6. Travel and travel insurance tips for Africa
Learn the lingo: Despite the 2000 odd languages spoken across Africa, English is generally a universally understood language wherever you are in Africa. However, it wouldn’t do you any harm to learn some basic words for the country or area you will be visiting, not only to impress the locals, but also to speed up the process of communication a little.
Don’t rush it: You may have heard the phrase “Africa time” – this refers to the pace at which things are done in Africa … slowly. It can be frustrating at first, but the quicker you learn to embrace it and go with the flow, the better it will be for you.
Always have a payment backup plan: The usual swipe-and-go technique may not be so easy in an African country, with technology limited in some areas. ATM’s can also be unpredictable at times, and carrying large sums of cash a little risky. Find a way to top up your cash at different stops if possible, or disperse it into various areas of your travel gear, so that it’s less likely to be stolen or lost at one time. You could always do it like the locals do and stash it in your bra or underpants.
Save on travel insurance costs for car rental: If you’d like to skim a little off your travel insurance costs by avoiding a car rental, you could use the local transport instead. There’s always a bus, taxi, tuk-tuk, rickshaw and loads more transport options available. This will also give you the perfect first-hand African travel experience. Uber already operates in many African countries, and you can check the Uber website to see if the countries you are visiting are included 3.
How to stay safe: Africa is a poverty stricken continent, so wearing flashy jewels and designer attire is a big no-no. Your travel insurance may cover you for theft or loss of property, but avoiding any temptation at the outset would be a lot easier. Travel by day when you can; don’t walk the streets after dark and always travel in groups when possible. Keep an eye out for people following you, watching you, or walking too close to you – pickpockets, hijackings and other serious crimes are rife in many African countries.
Anything can happen: Never leave Australia without your travel insurance fully intact. In Africa, anything really can happen – from accidents, to theft of personal belongings, to venomous snake bites – there really isn’t any room for taking chances.
Contact details to assist you on your trip to Africa: