How to plan a trip to Africa on a budget

Hey guys, come with me as I take you on a mental trip to different parts of Africa! Do you need help planning your trip to Africa? How much should I budget for a trip to Africa? Here is all you need to know to plan a trip to Africa on a budget.

Many people wonder how I can often travel to various countries on a trip. I can tell you for free that I just don’t wake up and plan a trip. It takes weeks and even months of planning and preparations. 

In today’s piece, I want to give you tips on planning a trip to Africa on a budget. It could be any African country or city of your choice. There are so many beautiful places to visit in Africa irrespective of your budget. However, you need to plan your trip to enjoy the most out of your visit to Africa.

You can have so much fun in Africa with a lot of outdoor activities and hangout spots to see. I’m sure that wherever you choose will give you a fantastic experience. 

Now, let’s get into it…

Why you should plan a trip to Africa

Before deepening this piece, you must know that visiting Africa is a MUST! Anyone who knows me knows that I’m Africa’s number-one fan. 

Although I haven’t been to all African countries, the ones I have visited have proven excellent, and I always wish to return to these places. You can also check out these cheap countries in Africa to live in or visit.

The people of these countries are usually one of my top highlights. These people are super receptive and always willing to go the extra mile to ensure visitors are comfortable. The hospitality may make you extend your stay or even wish not to go back home. 

Asides from hospitality, there is also nature. Africa is blessed with beautiful and natural spaces that are a sight for the eyes. Then, I can also not forget the local meals and drinks that leave one salivating. Later in this article, I will share some meals you must try in different African countries. 

How to get to Africa

Is Africa safe to visit as a solo traveler? How can you get to Africa? Do you need a visa? Now that I have your attention, you’re excited about the thoughts and prospects of visiting Africa. So, the first step is deciding on the African country you want to visit. 

You can go West by visiting Nigeria or Ghana. There’s also Egypt and Tunisia in the North. Mauritius, Namibia, and South Africa sit in the South. I can also not forget to mention Kenya and Rwanda in East Africa. If you’re in West Africa, check out these other Visa-free countries for Nigerians and most west African countries.

But before you can go anywhere, you must know how to get there. When planning to visit any African country, these are your available options: 

  • Air: When you’re thinking of traveling, using a flight may be the first thing that comes to mind. After all, it is the fastest means of transportation. If you do not like stress, this is your best bet for getting to Africa. Check these options on how to find the cheapest flight tickets to Africa. You can also use trip.com to get cheap flight tickets too. 

Also, if you’re traveling from Europe or Asia, the flight may be longer for you. So I have covered, check out these things to do on a long-haul flight to entertain yourself. Thank me later.

However, there are times when I have opted for other options instead of using air. While a flight might be the fastest means of moving, it is also the most expensive. So, this means of transportation works best when you’re not working with a tight budget and want to get to your destination quickly. 

  • Road: One thing about using roads to get to an African country is that you must be within Africa already. You do not think you would be in another continent like Australia and want to use the road to an African country. It only works when visiting a place that borders your current location. 

I love that traveling by road is less expensive than using the air. So, you’d find me using this option when I’m traveling on a budget.

If I’m moving from Nigeria to Ghana, you’ll likely find me using a bus. It comes in handy that it allows me to appreciate various views and gives me geography knowledge. These benefits make the long distance inconsequential to me.  Also used this option to Explore Africa on my trip from Lagos to Cotonou, Republic of Benin.

  • Train: I have yet to use this means of transportation to get to an African country, but it is feasible. It works with countries that have inter-country railways. So, you must research to ensure your current location and destination country have linking railways.  

Things to do when you get to Africa

Since I’ve listed the various ways you can get to Africa, let’s talk about things you can do when you’ve reached your desired African country. Understandably, the activities or things you can do depend on the country or region you visit.

However, some things you can do that are generic to most African countries are: 

  • Visiting a safari 
  • Hangout on a beach 
  • Visit and buy things from the local market
  • Go fishing 
  • Hiking, etc.

You can’t go to an African country and not do at least one of these outdoor activities. Otherwise, your stay in that country would be dull, and you wouldn’t make the most of the experience. 

I’ve engaged in all these activities, and I’d say that they are interesting. It gets even better when you have a camera to record everything while doing these things. 

Places to stay/ Where to stay on a budget

Where do I stay when I get to my desired African country? 

I get this question from many people when they ask me about how I navigate where to stay during my trips. Having where to stay is a significant factor. You must sort it out early to avoid being stranded when you reach your destination. 

