There are many misconceptions about Africa, which more often than not, unfortunately discourage people from wanting to visit. Below are some of the most common ones:
Africa is a continent, not a country
The most common and most inaccurate idea about Africa is that it is a country. In reality, Africa is the second largest continent, made up of 54 diverse and independent countries, with thousands of cultures and languages. To put things in perspective, the largest hot desert on earth, the Sahara, is located in West Africa. In itself, the Sahara spans 10 countries, and is comparable to the size of the United States.
It is always hot
The continent of Africa expands from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere, crossing the equator, Tropic of cancer, and Tropic of Capricorn. It is a vast and naturally diverse landscape, with anything from deserts, snowy mountains, tropical beaches, humid rainforests, mountains, fertile valleys, to dry and wet wide plains. There is usually a wide variation in the weather even within countries and cities; for instance, it is commonly known that in Cape Town, one can experience all four seasons, from almost freezing temperature in the night to the likes of a hot summer afternoon, to rain and wind, all in one day. Similarly, in certain parts of the Sahara Desert, day time can be unbearably hot, but it can get below freezing temperatures during the night. Ski resorts and snow activities can be found in Algeria, Lesotho, and Morocco.
African countries are disease-driven and under-developed
While certain parts of the African continent do indeed lack access to resources such as education, proper healthcare, and clean water, many African countries are actually very innovative and disease-free. In fact, the first human to human heart transplant ever to take place happened in Cape Town, South Africa, one of the many countries on the continent that does not require any vaccines prior to visiting.
African countries are dangerous
As a general advice, it is important to be wary when travelling, especially to new places. That being said, it is also important to remember that isolated incidents do not represent the whole experience of visiting a country. While some countries in Africa, or certain parts of certain countries, are not recommended for foreigners to travel to, that does not reflect the whole continent.
The only thing to see is a safari and it’s expensive
It is indeed true that countries like Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, and Botswana are well known for their luxury safari experiences, in award-winning lodges and camps. However, there are plenty of other travel experiences, including safaris, for the budget conscious traveller. On top of that, there is so much more to see than just wildlife. Zanzibar, also known as Spice Island, is a popular destination that visitors like to pair with a safari, thanks to its gorgeous tropical beaches, spices, and rich cultural history. Book your next Zanzibar holiday package and learn more about this incredible destination and experience a trip beyond a typical safari adventure.
About the Author:
Mark works at Destiny Holidays and has travelled extensively throughout Africa, having written much about his experiences along the way. He is passionate about changing the misconceptions about the continent and it’s people, bringing awareness to conservation and eco-travel.