Africa is known to be rich in the sense of history, culture and mesmerizing scenery found in each corner of the continent.
Whenever someone decided to travel abroad seeking a new adventure, choosing the destination and adjusting the budget on it is crucial.
When your choice is traveling to Africa, you should know that some of the activities and trips might be a little pricy so you need to be fully prepared for this.
Here are 12 tips for saving money while traveling to the dark continent;
1# Search for Visa Prices First
It is one of the things that you will need to do in advance of your trip obviously, researching for the visa prices on the government’s foreign office will give you an idea of how much you are going to spend on visas and prepare beforehand.
You should know that not all the visas in Africa are cheap, in fact, you will find that some countries will charge you about 75$ or slightly more, so don’t think the visas are cheap.
Knowing the visas prices will also make you decide on visiting countries that will fit your budget and at the same time, you still could enjoy as much as you can.
Also, showing up at the borders with the exact amount of money required for the visa of the country you are entering will reduce your chances of being tricked as you will seem like someone who knows a lot about the rules.
2# Download an Offline Map App
Having an offline map with you will help you more than you think, you would be able to go to many places solo without having to ask someone. every once in a while.
Or getting in a taxi and maybe being tricked for not knowing the distance between where you are and the place you are going to.
Maps.me is one of the great applications that work offline ideally, you will rule out extra taxi money and reach your destination without even the need of having internet data.
3# Learn Basic Words and Numbers
This one is vital especially in the African countries where English is not widely spoken or understood.
Learning to ask about the price of something and knowing the basic numbers will help you while buying, you will seem like someone who is not a rookie in this and may get you plenty of good bargains.
Also, if the prices are written down( in Arabic for instance) on things or menus, you won’t need much help in figuring out the prices yourself without being ripped off or tricked by paying more.
4#Get USD and a Good Converter App
Us dollars are the ideal currency for traveling within Africa. In almost all the countries there you can change them, not like the British currency or euro which in some places you will face challenges to convert them.
It is recommended to get big notes, like the 50s for instance. It will help in increasing the change rate and you will save the ATM fees (which are a lot by the way)
Also, in some countries, ATM is not even an option, so you will need to have cash money with you.
Another tip you could use in terms of money is converting your dollars at the black market. It will add a lot to your budget since the rate will be increased.
5# Traveling to Africa; Buy a Local SIM
Buying a local SIM card will be a major help to you throughout your voyage. They are cheap and available everywhere.
Getting a SIM card will help you in booking flights, accommodation and tours and a lot more while you are there.
The internet at some hotels and hostels is pretty bad, so you could use the cellular data which is much better than the laters’ Wi-Fi.
But keep in mind, if applicable try to know more about the packages and internet offers of the company you are getting your SIM from so you the how much exactly you are going to pay for it and how much it will last with you.
Don’t make the mistake of many travelers by purchasing a SIM with a package that is not suitable for their needs either by being much more or less.
Take a surf on the companies’ websites and decide on the package you want. You could ask locals for this they will help you a lot with it.
6# Haggle Is Your New Life Skill
To haggle is the norm of all the African countries, you will never buy anything with the first price the vendor will tell you first.
They are not doing this with you because you are a foreigner( although they do it more with foreigners than locals), but this is a kind of lifestyle there and in order to get good deals you will have to haggle hard.
You could start by negotiating about reducing the item’s price with about 30%, this percentage is not that much trust me.
Negotiating the price with the vendors should be your new accompanying skill while you are in Africa you will need it a lot and benefit from it a lot too.
5# Always, Make An Agreement Before Buying
It may be an obvious thing to be done, but in Africa, it is more different than what you think.
Before dealing with anything, you need to state and clarify the final price before anything.
A tour, guide, taxi or anything that has “money” within you need to know first what you are going to pay.
Even with hotels, you will need to know the price of the day before checking in, if you are dealing with a guide to know exactly what he expects to take from you before going with him.
In Egypt as an example, people rent horses and camels to take a tour around the pyramids, if you didn’t settle on a price from the first, you may get charged doubled the actual price.
It was like I paid about 200 EGP and the other group, each one paid 600EGP, and that was because he found out they are from Europe so he raised the fee for them.
It is a rule for keeping your budget to the limit you want, deal and know the price first,
and then take your service and never fell for any trial of delaying the price after you take your service because probably you find yourself stuck with paying a fortune for the dealer.
7# Don’t Get Your Things From The Supermarket
When buying anything that you typically get from a supermarket in your country, don’t do that in the African countries.
In the eastern and southern countries in Africa in particular, don’t buy from supermarkets as usually they will have imported goods and things and mostly they will cost double the price or even more the local goods.
They are expensive and you would be puzzled with the price compared with the local goods and in many cases with the price of the same things in your country.
Also, sitting or spending your time at cafes like Starbucks, Cinnabon, Spectra or other brands like that shouldn’t be your usual hangout in any African country.
Smaller local independent shops should be your best friend whenever you are in an African country.
8# Use The Train For Traveling Around
You would be fascinated with the level of the train services that you could find on the dark continent, the quality of the service given in some countries is amazing.
That’s not the only good thing for the train service, the price of the tickets are cheap and the journey on it is super safe, so don’t waste the chance of having a great adventure with fascinating landscape ahead with reasonable prices.
You would totally regret it if you didn’t try one of the amazing experiences you would remember later.
9# Check for Your Inclusions
You will need to make sure of all the additions that are included in your package to be able to settle on a suitable budget.
You should be aware of things like food, drinks, the type of accommodation provided, water, entrance fees for many spots, and guides fees.
10# Get Yourself a Tent
Camping is one of the common ways that you can save money out of it, especially on your safari trips.
safari trips and tours managed by companies often offer to camp as making the trip cheaper. Getting your own tent will add the saving up too and reduce the expenses of the trip.
This will save you a lot of money, especially in countries like Botswana and South Africa
11# Play It Smart with Booking Safaris
safari is probably going to be the most expensive thing you are going to do on this trip, and not going through that experience is not okay!
You are on the land that is created with the most breathtaking scenery you would witness on this planet, so coming here and not going on a safari is like going to the beach and never get out of your car.
There are few strategies you could work on to minimize the expenses for this mesmerizing trip.
The first thing is to try to travel out of the peak of the season if your schedule is flexible and you could book your trip away from the season peak this will reduce the price of your safari.
The best time you would target for instance for traveling to South Africa would be between May to September.
This is considered as the dry time of the season at spots and areas like Kruger & Madikwe.
Gathering a team when you are booking your safari, will save a lot in terms of money.
Sometimes, we as travelers will be hesitant to give our operator a limited budget as we typically think that they will deal with it as a starting point and not the endpoint.
Actually, you might find that your consultant is looking and searching for the best deals to meet your budget and deal with the target as a challenge and make the most out of your money to make sure you are enjoying your time.
Another tip to save up from safaris is to stick to one company that owns more than one camp. You will get the most of this, especially in Zambia and Botswana.
Staying at more than a site that is owned by the company would typically get you an offer with a reduced rate for staying for a longer time and over many sites.
These are our 11 money-saving tips that are going to save you a fortune while traveling and enjoying your time at the dark continent.
Hope they are going to help you with planning for your trip to Africa. While you are looking for things to help you to enjoy your trip, check Top Best 9 Power Banks For 2019’s Travelers! for not missing capturing any mesmerizing moments that will last for a lifetime.