Five tips to guarantee touring West Africa on a budget
West Africa has been described by non-Africans as a challenging place to tour.
And while this description might seem unfair or untrue, poor infrastructure, social instability are key factors playing into that sad narrative.
The reality is that West Africa is a beautiful region, blessed with beautiful countries and people.
When touring, the tourist’s aim is to challenge themselves with adventures and sometimes, a major concern for them, especially those on a budget is how affordable their trip can be.
TheCable outlines five tips in this article will guarantee touring major West African countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Senegal, Burkina Faso etc. on your budget.
Engage a reputable or trusted local tourist guide
Besides popular tour guide platforms like Trip Advisor, individual West African countries, towns and districts, are home to local tour guides. These individuals or companies are mostly locals who know the right places to tour and offer standard package prices for services.
It is however important that you conduct thorough research for trusted local tour guides to avoid falling victim to swindlers or con artists.
Map out a personal itinerary
Research is bae. Ahead of time, note down and map out the tourist attractions, landmarks, towns, cities, or districts you wish to visit during your trip.
Having your personal itinerary creates clarity when it comes to the activities you will engage in, places you’ll visit, routes to take as well as how much it will cost you.
Equip yourself with a bargaining hat
A common practice among West African traders or service-providers is to increase the prices of products and services for tourists. This comes considerably easy for them as one can distinguish locals from tourists.
If you trust your bargaining skills, research or ask around for the standard prices of the items you wish to purchase. On the easier side, you may turn to a tour guide or local friend or acquaintance to accompany you on your shopping spree.
Choose the right means of transportation
Most West African countries rely on taxis, buses, motorbikes, ferries, and trains as the popular means of transportation. Knowing the cheapest means of transportation will save you thousands and keep you on track with your budget.
Scout most affordable restaurants
While touring leaves very little room to make your own food, it is advisable to scout the most affordable restaurants in the area you find yourself. In addition, make enquiries from your local guide or acquaintance on the healthiest option in restaurants, bars and even hotels.