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Visiting Africa

8 Common Misconceptions about Visiting Africa

Posted on August 3, 2022

Visiting Africa

If you’ve ever been to Africa, you know how thrilling and wonderful an experience that is. However, many people are reluctant to even consider Africa as a destination due to all the myths that surround it. The good news is, none of them are true! Sure, there are some problems in Africa, and not every place is equally safe. But the same can be said of all the other continents, too. All you need is common travel sense and standard safety precautions that you’d adhere to anywhere. Then, you can enjoy and explore the African continent to your heart’s content. Africa can offer a lot to a curious adventurer, from bustling modern cities to breathtaking wildlife and landscapes to unique cuisines and cultures. If you are still unsure, let us dispel some of the most common misconceptions about visiting Africa!

Africa is one big country

This couldn’t be further from the truth! Africa is a vast continent that consists of over fifty countries. So what does that mean? It means there’s much more to Africa than you expect.

Africa is a beautiful and diverse place with over 3000 ethnic groups and around 2000 languages. There’s a lot to see and experience. If you can’t decide where to go first, check out some of these fascinating African countries to visit.

Africa is unsafe and dangerous

One of the most common misconceptions about Africa is that it is not a safe place to go. With what media often focuses on, it’s no wonder that people are reluctant. Because of the side of Africa that they see in the media, people tend to focus on wars, diseases, and poverty.

However, this is a far cry from the truth. Of course, not every country is equally safe for different reasons, but most African countries are safe, welcoming, and hospitable. Naturally, every traveler knows that it’s always best to take routine precautions wherever you go. For example, keep your valuables close by and keep your wits about you – the same as you would do anywhere else.

Don’t let this misconception discourage you from climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or experiencing anything else Africa has to offer.

One of the common misconceptions about visiting Africa is that there are no cities

Sometimes people think that everybody in Africa lives in a mud hut in the middle of the jungle. Reality shows the opposite! From Cairo through Nairobi to Cape Town, there are plenty of modern cities of various sizes in Africa. This continent is justifiably famous for its beautiful nature and wildlife, but there is more to it. Whether you prefer urban metropolis hustle and bustle or quiet, charming towns, you’ll find them here. Of course, you can go on one of the excellent cultural tours and explore different traditions and cultures.

Kenya and Tanzania safaris
While there are cities in Africa, you can also explore local cultures and customs

Everybody is poor in Africa

Among other popular misconceptions about visiting Africa is that everybody is poor. The gap between rich and poor exists, and it’s significant in some countries. But it’s also true that many countries are fast-developing and many of the fastest-growing economies are in Africa. Africa has all kinds of classes – from poor and middle class to wealthy. So, don’t assume that everyone lives in poverty here.

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Wild animals roam everywhere

Ah, one of the main attractions of Africa. But also one of the reasons many people are reluctant to visit. This continent offers truly unique and fantastic flora and fauna. The beautiful landscapes will take your breath away! However, that doesn’t mean wild animals roam freely wherever they like. On the contrary, they are in protected national parks, private game reserves, and zoos.

When you go on safari, make sure to follow the instructions of your guides. That way, you can enjoy seeing elephants, zebras, lions, rhinos, and other magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. And, contrary to what some people believe, animals won’t attack you. They keep to themselves, and you’ll be perfectly safe if you follow the instructions.

Kenya and Tanzania safaris
One of the common misconceptions about visiting Africa is that animals are everywhere

Africa is a bit backward – there’s no wi-fi or modern technologies

There’s a technological revolution going on in Africa. It’s embracing all the modern technologies, from smartphones to drones. Mobile and wi-fi connectivity is excellent, even in some more remote and rural areas. You’ll find top-notch accommodation, luxury, and beach hotels here that have everything a modern traveler may need.

Technological developments often attract US entrepreneurs. They want to explore new and growing possibilities in Africa. It is also a popular destination for digital nomads. And as you know, a good internet connection is an absolute must for them. So if you want to move and work here instead of a casual visit, you’ll be more than welcome. Of course, international relocation can be challenging, so ensure you find the right movers. An expert team can assist you and ensure everything goes smoothly and stress-free.

However, even though you’ll have all the technology available to you, we recommend that you disconnect from time to time. Instead, immerse yourself in local life, culture, and nature, and enjoy everything Africa has to offer.

You can’t drink water

Now, this is both true and false. In most urban areas, it will be safe to drink water. However, in more rural and remote areas, it’s better to avoid tap water unless it’s stated the water is good to drink. Luckily, most lodges have on-site water purification and bottling plants, so no visitors will go thirsty. You’ll also be provided water on game drives and during a safari, so don’t worry about staying hydrated!

Kenya and Tanzania safaris
You can even expect the snow on the top of Kilimanjaro!

It’s always scorching hot in Africa

On the contrary, Africa boasts a variety of climates. Yes, some areas are usually hot and dry (until the rainy season), but you can even experience snow in some parts. So, be ready for all the possibilities depending on where you want to go. For example, in Kenya, you may expect tropical conditions at the seaside and a temperate climate further inland. So, make sure to bring your hat and sunscreen. But remember that mornings and evenings can be chilly, so prepare for that too.

The bottom line

We hope that all of this will help to disperse any misconceptions about visiting Africa that you may have. As you may see, African countries offer plenty of opportunities for anything you want. From active safari holidays to experiencing local cultures to exploring big cities – there’s something for everyone to love and enjoy.

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