Whether you’ve been dreaming about a trip to Africa since you first learned about the continent or have developed a yen to travel there more recently, you probably have a long list of reasons why you’d like to visit.

One of the most popular reasons to visit Africa is to view its abundant wildlife on a safari vacation. Unlike many highly developed Western countries, much of the African continent remains open, where large animals roam freely and in such profusion that visitors can observe their majesty at close quarters.

Another reason Africa draws visitors is because of the landscapes: rugged mountains, sweeping plains, and the way rainstorms, rainbows, and sunsets set off these features.

Regardless of your initial reason for visiting Africa, you’ll probably come away from your trip deeply touched by something other than the continent’s inspiring landscapes or stunning animals. After journeying to Africa, you will almost certainly be profoundly affected by the people you meet there.

Africa’s People

Again and again, travelers to Africa exclaim about the generosity, kindness, and hospitality among the people they meet on their trips. Many people find that the energy of the people in Africa has a transformative effect on them, giving them fresh insight into their lives and their world.

Safari guides, tour leaders, merchants, and residents alike often strike visitors to Africa with their joy in serving others. In addition to the people who call Africa home, most travelers encounter natives of the rest of the world (including Europe, Australia, North America, and Asia) who also touch their lives in meaningful ways.

Lifelong Friendships

Experiencing something new has profound effects on the human psyche, and we tend to form unique bonds with those who share new experiences with us. That’s why so many travelers to Africa find that, 20 years after their first trip, they are still in contact with the people they met on that journey—and often are planning to meet up again in another African locale!

As you prepare for your next trip to Africa, leave some time for conversations with the people you meet along the way. More than anything else, these genuine encounters are what make travel meaningful and rewarding.

Have you ever met a lifelong friend while traveling? Tell us about it below!


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