Travel | 5 tips for booking a last-minute trip to Africa
1. Check visa requirements! If the country requires a visa, see how quickly you can obtain one through its Embassy or High Commission, or if it offers visas-on-arrival (available for Tanzania), e-visas (available for Ethiopia, Kenya). Some countries offer e-visas for specific nationals only, whilst others are visa free for specific nationals. Make sure you check the website of the country’s embassy in your country for guidance. With that being said, on my first experience of using an e-visa to enter Ethiopia, I waited in the queue much longer than those getting visas on arrival!
Also helpful for British nationals is the FCDO website, and for US Citizens, the US State Department's website. These will also provide the necessary guidance on COVID-19 restrictions and requirements.
2. Consider indirect flights – not as scary as the sound, and usually much cheaper than direct flights, this may be a good option if you chose the last minute option.
3. Consider multiple destinations – in line with indirect flights, see if there isn’t too much difference if you stayed a few days/weeks in your stopover location. Some airlines give you a free stopover whereas some include a charge.
On British Airways to South Africa, they usually offer the option of a stopover e.g. to Cape Town, Durban or Port Elizabeth, on your way to Johannesburg. Or consider Ethiopian Airlines, one of Africa's foremost carriers, which travels to most countries on the continent, with an excellent service and crucially, with you having to leave the continent to do so!
4. Anti-malarials and inoculations – Makes sure you are/get up to date with your inoculations and have anti-malarials if visiting a malarious region. I usually have some antimalarial tabs left over, and was up to date with my inoculations which made planning a last minute trip a little bit simpler. However, if you are not, ensure you up to date before you fly.
5. Travel insurance – No matter how last minute it is… do not forget to get travel insurance! Do not just choose the cheapest option, and ensure you read the policy wording!
Happy Travels! Do you have anything else to add to this list? Comment below!