You could visit the African continent a hundred times and still be left awestruck by a completely new experience every time – that’s part of its charm. As the second-largest continent in the world, to say Africa is vast could be an understatement. After all, it comprises 54 countries, countless different landscapes, and an abundance of unique experiences. With that in mind, you can expect that travel costs to and within will not exactly be cheap. Still, there’s lots of unique experiences to look forward to as a budget traveler. These include:
Witness the Great Migration Safari in Tanzania
Granted the annual Great Migration is one of the most popular events in the African safari, making it a bit pricier, but it is as unique as it comes. In fact, only the Serengeti in Tanzania and the Masai Mara Reserve in neighboring Kenya play host to this spectacular event and its many highlights, such as the Great Migration river crossing, the calving season, and many others.
The good news is that it is possible to witness the Great Migration even during the low season, so you can easily take advantage of lower rates and go for budget accommodation in Tanzania to stay within your budget and still enjoy the unforgettable experience of seeing millions of wildebeests, zebras, and gazelles traversing the endless plains and chasing the rainfall as it moves between both countries.
Go soul searching in Ethiopia
There’s something about Ethiopia that sets it apart from most other African travel destinations. Here, in the midst of ancient histories, religious fervor and some of the most soulful people you’ll ever meet, it’s only natural to want to do some soul searching on your own. Ethiopia doesn’t disappoint when it comes to unique experiences, boasting a myriad of interesting places, like Axum, said to be the home of the real biblical Ark of the Covenant; Danakil Depression, one of the lowest, driest and hottest places on earth; Lalibela with its rock-cut churches; Bahir Dar, home to the thundering Blue Nile Falls, and so many more.
Ethiopia has its own calendar and time system, so it should be fun adjusting while you’re there and leave you some pretty memorable experiences. Many of these activities are relatively budget friendly and thanks to the country’s growing tourism sector, it’s becoming easier to visit and explore without breaking the bank. Oh, and you’ll be blown away by the rich flavor of their food too.
Visit the Guelb Er Richat in Mauritania
Also known as the eye of the desert, Guelb Er Richat is a natural marvel said to contain rocks that predate the appearance of life on Earth. This geological dome is believed to have been created by a meteorite impact due to its circular shape and unique color diffusion. This “eye” has a diameter of more than 30 miles and is surrounded by concentric landforms with a 30 to 40 yards difference between all the layers, like ripples formed after an impact. As you would expect, this geological diversity has become a playground for many geologists, who in turn have been able to uncover some pretty interesting finds, such as a couple of constructions that pointing to the notion that humans lived in the site sometime in the Palaeolithic age.
Guelb Er Richat also hosts a number of wildlife species, including lizards, snakes, jackals, fennecs, falcons, and owls. Thankfully, it’s not so hard to visit Mauritania on a budget, especially with the government taking steps to ensure security across the country.
Experience the diverse culture in Morocco
Morocco offers a treat for all the senses — from the dunes of the Sahara Desert to the charming markets and colorful landscapes, and even to the beautiful coastal town. This North African country is also a well-known melting pot of cultures as Arabs, Africans, Berbers, Europeans, and other cultures have either lived here at some point or are currently doing so. Now you may be thinking Morocco will be an expensive destination, but in truth, it doesn’t have to be if you know where to go. For instance, instead of visiting more popular places like Fez and Marrakech, you could opt for the historic imperial city of Meknes. Here you can enjoy more authentic experiences, at a much cheaper price. You can roam the Medina market, explore the famous Bab Mansour Gate, or relax in the Lahboul Gardens.
The bottom line is Africa is called the Mother Continent for a reason. And like a true mother, she caters to all her children and welcomes them, even if they can only visit on a budget.