be expensive, especially when one considers the challenging public transportation arrangement, overpriced hotels and erratic prices that some tour operators charge. It’s worse if you are even ignorant about the continent and what you intend to see. In this piece, we’ll consider how we can make good backpacker plan for an enjoyable trip to Africa.
Define your Trip
By this, we mean that you should decide why you are traveling and what you want to see or do on the trip. The myth that Africa is a small place is now well dispelled so, I expect that you know you are visiting a large continent with different peoples. Therefore, you’ll have to decide where in Africa you really want to go. This decision has far-reaching consequences on your budget. For instance, South Africa is a popular tourist destination in Africa and as such, it is quite an expensive place, but there are other affordable options. Alternatives to South Africa are places like Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland in Southern Africa. The weather is similar and the experience can be close. If African safari is what you want to experience, East Africa’s Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania are good options. Western Africa promises blissful time amidst its friendly people, beautiful coastlines, and interesting villages, while incredible monuments are the defining highlight of touring Northern Africa. The options are numerous; just ensure you ask yourself what you want first, before settling for any destination.
Draw up your budget
How much do you have and how much do you want to spend? Some of the factors that’ll determine the figures include the specific location you have chosen, the flight (or transportation) cost, the duration of your holiday—bear in mind that the longer you stay the more you’ll spend on accommodation and other sundry costs. Remember you’ll eat, pay for some activities, souvenirs, etc. consider the prices of every possible items you’ll need and have to pay for, then remember to add incidental costs.
Draw up a scale of preference
Back in elementary economic class, we were taught scale of preference. It should come in handy at this point. Do your research, define what you want, weigh the costs of the various destinations offering what you want and cross out those you consider offering it at overrated prices. Then consider other possibilities that may help you split the cost. For instance, you can reduce cost of going around by traveling with a team and sharing the cost; sharing accommodation with a friend, and using local public transportation are other means you can cut costs, but ensure you weigh this vis-à-vis security, convenience and other sundry challenges that may be incident to the cost saving options.
Usifo Mike-Alvin is a creative writer with a knack for budget traveling and adventure. He travels across Africa and reports for Afrotourism