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10 Africa Travel Tips for First-Time Visitors

10 Africa Travel Tips
(Photo: Africa: Kilimanjaro Sign via Shutterstock)
SmarterTravel

Molly Feltner, a former senior editor at SmarterTravel, is the communications officer of Gorilla Doctors, an organization dedicated to providing hands-on medical care to sick and injured mountain gorillas living in the national parks of Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Learn more at GorillaDoctors.org and Facebook.com/GorillaDoctors.

For many Americans, Africa is the final frontier. Sure, it’s home to amazing wildlife and natural wonders—but it’s also a scary place fraught with war, disease, and poverty. At least that’s what many of my friends and relatives told me when I announced in early 2009 that I was leaving SmarterTravel to move there and work for a nonprofit organization. Now that I’m back in the U.S., I can’t stop telling my friends about all the great travel experiences they’re missing out on by not visiting Africa.

If you’re thinking about a trip to the continent, I want to assure you that traveling there is not as challenging as you might think. I trust you’re sensible enough to do your research about visas, tour companies, required vaccines, and other basics, but there a few things important things you might not find out on your own. Here are 10 things I wish I’d known before my first trip to Africa.

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