Happy Africa Day 2022!

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Every May 25th, Africa and the world celebrates Africa Day. Learn more about this holiday commemorating the founding of the African Union.

Every May 25th, Africa and the world commemorates the 1963 founding of the Organization of African Unity, the precursor to the African Union (AU). Africa Day also celebrates African unity and allows us to reflect on the continent’s achievements and common challenges. The AU has themed this year’s celebration 2022: The Year of Nutrition, with a goal of increasing food and nutrition security across the continent.

YouTube’s Africa Day Concert is back for its 3rd year with host Idris Elba and some of Africa’s finest music artists, like Davido and Yemi Alade. The concert will stream live on Wednesday, May 25th starting at 1:00pm EST/6:00pm WAT/7:00pm CAT/8:00pm EAT.

Also in celebration of Africa Day, for the entire month of May Netflix is featuring a special collection of African stories from across the continent called “From Cape to Cairo“. This collection includes titles like “Our Music, Our Culture, Our History,” “Award-Winners & Critics’ Favourites,” “African Women Behind the Camera,” “Love Across the Continent,” “Stories From The African Diaspora,” and more. Apple has several podcast replays which highlight the holiday, including Why Is Africa Day Important? and Celebrating Africa Day. And organizations around the globe will hold symposiums and other gatherings on May 25th. To find more Africa Day information and events, search the hashtags #AfricaDay, #AfricaDay2022, and #AfricanUnion on Twitter and Instagram.

Africa Day is May 25th

Lastly, the Travel Africa Movement is celebrating Africa Day with 15% off all merchandise in our online store. This discount is valid thru May 31st with code AFRICADAY. Visit our store today and show Africa some love!

Top 12 Dos and Don’ts When Visiting Africa

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We break down everything you need to know for a great trip. Here is our list of the top 12 Do’s and Don’ts when visiting Africa.

1. DO Verify Whether You Need a Visa and Vaccinations

A visa is an endorsement placed within your passport that grants you official permission to enter, leave, or stay in a country for a specified time period. US citizens can visit 14 African countries visa free, but most require a visa and they’ll cost you anywhere from $20.00 to $275.00. It varies by country, but visas can be obtained in advance, either online or from an embassy or consulate your home country, or upon arrival at the airport or at a land border crossing. Similarly, some countries, primarily in West and Central Africa, require all visitors to be vaccinated for the yellow fever vaccine and to present a “Yellow Card” as proof. The lack of a visa and/or evidence of vaccination can result in you being denied entry, so you should always verify the visa and vaccination requirements of the country you’re visiting. The CDC Traveler’s Health site is the best source of information about required and recommended vaccines and medications.

2. DO Respect the Local Culture and Customs

You will be immersing yourself in a culture likely different from your own and it is important to observe the local customs and traditions. You should study some of the local traditions and taboos before travel. Greetings are important in African culture and it is considered rude and disrespectful not to greet when meeting someone or engaging in any transaction. Likewise, respect is very important, particularly for elders and chiefs who hold positions of honor and status. Elders and dignitaries should always be greeted first and in some instances, you may be expected to genuflect before them. Finally, African societies tend to be more traditional and conservative than Western ones (though it can vary by country and region based on religion and culture). Most local men wear pants and shirts or traditional wear. Most local women wear dresses or skirts that fall below the knee and tops that don’t expose shoulders or cleavage. Tight and revealing clothes will stand out and may be frowned upon. Out of respect, you may want to leave the low-cut tops, midriffs, spaghetti straps, short shorts, and miniskirts at home.

3. DO Carry Tissues and/or Wipes

On occasion, you might find that some public restrooms lack toilet paper or there is a nominal fee for a small ration of paper. You should always carry tissue or wipes in case the restroom doesn’t have them. Hand sanitizer is also useful.

4. DO Get Over Your Fear of Bugs and Critters

Many of these countries have tropical and subtropical climates where bugs and critters thrive (especially flies, mosquitos, lizards, and roaches). There’s a chance that you may see a critter in your lodging or at a restaurant and it doesn’t necessarily mean the place is unclean. Most facilities have bug spray available, so ask if needed.

5. DO Visit Both the City and the Village

Contrary to some media portrayals, Africa is about more than poverty and safaris. African cities have gleaming skyscrapers, modern malls, museums, and fancy hotels and restaurants. They’re vibrant and fast-paced with many people selling goods and going about their daily business. The streets stay busy day and night, and the sounds, activity, bright clothes, and strong food aromas will thrill and entice you. By contrast, the rural villages are typically quieter and slower-paced, and the people live in more modest housing. But it is here where traditional customs, dance, and religions shine and you’ll have the best opportunity to immerse in the culture and interact with various ethnic groups. Be sure to spend time in both the city and the village to see the diversity and experience the contrasting lifestyles and cultures.

