Header image by Sergey Pesterev.
There are many reasons why Africa is worth a visit at least once in your lifetime. The continent is full of magnificent landscapes, vast wilderness, diverse cultures, and rich traditions that all make for a unique travel experience. HandZaround recently went backpacking across the continent, and as you can tell, they took home many interesting stories that they also shared on their blog.
Of course, they are not the only ones who have amazing experiences to share. Last year, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle also went to Africa to celebrate her birthday, marking the couple’s second sojourn into Botswana’s wilderness since they began dating in 2016. Like his brother before him, Prince Harry has a long love affair with Africa, having been an active supporter of charities in African countries and working with environmental groups for animal preservation (stay tuned for HandZaround's collaboration with African Parks which Prince Harry is a patron of!). The royal had reportedly been planning the holiday for a while, with the trip itinerary including boat rides across the lake, walks in the bush at dawn, camping under the stars and, as rumour had it – an engagement proposal.
Royally engaged or not, if you yourself plan on visiting Africa soon, be prepared to embrace the deadly heat. Countries in the continent are known for their heat-related records. For instance, Face 2 Face Africa reported earlier this year that Kenya is expecting one of the worst heat waves in history, as temperatures are expected to rise to around 40 degrees Celsius.
CLOTHING AND SUNSCREEN
Be sure to pack appropriate clothing for the trip. Light-coloured clothes with airy fabrics like linen, cotton, and silk, are the best choice, of course. Bring an ample amount of hand towels as well to prepare for the heavy sweating you may endure. Don’t forget to bring sunscreen as well, especially if you have sensitive skin. Remember that you will need to apply sunscreen more than once in a day if you don’t want to get sunburnt. It goes without saying, if you are staying for a long period, consider packing more than just a single bottle of sunscreen.
This may be stating the obvious, but you will be surprised at how many people neglect this simple tip. The heat in Africa can drain you quicker than you expect, so always have bottles of water with you when travelling. Dehydration will only ruin your mood, and nobody wants something as trivial as that to ruin their trip. Aside from water, it also helps to drink isotonic liquids or sports drinks because they can also prevent muscle cramps, which are a byproduct of dehydration.
It’s not a bad thing to maintain your fitness during a trip. However, take a page from the Huffington Post and avoid doing strenuous exercises, because they can drain you of much-needed energy. You’ll probably engage in many outdoor activities while you’re in Africa, which will be very demanding on the body. To counter this, remember to take breaks in between, and as mentioned earlier, consume sports drinks.
Showering or bathing in cold water helps to stave off the blistering African heat. If you’re a fan of hot bath water, you may want to skip that for now, for your sake. Cold baths not only keep your body temperature cool, but also help you sleep better at night. A good quality sleep is what you’ll need every night in order for you to enjoy your trip to the fullest.
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This is a guest post.