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Jordan Travel Tips: Everything You Need To Know


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Koralle Harvey



Welcome to the fascinating and diverse region of Africa and the Middle East. From the ancient wonders of Egypt to the stunning landscapes of South Africa, the enchanting deserts of Morocco to the bustling cities of Dubai and Istanbul, this is a part of the world that captivates travelers with its rich history, vibrant culture, and natural beauty.


Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, Africa and the Middle East offer a plethora of experiences to suit every traveler’s taste. Embark on a wildlife safari, explore ancient ruins, dive into the crystal-clear waters of the Red Sea, or simply indulge in the flavors of local cuisine – there’s something for everyone in this captivating region.


With its diverse landscapes, climates, and cultures, planning a trip to Africa and the Middle East requires careful consideration and preparation. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to provide you with all the essential information you need to make the most of your journey.


Throughout this article, we will delve into various aspects of traveling in Africa and the Middle East, including visa requirements, safety and security tips, the best time to visit, transportation options, popular tourist destinations, cultural etiquette, local cuisine, and so much more. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or embarking on your first adventure, our aim is to equip you with the knowledge and insights to help you navigate this vibrant and diverse region with confidence.


So, get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through Africa and the Middle East. From the iconic pyramids of Egypt to the bustling markets of Marrakech, from the majestic Victoria Falls to the towering skyscrapers of Dubai, this region offers a tapestry of experiences just waiting to be explored. Sit back, relax, and let us guide you on an extraordinary adventure.


Visa Requirements

Before embarking on your trip to Africa and the Middle East, it is important to familiarize yourself with the visa requirements of the countries you plan to visit. Visa regulations vary from country to country, and it is essential to ensure you have the necessary documentation to enter your desired destination.


Many countries in Africa and the Middle East require a visa for entry, while some offer visa-free or visa-on-arrival options for certain nationalities. It is advisable to check the official websites of the embassies or consulates of your destination countries to obtain the most up-to-date information regarding visa requirements.


For some countries, a visa can be obtained prior to arrival through a consulate or embassy, while for others, you may be able to obtain a visa upon arrival at the airport or land border. It is important to have the necessary supporting documents such as a valid passport, proof of accommodation, return ticket, and travel insurance when applying for a visa.


Additionally, certain countries may require specific vaccinations or medical certificates, so it is crucial to check the health requirements prior to your trip.


It is also important to note that some countries may have restrictions or special requirements for travelers with dual citizenship or those who have visited certain countries within a certain time frame. Make sure to thoroughly research and comply with all the visa regulations to avoid any complications during your journey.


Another point to consider is the length of the visa. Some countries offer single-entry visas, which allow you to enter the country once within a specified period, while others offer multiple-entry visas, allowing you to enter and exit the country multiple times within a specific timeframe.


Remember to check the validity of your passport as well. Most countries require your passport to be valid for a minimum of six months beyond your intended departure date. It is recommended to renew your passport if it is nearing expiration before your trip to avoid any potential issues.


By familiarizing yourself with the visa requirements of your destination countries and ensuring you have the necessary documentation, you can enjoy a hassle-free journey through Africa and the Middle East.


Safety and Security

When planning a trip to Africa and the Middle East, it is important to prioritize your safety and ensure a secure travel experience. While this region offers incredible destinations and experiences, it is always wise to stay informed and take necessary precautions.


Researching the safety situation of your destination countries is crucial. Check travel advisories and official government websites for up-to-date information regarding potential risks, conflicts, or safety concerns. It is advisable to register with your embassy or consulate before traveling to receive important updates and assistance in case of emergencies.


It is recommended to have comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical expenses, trip cancellations, and personal belongings. Familiarize yourself with the coverage details and ensure it includes the countries you plan to visit. Travel insurance provides peace of mind and financial protection in case of unforeseen events.


When it comes to personal safety, it is essential to be vigilant and aware of your surroundings at all times. Avoid displaying conspicuous signs of wealth or carrying excessive amounts of cash. Keep your valuables secure and consider using a money belt or neck pouch to protect your belongings while exploring.


Research the local customs, traditions, and cultural norms of your destination countries. Respect the local culture and dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites or conservative areas. Understanding and appreciating the local customs can help you avoid any unwanted attention or misunderstandings.


Utilize reliable transportation options during your travels. Choose reputable taxi services or ridesharing apps, and avoid accepting rides from strangers. If traveling alone, inform a trusted person about your itinerary and maintain regular communication with them.


