Independent, free, wild. Backpacking is the best way to travel, especially if you want to take your time in order to know a place. Backpackers in Africa are welcome, they are the most appropriate type of tourist for the territory. No one knows and loves traveling more than Africans themselves: the word “safari” means travel! And in no other place of the world you will find kind and welcoming people as in Africa. But, depending on the political situation and the religious/social rules, backpackers could have problems in this continent as well. So if you are planning this kind of trip – bag on your shoulders! – make sure you have all the information you need. Before you leave your homeland.
Why is great to be backpackers in Africa
Africa is not just a continent, it is an experience. You cannot have an experience if you are in a hurry, or if you need to listen to your guide all the time and go where he/she decides to go. If you want to live Africa thoroughly you must stop, sometimes. You must meet locals, eat with them sing with them too. Take your time to admire landscapes and animals. You shall always have a guide by your side, but also find the time to come back and visit again the places he/she will show. Backpackers in Africa find their real dimension.
When to go backpacking
Since backpackers mostly move on foot or by means of transport, you better plan your African trip during the dry seasons. It might be hot and dusty, yes! But this is much better than walking under heavy rains and humidity and mosquitoes, all the time. If you are prepared to face heat, you will have an easy traveling. You can still decide to move only during the cooler hours of the day – early morning or afternoon. Northern Africa and southern Africa have all four seasons, just like Europe. In southern Africa they are reversed, though. So decide where you will go “backpacking” and study the local climate, the seasons, the best time for a period of long solo walks. You can go at any time, but make sure “any time” is good for your feet, health and heat tolerance.
How to be backpackers in Africa
If you want to be backpackers in Africa you should be wise, patient, tolerant and with great adaptability. First of all, before you go, buy a good travel insurance for backpackers. You can find many on Google, they are important to protect you during the adventure. Take all information about hostels, campings and backpackers accomodations in different African states. Some web sites give some nice tips about every single nation’s accomodation.
If you are at your very first backpacking experience, or if you are scared to go all alone, try the Overland Tours. These trips are organized with some comforts but you will still go on your own, with your tent, car, bag. You will be backpacking but someone will be watching over you and you will feel safe. If adventure is your mission, instead, just take local buses or local trains and move as any other African would move. Backpackers can also rent cars, bikes or motorbikes and use them to move over long distances. The boundless regions of this incredible continent cannot be explored only on foot.
Never ever forget: small change pennies in your pockets, bottles of water, snacks, repellents, sunscreens in your bag. You must always have also a torch, medications, documents and ATM, powerbanks and … toilet paper, of course!