How to plan a trip to Africa?

A trip to Africa seems to be on every traveler’s bucket list, and for good reason! With incredible wildlife, intriguing culture, and scenery of every kind, Africa has no shortage of jaw-dropping sights to see and things to do.

Planning a trip to Africa can be fun, but also somewhat daunting. Africa can be a challenging destination to visit with many remote areas, logistical details to plan, and seemingly endless destinations to choose from.

Luckily, we have compiled our best tips for planning an Africa trip.

Read on to learn more!

Top destinations in Africa to visit

Whether you want to go on an adventurous safari or see historical ruins, there is something in Africa for everyone!

If your goal is to go on an African safari, you can choose between East Africa and Southern Africa. East Africa offers some of the most dazzling scenery on the continent, along with an abundance of animal spotting. With the cosmopolitan culture of Cape Town, beautiful wine country, and lovely surroundings, Southern Africa is a better choice if you want a more well-rounded experience.

african safari packing list

The top destinations in East Africa include Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda. In Southern Africa, you can visit South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, or Namibia.

History-lovers should go to Egypt, where they can see the ancient pyramids: one of the best trips to Africa. For stunning beaches, check out Zanzibar, which is right on the Indian Ocean. Cape Town, South Africa is another top destination, offering lovely beaches, excellent hiking trails, and incredible scenery.

Planning a trip to Africa. Where should I go for the first time?

There are several destination options for first-time visitors to Africa. Uganda, Rwanda, South Africa, Morocco, Botswana and Tanzania are excellent countries for first-time travellers.

However, the most important thing to know is that you should only visit one or two countries at a time. Trying to squeeze in too much will make you feel rushed and overwhelmed.

how to plan a trip to africa

How long should you plan a trip to Africa for?

There is so much to see and do no matter where you are in Africa! We recommend that you go for at least eight days (not including flight times), if not longer, for a few different reasons.

First of all, depending on where you are coming from, the jet lag can be awful, so your body may need a few days to recover.

Secondly, you want to give yourself enough time to see and do everything in the area that you visit. It’s never fun to feel rushed, so planning a more extended trip can help with this.

What do I need for Africa? Trip Planner

Besides all of your usual trip necessities, like clothing and toiletries, there are a few different must-haves when traveling in Africa:

  • Wet wipes: Some places don’t have running water, so wet wipes will ensure that your hands stay clean.
  • Sunscreen: The African sun is harsh; bring sunscreen to prevent a burn.
  • First aid kit: If you get any cuts or need any pain relievers, this will keep you covered.
  • Headlamp or flashlight: You will want this for getting around at night.
  • Bug spray: African bugs are like no other!
  • Hiking boots: No matter where you go in Africa, you are likely to do a lot of walking. A good pair of shoes will keep your feet happy.
  • Refillable water bottle: This is great for long safari days or sightseeing so that you don’t have to keep buying plastic water bottles.

10 Steps to Plan an African Safari Trip

  1. Decide on your destination

Africa is a massive continent! There are over 50 countries in Africa, and they vary widely in culture, landscape, and attractions. You can go on a beach vacation, a safari, or historical excursions. The first step is to figure out what kind of vacation you want, and which country would best fit the needs of your family or travel group.


  1. Decide when to visit

Most African countries have an optimal time for visiting, so once you have figured out your destination, decide what time of the year to go. If you are going on a safari, the dry season is usually the best time to visit. However, if you are going to the desert, you’ll want to go during the winter.


  1. Book your accommodation

Before booking, decide whether you want to use a travel agent or plan your vacation independently. There are pros and cons to both, but if you are using an agent, you should get in contact with them at least a year before going. They can help arrange hotels, excursions, and other details. If you are booking the trip on your own, make sure to research hotels, tours, and attractions.

  1. Book your flight

For the best rates on plane tickets, book as far in advance as possible. Flights to Africa can be expensive and sell out quickly, so make sure to plan in advance. If you have travel points or frequent flyer miles, now is the time to use them!


  1. Get travel insurance

Make sure your bases are covered by buying travel insurance. While many people say that travel insurance is a waste of money, this is not the case when planning a trip to Africa. Often, flights in Africa get canceled without any warning, and if you have a medical emergency, public hospitals are not the best place to get the care you need.