It is also important to be cautious when consuming food and beverages. Drink bottled water, avoid street food with questionable hygiene standards, and eat at reputable establishments. Be aware of any dietary restrictions or allergies you may have to ensure a safe and enjoyable dining experience.


Lastly, trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe in any situation, remove yourself from it and seek assistance if needed. Trusting your intuition can contribute to a safer and more enjoyable travel experience.


By staying informed, taking necessary precautions, and respecting the local customs and culture, you can ensure your safety and security while exploring the wonders of Africa and the Middle East.


Climate and Weather

Africa and the Middle East are diverse regions with a wide range of climates and weather patterns. The weather conditions can vary greatly depending on the time of year and the specific countries or regions you plan to visit. Understanding the climate and weather of your destination is essential for a comfortable and enjoyable trip.


In Africa, you will find a mix of climates, ranging from tropical in the equatorial regions to desert climates in the north and south. Countries near the equator, such as Kenya and Tanzania, typically have a tropical climate with warm temperatures and high humidity throughout the year. Coastal areas, like South Africa’s Cape Town, experience a Mediterranean climate, with warm summers and mild winters.


The Middle East is mainly characterized by desert climates, with hot and dry conditions prevailing in countries like United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. Summers in the region can be extremely hot, with temperatures reaching well into the 40-degree Celsius (100-degree Fahrenheit) range. However, during the winter months, temperatures can be more moderate and pleasant, making it a popular time to visit.


It is crucial to consider the weather conditions when planning your activities and packing for your trip. For example, if you plan to visit Egypt’s ancient sites, it is recommended to avoid the scorching heat of summer and instead opt for a visit during the milder months of spring or autumn.


It is also important to be aware of the rainy seasons in certain countries. For instance, countries in East Africa, such as Kenya and Tanzania, have two rainy seasons: the long rains from March to May and the short rains from October to December. These periods can bring heavy rainfall and may affect outdoor activities and wildlife viewing opportunities.


Before your trip, research the typical weather patterns and average temperatures of your destination during the time of your visit. This will help you pack appropriate clothing and gear, such as lightweight and breathable fabrics for hot climates, or layers and waterproof gear for cooler or rainy weather.


Remember that weather conditions can still vary within a region or country, so it is advisable to check local forecasts closer to your travel dates for more accurate information.


By understanding the climate and weather patterns of your destination, you can plan your activities, pack accordingly, and make the most of your trip to Africa and the Middle East.


Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Africa and the Middle East largely depends on the specific destinations you plan to explore and the activities you wish to engage in. Each country in the region has its own unique climate and seasonal variations, so it is important to consider these factors when determining the ideal time for your trip.


In general, the peak tourist season in Africa and the Middle East is during the cooler and drier months, when the weather is more pleasant for outdoor activities and sightseeing. For many countries in the region, this corresponds to their winter season, which typically falls between November and February.


During this time, you can expect comfortable temperatures and minimal rainfall in many parts of Africa and the Middle East. It is a great time to explore countries like Morocco, Egypt, and South Africa, as well as popular destinations like the United Arab Emirates and Jordan.


However, it is worth noting that the peak season can also mean larger crowds and higher prices for accommodation and flights. If you prefer to avoid the tourist crowds and take advantage of lower rates, consider traveling during the shoulder seasons, which are the months just before or after the peak period.


For wildlife enthusiasts, the best time to visit national parks and game reserves in Africa is during the dry season, when vegetation is less dense, and wildlife tends to gather around water sources. This varies by region, but generally, it falls between May and October in East Africa and from June to September in Southern Africa.


In contrast, if you are interested in cultural festivals and events, it may be worth planning your trip around specific dates. For example, Egypt’s celebrations during Ramadan and the Abu Simbel Sun Festival, or the vibrant festivities of the Dubai Shopping Festival in the United Arab Emirates.


Ultimately, the best time to visit Africa and the Middle East depends on your personal preferences, interests, and the specific experiences you are seeking. Whether you prefer comfortable temperatures, wildlife sightings, cultural events, or lower crowds, careful research and planning will help you determine the optimal time to embark on your journey.


Language and Communication

Africa and the Middle East are home to a rich diversity of languages, reflecting the cultural tapestry of the region. While there are numerous languages spoken, English is widely understood and serves as a common language for communication, especially in urban and tourist areas.


In many countries, English is taught in schools and used for business and tourism purposes. This makes it relatively easy for English-speaking travelers to navigate and communicate with locals. However, it is always appreciated to learn a few basic phrases in the local language. This gesture demonstrates respect for the local culture and can help you connect with the people you encounter during your travels.


