Is Africa safe for travel? What are the best travel tips for solo travelers to Africa? In this post, this will be covered in detail. As a solo traveler, it may be scary to travel alone. However, it can be fun too. You can opt to join solo travel groups. Also, if your aim is to mingle, opt for travel groups for singles. My best recommendation is GetYourGuide. They cover travel activities for many countries in Africa, Asia, America, and Europe.
On the other hand, if you’d prefer to opt for group travel, you can still get fun activities lined up by the brand above. Here I shared the pros and cons of solo travel vs group travel. This will help you decide which is best for you.
One may say I’m biased whenever I talk about Africa and hype all that it has to offer. However, it is my motherland and I know that it is rich in terms of tourism. There are so many beautiful places to visit in Africa. Some of them are quite affordable too as compared to their counterparts in Europe or America.
Understandably, Africa doesn’t have the best PR in terms of being safe. I would be honest and say that one has to be on guard when traveling to Africa. And, it applies to any content you are visiting.
Travel tips for solo travelers to Africa ( Plus Group travelers)
As a foreigner in a new place, you have to be safety conscious. In this article, I will be sharing some safety tips, especially for solo travelers. If you ever find yourself being a solo traveler, these tips would come in handy.
1. Do your research
So, you’re leaving your home country for another region. You’re excited and ready to explore all that the new country has to offer. I can imagine that you’re already thinking of the cuisines you’d try and more. In fact, I am already getting excited about you.
But, it would be best to do your research about the place. Are the country and its locals receptive to foreigners? Is there a specific time when one shouldn’t step out? What should apply and what shouldn’t apply in the country?
These are some of the questions you need to know their answers to before arriving in a new country. It wouldn’t make sense to travel to a new place with zero knowledge of the area.
2. Be friendly with the locals
One of the best travel tips for solo travelers to Africa you can use as a foreigner is to be friendly with the locals. Once you’ve made friends with the locals of the area, you’ll have a smoother and more enjoyable stay.
These locals are usually happy to interact with foreigners. Once you’ve put in the effort in becoming friends with them, they will always look out for you.
The last time I visited a foreign country, I was particular about becoming friends with the locals. These people helped me understand the rules and regulations of the area. They also ensured to carry me along in exciting activities.
3. Have a means of identification
Sadly, most foreigners suffer intimidation from the authorities because of improper identification. Typically, the authorities are also highly conscious of foreigners. They want to ensure that you’re not in their country for anything illegal.
So, it comes in handy to have a valid means of identification. It doesn’t stop at having it as you also need to always carry it along. So, you can always show it to anyone if and when you’re stopped.
I can say that this tip has helped me both in foreign countries and even in my home country. Your means of identification should be one of the first things you should always add to your travel packing list. It is a must-have you need to pack in your wallet for ease of access.
4. Share your plans and schedule
When you land in a new country, it helps people to also know your itinerary. How long would you be staying in the country? This information you should share with your friends and family.
In addition, they should always be abreast of your plans and schedule. You can always update them via pictures and messages.
Yes, we are not praying for anything to go wrong. But if it happens, they would know your last location or the last activity you did. It also gives your family and friends a safety net of assurance that you are safe. It makes them panic less that you are far away.
5. Arrive during the day
I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with arriving in a new country at night. I’ve even done it a couple of times. However, it would be best to arrive during the day if that is your first time in the country. This for me is one of the best travel tips for solo travelers to Africa to help you familiarize yourself with your new environment. Plus it keeps you safe from theft or travel scams.
Arriving during the day gives you the protection of light. It lets you sort out your accommodation and other things before nightfall. You would also not be scared when you have to book a cab and all. And when night comes, you would have peace of mind knowing that you’ve sorted out most essentials.
It isn’t safe for foreigners, especially solo travelers, to move around at night.
6. Don’t let people know that you’re traveling alone
We are in the social media generation where it’s a norm to share updates. However, there should be a limit to the information you share online or with people. This is one of the best travel tips for solo travelers to Africa or anywhere in the world to note.
As a solo traveler, it isn’t safe to let people know that you’d be traveling alone. For example, you share such information online with details of the country and where you’d be staying. If anyone wants to rob you, they’ve gotten all the information they’d need. So, you can see that you’re exposing yourself to harm when you do such.
If you want to share things about your travel experience online it should be after you’ve left the city.
7. Be street smart
The fact that you’re in a foreign country doesn’t mean that you have to be overly comfortable. You need to be sharp and stay alert. It is best to keep in mind that you’re a solo traveler. And you’d be a target for robbers and thieves. This is one of my top travel tips for solo travelers coming to Africa. These people always target those moving alone. Also, they can sense that you’re new in an environment easily.
So, if you have a bag, it would be best to wear it to the front. Your things should always be close to you so you can have your eyes on them.
Being street-smart is highly helpful in a foreign place. If you notice someone moving suspiciously, it’s best to make a detour or raise an alarm.
8. Choose Your Hotel Carefully
Another of the best travel tips for solo travelers is to choose your hotel and stay carefully. Do a lot of research about the hotel and its environs. Where would you be staying when you travel to a foreign country? It’s best to have an idea of the various accommodation options before leaving your home country. You can opt for hotel alternatives like hostels or Airbnb. You should pick depending on your preference. However, it is best to pick carefully.
While picking an accommodation facility, you should check out its location. In addition, looking at its reviews would also help you know if the hotel is safe and up to standards. It is helpful to keep in mind that where you stay is an important aspect of your travel experience.
9. Lock your hotel room door
Do I need to mention this one? Keep in mind that you’re in a foreign country. So, it would be wrong to be overly trusting and think that you can sleep without locking your doors. When you sleep or step out, always ensure to lock the door of your hotel room. Even while you’re inside, it is also important to lock the doors.
Not locking your door is an invitation for hoodlums and I know that you wouldn’t want such an occurrence to happen. Losing valuables while on a trip in a foreign place can be painful. Thus, you need to avoid it by always locking your room door.
10. Don’t get too carried away
It’s easy to get carried away when you’re having fun. And it happens when one travels to a foreign country.
It could be that you’ve made friends with the locals and they invite you to their hangouts regularly. Of course, it’s super cool that you’re friends with them. However, it doesn’t mean you should get carried away. You always need to be alert to your surroundings. Being friends with them and going for hangouts shouldn’t mean that you drink to a stupor.
Yes, cheers to having fun. But do not get carried away by it.
There are several languages in Africa. One of the culture shocks you have to deal with in Africa is the Language barrier. However, this can be avoided if you have the best travel apps handy on your trip. This is one of the best travel tips for solo travelers to Africa, especially to countries that don’t speak English.
One such travel app I would recommend is google translate. It helps you translate the most language to English or your mother tongue. This app was super helpful on my visit to a francophone country in Africa.
What other travel tips for solo travelers to Africa did you find handy? Feel free to comment below.
Travel resources you need to travel to Africa.
- Travel insurance: Get your insurance ready from Insubuy
- Flight tickets: Book cheap flight tickets from Trip.com
3. Book your stay in any hotel of your choice. Get the best deal with Trivago.
4. Opt for hotel alternatives by booking your stay in a hostel. Network and have a fun trip by booking a hostel using hostelworld.
5. Solo traveler? I have you covered. Plan your trip with the best tour group for a fun-filled time in Africa. Book your tour using GetYourGuide. You can get a tour for as low as $30.
Have a fun trip to Africa. Don’t forget to follow this list of what to pack for a trip to Africa. Feel free to comment below.