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3 Things I learned from planning a trip to the Motherland...

Hey beautiful people!!!

If you've been following me for a while then you already know I had a chance to travel last September to Mozambique, South Africa, and e-Swanti. In case your missed it I've got Travel vlogs on my experience which you can watch here.

Okay now that your all caught up, let get back to the topic at hand what I learned and tips for your own travel. It's January and chances are your jotting down places you'd like to visit. If the Motherland is on your list ( which I hope it is) then here are a few things to keep in mind when planning.

1. Visa's, Visa's ,Visa's -

Okay so if you haven't done much travel outside of Europe, and the Caribbean you might not have much practice in getting visas. This is pretty standard for travel within the continent and each country has its own respective rules. Research is going to be your best friend if you don't want to deal with any issues upon entry. It's also important to READ, I love us for real but we've all been guilty of speed reading forms... that's not the move when it comes to visa's. Misreading and getting the wrong visa length, or type can not only cause hassle when traveling but can be an expensive mistake as you'll still have to purchase the correct one. I say all this not to scare anyone, I didn't find the entry to be scary or extreme, shoot most experiences at TSA are way worse. I simply say this because I'm presuming most of my readers are Americans an again I love us for real but we are the worse sometimes. We won't read, make a mistake and then somehow pass on the blame to the other party, or play the victim role. Don't be that person... do your googles so you can have a good trip. You ain't all that cause you got a US passport and your certainly not above the rules.

2. Africa is a CONTINENT not a COUNTRY-

This seems like an obvious point but what I realized is that the US school system really doesn't teach us enough about geography, especially not the geography of Africa. This is important to remember if you want to plan side trips in addition to the main country your visiting. That day trip to snorkel and stay overnight is in a different country which means you may need more than one... you guessed it VISA! Research each country you'd like to visit and be clear on the locations of any side trips you may want to take so you can research if additional documents will be needed. For example our main stay was in Mozambique but we had excursions outside of the country, while the other countries didn't require visas, it did change the type of visa we needed for our stay in Mozambique.

We also needed a different currency to shop at the vendors and markets we found when going from Maputo, to South Africa... because again it's a different country... remembering to view the Continent through the proper lens will help you tremendously when traveling.

3. Be Kind, Be Polite.

When traveling be sure to be kind and respectful to the various other cultures that you'll encounter. This again may seem obvious but at the same time isn't. Unfortunately due to poor media representation, there are a lot of mistaken ideas about the continent. Travel sites and pages run by and featuring persons of color visiting various countries has helped to improve this but there can still be a disconnect. Being open and kind during your travels will also allow you to make connections with locals and have a memorable experience.

Here are some details of our trip:

- Safari : Honey Badger Tours, in Kruger Park ( South Africa)

- Hotel during our stay : Southern Sun Maputo ( Mozambique)

- Travel app for affordable flights: Hopper

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