You are ready to go to Africa, but you are not sure if your bank account is ready to take the plunge. Lucky for you, Africa offers many destinations that aren’t as hard on the wallet.
If you carefully select your destinations and plan your itinerary, you can take that trip to the Africa of your dreams without breaking the bank. The following are some of the cheapest countries to visit in Africa, along with country-specific cost-saving methods.
South Africa is one of the most popular destinations for tourist due to its easy accessibility with flights operating to Johannesburg several times of day. It also offers a variety of activities from wildlife safaris at Kruger National Park to an urban fine dining experience in Cape Town. You also will need to try their world renowned wine if you come to visit.
Any visit to South Africa can be really expensive or really cheap, so in order to save big you need to be willing to seek out bargains. Going on safari on the back of a Jeep is expensive no matter where you go, but you can cut costs by using inexpensive lodging around the park by seeking smaller inns, lodges or bush camps.
Cape Town also is a bit on the expensive side, but look for lesser known dining spots with cheaper prices. Also, consider staying in the hostels or rentals for cheap lodging. If you plan to do any shopping with the vendors in Cape Town, then use your bartering skills, because it is considered rude not to do so.
A trip to Ethiopia is ideal for the traveler who wants to take new and daring adventures into culture, terrain and history. If you want a destination that caters to tourist lounging around the resort all day, you may want to consider a different destination.
Here you can explore the Bale Mountain National Park with unbelievable trekking with breathtaking mountainside views and perhaps see some of the most unique critters in the world.
Explore the capital city Addis Ababa with a population of 3 million holding vast shopping opportunities, diversity, food and adventures. Take a trip to the medieval world in stone-carved churches at Lalibela to view Christian Ceremonies over one thousand years old.
There are cheap lodging options in Addis Ababa, but we recommend skipping the bargain to stay at slightly nicer places near the airport. Try to choose a hotel or guest house where they offer pick-up from the airport, usually it is free.
The flight here is extremely long and arduous, so bargaining at the airport for the ride is often where tourists get ripped off.
If you do opt for transportation always agree to a price before you depart.
This destination is ideal for first time travelers to Africa. People are extremely friendly and particularly welcoming to tourists. English is the official language here and is widely spoken.
Ghana offers a diverse range of activities. Try the canopy walk over the rainforest in Kakum National Park. Or visit Nzulezo a village on stilts over Lake Tandane.
Save money on the flight by routing through Europe or even through Casablanca, but avoid the direct flights from the U.S. which tend to have higher prices.
Sample the local dishes which are tasty and much cheaper than the hotel fare.
If you want a trip to the beach in Africa with bustling resort areas, Senegal is your country. The coast off the capital Dakar is wide strips of white sand beaches. There are more built-up tourist areas or quieter (and cheaper) fishing villages. We recommend spending a day or two in the resort areas before you get comfortable in a small guest house in one the fishing villages. This way you get a bit of luxury and comfort in addition to an authentic experience of Senegalese culture.
For transportation make sure you bargain and decide on a set price with the driver before you get in the vehicle.
Knowing basics of French or Wolof, the most widely spoken local language will likely get you cheaper services throughout your stay in Senegal. Be prepared for aggressive street vendors who are determined to make you into a customer even if you are not interested in their products.
A pleasant smile and a shake of the head will eventually send them in pursuit of their next possibility.
As in all big cities, especially in crowded places, keep your valuables safe. You will likely want to return to Senegal, the Westernmost African country, for at least a second time.
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Holly lives in Maryland with her three cats. She one day dreams of becoming an Ethiopian tour guide, but is stuck with writing for now.
She is currently planning to travel to Senegal, and is working on mastering the Wolof language.