6. DO Be Open and Willing to Learn a New Way of Life

Africa’s countries are developing and you should not expect everything to operate like at home. Infrastructure for transportation, electricity, water, phone service, or internet might not be up to your country’s standards. Sanitation and waste disposal may be poor. Food may be prepared unlike you’re accustomed and people may eat with their hands. You will likely need to avoid tap water and drink bottled water instead. You may have to pay a small fee to use public restrooms. You may find that there are no set prices and you have to haggle and negotiate for the best deals. You may see street vendors dashing thru traffic and selling everything from snacks to phone chargers and pillows. Addresses aren’t common, so you may encounter difficulty finding a building and need to use nearby landmarks. Weather, power outages, loss of hot water, traffic jams, or other conditions may cause inconveniences or unanticipated delays. Don’t be rude or disrespectful if you encounter any of these circumstances, as they are a part of everyday life on the continent. Embrace the experience and learn from your new environment.

7. DON’T Wear Camouflage Clothing

It is illegal for civilians to wear camouflage clothing in at least 12 African countries, including Benin, Cameroon, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. If you decide to wear it, make sure to verify it’s legal in the country you’re visiting. When in doubt, leave it at home.

8. DON’T Photograph Children or Adults Without Their Consent

Not only is it rude to snap a person’s photo and share it on social media without their permission, it may also be culturally inconsiderate or even illegal in some countries. In Senegal, it is against the law to photograph children without their parents’ permission. In Ethiopia, consent is required to publish a photo of a person in a public place. Culturally, some consider photos taboo because it is believed that capturing a person’s image is stealing their soul. Similarly, some strict Muslims believe that photography is forbidden by Islam and would take great offense to being photographed. Even still, certain tribal customs require you to ask first and provide money or a small gift for taking photos. For all these reasons, it is best to ask first and respect the answer given.

9. DON’T Photograph Police Officers, Military Installations, Airports or Government Buildings

Most countries prohibit civilians from photographing police officers, military installations, or airports. Some even prohibit photographs of government buildings. If you’re caught, a uniformed officer may demand that you erase your photos or surrender your memory card. In the worst-case scenario, you may be fined or arrested. When in doubt, ask first or forgo the photo.

10. DON’T Use Your Left Hand

Because the left hand is used for personal hygiene and bathroom functions, it is considered rude and dirty to use your left hand in interactions with others. To be respectful, you should always shake hands, handle money, pick up or pass items, and eat food with your right hand.

11. DON’T Expect Everyone to Speak English

Africa is a huge and incredibly diverse continent. But while it has 54 countries, there are only 25 in which English is spoken as a primary, secondary or official language. And only about 240 million of its 1.2 billion people speak English. Thus, while you will find some English speakers in the major cities of non-Anglophone countries, most will not speak English especially in rural areas. The majority of Africa’s population speak one or more of 2,000 traditional and other languages, with Swahili being the most widely spoken language. To better interact and communicate, you may want to learn a few words of the primary language in your host country.

12. DON’T Stress About Time

Africans generally lead a more relaxed and less rigorously scheduled lifestyle than Westerners. You may find that service is slower than you’re used to and events may start later than scheduled. Stores may open later or close earlier than listed hours of operation. This laxity about time is jokingly called “African Time” and you will almost surely experience it during your time in Africa. Know that everything runs at a slower pace, so just chill and enjoy your time out of the rat race.

the rock restaurant in the middle of the ocean zanzibar

7 Unique Restaurants in Africa That You Must Visit

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If food experiences matter to you, here are 7 unique restaurants in Africa that you must visit.

Dining out is about more than just staving off hunger. It’s also a way to enjoy culture, nourish our souls and our bellies, share intimate moments with family and friends, and create lasting memories. If food experiences matter to you, Africa boasts some of the most scenic and out-of-the-ordinary restaurants in the world. Here are 7 unique restaurants in Africa that you must visit.

The Rock ~ Zanzibar Tanzania

The Rock is one of Africa’s most famous restaurants, situated on a rock in the middle of the Indian Ocean. It offers stunning panoramic ocean views, a variety of seafood dishes, and a unique experience that can’t be missed. When the tide is low you can walk to the restaurant by foot, but during high tide the restaurant shuttles guests back and forth by boat. The Rock is open daily for lunch, dinner and drinks and reservations are highly recommended as seating is limited.

Akemi ~ Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Akemi is one of Tanzania’s premier fine dining establishments and its only revolving restaurant. It’s located on the 21st floor in one of Dar es Salaam’s tallest buildings and offers breathtaking 360° city and ocean views. Akemi is open daily for lunch, dinner and cocktails and has a grand buffet with a live band on Sundays. The cuisine features Continental, African and Asian dishes.