In addition to English, Arabic is one of the dominant languages in the Middle East. It is primarily spoken in countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Jordan. Learning a few Arabic phrases can be particularly useful, especially when interacting with locals or when visiting more rural areas.


In Africa, the linguistic landscape is incredibly diverse, with each country having its own official language(s) as well as numerous tribal languages. For instance, Swahili is widely spoken in East Africa, including Kenya and Tanzania, while French is commonly used in countries such as Morocco, Tunisia, and some parts of West Africa.


When traveling to a specific country, it is advisable to learn a few basic greetings, thank you, and please in the local language. This can go a long way in breaking the ice and showing respect. Locals often appreciate the effort and may be more inclined to assist you or provide helpful tips and recommendations.


In terms of communication, internet access and mobile network coverage are generally available in urban areas and major cities throughout the region. Most hotels, cafes, and restaurants offer Wi-Fi services, allowing you to stay connected and communicate with friends and family back home.


However, when traveling to more remote or rural areas, it is advisable to have a local SIM card or utilize roaming services to ensure uninterrupted communication. Check with local service providers for the best options and rates.


Overall, English serves as a valuable tool for communication in Africa and the Middle East, but learning a few phrases in the local language can enhance your travel experience and foster connections with the local people.


Currency and Exchange Rates

When traveling to Africa and the Middle East, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the local currencies and exchange rates of the countries you plan to visit. Each country in the region has its own currency, and it is important to have an understanding of how to handle monetary transactions effectively.


In the Middle East, the currency used in many countries is the local currency, such as the United Arab Emirates dirham (AED) in the UAE, the Saudi riyal (SAR) in Saudi Arabia, and the Qatari riyal (QAR) in Qatar. It is advisable to exchange your currency to the local currency upon arrival at the airport or use ATMs to withdraw cash in the local currency.


In Africa, the currency varies by country. Some countries, such as Kenya and Tanzania, use the Kenyan shilling (KES) and Tanzanian shilling (TZS), respectively, while others, like Egypt and Morocco, use the Egyptian pound (EGP) and Moroccan dirham (MAD), respectively. It is recommended to carry some local currency for day-to-day expenses and to use ATMs or exchange offices to obtain more funds as needed.


It is important to note that in many tourist areas and major cities, international credit and debit cards are widely accepted in hotels, restaurants, and retail establishments. However, it is advisable to carry some cash for smaller establishments, street markets, and transportation fares.


When exchanging currency, it is recommended to use authorized exchange offices or banks to ensure fair rates and avoid counterfeit money. Always check the exchange rates and compare them before making any transactions. Be aware of any fees or commissions that may apply when exchanging money.


It is also advisable to inform your bank or credit card company about your travel plans to avoid any issues with your cards. Inquire about any international transaction fees or charges that may apply to your account, and consider obtaining a travel card that offers favorable exchange rates and benefits for international use.


Keep in mind that exchange rates fluctuate, so it is wise to stay updated on the current rates or use reliable currency conversion apps during your travels.


By being prepared with the local currency and understanding the exchange rates, you can navigate monetary transactions smoothly and make the most of your experience in Africa and the Middle East.



Getting around in Africa and the Middle East can be an adventure in itself, with a variety of transportation options available to suit different needs and preferences. Whether you’re exploring bustling cities, traversing vast landscapes, or visiting remote destinations, here are some common modes of transportation to consider:


1. Taxis and Ridesharing: Taxis are a convenient way to get around cities and towns. It is recommended to use licensed taxis and negotiate the fare before starting the journey. Ridesharing services like Uber and Careem are also popular in many urban areas, providing a safe and reliable transportation option.


2. Public Transportation: Many major cities in Africa and the Middle East have efficient and affordable public transportation systems, including buses, metro trains, and trams. It is advisable to familiarize yourself with the routes and schedules in advance to avoid any confusion.


3. Domestic Flights: If you’re traveling long distances within the region, domestic flights offer a time-saving option. Several reputable airlines operate flights between major cities and tourist destinations, providing convenience and comfort.


4. Rental Cars: Renting a car can provide flexibility and independence, especially if you plan to explore rural or remote areas. However, it is important to familiarize yourself with local driving regulations, road conditions, and parking facilities. International driving permits may be required in some countries.


5. Trains: Train travel is a popular mode of transportation in some countries, offering scenic journeys and comfortable amenities. Countries like Morocco, Egypt, and South Africa have well-established railway networks that connect major cities and tourist destinations.


