Let’s face it – millennials are just different. We grew up with the Internet, we “gram” everything, and authenticity and individuality reign in our lives. This leaves us in a bit of a conundrum when trying to plan a trip to an African destination. Old school tour operators rule, Internet can sometimes be sketch, and the info on the stuff we really want to be in on is often hidden on someone’s blog that we’ve yet to discover because we don’t live there! With this in mind, here are for tips for planning an Africa trip to remember!
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- Follow the Festivals
The Festival scene on the African continent is getting better by the year. From Gidi Culture Fest in Nigeria, RezFest in South Africa, Sauti za Busara in Tanzania, and Chale Wote in Accra, this is the easiest way to dive in to the culture, plan an itinerary, and meet some of the dope people making things happen. In the soon to launch TSTMKRS app, you can book exclusive VIP experiences at the best festivals on the continent ahead of your trip. Group trips are perfect for this, during #DECEMBERINGHANA last December, my group of 10 had VIP access to Lauryn Hill and Ghanaian Musicians Sarkodie and Wanlov during the Afrobeats Festival at Independence Square.
- Insta-meet (or insta-stalk lol)
On a recent trip to South Africa, I was invited to an “Instameet” sponsored by PUMA and hosted by South African Instagram Kings Gareth Pon and Lebo Lukewarm. I had an inside look at the Newtown neighborhood, shot some great photos, and met people that I ended up partying with throughout the week. They are now doing insta-rides too, so you can rent a bike and get in on the action. Following popular Instagrammers in your destination means you’ll get a visual look at the best things to do and likely find someone who loves social media as much as you do. We publicize Intsameets on our feed @tsmkrsafrica and definitely suggest you do some Instagram research ahead of your trip. Check the #VSCO hashtags for your destination and save time searching through spammy hair-loss ads.Important Thing To Do: Get a SIM card as soon as you land – there are no grams without the “innanet” (in my Awesomely Luvvie voice).
- Choose a Couple of Nights To Go To Bed Early
The vibe in most African cities can make it difficult to hit the bed before 5 a.m. on a night out, but I suggest pre-planning a couple of nights to turn in early. There is nothing like an African sunrise especially in a place like Capetown, Zanzibar, or even Banjul — you’ll miss it if you are nursing a hangover and still stuck in last night’s lashes. Climbing Lion’s Head, sand surfing, or trekking to Wli Falls all require an early wake-up. I like to do adventure experiences and things that get me out of the city — you may not think you’re an outdoors person, but trust me, you’ll remember this more than that random guy who bought you a drink last night.
- Book an Uber. That’s right – the sharing economy has hit the African continent. Uber is now in seven African cities and has some serious expansion plans. Haggling with a driver is not fun and prices vary widely; therefore, if you’re traveling to a place that has Uber, I def prefer this service for getting around. Tastemaker
s Africa partnered with Uber on giving TSTMKRS users free rides. The app will also roll out a booking feature to help you get to your destination.Insider tip: Some Uber drivers will negotiate a daily rate for you if you need them to stick around; this is usually cheaper than non-Uber drivers and you feel an added sense of protection because ultimately they are reporting to someone.
- BONUS: ‘Stay Woke’
Sometimes flight costs are the one thing keeping you from living your Afripolitan dream. Whether you’re coming from outside of the continent or trying to avoid having to go all the way to Europe to get a few countries away – sign up for the Flight Deal Newsletter as well as e-mail updates for African deals. If you’re flexible, you can score a pair of tickets for a steal.
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