Cargo Hold Restaurant ~ Durban, South Africa

Have you ever wanted to dine with sharks? If so, visit the Cargo Hold for the ultimate aquatic culinary experience. Built in a replica phantom ship, this restaurant offers seating next to a wall-sized shark aquarium (book those tables well in advance) or by windows that overlook the ocean. The cuisine is high-end international and South African fare. It’s open Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner and on Sunday for lunch only.

Carnivore ~ Nairobi, Kenya

Carnivore is a meat lover’s dream and a must-do for first-time visitors to Kenya. As soon as you enter, you’ll know you’re in for a treat as you’re greeted by a huge charcoal pit and the wafting aroma of meats roasting on traditional Maasai swords. This all-you-can-eat meat buffet features a menu that changes daily, with a wide variety of classic meats from lamb, chicken, and sirloin to exotic meats like crocodile, ostrich balls, and zebra. The meat feast is accompanied by a selection of salads, vegetable side dishes, and sauces. If you indulge, be sure to try the house cocktail, the Dawa (means medicine in Swahili), which is delivered on a hand tray by Dr. Dawa, the resident “medicine man”. Carnivore is open daily for lunch and dinner.

La Tante DC10 Restaurant ~ Accra, Ghana

La Tante DC10 is a restaurant located inside a converted DC-10 airplane near Accra’s international airport. Guests enter and exit the plane via a covered staircase and are greeted in the former first class seating area, which has been converted into a waiting area. The restaurant seats more than 100 people and is air-conditioned throughout. The cuisine is local Ghanaian fare.

Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant ~ Diani Beach, Kenya

Ali Barbour’s offers fine dining in a coral cave 33 feet underground. Don’t fret if you’re claustrophobic because the “roof” is open for star gazing. This magical restaurant is open 7 days a week for dinner only and reservations are required. The menu is international, but their specialty is seafood.

9 Pyramids Lounge ~ Cairo, Egypt

Africa’s latest unique restaurant is 9 Pyramids Lounge, opened in October 2020 on the southern side of the Giza Plateau. Visitors can enjoy breakfast, lunch or drinks at their choice of table seating or Bedouin-style seating on floor pillows, all while enjoying expansive views of the Giza Pyramid complex. Reservations are highly recommended because they are usually booked months in advance.

20 of Africa's Best Views: Farafra Desert, Egypt

20 of Africa’s Best Natural Views

Posted By : Travel Africa Movement/ 437

Need some travel inspiration? Well look no further. Here are 20 of the best natural views in Africa.

Need some travel inspiration? Africa will wow you like no other with its million dollar views. Here are 20 of the best natural views in Africa.

Oceans, Lakes and Waterfalls

1. Lake Malawi

Lake Malawi is the third largest and second deepest lake in Africa. It’s located between Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania.

20 of Africa's Best Natural Views
Photo credit: Olisa Gravney

2. Lake Retba

Lake Retba (aka Lac Rose or Pink Lake) is named for its pink waters caused by Dunaliella salina algae and is known for its high salt content, up to 40% in some areas. It’s located in Senegal.

Photo credit: @thetravelsista

3. Mosi Oa Tunya Falls

Mosi Oa Tunya Falls (aka Victoria Falls) is a waterfall on the Zambezi River, located on the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia. It is one of the 7 Natural Wonders in the World and is considered the world’s largest waterfall.

Photo credit: Paul Balfe, Flickr

4. Murchison Falls

Murchison Falls (aka Kabalega Falls) is a waterfall on the lower Victoria Nile River in Uganda.

Photo credit: @placestogetlost.de

5. Cascades d’Ouzoud

Cascades d’Ouzoud (aka Ouzoud Waterfalls) is the name for a collection of waterfalls in the High Atlas Mountains. The falls tumble 361 feet (110 meters) through a red rock gorge of the El Abid River. They are Morocco‘s highest and Africa’s second highest waterfalls.

Photo credit: Freed eXplore, Flickr

6. Chutes de Kambadaga

The Chutes de Kambadaga (aka Kambadaga Falls) are made up of three successive waterfalls on the Kokulo River, in the Fouta-Djalon highland region of Guinea.

Photo credit: @ibrohimhotep

7. Indian Ocean

The Indian Ocean is the world’s third largest major ocean, touching the continents of Asia, Australia, and Africa and offering spectacular views of turquoise waters for miles on end. It runs along Africa’s southern and eastern coastline, in South Africa, Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia, and surrounds the island nations of Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius, and Seychelles.

Deserts, Canyons and Caves

8. Blyde River Canyon

Blyde River Canyon is the largest green canyon and third largest canyon in the world. It is part of the Panoramic Route, a scenic road connecting several natural points of interest, and is located in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa.

Photo credit: @thetravelsista

9. Fish River Canyon

Fish River Canyon is the world’s second largest canyon. It consists of an upper and lower canyon formed by erosion of the Fish River and is located in southern Namibia.