6. Ferries and Boats: In coastal regions and areas with water bodies, ferries and boats are available for island hopping, crossing borders, and enjoying scenic cruises. Popular routes include crossing the Nile River in Egypt, exploring the Dhow cruises in Oman, or taking a ferry to Zanzibar in Tanzania.


7. Camel and Horseback Rides: In certain regions, such as Morocco and Egypt, camel or horseback rides offer a unique and traditional means of transportation in desert landscapes or ancient sites. These experiences provide a glimpse into the local culture and history.


When planning your itinerary, consider the transportation options available in each destination and choose the most suitable mode based on factors such as distance, cost, convenience, and cultural experiences. Be sure to research and book in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, to secure your preferred mode of transportation.


Remember to prioritize your safety and security during your travels. Follow local regulations, use reputable transportation providers, and keep valuables secure at all times.


By utilizing the various transportation options available, you can navigate the diverse landscapes and vibrant cities of Africa and the Middle East with ease and embark on unforgettable adventures.


Accommodation Options

When it comes to finding accommodation in Africa and the Middle East, you’ll discover a wide range of options to suit every budget and travel style. From luxurious resorts and boutique hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses and unique cultural experiences, the region offers diverse choices for every traveler’s preference.


1. Hotels and Resorts: Major cities and tourist destinations in Africa and the Middle East are home to a plethora of hotels and resorts, ranging from international chains to local boutique establishments. These accommodations offer various amenities, such as swimming pools, spas, and restaurants, ensuring a comfortable and convenient stay.


2. Guesthouses and Bed & Breakfasts: For a more intimate and personal experience, consider staying at guesthouses or bed & breakfast establishments. These options often provide charming accommodations with local hospitality, giving you a chance to connect with the local culture and traditions.


3. Apartments and Vacation Rentals: If you prefer a home-away-from-home experience, renting an apartment or vacation home can be an excellent choice. With platforms like Airbnb, you can find a wide range of properties, allowing you to enjoy the comforts of a fully equipped space with added privacy and flexibility.


4. Eco-Lodges and Safari Camps: In many wildlife-rich areas, eco-lodges and safari camps provide a unique and immersive experience. These accommodations often blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings, allowing you to witness incredible wildlife and landscapes while minimizing your eco-footprint.


5. Cultural Stays: Immerse yourself in local traditions and lifestyles by opting for cultural stays. In some destinations, you can stay with local families or in traditional homestays, providing an authentic and enriching experience that fosters cultural exchange and understanding.


6. Glamping and Tented Camps: For those seeking a blend of luxury and nature, glamping and tented camps offer an unforgettable experience. These accommodations often feature spacious tents with comfortable beds, private bathrooms, and dining areas, allowing you to enjoy the beauty of the surroundings while enjoying modern amenities.


7. Hostels: For budget-conscious travelers or those looking to connect with fellow adventurers, hostels provide affordable and sociable accommodations. Many cities in Africa and the Middle East have hostels with dormitory-style rooms, communal spaces, and organized activities for travelers.


Regardless of the type of accommodation you choose, it is advisable to book in advance, especially during peak travel seasons. Research online reviews, consider the location and proximity to attractions, and ensure that the accommodation meets your specific needs and preferences.


By exploring the variety of accommodation options available, you can find the perfect place to rest, recharge, and create lasting memories during your journey through Africa and the Middle East.


Popular Tourist Destinations

Africa and the Middle East boast a multitude of stunning destinations that attract travelers from all corners of the globe. From ancient historical sites to breathtaking natural wonders and vibrant cities, the region offers a diverse array of attractions to explore. Here are some of the most popular tourist destinations:


1. Pyramids of Giza, Egypt: The pyramids and the Sphinx in Giza are iconic symbols of ancient Egypt. Visitors can marvel at these ancient wonders and learn about the fascinating history and culture of the pharaohs.


2. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania: Known for its breathtaking wildlife and annual wildebeest migration, the Serengeti National Park offers incredible opportunities for safaris and observing the “Big Five” – lions, elephants, leopards, rhinos, and buffalo.


3. Marrakech, Morocco: Marrakech entices travelers with its vibrant souks, stunning palaces, and bustling Djemaa el-Fna square. Explore the narrow winding streets of the medina, indulge in the flavors of Moroccan cuisine, and experience the unique blend of culture and history.


4. Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Dubai is renowned for its luxurious modern architecture, extravagant shopping malls, and world-class entertainment. Visit the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, and enjoy the white sandy beaches and vibrant nightlife.


