Travelling to Africa

Travelling to Africa
Travelling to Africa

Africa is the second largest continent, as it consists of 54 countries and some other territories. With close to a billion of people, it is only behind Asia as the most populated continent in the world. Africa is home to the Sahara desert, the Nile River, Lake Victoria, The Victoria Falls and Mount Kilimanjaro. It is a fascinating place to visit; however, many people are cautious about visiting Africa because of safety concerns.

 Violence and Crime

Africa is home to one of the most diverse environments in the world, and crime and violence is prevalent in some parts of the country. Liberia and Sierra Leonne has some of the highest crime rate on the continent. Car jacking’s and muggings are also widespread in South Africa. As with most new countries that you visit, the level of danger varies greatly from borough to borough. It’s always recommend that you speak to a local travel agent for some advice before you leave. There are areas that are full of holiday makers and are safe to visit. But always remember to keep your personal possessions close.

 Health Concerns

Diseases are widespread throughout Africa; therefore, you want to make sure that you get the necessary vaccines before travelling to the continent. Hepatitis A and B occur frequently, as well as typhoid, yellow fever and rabies. Prior to your trip, you need to see your doctor about taking medication to prevent malaria. When in Africa, be careful about where you purchase your food and drinks. It’s always a good idea to ask the locals or your hotel staff what they would and wouldn’t recommend.

The Best Places to Visit

Cape Town is a city in South Africa that is a popular tourist destination in Africa. It is home to spectacular beaches and lively nightlife. Egypt, Morocco, Zimbabwe and parts of South Africa are considered safe places to visit in Africa and the tourism trade does well here. Thanks to its warm climate for most of the year, holiday makers can visit on and of peak and still be sure there will be other tourists and locals around.

 Customs

In certain areas of Africa, such as Libya, Somalia and Egypt, women need to make sure that they follow the local customs. In most Muslim areas of Africa, women should not wear short skirts or shorts, and they should avoid sleeveless shirts. If a woman goes into a mosque, she should cover her head out of respect.

 Safety Tips

When travelling to Africa, there are a few things that you can do to stay safe. Do not display your cash for everyone around you to see. It would be wise to wear a money belt that you can put underneath your clothes. Keep your credit cards and passport in this. It is a good idea to make a copy of your passport and your plane ticket. Put the copies in a safe place. Keep your cash in your pocket. Do not wear expensive jewellery or cameras around your neck. Do not walk around the town by yourself at night in some of the less populated areas.

 Africa is an interesting continent that has so much to offer visitors. There are a number of all-inclusive resorts that are completely safe and have everything you need in site. However, some people prefer to travel off the beaten track and visit the less frequented areas. This is when you are likely to face more challenges and why it’s always best to do as much preparation in advance. A good tip is to go online and book your car hire, accommodation and other transport in advance to make sure you don’t get charges extra while you are there.

World Cup South Africa

This is guest blog post done by FlightSite

Road safety during the World Cup in South Africa

South Africa boasts an excellent road infrastructure; therefore driving through the country can be a very rewarding experience.  South Africa is a beautiful place, and preparations are underway for the most exciting event of the decade to be staged in the country – the Football World Cup.

South Africa is a great country to drive through thanks to its beautiful setting and friendly locals. But the country is huge, and not at all possible to be traversed in one day. In order to really enjoy a self drive experience in South Africa during the World Cup, you need to plan carefully before departure. If you are driving from one city to the next, make sure you break during your journey as fatigue is a main factor contributing to motor vehicle accidents in South Africa.

While most of the national roads in South Africa are well tarred and in a good condition, the more rural roads are not in the same condition, and are most likely pot-holed and poorly surfaced. But as long as you take normal, common sense precautions, your trip to South Africa during the World Cup should be a memorable one.

Planning your journey

Before you start your journey, take time to plan your route and prepare your vehicle. Study your maps and routes, as well as your estimated times and the amount of petrol you will be using. Make sure you know the distances between rest stops and petrol stations before embarking on your journey. Make sure to take a 15 minute break after every two hours of driving and make sure you get enough sleep every night.