Photo credit: @thetravelsista

10. Namib Desert

The Namib Desert is the world’s oldest desert, spanning primarily across Namibia, as well as parts of Angola and South Africa. Its massive red sand dunes are some of the largest on earth.

Photo credit: Monica Guy, Flickr

11. Sudwala Caves

The Sudwala Caves are the oldest known caves in the world, believed to be more than 240 million years old. They are located in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa.

Photo credit: @tamcursmith

Depressions and Geological Formations

12. Farafra Depression

The Farafra Depression is located in the White Desert National Park in Egypt. The park is the site of cliffs, sand dunes, oases, and large white chalk rock formations, created through erosion by wind and sand.

Photo credit: @pierreschuester

13. Danakil Depression

The Danakil Depression, known as the hottest place on earth, is a geological depression caused by the continent drift of three tectonic plates. Its alien-like environment is home to salt lakes, lava lakes, volcanoes and colorful acid springs. It’s located in northern Ethiopia.

Photo credit: Achilli Family, Flickr

14. Seven Colored Earths

The Seven Colored Earths are a small area of striped sand dunes comprised of seven distinct colors (red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow). It is located in Chamarel in southwestern Mauritius.

Photo credit: Shankar S., Flickr

Jungles and Forests

15. Congo Rainforest

The Congo Rainforest is the world’s second largest tropical forest, known for its high levels of biodiversity which includes more than 600 tree species and 10,000 animal species. It spans six countries: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

Kahuzi-Biege National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Photo credit: USDA Forest Service

16. Upper Guinea Forest

The Upper Guinea Forest is a tropical forest region of West Africa, extending from Guinea and Sierra Leone through Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo and Benin.

Tai National Park, Ivory Coast
Photo credit: @fantasticafrica

17. Avenue of the Baobabs

The Avenue of Baobabs is a group of baobab trees lining the dirt road linking Morondava and Belo Tsiribihina in western Madagascar. The trees are more than 800 years old, reaching heights of up to 100 feet (30 m) with trunks as big as 10 feet (3 m) in diameter. They are a legacy of the dense tropical forests that once thrived on the island.

Photo credit: Rod Waddington, Flickr

Mountains and Volcanos

18. Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano in Tanzania. It is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest single free-standing mountain in the world.

Photo credit: Erik Cleves Kristensen, Flickr

19. Mount Nyiragongo

Mount Nyiragongo is stratovolcano in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, located near Lake Kivu at the eastern border of Rwanda. Its summit caldera contains the world’s largest and most active lava lake.

Photo credit: Nina R, Flickr

20. Table Mountain

Table Mountain is a flat topped mountain overlooking the city of Cape Town, South Africa. It is the country’s most iconic and photographed landmark.

Photo credit: @tamcursmith

Happy Africa Day 2021

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Africa Day is celebrated annually on May 25, both across the African continent and around the globe. Learn more about this historical holiday.

Africa Day is celebrated annually on May 25 to commemorate the founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) (now the African Union) and Africa’s independence, freedom and liberation from colonial rule. It was inspired by Ghana becoming the first Sub-Saharan African country to gain its independence on March 6, 1957, under the leadership of Kwame Nkrumah. This year’s theme is Arts, Culture And Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want.

For the second year in a row, MTV Base Africa and YouTube are sponsoring the Africa Day Concert, hosted by actor Idris Elba. This year’s virtual concert is a Pan African event featuring trailblazing African stars from across the continent, from Lagos Nigeria to Johannesburg South Africa. If you didn’t catch the show live, be sure to watch the replay here:

Finally, if you need more inspiration to celebrate the life, culture and rich history of the 2nd largest continent, here are 12 Ways to Celebrate Africa Day. Let this day be a reminder of our common destiny and vision for Africa.

Happy Earth Day!

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Earth Day 2021 is a call to action to citizens worldwide to be part of the solution in attaining a resilient planet. Learn more about how you can help.

Earth Day is celebrated annually on April 22nd. The theme for Earth Day 2021 is “Restore Our Earth” and is a call to action to citizens worldwide to be part of the solution in attaining a resilient planet. To commemorate the day, EARTHDAY.ORG will have its second Earth Day Live digital event, starting at 12 PM EST. Link here: https://youtu.be/kICYfJ0qdrE

Workshops, panel discussions, and special performances will focus on the 2021 Theme and will cover natural processes, emerging green technologies, and innovative thinking that can restore the world’s ecosystems. Visit their website for more information.

In Africa, air pollution, improper waste management, deforestation, industrialization and urbanization, and illegal wildlife trafficking has lead to environmental degradation and climatic extreme events from floods, heatwaves, droughts, species endangerment, and deterioration of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. These crisis are threatening the availability of food, water and livelihoods of the people, species and ecosystems across the continent.  People from all over Africa are being challenged to unite and establish Earth Day programs and campaigns that best suit the needs of their communities. 