5. Cape Town, South Africa: Cape Town offers a captivating mix of stunning natural landscapes, including Table Mountain and Boulders Beach, where you can see penguins. Explore the vibrant waterfront, indulge in delicious cuisine, and take in the breathtaking views.


6. Jerusalem, Israel: Jerusalem is a city of immense historical and religious significance. Visit the Western Wall, explore the vibrant markets of the Old City, and immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of this ancient city.


7. Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya: The Maasai Mara is one of Africa’s premier wildlife reserves, known for its incredible concentration of wildlife and the annual wildebeest migration. Embark on a safari to witness the awe-inspiring landscapes and diverse animal species.


8. Petra, Jordan: Petra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an archaeological wonder known for its intricate rock-cut architecture. Explore the iconic Treasury, the Monastery, and hike through the stunning canyons to uncover this ancient city.


9. Zanzibar, Tanzania: Zanzibar offers pristine white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a rich cultural heritage. Explore the historic Stone Town, relax on the stunning beaches, and snorkel or dive to discover the vibrant marine life.


10. Cairo, Egypt: Cairo is a city steeped in history and culture, with attractions such as the Egyptian Museum, the bustling Khan El Khalili market, and the vibrant Islamic Cairo district. Don’t miss the opportunity to take a boat ride along the Nile River.


These are just a few highlights of the many incredible destinations that Africa and the Middle East have to offer. Each country in the region holds its own treasures and unique experiences, waiting to be discovered and appreciated by travelers from around the world.


Cultural Etiquette

When visiting Africa and the Middle East, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the cultural etiquette of the countries you plan to explore. Respecting local customs and traditions can help you connect with the local people, avoid misunderstandings, and enhance your overall travel experience. Here are some cultural etiquette tips to keep in mind:


1. Dress Modestly: In many countries in Africa and the Middle East, particularly those with conservative cultures, it is respectful to dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites or rural areas. Avoid revealing clothing and opt for clothing that covers the shoulders, knees, and cleavage.


2. Greet with Politeness: Greeting locals with a warm smile and a polite greeting is always appreciated. In some countries, a handshake is the most common form of greeting between individuals of the same gender. Respect personal space and be mindful of local customs, as some cultures may have different expectations for physical contact.


3. Show Respect to Religious Practices: Africa and the Middle East encompass a variety of religious beliefs, including Islam, Christianity, and traditional tribal religions. When visiting religious sites or attending religious ceremonies, respect local customs and be mindful of dress codes and appropriate behavior. It is always helpful to research and understand local religious practices before your visit.


4. Ask for Permission: When taking photographs of local people, especially in rural or remote areas, always ask for permission first as a sign of respect. Some individuals may prefer not to have their picture taken, and it is important to honor their wishes.


5. Be Mindful of Gestures and Body Language: Different cultures have different interpretations of gestures and body language. It is important to be aware of local customs to avoid unintentionally offending or misunderstanding others. For example, certain hand gestures or pointing with your finger may be considered rude in some cultures.


6. Respect the Holy Days: Many countries in Africa and the Middle East observe specific holy days or religious holidays. Respect these days by being aware of any restrictions on activities, closures of businesses, or changes in local customs or practices.


7. Be Cautious with Public Displays of Affection: In many conservative cultures, public displays of affection, especially between couples, may be considered inappropriate or offensive. It is best to exercise discretion in these situations and follow the local norms.


8. Show Appreciation for Local Culture: Showing an interest in and appreciation for the local culture, traditions, and customs can go a long way in building positive connections. Take the time to learn a few basic phrases in the local language, try local cuisine, and participate respectfully in cultural activities and events.


Remember, cultural norms and practices can vary within countries and regions, so it is always beneficial to research and learn about the specific customs of the places you plan to visit. By demonstrating respect for local traditions, you can create meaningful connections, foster cultural understanding, and make your journey through Africa and the Middle East even more enriching.


Local Cuisine

One of the most delightful aspects of traveling in Africa and the Middle East is indulging in the vibrant and diverse local cuisine. Each country within the region showcases its unique flavors, ingredients, and culinary traditions. From aromatic spices to fresh ingredients, here are some highlights of the local cuisine:


1. Moroccan Cuisine: Moroccan cuisine is known for its exotic blend of flavors and spices. Traditional dishes like tagine (slow-cooked stews), couscous, and pastilla (a savory pastry) are must-tries. Also, indulge in aromatic mint tea and delicious sweet treats like baklava.


2. Lebanese Cuisine: Lebanese cuisine is renowned for its fresh ingredients and mezze, which are small shared dishes. Enjoy dishes like hummus, falafel, tabbouleh, and shawarma. Don’t forget to savor traditional sweets like baklava and halva.