Distances between the cities where the different games are being played are quite far, therefore you need to be properly prepared. If possible, have more than one driver along on the journey so you can rotate.

Make sure to check the overall roadworthiness of the car before you leave. Make sure that your vehicle is in optimum condition. Check tire pressure, fluid levels, windscreen wipers and the lights of your vehicle. If you are using a rented vehicle, make sure you have the company’s contact details in case of an emergency. And always make sure that you have enough fuel to reach the next petrol station.

South African roads

The highways, freeways and provincial main roads in South Africa are built and maintained to the highest possible standards. Together with excellent driving conditions, your self drive trip in South Africa is guaranteed to be a smooth and safe one. All South African national highways have petrol stations at reasonable distances between them. Most of these petrol stations have restaurants, restrooms and shops within them.

In total, the entire South African road network is 755,000 kilometres.

Many of the national highways between major centres are toll roads, so check the fees before you leave. These toll booths usually charge per vehicle, and can range from anything between ZAR2.50 to ZAR50.00.

There are few roads in South Africa where you would require a 4WD vehicle. But even in national parks and off the beaten track safari areas, driving conditions are generally very good.

Service/petrol stations

South Africa boasts a large network of petrol/service stations spread all over the country. Most of these toll gates are open until late at night, while others are open 24 hours a day. Most service stations along all national highways and main roads are fully equipped with rest rooms, restaurants, shops and repair shops. The great thing about these service stations is that they are conveniently dispersed along the highway in such a way that you can make scheduled stops every two to three hours. An important thing to remember is that even though service stations are prominent along the national highways, they are further apart in rural areas, so plan your journey carefully, especially for refuelling purposes.

Petrol stations in South Africa are not self-service. Smiling and friendly attendants will take care of your petrol needs, and will be happy to check tire pressure, wash windows, and check oil etc for a small tip of anything between ZAR3.00 and ZAR5.00.

Shell, Engen, Caltex, Total and BP are the most common fuel brands sold in South Africa. Although not accepted in the past, some petrol stations do now accept credit and debit cards as a form of payment. Check with your attendant before using their services. Regardless, most service stations have on-site ATMs in case you are short of cash.

Driving conditions during the World Cup, South Africa

Planning your journey means preparing for all sorts of road accidents or emergencies. As much as we hate to admit it, accidents can happen, and you need to be prepared. During the World Cup, South Africa expects a huge influx of visitors, so you need to be prepared for possible chaos on the roads, especially before and after games.

Know that emergency services will be out in full force during the World Cup in South Africa, and that help is just a phone call away. When in South Africa for the World Cup, keep your wits about you while on the road, plan properly, and have fun.

Author bio: Flightsite is an online travel portal offering the convenience of online booking. Cheap flights to South Africa, accommodation, car hire and packages for the World Cup in South Africa at Flightsite.

Kruger National Park Safaris – With a Twist

Kruger National Park Safaris
Image: anankkml

Are you looking for Kruger National Park safaris with a creepy twist? Then we will give you your fix. The Kruger National Park is known for its majestic beauty, abundance of wildlife and the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for visitors. There is another side to this massive stretch of wild land though – a dark, creepy side that sends chills up the spine. That’s right folks, today we are looking at the ghostly tales of the Kruger Park.

  • Animal witches:

In the village of Majembeni, near Hazyview, a baboon was beaten to death before being burned in March 1996 after a woman cried out that the animal was in fact – a witch! The baboon was burnt and the local civic association secretary reportedly said that the creature had magically appeared out of nowhere and had no owner. The woman who spotted the baboon claimed that it took a long time to set the creature on fire and it had dramatically shrunk in size, proving that witchcraft was involved.

  • Honeymoon tragedy:

South of Machadodorp is a farm called Uitkomst which features a picturesque waterfall. In the 1960’s a couple on their honeymoon was visiting this site and the bride took position on the edge for a photograph. Unfortunately, the slippery rocks resulted in her falling to her death. The distraught husband could no go on without his wife and returned a year later to take his on life. Legend has it that on moonlit nights, the couple can be seen at the top of the waterfall.