Likewise, we encourage you to join the Earth Day movement by doing some simple green acts, like turning off and unplugging items not in use, using eco-friendly house cleaners, or using re-usable water bottles.

Follow and tag us on IG at #travelafricamovement to let us know how you will help #RestoreTheEarth for #EarthDay2021.

Calling all Black Women! Are You Ready For Exodus Summit 2020?

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The Travel Africa Movement is proud to participate in the Exodus Summit 2020 for Black women travelers. If you haven’t grabbed your free ticket yet, there’s still time. Click here for more info…

The Travel Africa Movement (TAM) is a proud participant in Exodus Summit 2020, the travel summit For Black Women, By Black Women. The Summit kicks off in 2 days, with info about everything from Wellness While Traveling to Apartment Hunting Abroad to House Sitting For Free Accommodation and more! 

TAM‘s founder will be speaking on the Africa Regional Travel panel and sharing tips for traveling and living on the continent. Tune in on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. for the best inside information about travel and life in Africa.

It’s not too late to join the fun! And don’t forget to invite your friends and family! Click here to get your FREE ticket! >>> https://tix.exodussummit.com/TMichelle

Get ready for 7 days of action-packed presentations and inspiration ~ September 21 – 27, 2020!!

Africa Border Re-openings

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As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, most African countries closed their borders to international travel. Here’s an updated list of border reopenings.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, 36 African countries closed their borders to international travel. Another 8 countries suspended flights from countries with high Covid-19 transmission. Now these countries are slowly re-opening their borders and allowing international flights to resume in a bid to rejuvenate their economies.

Be mindful that many countries still have mandatory mask and social distance requirements, as well as prohibitions on mass gatherings and/or public transportation which may limit some tourism options. Also, be sure to check with country embassies for detailed information regarding entry, testing and quarantine requirements, as information is subject to quickly change.

* Current as of November 11, 2020. Below is a list of current and future planned border re-openings. Check back often as we will update the list as information becomes available.

Current Border Openings

Seychelles – June 1: air borders open for tourists from select countries, charter flights only, commercial flights commencing Aug. 1, negative Covid test from 48 hours or less from time of arrival

Tanzania – June 1: normal border rules apply, no mandatory 14-day isolation or quarantine period

Equatorial Guinea – June 15: phased reopening of air borders, land and sea borders remain closed until further notice, negative Covid test from 48 hours or less from time of arrival, social distancing rules in place

Zambia – June 25: negative Covid PCR test within 14 days of departure required, retesting on arrival if passenger has symptoms or temperature above 38C/100F, mandatory masks and social distancing required

Tunisia – June 27: air, land and sea borders open to select travelers based on country risk assessment, mandatory masks, hygiene and social distancing policies in place.

Egypt – July 1: foreign tourists may only visit the South Sinai, Red Sea, and Matrouh provinces and select resorts. Proof of valid health insurance is required.

Gabon – July 1: air borders open, land and sea borders closed, limited international flights allowed, mandatory face masks and social distancing policies in place, curfew from 8 pm – 5 am.

Liberia – July 1: air borders open, negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival, temperature scan, health check, and retesting may occur upon arrival, mandatory 14-day quarantine for anyone positive on arrival

Morocco – July 14: air borders open for Moroccan national and legal residents only, both a PCR virus test taken within 48 hours or less from time of arrival AND an antibody test are required, mandatory face masks and social distancing policies will remain in place

Senegal – July 15: air borders open, land and sea borders will remain closed until further notice, reciprocal ban on tourists from EU and other countries who have banned Senegalese travelers, negative Covid PCR test within last 7 days required or test on arrival, health declaration form must be completed on arrival, mandatory masks and social distancing rules in place.

Sierra Leone – July 22: air borders open, tourists must have negative Covid PCR test from 72 hours or less from time of departure and be tested again on arrival, must prepay for Covid testing online before arrival, mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine will be required – at traveler’s expense – if traveler tests positive on arrival, mandatory masks and social distancing rules in place, curfew 11 pm to 5 am, departing passengers also must have negative Covid test from 72 hours or less from time of departure or travel will not be allowed

Chad – August 1: air borders open for international flights, must have negative Covid PCR test dated 72 hours or less from arrival, passports confiscated upon arrival and 7 day self quarantine at passenger expense, retest required on 7th day and passports returned after final negative test result

Ethiopia – August 1: air borders open, land borders closed. Negative PCR test within 5 days of arrival and upon arrival, must self-quarantine for 14 days. Passengers arriving without a negative PCR test must quarantine at government designated hotels for 7 days at their own expense and be retested at end of quarantine period

Kenya – August 1: air borders open for international tourists, negative Covid test from 72 hours or less from time of arrival, temperature check, and health questionnaire, 11:00 pm to 4:00 am curfew.