3. Egyptian Cuisine: Egyptian cuisine features a mix of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influences. Try the popular street food, such as koshari (a mixture of rice, lentils, and pasta), ful medames (mashed fava beans), and shawarma. Also, indulge in delicious pastries like konafa and basbousa.


4. South African Cuisine: South African cuisine offers a fusion of flavors influenced by various cultural traditions. Highlights include braai (barbecue), bobotie (a spiced meat dish), bunny chow (hollowed-out bread filled with curry), and biltong (dried cured meat). Sample renowned wines from the Cape Winelands region.


5. Jordanian Cuisine: Jordanian cuisine showcases the flavors of the Levant region. Don’t miss trying traditional specialties like mansaf (a traditional lamb dish with rice and fermented yogurt sauce), falafel, shawarma, and mezze dishes like hummus, baba ganoush, and fattoush salad.


6. Kenyan Cuisine: Kenyan cuisine features a variety of meats, grains, and spices. Sample dishes like nyama choma (grilled meat), ugali (a staple made from cornmeal), samosas, and pilau (spiced rice dish). Indulge in fresh tropical fruits and Kenya’s renowned tea and coffee.


7. Emirati Cuisine: Emirati cuisine offers a blend of Bedouin traditions and flavors from the Arabian Gulf. Try dishes like machboos (spiced rice with meat), khuzi (roasted lamb), and luqaimat (sweet dumplings). Visit traditional Emirati restaurants to savor the flavors of local cuisine.


While exploring the local cuisine, it is important to consider any dietary restrictions or allergies you may have. Be adventurous in your culinary exploration, but also be cautious with street food and ensure hygiene standards are maintained.


Engaging with locals and experiencing their hospitality through food can offer a deeper understanding of culture and traditions. Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from locals or try street food stalls known for their delicious and authentic flavors.


From savory dishes to sweet delicacies, the local cuisine in Africa and the Middle East will undoubtedly tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more. Embark on a culinary adventure and savor the rich flavors of the region!


Shopping Guide

Exploring the local markets and shops in Africa and the Middle East is a treat for any traveler. From bustling souks to modern shopping centers, the region offers a wealth of unique and authentic shopping experiences. Here are some tips to make the most of your shopping journey:


1. Bargaining: Bargaining is a common practice in many markets throughout Africa and the Middle East. Don’t be afraid to negotiate prices, but do so respectfully and with a friendly attitude. Remember that it is part of the local culture, and both parties are expected to enjoy the process.


2. Souks and Bazaars: Souks and bazaars are traditional marketplaces where you can find a wide range of products, from spices and textiles to handicrafts and jewelry. Explore the vibrant alleys, take in the sights and sounds, and immerse yourself in the local shopping experience.


3. Local Handicrafts: Support local artisans by shopping for unique handicrafts that reflect the cultural heritage of the region. Look for handmade pottery, rugs, carpets, traditional clothing, leather goods, and intricate metalwork. These items make for meaningful souvenirs and gifts.


4. Spices and Perfumes: Africa and the Middle East are known for their exotic spices and luxurious perfumes. Visit spice markets and shops to experience the aromatic scents and vibrant colors. Hone your spice selection skills or customize a perfume blend to create a unique sensory experience.


5. Jewelry and Gemstones: The region is renowned for its exquisite jewelry and gemstones. Visit reputable jewelers to browse a wide selection of gold, silver, and precious gemstone jewelry. Take the time to learn about the authenticity and quality of the pieces before making a purchase.


6. Textiles and Fabrics: African and Middle Eastern countries are known for their stunning textiles and fabrics. Admire the intricate patterns and vibrant colors of fabrics like kente in West Africa or traditional Arabic textiles. Consider purchasing fabric to have garments tailored or to create unique home decor items.


7. Modern Shopping Malls: Many cities in Africa and the Middle East have modern shopping malls that offer a mix of international brands, luxury boutiques, and local designer shops. Explore these malls for a different shopping experience and to find familiar brands if preferred.


8. Local Markets: Apart from souks and bazaars, various cities have local markets that showcase fresh produce, street food, and everyday items. Visiting these markets provides an authentic glimpse into the daily lives of the locals and is an excellent opportunity to interact with vendors and sample local delicacies.


Remember to be mindful of customs regulations and any restrictions on exporting certain items, such as antiquities, endangered species products, or cultural artifacts. It is always helpful to research and understand the rules and regulations beforehand.


