Solo travel Africa: must-know tips & tricks


Are you looking for an adventure of a lifetime? What better way to explore Africa than a solo trip. While traveling alone can be daunting, it can also be incredibly liberating and rewarding.

In this article, we will guide you through everything you need to know about traveling solo in Africa, from planning your trip and packing the essentials to budgeting and crafting the perfect itinerary.

Last updated on: 09-01-2024

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    Is Africa safe for solo travel?

    Africa is a diverse continent, and while some areas may pose safety concerns for solo travelers, there are also many safe and welcoming destinations. According to the Institute for Economics and Peace, some of the safest countries for solo travel in Africa include:

    • Botswana
    • Namibia
    • Ghana
    • Malawi
    • Seychelles
    • Mozambique
    • Kenya
    • Rwanda
    • Madagascar
    • Morocco
    • Tanzania
    • Zambia

    As with any travel, being aware of one’s surroundings, respecting local customs, and staying informed about the current situation in the chosen destination are essential for a safe and enjoyable trip.

    Tip: consider using a moneybelt. This bag has enough space to keep your valuables like your phone, passport and bank cards.

    What is the best time to visit Africa for solo travelers?

    The best time to visit Africa for solo travelers depends on the specific activities and destinations they have in mind. Safaris in Southern and East Africa are best in September or October through December.

    Source: Wikipedia

    Africa experiences four distinct seasons: summer, autumn, winter, and spring. During the summer, many regions of Africa are hot and dry. Autumn and spring serve as transitional seasons with milder temperatures.

    Wildlife enthusiasts may find the dry season ideal for game viewing opportunities in parks like Kruger National Park or the Masai Mara National Reserve. Certain regions also have specific events or migrations that attract tourists during particular times.

    Additionally, solo travelers may prefer to visit during the low season when it is less crowded and potentially less expensive.

    What are some of the most important national holidays and festivals in Africa?

    Some of the most important national holidays and festivals in Africa include:

    1. Mombasa Carnival – November, Kenya: Kenya’s largest annual festival, featuring floats, costumes, music, and dance, showcasing the region’s cultural diversity.
    2. Timkat – January, Ethiopia: This Orthodox celebration is a 3-day event where thousands of pilgrims join to bless the waters of Fasiladas’ bath and renew their baptism vows.
    3. International Festival of the Sahara – Tunisia: A 4-day event celebrating the rich culture of Tunisia, featuring singing, poetry readings, feasting, and dancing.
    4. Cape Town Minstrel Carnival – South Africa: A vibrant carnival with a long history, featuring colorful costumes, music, and dance.
    5. Fez Festival of World Sacred Music – Morocco: An annual music festival featuring performances by musicians from around the world.
    6. Ouidah Voodoo Festival – Benin: Celebrated in January, this festival is a vibrant and unique cultural event.
    See this video to get an impression of the Ouidah Voodoo Festival

    These are just a few examples of the diverse and vibrant festivals and events that take place across the continent of Africa, showcasing its rich cultural heritage and traditions.

    How to meet other solo travelers in Africa

    To build connections as a solo traveler in Africa, consider staying in social accommodations like hostels or guesthouses.

    Participate in group tours or activities to meet fellow travelers and engage with locals through cultural exchanges or community-based tourism. Join online travel communities or download a travel buddy app to meet like-minded individuals.

    Find travel buddies and plan activities with other solo travelers

    Additionally, taking part in local events or festivals is a great way to immerse yourself in the culture of your chosen destination. By embracing these opportunities for connection, you can enhance your solo travel experience in Africa.

    Read more on about how to find a travel buddy.

    Is Africa expensive for solo travelers?

    Africa can be an affordable destination for solo travelers, with a wide range of budget options available. The cost of traveling in Africa can vary significantly depending on the country and the traveler’s preferences.

    According to various sources, the average daily budget for solo travelers in Africa can range from $20 to $50, covering accommodation, food, and local transportation.

