North Africa -
High season for North Africa is November - March time. This is their winter time, so therefore also the coolest period, making it a pleasant time to visit. There is no rainy season as such, but most rainfall will occur during this time. Northern Africa's dry season lasts from June - September, with temperatures reaching as high as 40'C, making it almost unbearable.
West Africa -
November - April is western Africa's driest time of year, so therefore its peak season. However temperatures will feel very humid. At this time of year there are less mosquitoes and the cool breeze from the sea help to keep the temperature pleasant.The northern part of west Africa has only one rainy season, which lasts from July - October. Rain will typically be heavy and last more than a few hours. In some places temperatures can reach as high as 49'C. The southern part of west Africa has two rainy seasons, lasting from the end of April to mid-July, and another, shorter one in September and October.
Central Africa -
Central Africa is hot all round with the driest time of year, and also the hottest being January and February. However, there is usually heavy rainfall in the southern rain-forests most of the time. Central Africa's rainiest season is between May and October.
East Africa -
There are two distinct dry seasons in Eastern Africa - December to February and June to September. The weather is usually sunny and rain free as well as being a hot but bearable temperature. However, temperatures can get quite chilly during the evenings. There are two rainy seasons: one major rainy season between April and June, and another from October to December.
Southern Africa -
Rain throughout South Africa is quite frequent. But the best time to visit is their winter from April to October The rainy season typically lasts from November to March which is also the hottest and most humid time of year. However, despite thunderstorms November to March is also a peak season for South Africa.
Prices will most likely vary, depending on where you get it. A yellow-fever jab will typically cost £58 and a rabies jab is usually around £50. As for malaria tablets, it is cheaper to buy in bulk. One months worth of Doxycycline (58 capsules) will cost you around £15.
Clothing and equipment:
Obviously the best way to travel is light. So therefore it is crucial to only bring the essentials. Your list will also be different depending on how long you are visiting. A pair of decent mid-walking shoes, preferably waterproof and some flip flops are probably the only two shoes you will really wear. Take and extra pair of small pumps/trainers also - they might come in handy. As for clothes, light is always best.You don't need to spend £1000's, but a pair of decent walking trousers, waterproof trousers is a good idea, as well as a couple of fleeces for when it get chilly at night. A waterproof coat for the unexpected or expected rain , warm hat and gloves and bring enough socks and pants for a week at the most. Other items to bring are a decent camera (don't make the same mistake as us), plenty of deet, suncream and a decent bag. All in all, expect to spend roughly £300 for all of this, or even more if you are starting from scratch.
Again, this can depend on which countries you visit, how many of them you visit and what country you are from. You can apply for an east African tourist visa for $100 which includes Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. For a long overland trip visiting east and south Africa, budget for roughly $330. When paying for visas, they should be paid in US dollars and the date should be later than 2004. Most visas can be bought at the border, but some countries require you to book in advance before you arrive at the border (double entry visas).
During our time in Africa we booked a tour with Absolute Africa. It was a cost effective and safe way of over-landing Africa. The cost of the trip £1760 + a local payment of $1260. It includes a range of activities, camping and meals. See Absolute Africa for further details. You can also read our many blogs from Africa whilst on this trip.
Our experience on the tour was mostly brilliant. The route was mapped out for us, travel on the truck was included, breakfast and dinner was cooked for us, camping was all paid for and included tents and a thick comfortable sleeping map. The people you meet on the tour are usually like-minded people and together you will probably become part of a family.
The only downside we had was at the beginning, which if you read in our blog about Kenya and Absolute Africa is all explained. IT is recommended you read as it will prepare you in case the same incident happens to you. One advice we would give is be careful of how you give your local payment in and really be sure of yourself.