  • The haunted hill:

Near Punda Maria you will find a hill called Gumbandevu, which is taboo to the local people. Why? Well, in times past a goat would be sacrificed at the base of the hill and its bleats would supposedly attract powerful spirits. This ritual, performed in the hopes of receiving rain, was not only limited to goats though. Kruger Park legend Harry Wolhuter said in his book, Memories of a Game Ranger, that he had met a rainmaker named Mpunzane Mhowelela who confirmed that in droughts, rainmakers were driven to make human sacrifices. Legend has it that ghostly singing and drumming can be heard coming from Gumbandevu at night.

  • The lost man:

On the haunted Voortrekker road that runs southeast of Pretoriuskop, William Scully, the author of Reminiscences of a South African Pioneer, talked about a strange event. He and his companions were camped on the road when they suddenly heard a man calling for help nearby. They built up the fire, waved torches and even fired shots, but the man’s voice did not change and it slowly grew fainter until disappearing.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVXctoIVRoU[/youtube]

 

Jacky Letard is a professional travel writer and writes on various other topics too. One of the topics she has a keen interest in is African Safaris and, in particular, Kruger National Park Tours in South Africa.

 

Visit South Africa’s stunning Victoria Falls

South Africa’s an amazing destination for a holiday, thanks to its combination of the scenic Winelands, spectacular national parks and vibrant cities. Personally, I think Victoria Falls should definitely be high on your to-visit list; read on to find out more.

Key facts about Victoria Falls

Before I get carried away with the finer details, let’s take a look at some of the basics – like where the falls are and other key facts. You’ll find Victoria Falls in the town of Livingstone in the west of Zambia, just across from Zimbabwe.

Victoria Falls Zambezi
Victoria Falls Zambezi, South AfricaZest-pk / Foter.com / CC BY

They’re created by the Zambezi River which, by the time it tumbles down this series of basalt gorges, is an impressive 2 km wide – a size that really does have to be seen to be believed. In fact, it’s the sheer magnitude of this natural wonder, teamed with its natural beauty, that has made it such a famous and important site; indeed, it’s the largest sheet of falling water in the world.

The roar of the falls is incredibly impressive – not surprising considering around 546 cubic metres of water cascades every minute. Named after the reigning monarch of England at the time of its discovery by David Livingstone, Victoria Falls is often referred to locally by another name: Mosi-oa-Tunya. Translated, this means ‘the smoke that thunders’ – a wonderfully atmospheric name, don’t you think? And, considering the spray from the falls can be seen from a huge 20 km away, it’s also pretty apt.

Where can I stay?

Given that the falls are in the town of Livingstone, it makes sense to stay there for a day or two to make the most of your trip. Fortunately, Livingstone is home to plenty of gems of its own, including national parks perfect for safari trips and fascinating museums.

As an added bonus, there are some seriously luxurious places to stay in Livingstone, which I think means you can look forward to this leg of your trip being a truly memorable one. Among the top resort options to consider is The Royal Livingstone and the Protea Hotel Livingstone, both of which you book through companies like Wanderforth.

What can I do while I’m there?

While seeing the falls will no doubt be the highlight of your trip, you’re bound to be curious as to what else you can do in Livingstone. Here are a few of things that most appeal to me:

• Going on a cruise on the Zambezi River. To strike a romantic note, pick an evening trip.
• Visiting the Victoria Falls Field Museum. This is a great place to go if you fancy finding out more about the history of the falls, as it tells the story of how they were formed.
• Exploring Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. You can opt to explore this reserve – which at 66 sq km is fairly small – either in your own car (if you’ve hired one) or as part of a group tour. Giraffes, antelopes, zebra and elephants are among the animals you might be lucky enough to see.
• Taking a dip in the Devil’s Pool. To do this, you need to visit between September and December, when the river’s flow should be at its lowest. You see, this ‘pool’ is perched right on the edge of the falls, which means this is the only time of year you can use it without being tumbling down the gorge with the water! So, as you can probably tell, splashing around here is likely to be something you’ll never forget.