7 Africa Travel Tips: Backpacking In Africa

A common misconception about Africa is that it is a dangerous continent to travel in. People usually think that Africa is a continent that is filled with crime, poverty, and diseases.

However, in reality, Africa is a diverse continent filled with different cultures to learn from, full of life, nature, and just all-around good vibes. Plus Africa is a continent that has over 50 countries which makes it suitable for backpacking.

With that being said when it comes to traveling to a different country or continent preparation is very important. So in this article, we will be listing down a few essential tips that you need to know/prepare before visiting countries in Africa.Traveling Tips Before Visiting Africa

If you are looking to travel or backpack in Africa here are some essential tips that you should take into account:

1.Learn Swahili

Swahili is a language that is primarily spoken in East Africa (Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Nothern Madagascar, etc). Since Africa is a continent that is filled with 50 over countries it is hard to visit all of them in 1 travel.

7 Africa Travel Tips: Backpacking In Africa

So, if you decide to visit countries in East Africa on one of your trips learning Swahili will be very helpful as it helps with better understanding the locals.

If you are unsure as to where you can learn Swahili visit where you are able to get a free introductory course before you fully commit to their services.

2.Get A Local Sim Cards

Once you landed in a country in Africa it is best to get a local sim card. The reason for that is because the current sim card that you are using will most likely not work in most of the countries in Africa.

7 Africa Travel Tips: Backpacking In Africa

So getting a local sim card would be a lifesaver. Plus it is not that hard to get one as you just need to reach out to a local provider and typically it is relatively cheap to get one.

3.Bug Sprays Are Important

When you are looking to backpack or travel around Africa one of the essential items that you should pack is a bug spray. Africa is a continent that is very hot and humid at the same time which makes the continent a perfect breedubg spot for mosquitos.

7 Africa Travel Tips: Backpacking In Africa

So, to avoid getting any mosquito-born diseases bring lots of bug spray. As the last thing you want to happen is catching a disease that will ruin your entire trip.

4.Patience Is Key In Africa

There is a well-known expression in Africa called T.I.A which stands for ”This Is Africa”. This expression refers to the fact that things are always very slow in Africa.

7 Africa Travel Tips: Backpacking In Africa

From their WIFI to their traffic everything is slow. So, do remember that you are there to experience their culture and just have a great time with it as you are there to travel around and are not on a business trip.


As a tourist, you are most likely to garner a lot of attention from the locals but do not feel intimidated by it as they are only looking to welcome you most of the time.

7 Africa Travel Tips: Backpacking In Africa

So, do say hello and give them a big smile as saying hello is a big part of most African cultures. As it is important to acknowledge each other’s presence, so be friendly.

6.Visit The Different Tribes

Africa has a diverse culture with multiple different tribes but in order to get the full experience of the different cultures ”get out of cities”. Do take as many trips as possible out of the city and to local villages.

7 Africa Travel Tips: Backpacking In Africa

By doing so, you are able to experience the different diverse cultures, observe the local lifestyles and watch animals. Although cities can be fun too the main experience that you will not forget are found in local villages.

7.Avoid Over Dressing

Do not bring any unnecessary expensive items such as watches, branded goods, etc as it is very unlikely that you need them. Doing so will only bring unwanted attention to you.

Final Words

Always remember to respect their cultures as you are there as a visitor. It will be a trip where you will have a lot of ups and downs where it can be beautiful at times but can be really challenging and dirty too.

7 Africa Travel Tips: Backpacking In Africa

However, it will be an experience that you won’t forget as it is one of a kind. Just prepare yourself mentally for a wild ride of adventure.

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