Rwanda – August 1: air borders open, tourists must have negative Covid test from 72 hours or less from time of arrival and be tested again before visiting any tourist attraction or embarking on any tour/trek, negative test results must be emailed to [email protected] before departure and a copy provided on arrival

Togo – August 1: air borders open, land borders closed, negative PCR test within 72 hours of scheduled departure,  additional test upon arrival and travelers must quarantine in their hotel until negative results return, online immigration form required, must also download a contact tracing app.

Benin – August 10: air borders open for limited commercial flights, essential travel only at land borders, passports confiscated upon arrival, three Covid tests required at cost of 100,000 CFA, 3 day hotel quarantine at passenger expense, passports returned after day 15 upon final negative test result.

Democratic Republic of the Congo – August 15: air borders open, negative PCR test within 72 hours of scheduled departure, temperature screening at airport, possibility of retesting and quarantine, face masks and social distancing required

Mozambique – August 20: air borders open, both a PCR test taken within 72 hours departure AND a second PCR test after 10-day mandatory quarantine are required, 2nd test can be avoided with a 14-day quarantine, NO Airport or border are being issued, so only those with valid existing visas or residence permits will be permitted to enter, mandatory face masks and social distancing policies will remain in place

Namibia – September 1: tourists from carefully selected low-risk markets, negative Covid-19 PCR test taken 72 hours or less before arrival, quarantine for 7 days at own expense and retesting on 7th day required.

Ghana – September 1: air borders open, negative PCR test within 72 hours of scheduled departure AND mandatory retest upon arrival at cost of $150 USD, temperature screening at airport, face masks and social distancing required

Nigeria – September 5: air borders open, negative Covid PCR test required within 96 hours of scheduled departure (from certain countries tests only accepted from specified laboratories), mandatory quarantine for 7 days and retesting required on 7th day after arrival at passenger’s expense, online health questionnaire and test payment must be completed with copy on arrival, temperature screens, masks, social distancing and other safety protocols in place.

Cote d’Ivoire – September 24: air borders open, land borders closed, negative PCR test within 7 days of arrival and within 7 days of departure for passenger from certain countries, mandatory online health declaration form and fee with printed copy on arrival: https://deplacement-aerien.gouv.ci/#procedure, temperature/symptom screening upon arrival, masks, social distancing and other safety protocols in place.

South Africa – October 1: air borders open for tourists from low risk countries only, negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival, mandatory travel insurance required, temperature/symptom screening upon arrival, travelers from high risk countries are banned for tourist travel: https://www.gov.za/speeches/minister-aaron-motsoaledi-re-opening-borders-and-ports-entry-international-travellers, if a traveler has spent 10 days or more in a low risk country before departure, he/she is deemed to be arriving from a low risk country

Uganda – October 1: air borders open for all tourists, negative PCR test within 72 hours of scheduled departure and 120 hours prior to departure from Uganda, temperature/symptom screening and fingerprinting upon arrival, mandatory masks and social distancing required, nationwide curfew from 9:00 pm to 6:00 am daily.

Zimbabwe – October 1: air borders open to tourists, negative PCR test within 48 hours of scheduled departure, temperature/symptom screening upon arrival

Cape Verde – October 12: air borders open to tourists, negative PCR test within 72 hours of scheduled departure, online health surveillance form and online Airport Security Tax form must be completed prior to travel, temperature/symptom screening upon arrival

Gambia – Air borders are open for international tourists on October 31. Land and sea borders are open effective October 16, 2020, negative PCR test within 72 hours of arrival, temperature/symptom screening upon arrival, mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers with rapid tests or those whose tests don’t fall within the required timeframe

Botswana – November 9: phased reopening thru December 1, 2020. International airports in Gabarone and Maun open on Nov. 9 and at Francistown on Dec. 1, certain land borders open on Dec. 1, negative PCR test within 72 hours of scheduled departure, temperature/symptom screening upon arrival, must self monitor and maintain contact with local health authority for 14 days

Future Border Openings

Meet Woni Spotts: The First Black Woman to Travel to Every Country in the World

Posted By : Travel Africa Movement/ 13889 0

You’ve probably never heard of Woni Spotts. She hasn’t posted any photos on Instagram. She’s not engaged in the many Facebook travel groups. And she only recently became active on Twitter. But she’s accomplished two historic feats: she was recently recognized as the first black woman to travel to every country and continent in the world and she did so quietly without much social media exposure, crowdfunding or corporate sponsorship. We caught up with the 55-year old eCommerce professional and entrepreneur to congratulate her on her accomplishment and learn more about her travels, especially her travels in Africa. Here’s what she had to say:

TAM: Tell us about yourself.

Woni:  I was born in Los Angeles, California. I traveled with my parents as a child. Most of my travel was with the friends of my father doing a documentary. From 2014-2018, I traveled alone with a local guide. I work in eCommerce.