    Some of the cheapest countries to visit in Africa include:

    Accommodation options such as dorm rooms can start at around $10 per night, and a cheap meal out shouldn’t cost much more than $10 in some countries.

    Culinary journey through Africa


    Experience the rich and diverse flavors of African cuisine as you embark on a culinary journey through different regions of this vibrant continent.

    African cuisine showcases bold flavors and a rich use of spices, making it a culinary adventure for food enthusiasts.

    The dishes often revolve around staple foods like rice, maize, and cassava, while incorporating indigenous ingredients such as plantains, yams, and okra.

    When exploring the diverse flavors of Africa, be sure to try these must-try dishes:

    1. Jollof Rice, a popular West African dish, combines aromatic rice, tomatoes, and a blend of spices.
    2. Bobotie, a flavorful South African specialty, features spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping.
    3. Tagine, a North African stew, tantalizes the taste buds with its combination of meat, vegetables, and aromatic spices.
    4. Bunny Chow, a famous South African street food, consists of a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with curry.
    5. Doro Wat, a delicious Ethiopian chicken stew served with injera.
    6. South African braai, a mouthwatering barbecue featuring grilled meats like boerewors sausage and lamb chops.
    7. Samosas, popular snacks found throughout Africa, filled with spiced meat or vegetables.
    8. Fufu, a staple food made from pounded yam, cassava, or plantains.
    9. Ugali, a staple food made from maize flour and commonly served with stews and curries.
    10. Pap en Sous, a traditional dish featuring maize porridge with a tomato and onion sauce.

    Crafting the perfect 14-Day itinerary for solo travelers


    Crafting the perfect 14-day itinerary for solo travelers is essential to ensure you make the most of your trip to Africa. Start by choosing destinations that align with your interests and prioritize your must-see attractions.

    Researching the best time to visit each destination will help you avoid unfavorable weather conditions. Consider including a mix of wildlife safaris, cultural experiences, and outdoor adventures in your itinerary for an unforgettable adventure.

    Here’s a 14-day itinerary for a solo traveler in Africa with a budget of $2000 to $3000, starting from Johannesburg:

    Day 1: Johannesburg, South Africa

    • Arrival in Johannesburg
    • Check into a budget-friendly hotel or hostel
    • Explore the city, visiting places like Apartheid Museum, Soweto, and Maboneng Precinct
    • Recommended travel mode: Taxi or public transport

    Day 2-4: Kruger National Park, South Africa

    • Drive or take a bus to Kruger National Park (approximately 5-6 hours)
    • Spend 3 days on a budget-friendly safari, staying in a national park camp
    • Enjoy game drives, wildlife viewing, and guided walks
    • Experience South Africa‘s stunning wildlife
    • Recommended travel mode: Self-drive or guided tour

    Day 5-7: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

    • Fly from Johannesburg to Victoria Falls (approximately 2-hour flight)
    • Explore Victoria Falls and take part in various activities like a sunset cruise, bungee jumping, and a guided tour of the falls
    • Enjoy a cultural experience by visiting a local village or the Livingstone Museum
    • Recommended travel mode: Flight

    Day 8-10: Cape Town, South Africa

    • Fly from Victoria Falls to Cape Town (approximately 2-hour flight)
    • Explore the beautiful city, Table Mountain, V&A Waterfront, and Robben Island
    • Take a day trip to Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope
    • Relax on the beaches of Camps Bay and Clifton
    • Recommended travel mode: Flight

    Day 11-13: Zanzibar, Tanzania

    • Fly from Cape Town to Zanzibar (approximately 4-5 hours with a layover)
    • Enjoy the beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and water activities
    • Explore Stone Town’s culture and history
    • Relax and unwind at your beachfront accommodation
    • Recommended travel mode: Flight

    Day 14: Return to Johannesburg

    • Fly back to Johannesburg to catch your international flight home

    Please note that prices can vary, so it’s essential to research and book your accommodations and activities in advance to ensure they fit within your budget.

    Traveling solo for the first time? Read our tips here.