5 Tips to Help You Travel like a Local in Africa

Besides the reality that you’re not really a local if you just arrived for your safari in Africa, you can still do things to act or feel like a local.

Whether you want to plan a short or long holiday to Africa, we prefer East and Central African regions. With the single east African tourist visa, it is easy to find affordable safaris visiting all the three countries of Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda. Our greatest belief is that getting enough time to experience everything from indigenous cultures, diverse habitats and scenery landscapes will greatly make you travel like a local.

You have the options and selection of attractions based on your interests but our recommendation here is that we have listed experiences that locals prefer around most African safari destinations. No matter the places you decide to stay in, an African safari is an adventure holiday that provides you with a quality experience.

Observe the daily life of people

If you’re planning to visit Africa, then pay attention to the customs and traditions of the people in a country you are visiting. You’ll definitely meet local people whenever you’re out on a trip. When you visit a national park, you’re rewarded with wildlife sightings. It would do as well add an extra ordinary cultural experience if you opted to visit some of the indigenous tribes.

Many local people live around most of East African wildlife viewing national parks; and several cultural adventure experiences can be arranged. If you were visiting Kenya for wildebeest migration you could opt to visit the Maasi village. In Uganda you can visit the BaTwa ancient hunter gathers in south west Uganda while on a gorilla safari. There are many opportunities to experience local life including visiting world heritage sites, museums, cultural village stays from where you can enjoy traditional music and dances, traditional dressing, storytelling as well as find quality handmade crafts. Most local Africans are welcoming and friendly people and your experience with the guides or drivers will possibly tell.

Taste and Eat the local food

Most African safari travelers find it interesting opting to participate rather than being spectators of their trip experiences. So it’s a good idea to ask your operator for recommendations about popular places to eat a typical African dish.

In East Africa, you can find some of popular local village cultural experiences that offer practical traditional African food preparation and dinning.  There are also many lodges and hotels around wildlife national parks as well as city restaurants which offer also delicious international cuisines.

Start your trips early morning

There’s nothing breathtaking like the beauty of a sunrise and the ever changing skies over African savannah. Every traveler seems to share beautiful photos on social media?  No doubt you have to wake up very early in the mornings for the best game viewing in many African national parks. This is especially so with bird watching trips and photo safaris. There are many fantastic landscapes in East Africa which offer photographic opportunities.

You want to avoid the crowds as much you want to visit places before anyone else does. Of course this may not work for some places where time of the day does not matter. But getting up early you enjoy local life as you see locals go about their daily life and in the process you get to adapt to the daily local life from personal hands on experience.

Buy local

The idea is not to forge friendship with people you have never met but to put money in the pockets of local community. It makes sense in a way that local people struggle a lot to make a living due to poverty. Most of the communities around national parks are farmers and rely on natural resources. When you visit some of the community run enterprises including craft shops, NGO’s, lodges, you can choose from a range of cultural and educational activities offered. By purchasing souvenirs, shopping, eating and staying at places owned by locals you’re helping people to earn a living.

What do you think?

Written by Mike Bisho

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