TAM: When did you decide to tackle the goal of being the first black woman to travel to every country?

Woni:  My early travel was with my parents. Later I hosted a documentary that allowed me to travel to many countries.  I learned recently that someone was claiming they were going to be the first black woman to visit every country. I knew I was close to visiting every country. Once I finished, I let it be known that I visited 195 countries, 7 continents, and 22 territories.

TAM:  How long did it take you to complete that goal?

Woni:  From 1979 to September 2018

TAM:  How does it feel to hold that title?

Woni:  It’s a shock to the system. The other people that traveled to every country received minimal coverage so I had no idea there would be interest. 

TAM:  What was the first and last country you visited?

Woni:  I traveled as a child but I began recording my travels in 1979. The 195 recorded countries began in Central America and the last country was Turkey. As a result of my travels as a child, I have visited many countries twice.

TAM:  In this era of social media where people post everything they do online, you accomplished this amazing goal without much social media fanfare. Was this intentional and if so, why?

Woni:  I began my travel before the internet was widely available. As for my travels in the 2000s, I never thought anyone was interested in my personal travel.

TAM:  Did you film your travels and do you plan to do more media engagement and publicity in the future?

Woni:  Photography and film were used. I don’t have any solid plans for the future. I have written about the global African presence around the world and their ancient roots in every major civilization. I have also written about my personal travels. I’d like to continue writing.

TAM:  Tell us about your travel in Africa. When did you first travel to Africa and which country did you visit first?

Woni:  My first documented travel took place in the early ’80s. South Africa was the first.

TAM:  What was your first impression and how did you enjoy it?

Woni:  The people that I met were very hospitable and happy that we were there. I could genuinely feel they were touched that we placed a value on visiting them.

TAM:  How long did it take you to visit all 54 African countries?

Woni:  1980 – 2014. I began around 1980 and visited Tanzania, Egypt, and Morocco in 2014.

TAM:  Was most of your travel in Africa overland or by air? Which method of travel do you prefer and why?

Woni:  I prefer air when possible. I think a cruise could be nice. In order to see wildlife, bumpy roads are always involved at some point.  It’s a dilemma, some interesting things are missed while flying while some interesting things can’t be seen while driving.

TAM:  Which African country was your favorite and why?

Woni:  I have enjoyed many African countries and have always been embraced. I don’t like to compare countries but I love desert landscapes along the West African coast and the elephant family that visited me daily during my stay in Tanzania.

TAM:  What was your favorite attraction or experience in Africa?

Woni:  Seeing animals in their natural habitats, flying over desert landscapes, tribal people living traditionally, and waterfalls.

TAM:  Did you have any especially interesting or dangerous experiences in Africa?

Woni:  [On safari in Tanzania] a Maasai had to escort me to the dining room because lions were known to be on the property.

TAM:  What tips would you offer to travelers visiting Africa for the first time?

Woni: It depends on which region and their interests. I think it’s important to visit the ultimate motherland.  I always visit the main cities, museums, and nature. There are so many experiences in nearly every African country, especially today. Visit for the desert landscapes sculpted by the wind, beautiful beaches, bird abundant lakes, legendary rivers, massive waterfalls, sacred mountains, gorilla viewing, incredible animal migrations, heart-stopping safaris, vibrant drumming ceremonies, the colorful Gerewol festival, and so much more. Many beautiful destinations in Africa are widely unknown but each country has its own treasures.

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Do You Really Need Vaccines to Travel to Africa?

Posted By : Travel Africa Movement/ 24595 0

The short answer is Yes. Travel vaccinations and medicines are necessary for some African countries. The long answer is much more complicated.

Vaccinations help you develop immunity (protection) against diseases before you come into contact with them. Across Africa, and particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, there is a higher incidence of infectious and communicable diseases due to the tropical and sub-tropical climates and poverty. The prevalence of disease varies greatly by country, and consequently, the rules regarding vaccination also vary by country and where you visit within those countries. Some African countries require ALL visitors to have certain vaccines like yellow fever, while others only require vaccines for those traveling or transiting from high risk countries. Still others have only recommended vaccines and medications.

The CDC website is the best source of information regarding specific diseases and recommended and required vaccines and medications for each country. But here’s a synopsis of some of the more common diseases, rules and tips you need to stay safe:

 

COMMON DISEASES

Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Yellow fever is a viral disease spread through mosquito bites. Yellow fever is prevented by the yellow fever vaccine. There are 30 African countries with a risk of yellow fever transmission: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bisseau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Togo, and Uganda. In eight of these countries, the risk is only within certain areas of the country: Chad, Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Sudan. An additional six countries have a low potential for exposure to yellow fever, thus the vaccine is recommended for only a small sub-set of travelers: Eritrea, Rwanda, São Tome, Somalia, Tanzania and Zambia. (Source: CDC Yellowbook)

Yellow fever vaccine is REQUIRED for ALL visitors in 14 African countries: Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Cộte D’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea-Bisseau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Sierra Leone, and Togo. Most of the other countries only require the yellow fever vaccine if you are traveling or transiting from a country with a risk of yellow fever (The US has no risk of yellow fever). Be sure to verify the requirements before travel, as they are subject to change.

