Updated: May 22
It’s no surprise that many African-Americans and people of colour don't know much about their history due to the lack of education in schools. Luxurious destinations are on all of our bucket lists, but there’s nothing more valuable than visiting Africa, as a person of colour- or of any race for that matter. This year, I experienced visiting a different part of Africa for the 4th time.
Here are my 14 best reasons you should travel to Africa on a budget, particularly as a person of colour.
14) Shades Of Ebony
People of colour come in many shades. Whether they are from the North, East, West or South, you’ll see African people of all shades including Albinos, and will learn so much about their history.
13) Learn The Lingo!
According to Statista.com, as of December 2022, there are over 2000 languages spoken in Africa. With 520, Nigeria accounted for roughly one-fourth of the total languages spoken, while Angola accounted for the least spoken languages at 45. You can travel to areas within close proximity of each other and still learn numerous languages from a small number of people.
12) Taste The Culture
There are many dishes across numerous countries in Africa. Some of these are famous in the West such as Jollof Rice and Egusi soup to East African dishes such as Indira and Ugali. Whether you are visiting the North, East, South or West, you’ll definitely taste a sense of the culture. Even better, If you’re on a budget, you can find meals for less than £4 on the local streets (depending on what part you visit).
11) A Sense Of Privilege
Malawi, Rwanda, Sudan and Mali have seen some of the poorest countries in Africa, but still, you’ll find families happy, healthy and appreciating life. A visit to some of the poorest areas will quickly leave you feeling inspired, humbled and grateful for what you have. An overwhelming sense of privilege will leave your holiday memories something to kindly treasure.
10) Media Mess Up
We can never truly always believe what we see in media, particularly when it comes to third-world countries in Africa. On television, in newspapers and online, we see a very small percentage of what Africa is like and what they have to offer. The positive attributes of residing there, are often forgotten. Africa is rich in history and culture and has so much more to offer.
9) Learn Your History
Learn your history, so you won't be deceived. There are many pieces of information, facts and statistics that have been hidden, mistold and even altered. Over the years, many Black people have been denied being taught authentic Black History, and unfortunately have grown up without a sense of belonging. A lack of education about their roots and history has contributed greatly to this. After a visit to Africa, you will have learned so much about Black history- leaving you totally and utterly inspired.
8) Cross It Off Your Bucket List
There’s nothing more rewarding, especially as a person of colour to be able to say that you have travelled to ‘The Motherland’. While, yes, it’s nice to embrace other cultures, there's a different sense of pride and achievement in knowing that you have embraced, respected, and have shown an active interest in your own culture, and have ticked Africa, the second largest continent off your bucket list!
7) Forget The Western World
Sometimes I believe the world wouldn't be so corrupted, so cold and nasty with many of the political views we hear today. Over the years, the Western world has quickly gravitated towards humans living a life without religion, and instead based on ‘free will’. For some, many places in Africa only have their religion to rely on and will live happily knowing that. Religion gives us all a sense of purpose, while the Western world quickly wants to forget the laws to live freely, off-grid living and rural life elsewhere tell a completely different story…
6) Visit An African Safari
Where else in the world would you want to visit a truly authentic African Safari but Africa? Giraffes, elephants, Hippos and Rhinos, Africa is one of the best places to visit a true African Safari. Take advantage of your opportunity for a once-in-a-lifetime experience! It doesn't have to break the bank either!
5) Rural Village Life
If you’re on a budget, but want to do something different and authentic, experience off-grid living in one of the most rural parts of an African village. From straw huts to tin houses, there’s so much culture to take in and you’ll find how quickly you can adapt, experiencing life as you've never known it.
4) Hang out with The Tribes
Africa is the second largest continent and with over 2000 languages, according to study.com they also have over 3000 tribes across Africa. Wouldn’t it be such a sight and an experience to visit a tribe?
3) Customise Your Trip
Luxury hotels and swim-up bars may sound appealing, but booking a customised trip on a budget sees many more benefits than you can imagine. You will have more money left over to spend on cultural trips, and native souvenirs, and experience life like a local. Rather than booking a highly promoted package deal that’s deemed a ‘bargain’, do your research and customise your own trip.
Create an itinerary with budget-friendly resorts, and even non-direct flights so you can see other destinations in Africa on your route to your holiday destination. This way, you’ll have saved more money and can re-distribute it elsewhere.
2) Enjoy Family Time
A girls' getaway always sounds fun. Mojitos, bikinis and all-night parties sound like the ultimate dream. Many of us underestimate the feeling of travelling with our children. Seeing your children in the ocean, walking across the sand, and learning languages bring you a great sense of joy, pride and happiness in knowing that you have provided such an experience, a memory that can be treasured by all.
You’ll want to embrace and enjoy every moment with the kids, and shortly enough, the children will become your favourite travel partners! No matter what race you are- taking your children to Africa is a holiday they’ll always remember. Do something different, why not bring the children to visit an orphanage, isn’t this something we could all appreciate in the future?
1) Don't Be Afraid To Widen Your Palette
Now most of us might be accustomed to generic red and white meats, such as chicken, steak, beef and Turkey, and while some of us enjoy fresh fish or a vegan diet, many African dishes can include some of the most bizarre meats.
These can range from anything between Gizzard (animal organs), Tripe (Cow stomach), and Snails, to Bushmeat (a form of Rat).
I’m sorry to report- but some dishes may even include Cat. Be prepared to try something new, but make sure you know what you're eating before you put it in your mouth!
Where in Africa have you visited? Drop your comments and answers below!