Africa Travel, Backpacking & Gap Year Guide
Africa is a huge continent with 54 diverse countries. From vibrant South Africa, to the stunning beaches in Mozambique, the open plains of Kenya and Tanzania and the breathtaking wilderness of Botswana - Africa offers something to everyone. Get information, advice and inspiration for the best things to do if you would like to travel, go backpacking or take a gap year in Africa.
Activities & Things to Do in Africa
Find amazing ideas if you would like to travel or go backpacking in Africa.
View our comprehensive Africa travel and backpacking guide with tips, ideas for the best things to see and do and information about itineraries, costs, how to save money, and more!
We aim to give you all the information you need to have an amazing experience in this amazing continent. You can also find affordable travel and backpacking ideas where you can be more than just your average traveller. You can also get recommendations for safety, advice on places to stay and tips how visit Africa on a budget.
Get inspired to visit Africa today.
- Population: 1,050,000,000
- Number of Countries in Africa: 54
- Continent Area: 30,000,000 km2 (approx) making it the second largest continent in the world
- Languages: Diverse range of local languages throughout the contient
- Largest City in Africa: Cairo, Egypt - population 8,000,000
- Bukina Faso
- Cape Verde
- Cote D'Ivoire
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
Top Reasons to Visit Africa
If you have never stepped foot on the African continent before you might have the wrong impression of Africa from images portrayed in the media. Not every country suffers from poverty, starvation and crime - there are thriving countries with strong economies and more and more countries are up and coming travel destinations. There are lots of world famous tourist sights and also lots of opportunities to go off the beaten track to discover the real Africa. Expect friendly people, exotic wildlife and some of the most stunning locations in the world.
How to Get to Africa
There are daily international flights to countries throughout the continent. Book in advance to secure the best deals.
Travelling & Backpacking in Africa
If you are thinking about your next big adventure book choose Africa where you will get to explore countries, learn about local cultures, visit world famous national parks and get up close to exotic wildlife like elephants, lions, leopards and rhinos. Africa has long been thought of as a destination for safaris, luxurious game lodges, honeymoons, idyllic beaches, and Maasai warriors. This continent incorporates all these elements, but it also offers much more.
You will get to get off the beaten track and enjoy one of the most incredible experiences of your life. African organised travel is a very safe way to experience the highlights, meet new people from all over the world and get to learn about all the places you visit. We have some fantastic travel opportunities for all budgets perfect for singles, families, photography enthusiasts or people seeking to go overland in search of adventure and animals.
There are so many highlights in the continent, here are some of the top rated destinations you should add to your Africa travel itinerary:
- Kruger National Park, South Africa (get up close to the big five wild animals)
- Cape Town, South Africa (relaxed vibe and take a trip up Table Mountain)
- Victoria Fall, Zambia & Zimbabwe (stunning waterfall and adventure sports)
- Okavango Delta, Botswana (beautiful wetlands)
- Fes, Morocco (incredible North African city complex)
- Pyramids, Egypt (ancient mysterious structures)
- Cape Coast, Ghana (busy town on the West coast)
- Lake Turkana, Kenya (stunning lake in a beautiful country)
- Cape of Good Hope, South Africa (the Southern most point of Africa)
- Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, Madagascar (amazing wildlife)v
Gap Year in Africa
Africa is one of the most popular gap year destinations in the world, expect a huge continent full of unique countries which all offer a different experience. If you are looking for the best things to do on a gap year in Africa our directory will help you book the ultimate experience.
Africa is a unique continent which can seem quite daunting when looking at options, but with One World 365 you can search amazing trips and programs. Not much in life compares to being in the wild and getting to see elephants and exotic animals like lions in their natural habitat. Programs are open to students, graduates and people seeking an exciting new challenge.
This continent is the second largest continent in the world with 54 countries and the landscape and scenery is diverse, from the vast Serengeti, the wilderness of the Kalahari or the lush rain forests of the Congo and Uganda. Taking a gap year in Africa is a fun way for you to do something different and see a different area of the world.
