Editorials Interest Pieces Travel Stories

Africa Is Not The Place You Think It Is

A lot of people in the west have a whole bunch of preconceived notions about what Africa is like. People imagine deserts, savannah, wild animals, tribespeople, and at least some degree of poverty. The truth is that what most people imagine when they think of Africa is some mix of whatever they’ve seen in charity advertisements and the Lion King. Taking away the seriously problematic elements of this kind of image of an entire large and diverse continent, the truth is that this idea of Africa is just patently wrong.  The truth is that Africa is the kind of place with more to offer than you would probably be able to experience in your entire lifetime. With that in mind, here are just some of the reasons why Africa should definitely be the next destination that you put on your list.

Image Source

The Wildlife

If there’s one element of Africa that most people are pretty confidently aware of, it’s the fact that it has some truly amazing wildlife. After all, there are zoos all over the world filled with animals from this incredible continent. So why not go straight to the source? Heading out on safari in one of Africa’s various national parks in the kind of experience that you really cannot replicate anywhere else. Whether it’s the Kruger National park that stretches across a vast area of the continent, to places like Boulder Beach that give you the chance to witness thousands of penguins in their natural habitat. After all, there’s no comparing to the real thing and no zoo could ever replicate the sight of animals in their true home.

The Landscape

If you imagine Africa and all you see is barren desert and the occasional tree then you could not be more wrong. Rent a car in Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda and just drive through different parts of the continent to see just how wrong you really are. The truth is that Africa has some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the world. To the point that some of the best nature photography in the world has been taken there. From beautiful beaches covered in golden sand and lush forests teeming with life to breathtaking mountain ranges and vineyards thick with grapes ripe for plucking. You could go your entire time in Africa without seeing another person and you would still have an incredible experience.  

The Culture

Luckily, you’re not going to spend your entire trip without seeing another person. If you assume that people in Africa are little more than simple tribespeople struggling to get by then you’re in for a serious shock when you see just how rich, diverse, and incredibly modern much of African culture really is. Different parts of the continent are filled with totally different people with different styles, different foods, and different rituals. This means that no matter where you go in Africa, there will almost certainly be at least somewhere that you can find yourself getting totally immersed in all of the amazing things that there are to see and do. From museums showcasing the history of the continent to markets selling authentic wares, you will never be short of something to do.

The Nightlife

Of course, that’s during the day, if you wanted the chance to liven things up when the sun goes down then you’re certainly in the right place for it. From Kenya to Cape Town, many of the larger African cities have some incredible nightlife, with all of the modernisations of any other nightlife but with a powerful injection of African culture. This means that you’ll find yourself dancing until dawn in a whole host of clubs and bars, drinking amazing drinks and eating delicious food, all while having the kind of experience that you couldn’t possibly replicate anywhere else in the world. You might think that once you’ve seen one club, you’ve seen them all, Well just wait until you experience African nightlife to decide that.

The truth is that Africa is much like any other continent on the planet. There are places that are incredible and places that are not. Places that are worth visiting and places that are better left alone. The idea that you can put an entire continent filled with life into one box and assume that you know everything there is to know about it is just foolish, not to mention deeply offensive. No matter what kind of place you find yourself in during your travels, make sure that you think about it as clearly and complexly as you would your own home.