7 Dangers of Visiting Africa – They Aren’t What You Think They Are

Heather Markel, Writer, Speaker, Photographer, Traveler, Business Strategist

Setting your expectations…

Africa is one of the most fascinating continents on the earth. I loved it so much I’m already planning my return. However, it does come with a unique set of dangers. To help you prepare for your first, or next, trip to Africa, I offer you the 7 biggest dangers you’ll face on your next trip.

I had to take four game drives before I finally saw my leopard.

1. You’ll become addicted to safaris and if you don’t see a specific animal it will haunt you all your days until you do

Once you see a wild animal in the wild, instead of a zoo, you will become obsessed. Not just a little, either. You will crave seeing them and hours of your life will pass staring at them walking or twitching their tail. If you are unlucky and miss out on seeing, say, a leopard, it will become a quest that will consume your thoughts. You will plan more and more safaris until your quest is ended, and then a new quest for another animal will begin. One safari will never be enough.

2. You’ll become addicted to Nik Naks

Don’t even tell me they’re anything like Cheetohs. This corn snack will multiply in your bags because you can’t stop buying them if you taste them. I don’t know if it’s the packaging or something in the flavor, but you won’t be able to put these down. If you don’t work out while you’re touring and you eat Nik Naks, you better plan on a few weeks at the gym to work them off.

3. You’ll be humbled and want to do more for the planet.

If you visit a township or volunteer at a squatter camp, you will be forever touched how a small amount of your time and devotion can go such a long way. It will drive you to do more and be more in your own life. Whether you help a local business, feed those in need, or take care of animals, you will want to find ways to keep on giving. Once you learn the reasons and results of animal poaching, you’ll seek out ways to stop this disaster while also being strained by compassion for why people risk their lives to do it in the first place.

4. You’ll get addicted to Pinotage and African coffee

With some of the best wine in the world being in South Africa, and so many vineyards you’d need several weeks to try them all, you might get exhorbantly drunk or delightfully happy sipping wine every day. With a wine tram to take you around, it’s a no brainer to spend entire days drinking wine. Worse yet, to take you out of your tipsy bubble, you’ll have access to some of the world’s best blends of coffee. Between the two, you might find yourself in a wine and coffee coma which you will miss every day once you leave.

5. You’ll never want to leave the brai because the company is great and the meat is delicious

If you’re invited to a brai it means you’re in. You’ve shown yourself to be a good friend and people want to share their food with you, which is a big deal. That food is delicious and if you’re even luckier, the whole family will be there and you’ll have engaging cultural and life discussions and be part of something you’ll want to keep going.

6. You may eat animals that appear in “The Lion King”

Most likely, it’ll be Pumba that ends up as dinner. You might also eat zebra biltong an ostrich steak or kudu. It may be their wildness that makes these movie stars so tasty, and you probably won’t regret eating them, either. After all, you’re just another carnivore.

7. You’ll love it so much you’ll want to return every year to see more of it

Between the kindness of the people, the life of the native tribes, the call of the land and the animals, one trip will never be enough. You’ll find new motivation to find and earn money you never knew you had to make your way back, as often as possible. The continent is huge and you’ll quickly realize you need to see all of it.

If you’re going to Africa, I recommend you proceed with caution. Your life will be forever changed. Your heart will soar, you’ll meet amazing people and see beauty that seems impossible. Make sure you get yourself there as soon as possible!

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