Start planning the experience of your life by booking a gap year to Africa!
Best Africa Gap Year Trips & Programs
Maybe you are are finishing your studies or possible want to travel and explore this continent. Not only is a gap year the most fantastic thing you can decide to do, it's actually a well respected choice that shows prospective employers and universities that you have developed some pretty important life skills. Visiting a completely new continent and finding your own two feet is good for you too; most people find that they come home more confident, outgoing and interesting people.
Visiting Africa on your gap year will be one of the most amazing things you will ever do, we help thousands of people plan structured trips every year and by viewing our website you can arrange a placement today. This is your chance to help local people, communities, the environment and wildlife by donating your time and effort. Lots of people choose to do join a structured program in Africa because there are few better ways to ingratiate yourself into the cultures and customs of a country.
Whether on your gap year you spend time soaking up the sights, helping underprivileged communities or wildlife - you will come home with some skills you never thought you would acquire, and plenty of new friends who you mightn't have expected to acquire either!
There are lots of immersion opportunities whee you can help local communities in Africa. The gap year programs we promote provide you with a unique opportunity explore rural areas, learn about important global issues and help out on worthwhile initiatives.
Keen to get paid on your gap year in Africa? There are a limited number of jobs in Africa to foreigners but there are still options for example working in travel, as a tour guide or finding a seasonal position. One option is to take a TEFL certification course and teach in Africa. There are also lots of intern programs in Africa perfect if you would like to gain work experience and boost a future career.
"Everything was absolutely fantastic - I loved every minute of it! I’m very happy, the living conditions were really good, probably better than I expected but I hadn't really known what to expect. Again I didn't really know what to expect but for the most part everything has been perfect! Duncan our project leader is fantastic, really helpful and goes out of his way to make sure we are all ok. I was really impressed by the hospital too - its a big relief to know that it's a good one. I felt like we were in very safe hands. Everything was wonderful. It was tempting to stay there forever!" - Laura, UK volunteered with The Leap Overseas
Top Things to Know
- Booking a structured program take most of the hassle out of planning a trip
- If you are going to work, volunteer or teach be aware a lot of programs are in rural areas which might be a shock to the system
- Research all destinations before booking an experience to see if where you are going matches your interests
- The risk of catching an illness, disease and getting bitten by mosquitoes is one of your top concerns. Problems like malaria and dengue fever are a common problem in lots of African countries so take precautions
- Remember that a foreign country is designed for it's own people, not tourists and you will really enhanced your experience if you research the destination so you know what to expect so you shouldn't get any shocks on arrival
- Learning a few local phrases might really improve your trip
- The food in Africa can sometimes be an experience, try to be open to trying new things as some of the local treats are really tasty
- Try to learn a few local phrases and chat to locals, this is really fun
If you need any help or advice planning your gap year to Africa contact us.
Africa Travel Tips
Money & Budget
Africa offers some of the best value for money in terms of travel, you can get great deals on accommodation, sightseeing and activities. Keep local currency and USA dollars - it will be always come in handy. Remember to always try to exchange foreign currency before departing a country, it can be difficult to exchange afterwards.v
Getting to Africa can be your biggest cost, be sure to book in advance to get the best deals.
You can find accommodation for all budgets. Some countries offer better standards than others but this really depends on your destination.
Health & Safety
- Read vaccination requirements well in advance of departure, some countries will not allow you entry if you don't have the right jabs
- Take a first aid kit, you never know when it will come in handy
- If you are female and travelling solo it might be an idea to wear a wedding ring, this usually help keep away unwanted advances and attention from locals
- Take a sink plug, you might be surprised how useful this is! Like cleaning clothes to washing your face
- Always try to tell somewhere where you are going
- Pack some rehydration sachets, also always take tissues and toilet roll
- We don't recommend carrying all your money on you, or putting it in one place. Try to mix it up