Below are some housing options to explore when you are deciding on where to stay when visiting an African country:

  • Hotels: Ideally, this would be your first choice of where to stay when visiting a new country. Hotels are a popular option everywhere, especially if you want personal space and comfort. However, hotels are not the cheapest option. So, if you’re traveling on a budget, consider housing options other than a hotel. Click here to book a budget-friendly hotel in Africa.
  • Hostels: I was surprised when I learned about this option as it wasn’t so prevalent in my home country. I was initially hesitant to get it out. But I’ve learned to be open-minded when visiting a new place. So, I booked a hostel on one of my trips, which was one of my life’s best experiences. Click here to book a hostel for your trip to Africa.

I enjoyed every bit of my time during my stay in this hostel. It allowed me to mix and mingle with other travelers, and we all had a blast. Since then, I don’t think twice about booking a hostel during any trip. 

As a plus, they are also more affordable than hotels.  

  • Airbnb: If you love to have ample space when on a trip and access to facilities, you should go for an Airbnb. However, remember that this might take up much of your traveling expenses.
  • Couchsurfing: I’ve seen that Couchsurfing is a popular option in other continents. Have I tried it before? No. But I find the concept of Couchsurfing very exciting and hope to try it one day. 

The concept of Couchsurfing entails reaching out to locals of your destination country to stay with them during your stay in the country. Some may let you stay for free, while others may allow you to stay in exchange for you doing menial chores like babysitting.

The best part of Couchsurfing is that you get to stay with a local. Therefore, you are covered when settling in, and you’ll know how to navigate your way around the country. You can check the Couchsurfing website to see the options available and if you can get a host in your destination country.

Some popular hub spots for Couchsurfing in Africa are Egypt and South Africa. Also, check out my post on hotel alternatives available to you.

Foods to try in Africa

From street food to main local dishes and even drinks, there are lots of options for you when you visit Africa. Again, it may be dependent on your destination country. 

Some foods to try in Africa are: 

  • Mhadjeb
  • Jollof rice
  • Muamba de Galinha
  • Koshari 
  • Waakye
  • Suya 
  • Couscous
  • Potjiekos
  • Ugali 
  • Fufu 
  • Kanda
  • Moroccan mint tea
  • Jabula
  • Palm wine 
  • Munkoyo 
  • Zobo 
  • Amasi, etc. 

These are just some of the numerous options for meals and drinks to try in Africa. If you’re visiting Nigeria, check out these street foods to try out.

Getting travel insurance: Best travel insurance for a trip to Africa

It is always important to have travel insurance as unforeseen circumstances may arise. Getting travel insurance can sometimes be tricky. But there is always a way around it.

You can employ the services of travel agencies in getting travel insurance or you can do it yourself by searching online for reliable options. However, ensure that the people you decide to use are trusted before engaging in their services. You can do so by checking out the reviews. 

Sign up for travel insurance for your trip to Africa on insubuy.

How to get cheap flights

Recall how I said that air transportation is not cheap. I’ve been able to learn some tricks on how to get cheap flights. 

One way I book cheap flights is by using an incognito browser when searching for flights. This way, there are no existing cookies of my travel history, and I see fair prices as they assume that I am a first-time traveler. 

Yes, traveling is not cheap. However, you can use some of the tips and tricks I’ve shared when planning a trip to Africa on a budget. 

Getting Visa Your Visas

Most Africans do not need visas to explore a major part of Africa. Notwithstanding, you can check your local immigration for how to get your visas.

A pro tip to travel to Africa is to ensure all your documents are ready and complete. This is because there are cases of bribery and sometimes harassment of travelers with incomplete documents.

Vaccinations and drugs

A major vaccine you need to explore in Africa is the Yellow fever vaccine. Don’t just opt to forge the card as yellow fever disease is a thing in Africa.

You can apply to get vaccinated against Yellow fever in your country. In Nigeria, you can check the new process to get vaccinated and get an e-yellow card.

Another vaccine is obviously the new COVID vaccination and of course, you need to have your covid test result handy.

If you’ve never lived in Africa, it is advisable to travel with malaria drugs to take care of your health. Also, you can simply take the malaria vaccines if available in your country.

How to commute in African cities.

From the airport for ease of travel, book airport transfers from Kiwitaxi. This will help you get to your hotel room with ease. I love the comfort of airport transfers as it makes it easy for me to commute as I arrive.

For your tours the following are a major means of transfer in African cities.

  • Buses
  • Taxis or Uber or Bolt
  • Bikes
  • Tricycle
  • Trains
  • Ferries or boat rides

Travel resources to plan a trip to Africa

How to plan a trip to anywhere in the world: Click here

What to pack for a trip to Africa: Check out these options

Book a budget-friendly flight to Africa on Trip.com

Find hostels for your trip: Click here to book it on Hostelworld

Book a hotel or Airbnb on Trivago

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