Africa Travel, Tours, Backpacking & Gap Year

Africa is a diverse continent consisting of 54 countries and endless travel opportunities. 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.

 
 

Adventure Tours, Safaris, Backpacking Trips & Gap Year Programs in Africa

Africa Travel Guide

Africa travel guide

Find ideas for the best things to do if you would like to go travel, go backpacking or take a gap year in Africa. Expect friendly people, exotic wildlife and some of the most stunning locations in the world. 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

 

Destinations

 

How to Get to Africa

There are daily international flights to countries throughout the continent. Book in advance to secure the best deals.

 

Top Reasons to Visit Africa 

Africa travel guide

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. Also there are so many different adventures available.

 

Highlights

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)

 

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.

 

Africa Travel Tips 

 

General
Africa offers some of the best value for money in terms of travel, you can get great deals on accommodation, sightseeing and activities.

Flights
Getting to Africa can be your biggest cost, be sure to book in advance to get the best deals.

Accommodation
You can find accommodation for all budgets. Some countries offer better standards than others but this really depends on your destination.

Money
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. 

 

Health & Safety

  • Read vaccination requirements, 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

 

Africa Tours & Safaris

Africa tours

Africa is a huge continent, with over fifty countries of vastly differing ecology, history and cultures. The very thought of travelling in Africa can be exciting and daunting at the same time. Book a tour to Africa and discover the highlights of this continent for yourself.

There are those who will tell you that Africa gets under your skin, that there’s a bug here and once it bites you, you’ll never be the same. There are those who return time and time again. At the very least we’re confident you’ll go home from your tour with a totally different perspective.

African tours are ideal for the more adventurous traveller, for people looking to embark on a adventure tour or safari experience with a difference and one that doesn't cost a small fortune. There are lots of different tours available and it really depends on where you would like to visit and what your interests are to which company you book with. Prices depend on where you would like to go, what you want to do, which operator you travel with and how long you want to be away for. 

 

Best African Tour Operators

Are you wondering what are the best European tour companies to book with are? On One World 365 you can search and compare trips from top rated European tour operators including G Adventures, Oasis Overland and Topdeck Travel. Thousands of people travel with these companies every year and they offer highly rated guided tours with positive feedback and reviews.

 

Highlights

  • Going bungee jumping or experience the magical Victoria Falls up close in Zimbabwe or Zambia
  • Sightseeing and witnessing in person the spectacular Valley of the Kings in Egypt
  • Seeing wildlife in the vast Kruger National Park in South Africa
  • Climbing trip to see Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania
  • Joining a trekking trip to see the endangered mountain gorillas at the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda
  • Visiting the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania / Maasai Mara National Reserve in Tanzania and Kenya
  • Exploring the ancient capital of Egypt, Cairo seeing the world famous and mystical Pyramids
  • Riding the Garden Route in South Africa and stop off along the way
  • Exploring the ancient Roman ruins in Leptis Magna, Libya
  • Island hopping, there are so many stunning islands to visit which include Zanzibar, Sal, Djerba, Reunion and Lamu island

 

Africa Adventure Tours

There are road trips and adventures through the whole of Africa where you can travel from Egypt to South Africa or you could focus on a smaller area and visit a certain region like Kenya and Tanzania in Eastern Africa. This continent has one of the widest selection of tours on the planet and you have a lot of choice, from a normal sightseeing trip to something more specific like wildlife, nature or safaris. You will most likely be traveling in a purpose built van or bus in a group no larger than 20 people - there will be plenty of optional extras to like camping out, sightseeing and excursions.

 

Africa Budget Tours

On budget tours in Africa you might be involved with helping to cook, constructing tents, helping to clean and doing group tasks in teams. This is not the case with all tours though. If you are travelling on a budget or planning to take a gap year in Africa there are lots of cheap and basic tours you can join, even thought they are less value you will still have an amazing time. They will be the same itinerarys but usually include less valued accommodation like dorms and hostels instead of hotels or extras are not included like day tours. These types of tours are great if you are travelling abroad for the first time and you want to meet new friends and explore, don't let the cheap price put you off.

