Africa as a continent is the poorest on earth, throughout the years many of its countries have been blighted by civil wars, government level corruption and intense poverty. The general opinion of the cost of traveling through Africa is that it would be cheap as a result of this low level of income and struggling economy but in truth, the costs are far closer to that of Europe and both transport and accommodation can set you back a significant amount of money.
The question as to why Africa is so expensive is one which many travelers ask themselves upon returning from a trip there and today we are going to look at some of the reasons why the continent is so expensive.
Lack of Competition
Despite the popularity of Africa as a tourist destination, the number of travel companies and the infrastructure for tourism is extremely limited. This lack of competition means that the tourism agencies which do exist, have free reign to charge whatever they like and it leaves tourists with no choice but to pay the higher fees.
Anyone who has traveled around Africa will know that visa costs to enter each country are incredibly high. The reason for this is that the government see this as an opportunity to boost their economy with the visits of foreigners and if you want to enter a range of countries, then there is little choice for you but to pay the fees.
In terms of flying to Africa from anywhere in the world, the costs are incredibly high, this is once again as a result of a lack of competition which means that airlines can charge whatever they like. Equally whilst Africa is a relatively popular destination, there is not the numbers in terms of tourists for airline companies to put on extra flights to the continent. If you are flying in to northern African countries such as Morocco, Algeria or Tunisia then Europe offers many well priced airfares, any further south than that and you are looking at a far higher charge.
Many of the activities which you can do in Africa such as safaris and animal spotting are incredibly unique, whether in Africa or otherwise and as such you will always be looking at a premium fee. There is nothing in the world like gorilla spotting in Uganda for example and so you should definitely expect to pay top dollar to be able to do it.
Getting around in Africa is expensive, because it is expensive for everyone. Fuel costs and the number of transport options is limited for locals and as a result of the fact that people don’t generally travel around that much in Africa, you can expect to pay a higher price in order to do so.
If you are going to Africa then one of the best ways to do so is with a tour company, this way all of your costs will be made clear up front and you can avoid any charges which you hadn’t expected.