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Date: 30/11/2015

Africa Travel FAQs

Africa is a vast continent of 54 countries and there really is something here for everyone, from the bustling street markets of Marrakech to the vast, isolated beauty of the Sahara. We have the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions if you are considering booking a holiday to Africa.

Do I need a visa?

If you are travelling to Africa from the UK, you will normally need to apply in advance for a standard one-month single-entry visa; however, if you are visiting some South African countries, a visa in advance may not be required.

When is the best time to visit?

The best time to visit Africa depends on which part of the continent you are heading for. The peak periods (high season) for the various regions are: North Africa - November to March; Central Africa - June to September; East Africa - December to February and June to September; West Africa - November to April; South Africa - November to March. Average temperatures for much of the continent in October range from 27ºC to 33ºC, but there is plenty of rain around at this time of year.

Is Africa safe?

Despite low crime rates, it is important to keep your wits about you on the streets of many busy cities, particularly if you are a woman or a solo traveller. Nairobi, Lagos, Dakar, Abidjan and some parts of Johannesburg all have a reputation for pickpocketing, theft and violent muggings. You can reduce your risk of being targeted by being discreet with your possessions and your cash. Don't walk around with your iPod, camera or phone on display.

How can I stay healthy on holiday?

There are plenty of tropical diseases in Africa and it is important to ensure you are up-to-date with your vaccinations before you jet off. Most vaccinations need to be done around four to eight weeks before you travel. Make sure you pack a first-aid kit and basic medicine, and it is a good idea to take out travel insurance in case you are seriously ill or injured in an accident. Drinking bottled water can help to avoid the risk of tummy upset or bouts of diarrhoea.

How much money will I need?

It is impossible to say how much money you will need, as everyone's budget will vary, but it is possible to enjoy a cheap holiday in Africa depending on which country you visit. At the budget end of the scale you can usually book a basic room in a guesthouse for under US$10 a night and eat at street food stalls, markets and cafes. Even mid-range hotels usually only charge between US$50 and US$70 a night, and car hire is also fairly affordable.