 

Africa Overland Tours

Most of our tours involve travelling overland and specifically cater for the 18-40 age group. These trips are a really popular option due to meeting other people, getting day-to-day activities, hotel check-ins, selected meals, accommodation and also transport/guides included in the price. Don't worry if you are slightly older, most tours accept all ages. Also a lot of operators also offer combo experiences for example you could travel and also join volunteering opportunities in Africa.

 

Wildlife Tours in Africa

We have a variety of wildlife and nature related trips from 1 week to 3 months+ where you will explore and camp out in rustic tented camps and also in more comfortable walk-in tented camps set in stunning Private Reserves. On our tours you could be learning a bout the intricate savannah ecosystems whilst camping in the African bush amidst the sounds of roaring lions, foraging elephants, abundant birdlife and the shrill of African insects, not to mention spectacular landscapes and stunning scenery. If tents / open camps not for you then try renting a lodge or embark on one of our classic safaris.

 

Photography Tours in Africa

We have specialist companies listed which run specialist photographic safaris where you will get pictures and memories to last a lifetime. Companies take care of the finer details of an African photography tour but as there are so many destinations you will need to decide where to go. Usually you will travel in the best-designed vehicle with the best possible equipment, giving you peace of mind to enjoy your tour to the fullest.

If you are interested in wildlife, landscape, culture or exploring Africa you will get the opportunity to learn about taking better photographs with knowledgeable tour leaders. While on tours there will be workshops and discussions round the campfire on various topics of photography, helping you gain a better insight into the places that you visit with us. This trips are usually more expensive than your average African tour.

 

Luxury & Family Tours in Africa

There are also more expensive tours and also family adventures where you will travel the African continent in style. Usually you will travel in the most advanced vehicles and stay in luxury hotels, game reserves and tented accommodation perfect for seeing animals in their natural habitat.

 

West Africa Tours

Discover the cultural region of Western Africa on an overland tour from Senegal to Ghana. These are epic tours last around 10 weeks and countries you can visit include Senegal, Benin, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Togo, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ghana. You will discover history, nature, culture, tradition and see all the highlights of the region. These tours take you off the tourist trail and there will be lots of excursions. You will get to see remote communities, get close to exotic wildlife, experience life in the African bush and see the stunning coastline. 

 

FAQ

  • Group Sizes: Typical group sizes are around 10-18 travellers with an average of 12 but this can vary between the tour and operator.
  • Transport: On most tours you will travel overland in a private small tour van. For day trips and excursions sometimes you will use public transport and sometimes use internal flights to allow you to see the highlights as quick as possible.
  • Accommodation: Usually travellers of the same sex will share a twin room, but there is also the option to pay a little extra and get a private room. Accommodation can vary depending on the tour and location. Some tours also include homestays which allow for a facsinating cultural exchange. 
  • Cost: You will need to pay for flights, insurance and some meals/drinks during the trip. Included is usually guides, park fees and excursions.
  • Booking Help: If you need any help arranging a tour in Africa please get in touch.

 

Africa Tour Reviews

If you have ever joined a tour in Africa and would like to write about your experience, review a company or share any recommendations please contact us. You can view tours of the best African tours on our directory above. 

 

Africa Gap Year Ideas

Africa Gap Year

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. Find amazing things to do on your gap year in Africa - search trips and programs by destination.

 

Africa Gap Year Travel

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 Programs

Africa gap year 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!

"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

"My desire to travel more has been strengthened through this experience also, beginning with another volunteer trip in the summer. That is the great thing about volunteering; it shows you how much more is out there and how you can really make a difference. You can go anywhere in the world, at any time, on a variety of different projects." - Marc, UK

 

Africa Gap Year Jobs & Volunteering

There are lots of immersion opportunities whee you can help local communities in Africa. The gap year programs we offer provide you with a unique opportunity explore rural areas, learn about important global issues and help out on worthwhile programs. Our Africa volunteer programs including sports projects, working with rhinos, helping elephants, teaching or just exploring new countries. You will have one of the best experience of your life!

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.

 

Africa Gap Year Tips & Advice

  • 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