Whether you’re seeking traditional handicrafts, aromatic spices, or unique pieces of jewelry, the markets and shops in Africa and the Middle East offer a treasure trove of shopping experiences. Embrace the vibrant atmosphere, engage with local vendors, and take home memories in the form of special souvenirs and keepsakes.


Health and Medical Facilities

Prioritizing your health and well-being is paramount when traveling to Africa and the Middle East. Taking necessary precautions and being prepared for any potential health issues can ensure a safe and enjoyable journey. Here are some essential tips regarding health and medical facilities:


1. Medical Insurance: Before your trip, ensure you have comprehensive travel medical insurance that covers emergency medical expenses, as well as medical evacuation if needed. Familiarize yourself with the coverage details and keep your insurance information easily accessible.


2. Vaccinations and Medical Advice: Check with your healthcare provider or a travel medicine clinic well in advance to determine the necessary vaccinations and medications for your destination. Some countries in Africa and the Middle East require proof of certain vaccinations, such as yellow fever, before granting entry.


3. Prescription Medications: If you take prescription medications, ensure you have an adequate supply for the duration of your trip. It is also advisable to carry a copy of your prescriptions and a letter from your doctor, particularly for controlled substances, to avoid any complications at customs.


4. Food and Water Safety: To prevent foodborne illnesses, avoid consuming tap water and ice cubes. Stick to bottled water and ensure that the bottle seal is intact. Be cautious with street food and choose restaurants and establishments with good hygiene practices.


5. Sun Protection: The African and Middle Eastern sun can be intense. Protect yourself from harmful UV rays by wearing sunscreen with a high SPF, a hat, sunglasses, and lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that covers exposed areas of the body.


6. Medical Facilities: Major cities and tourist destinations in Africa and the Middle East have modern medical facilities and hospitals. Research and identify reputable medical centers in your destination before your trip to have a list of emergency contact information in case the need arises.


7. Travel Health Kits: Consider carrying a basic travel health kit that includes items like bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relief medication, anti-diarrheal medication, and any personal medications or medical supplies you may require.


8. Acclimatization: If you are traveling to high-altitude areas or hot desert regions, take the necessary time to acclimatize. Allow your body to adjust gradually to avoid altitude sickness or heat exhaustion. Stay hydrated and listen to your body’s needs.


It is important to note that the specific health risks and conditions can vary from country to country and even within regions. Stay updated on travel advisories and consult reputable sources, such as the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for the latest health information for your destination.


By being proactive about your health, taking necessary precautions, and being prepared, you can minimize the risk of illness and ensure a safe and healthy journey through Africa and the Middle East.


Tipping Customs

Tipping customs vary across Africa and the Middle East, and it is important to familiarize yourself with the local practices to show appreciation for good service. While tipping is not always mandatory, it is generally expected in certain situations. Here are some general guidelines to follow:


1. Restaurants and Cafes: In many countries, it is customary to leave a tip for good service at restaurants and cafes. The tipping amount is typically around 10-15% of the total bill. However, it is advisable to check if a service charge has already been added to the bill, as some establishments automatically include it.


2. Hotels and Resorts: It is customary to tip hotel staff, such as bellhops, porters, and housekeeping. A small tip of around $1-2 per service is appropriate. If a doorman hails a taxi or a concierge helps with recommendations or bookings, offering a tip is a nice gesture to show thanks.


3. Tour Guides and Drivers: When taking guided tours or hiring a driver for excursions, tipping is customary and greatly appreciated. The amount can vary depending on the duration and quality of the service provided, but a general guideline is around $5-10 per day for tour guides and $2-5 per day for drivers.


4. Taxis and Ridesharing: Tipping taxi drivers and rideshare drivers is not always expected, but it is common to round up the fare or leave a small tip as a token of appreciation for the service. This can be around 5-10% of the fare.


5. Spa and Salon Services: If you receive spa or salon services, it is customary to tip the service provider. The amount can be around 10-15% of the total bill, depending on the quality of the service.


6. Porters and Hotel Staff: When checked into a hotel, it is customary to tip porters who assist with carrying your luggage to your room. The standard amount is typically $1-2 per bag, depending on the size and weight.


7. Other Service Providers: In certain situations, such as receiving excellent service from a tour operator, a trusted local guide, or other service providers, it is appropriate to offer a tip as a show of gratitude. The amount can vary depending on the circumstances and your satisfaction with the service provided.


Remember, tipping customs can vary from country to country, and it is always a good idea to research and understand the specific practices of the destination you are visiting. Consider local norms and use your judgment to determine if and how much to tip based on the quality of service received.


