Africa Guide
Guide to Africa

Do's and Don'ts in Africa

Do's and Don'ts

We list below a few basic Do's and Don'ts to help you along the way. It's all common sense and courtesy but you'd be amazed at the amount of people that need reminding....


  • spend some time reading up and learning about the countries you plan to visit - you will get a far better reception if you take an interest in the people, respect their culture, learn their social etiquettes and at least the basics of the local language. A simple "hello", "please" or "thank you" goes a long way.
  • respect for local cultures, traditions and holy places and always dress modestly.
  • burn all toilet paper, if using "bush toilets"
  • use water sparingly - it is precious in many countries and the local people may not have sufficient clean water
  • be prepared for "tourist touts"—young men who hustle up business for safari companies and other local businesses. They are usually very personable but very persistent.
  • be careful with your belongings particularly in crowded areas.
  • keep a watch out for fake police officers who want to see your ID; ask for their ID; if you are unsure offer to walk with them to the police station, never get into their car!
  • watch out for thieves among other travellers, they're often worse than the locals are!
  • help the local economy of developing countries by buying local produce in preference to imported goods.
  • help the small local subsidence farmer by purchasing from markets street and road sides stalls where possible.


  • discard litter randomly, dispose of it in a proper place. Waste disposal is a major expense in poorer countries
  • become so worried about crime that you forget to enjoy your holiday. It's easy to fall into the habit of worrying so much that the real pleasures of the country and its inhabitants pass you by.
  • be afraid to ask about security when making hotel reservations and when checking into your hotel.
  • display your wealth, don't wear ANY jewellery to poorer countries or areas with a high crime rate, wear a cheap watch.
  • walk around waving a map around - if you get lost go into a shop and take the map out inside.
  • be surprised if water, electricity, internet, mobile connections and other technologies are unavailable from time to time.
  • be surprised if things don't happen as quickly or as efficiently as they do at home.
  • ever take a package, jacket, gift or whatever from somebody, and especially never transport other people's belongings for them, even if they are very nice
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