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Kigali (KGL)

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Europe · Ireland
Aug 26, 2015 2 min read
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Up to Africa

Africa, as we know it from the Czech media, seems like a strange place. Wars, dictators. Kidnappers, poachers and occasionally some pet, but best poached. And then there is Africa from foreign documentary films where lions turn into slow motion shots, just touch. But what is Africa really?

First, Africa is not like Africa. The continent shares over fifty different states inhabited by many different ethnicities. Perhaps it is not worth emphasizing that visiting such a South Sudan torn by civil war will not be the best idea. Fortunately, however, there are states and states that are made for Africa’s first contact with African countries, and we also do not judge a romantic trip to Paris by the fact that the war is raging in Ukraine.

So - you are already packed, sandals on your feet and you want to go to Sub-Saharan Africa where you have never been before. Where to start? Did you pack your swimsuit? Go to Senegal. We will shine some light on this one from the perspective of an individual traveler, but to start with, it is enough to know that there is a beautiful sea and the locals call their country Teranga, which means hospitality in the local language. Great swimming and diving can be found in Kenya Mombasa. After a refreshing dip in the sea, head for a safari. If you don’t like crowds, avoid the high season, when national parks are surrounded by jeeps and buses full of tourists.

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South Africa is not bad for bathing and national parks, but it is not worth staying in big cities, which can be quite dangerous especially after dark. Perhaps you will be surprised, as years ago, that, on the contrary, a truly safe country is, despite its horrific history of Rwanda. Of the African countries I visited, I even found it safely the safest.

Read also Michael's experiences of shark diving in South Africa.

If you’re a fan of ecotourism, you can’t miss out on gorillas living in the local mountains, but be prepared to slap a little over your pocket. This is true of Africa as a whole - if you move around as a tourist, it won’t be cheap.

On the African continent, of course, there are more “travel friendly” countries, but I can recommend them from my own experience and I promise to focus on them in the future on these pages in more detail. I guarantee that you will remember your visit to Africa much longer than your tenth all inclusive stay in a sterile hotel anywhere in the world. But beware - there is a travel cliché about Africa that says that whoever comes here must keep coming back. The worst thing about this shabby bonmot is the fact that it’s true.

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