Lastly, it is essential to have small denominations of local currency on hand for tipping. This makes it easier to provide the appropriate amount and avoids potential inconvenience for both you and the service provider.


By following these tipping customs, you can show appreciation for the services you receive and contribute to a positive exchange between yourself and the local people during your travels in Africa and the Middle East.


Must-Try Experiences

Africa and the Middle East offer a plethora of unique and enriching experiences that should not be missed during your travels. From awe-inspiring natural wonders to cultural immersion, there are countless activities to engage in. Here are some must-try experiences in the region:


1. Safari Adventure: Embark on a thrilling safari adventure in countries like Kenya, Tanzania, or South Africa. Witness breathtaking landscapes and spot majestic wildlife, including elephants, lions, giraffes, and wildebeest, in their natural habitats.


2. Exploring Ancient Sites: Visit iconic ancient ruins such as the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, the ancient city of Petra in Jordan, or the ruins of Carthage in Tunisia. Immerse yourself in the rich history and marvel at the architectural wonders of past civilizations.


3. Hot Air Balloon Ride: Take to the skies in a hot air balloon for a bird’s-eye view of stunning landscapes. Float above the Maasai Mara in Kenya or the Cappadocia region in Turkey to witness breathtaking sunrises and panoramic vistas.


4. Diving in the Red Sea: Explore the vibrant underwater world of the Red Sea in Egypt, Jordan, or Saudi Arabia. Dive or snorkel amidst stunning coral reefs, encounter colorful marine life, and discover sunken shipwrecks.


5. Desert Experience: Journey into the captivating desert landscapes of Morocco, UAE, or Oman. Take a camel trek across golden sand dunes, camp under the starry skies, and witness mesmerizing desert sunsets.


6. Cultural Festivals: Time your visit to coincide with cultural festivals and events. Attend the Marrakech International Film Festival in Morocco, witness the Holi Festival of Colors in India, or experience the Ramadan celebrations in various countries of the Middle East.


7. Nile River Cruise: Sail along the iconic Nile River in Egypt, taking in the ancient temples and picturesque villages lining its banks. Enjoy the comfort of a cruise ship and immerse yourself in the rich history and daily life of the communities along the river.


8. Trekking in the Atlas Mountains: Embark on a trekking adventure in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco or the Simien Mountains in Ethiopia. Discover stunning landscapes, encounter traditional mountain communities, and tackle challenging hiking trails.


9. Traditional Music and Dance: Experience the vibrant musical traditions of Africa and the Middle East. Attend traditional music performances, watch mesmerizing dance shows, and even join in the festivities by learning some traditional dance moves.


10. Culinary Delights: Indulge in the local cuisine, trying traditional dishes like tagine in Morocco, mezze in Lebanon, or a traditional braai in South Africa. Take cooking classes to learn the secrets of preparing authentic dishes and explore the vibrant flavors of the region.


These are just a few of the many must-try experiences that Africa and the Middle East have to offer. Every destination within the region has its own unique offerings, so be open to new adventures and immerse yourself in the beauty, culture, and diversity of this captivating part of the world.



As you wrap up your exploration of Africa and the Middle East, you are sure to carry with you a treasure trove of unforgettable memories and experiences. From the ancient wonders of Egypt to the vibrant markets of Marrakech, and from the stunning wildlife of the Serengeti to the modern marvels of Dubai, this region has something to captivate every traveler.


Throughout your journey, you have navigated through diverse cultures, tasted exotic flavors, and immersed yourself in rich history. You have witnessed breathtaking landscapes and encountered the warmth and hospitality of the local people. Your senses have been awakened by vibrant colors, aromatic spices, and mesmerizing music and dance.


Now equipped with a wealth of knowledge about visa requirements, safety precautions, cultural etiquette, and more, you have been able to navigate through your adventures with ease and confidence.


From the bustling souks to the tranquil desert oases, Africa and the Middle East have shown you their beauty, diversity, and resilience. They have provided you with a glimpse into their ancient past and their vibrant present, leaving you with a deeper understanding of their complex and fascinating cultures.


As you bid farewell to this enchanting region, hold on to the memories and the connections you have made. Cherish the flavors, the sights, and the sounds that have enriched your journey.


May the experiences and knowledge gained during your time in Africa and the Middle East continue to inspire you, broaden your horizons, and nurture a sense of wanderlust within you. Whether you return to explore more of this remarkable region or venture to new destinations, may your travels always be filled with discovery, connection, and the joy of embracing the unknown.