Africa is a beautiful continent that's sure to amaze and delight any first-time traveler. And one of the best ways to make the most of your upcoming trip is to be prepared for these four elements you may not fully expect.
Spotty Access. Many Americans are so accustomed to continuous wi-fi access and good cellular phone signals that they forget these are not guaranteed. If you understand the geographical limitations of such a large and rural land, you will be less frustrated and surprised when you can't access the ubiquitous internet. Bring along some good books and a few travel games and make the most of your time in the wild.
Things Not Working. Keep in mind that you're traveling through countries that have much more tenuous infrastructure than you're probably used to. Power may cut off for mysterious reasons, equipment may not work reliably, and plans may be delayed with little notice. This is simply life on the African continent, and it's part of your experience in this more natural environment. Keep power and technology needs to a minimum and have patience when things don't work out.
Amazing Wildlife. Like most people, you're probably going to Africa largely to experience the wondrous wildlife. Whether you're on a Serengeti safari or just crossing the vast wilderness between cities, keep an eye out for exotic birds, mammals, and rodents of all sorts. You'll see animals that you may never be able to see in the wild anywhere else, so keep your camera handy and your eyes peeled. No matter what else goes wrong or right on your trip, remember that this is what you came for.
Lots of Travel. Africa is large. Really, really large. Travelers from the close quarters of Europe or compact American cities like New York or Los Angeles are likely to be surprised by the vast distances you'll cross on an African vacation. Cut trips short by opting for airplane or boat rides where you can. When you can't choose faster travel methods, remember that the scenery and cities are part of your journey. Find beauty in everything, and try your hand at artistic photography. Learn more about the culture and get to know fellow travelers. If nothing else, take this time to try a digital detox — for a truly life-altering vacation.
Travel to any new country is often a learning experience that will make you grow as a person and lead to a more fulfilling point of view. Travel to Africa offers this in spades. By preparing for the ups and downs, you'll be ready for whatever comes along on your Serengeti Safari 8 day tour.