You must get the yellow fever vaccine at least 10 days before travel to allow time for the vaccine to take effect. Upon vaccination, you should be given a stamped and signed “International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis” (aka Yellow Card). The Yellow Card becomes valid 10 days after vaccination and must be presented on arrival as proof of vaccination. The yellow fever vaccine provides lifetime immunity.

**There is limited availability of the yellow vaccine in the US so allow enough time to find an alternate source if there is a shortage in your area.**

Malaria is a parasitic disease transmitted by the Anopheles mosquito, which primarily bites at dawn, dusk and at night. Malaria is common in Sub-Saharan Africa, with the highest prevalence in Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Côte d’Ivoire, Mozambique, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Guinea and Togo. Antimalarial medications prevent and treat malaria. Antimalarial medications must typically be taken several days to a week before travel and 1 to 4 weeks after travel. Malaria parasites have become resistant to several antimalarial drugs, so it is important to obtain the proper drug for the area(s) you will be visiting.

Zika is caused by a virus transmitted primarily by Aedes mosquitoes, which bite during the day. It can also be spread from mother to fetus during pregnancy and from partner to partner through sexual activity. Zika is found in 30 African countries: Angola, Benin, Burkina-Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, and Uganda. Because there is no vaccine or medicine for Zika, travelers should take steps to prevent getting Zika during travel. Pregnant women should avoid travel to affected countries due to the risk of severe birth defects.

Food, Water and Air-Borne Diseases

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver disease caused by contaminated food and water. Hepatitis A can be prevented by the Hepatitis A vaccine and by avoiding undercooked food, unclean raw vegetables, and unclean water.

Typhoid Fever is a bacterial disease spread by contaminated food and water and close contact. Typhoid fever is prevented by vaccine, either injection or oral pill, as well as by avoiding undercooked food, unclean raw vegetables, and unclean water.

Cholera is a bacterial infection characterized by profuse diarrhea, vomiting and leg cramps. Cholera is caused by contaminated food and water and can spread quickly in areas with inadequate treatment of sewage and drinking water. Cholera can be prevented by vaccination and by avoiding undercooked food and unclean water. No cholera vaccine is 100% effective so simultaneous preventative techniques are suggested.

Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial infection spread from person to person through the air. TB mostly affects the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body. TB is treated with a standard 6-month course of 4 antimicrobial drugs. The Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine can prevent TB, but it is not widely used in the United States due to variable effectiveness. TB is most prevalent in Nigeria and South Africa.

Childhood Diseases

Today, most children are immunized against these infectious diseases: Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Polio, and Tetanus.  Adult booster vaccines should be updated every 10 years and are typically recommended for travel to most African countries.

 

SAFETY TIPS  

You should visit your personal physician or a travel clinic at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip, for consultation and advice regarding necessary vaccines and medications for your specific destination(s). If you weren’t immunized as a child or if you haven’t been re-immunized as an adult, you may consider getting adult booster vaccines. Your personal physician can usually administer these vaccines and they are typically covered by US health insurance.

Travel vaccines, on the other hand, are often not covered by US health insurance and can be pricey (i.e., $250+ for yellow fever vaccine, $100+ for typhoid vaccine). But they are typically free or low-cost (i.e., $20) in other countries like Mexico, Panama, Cuba, Brazil, or elsewhere. If you have scheduled travel to another country, it may be worthwhile to obtain necessary travel vaccines there instead of the US.

Prevention of mosquito bites is the best way to avoid Malaria, Yellow Fever and Zika. You should take extra precaution at dusk and dawn when mosquitos are most active. These prevention tips are helpful:

  • Use an EPA-registered insect repellent, which includes repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Apply repellent to the neck, arms, legs and ankles for the best protection.
  • Wear long sleeves, pants and closed toe shoes at dusk or after dark. Also wear light colored clothes, as dark colors tend to attract mosquitos.
  • Spray clothes with permethrin (one treatment lasts 6 weeks or 6 washings).
  • Sleep with a mosquito net (make sure that the net doesn’t have holes and it completely covers the bed).
  • Use air conditioning or a fan in your room (mosquitos are less active in cooler temps and fans can keep them out of the air).
  • Spray your room with insecticide before bed (leave the room for at least 30 minutes after spraying).

Food safety practices can help prevent food and water-borne illnesses. These prevention tips are recommended:

  • Drink only sealed bottled water
  • Avoid street food and food served at room temperature
  • Eat only fruits and vegetables that have been washed or peeled
  • Wash your hands often and avoiding touching your face

 

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