  1. Check your visa requirements

Several months before departure, check to see if you need a visa when entering your destination country. This is determined by your nationality, not your country of residence. Don’t verify this information on travel blogs; look at actual government agencies because these requirements change all the time.

  1. Arrange travel medication

Visit a doctor or travel clinic two months before your trip to find out what vaccinations you need for your destination. This varies depending on the country, but usually, you will have to get Hepatitis A, typhoid, and rabies vaccines. Malaria is also prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa, so be sure to check with your doctor to arrange any prophylactics.


  1. Buy your travel equipment

It depends on your destination, but you will likely need a mosquito net, first aid kit, and a pair of durable hiking shoes. If you are going on a safari, you will want a good pair of binoculars and a great camera. Many places in Africa are hot during the day and chilly in the evening, so bring a variety of layers and clothing.


  1. Make a money plan

Carrying tons of cash in many countries isn’t safe, but ATMs can be few and far between certain African countries. Your best bet is to get enough currency upon arrival to get you to the next major city, and then draw more cash with your debit or ATM card. Make sure to alert your bank and credit card company that you will be traveling. If they don’t know, they may cancel or freeze your card because of suspected fraud.


  1. Research your destination

Reading and researching your destination can increase your local knowledge, tell you about amazing sights to see, and get you excited for your trip! Getting a phrasebook is also a good idea because knowing a few phrases in the native language can go a long way.

Where to stay in Africa? Plan Your Accommodation!

While lodging options throughout Africa are vast, here are some of the best places to stay while traveling through Africa’s top destinations.

Tanzania: &Beyond Klein’s Camp

Bordering the Serengeti and Masai Mara, this camp offers impressive views of the natural landscape and nearby wildlife. All ten cottages feature 360-degree views, stone interiors, and open fireplaces.

Cape Town, South Africa: The Silo Hotel

This ultra-chic hotel boasts panoramic views of the waterfront and nearby Table Mountain. The Silo Hotel sits above Cape Towns Museum of Contemporary African Art, perfect for art connoisseurs.

Rwanda: Singita Kwitonda Lodge

Book a private villa at Singita Kwitonda Lodge for postcard-worthy views of Volcanoes National Park. The highlight of this resort is the roaring fire next to the heated plunge pool, perfect for relaxing after a day of safari exploration.

Rwanda: Singita Kwitonda Lodge

Book a private villa at Singita Kwitonda Lodge for postcard-worthy views of Volcanoes National Park. The highlight of this resort is the roaring fire next to the heated plunge pool, perfect for relaxing after a day of safari exploration.

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe: The Royal Livingstone Hotel

From old-world architecture to romantic sunset cruises on the Zambezi River, The Royal Livingstone Hotel is sure to impress. In addition to all the luxury amenities, you will only be a five-minute walk from Victoria Falls during your stay.

Botswana: Ngoma Safari Lodge

At Ngoma Safari Lodge, your stand-alone luxury suite will feature panoramic windows with an incredible view of the nearby wildlife. With exceptional service and fantastic food on-site, you will have everything you need at this lodge.

Best Africa trips for 2022/23

Masai Mara Safari

Spend six days on the expansive plains of the Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya, where you can enjoy abundant animal life, lush flora and fauna, and incredible sunsets.

Garden of Eden Cruise

Embark on this eight-day cruise in Port Victoria to explore uninhabited islands, swim in crystal-clear waters, and snorkel in St. Pierre to see spectacular marine life and vibrant coral reefs.

Gorilla Trekking

Home to many gorillas, Rwanda is the perfect place to spot monkeys of all kinds. Enjoy two-and-a-half weeks of gorilla watching, canopy-walking, and national park exploration.

Big 5 Safari

Embark on a thrilling eight-day journey across the open plains of Kenya in search of the big 5. Spot wildlife in several wilderness areas, like Hell’s Gate National Park, Amboseli National Park, and Masai Mara.


Egypt isn’t just a vacation, but a cultural experience. You will begin and end your journey in Cairo, spending eight days exploring pyramids, Giza, Luxor, and Abu Simbel.

Cape Town Helicopter Flight

While vacationing in Cape Town, take a helicopter ride to truly experience the beauty of South Africa. Relish views of the water, mountain scenery, and rugged cliffs, all on one flight.


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