The Woes of Travelling Within Africa

So if you’ve read my post 25 random things about me, you’ll know that I have a list of countries in Africa that I’m determined to visit verryyyy soon. In the last couple of years, I’ve been less interested with travelling to Europe, Asia and the States, and more interested in touring our beautiful motherland. I never understood why Africans, particularly Nigerians (since that’s who I’ve been able to observe more closely) choose to go to the USA or London but have barely been around West Africa talk of Africa as a whole. There’s just so much beauty to be explored, sights to be seen, beaches to be laid on (not just african looking camels to be ridden in Dubai). 

“Yimu! (Kmt)”

People come from far and wide to see that beauty Africa holds but our people are running away from it. I really never understood it. To be honest, I was one of those people until I started OD-ing on episodes of Inside Africa and African Voices on CNN, and I was amazed by what I saw and wanted to see more. Especially after my trip to Ghana in 2015…

Labadi Beach, Accra, Ghana

That’s a little background info into my aspirations of travelling across Africa…

For my 30th birthday, coming up in less than two months (excited much!), I really wanted to do a little getaway to one of my top african destinations, so as I like to plan early, I started doing some research into this a little while so I could set my budget etc. After seeing those prices, it suddenly made sense to me why our fellow Africans choose to vacay in faraway Dubai instead of local Dakar in Senegal. Because a return ticket to Dubai is actually cheaper!! How?! To say I was shocked is an understatement! Just to put it into perspective for you, here are the average costs for the Christmas/New Year period – Lagos to Dubai as of right now is N217,864 (just under 470 pounds)  while Lagos to Dakar is N242,575. Ok, could be just Dakar right? I thought I’d try somewhere else, Cote D’Ivoire. That was N195,202. Cheaper but still too close to the cost of a flight to Dubai when it’s only a 2 hour journey compared to Dubai which is over 7 hours.

Firstly, the proximity is too close for the prices to be so high! This isn’t even me looking at flying to Mombasa, Kenya (which still seems pricey for me at N297,047(about 640 pounds) to be honest). Secondly, I really want to understand why it’s cheaper to fly in from another continent to an African country than it is to fly from one African country to another? How is this being measured? Don’t they realize that if they encouraged us to spend our money on travelling within our continent, more money would be pumping into our continent instead of being dashed to other continents?  I know what you are going to say, It’s more expensive travelling within the U.K than to Europe, but still!!! The first step to making Africa great is by our fellow Africans thinking it is great . How will that even be possible when when we’re not even encouraged to explore it? Sigh… African tourism really needs to be promoted amongst Africans and stop the portrayal that all it’s good for is a camel ride or a safari trip.

On the plus side, the extortionate prices are actually making me consider doing a staycation here in Nigeria so I’m researching that right now. I’ll try and do a post on my findings.

So my major question here is, why is so expensive to travel within Africa? Is it down to fuel costs? Poor inter country relations? Please comment down below with your thoughts because I’m really intrigued as to why this is…

Let’s discuss guys x

Author: Mimi Osa

Mimi Osa is a Blogger, PR, Communications and Events Consultant & Freelance writer .

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4 thoughts on “The Woes of Travelling Within Africa

  1. Africa travel is expensive for one obvious reason!! We are a continent of import as opposed to export. A minor amount of countries have a national carrier even Nigeria a supposed giant. The aviation fuel is imported, the craft is imported heck the skills to fly or even maintain also imported. In retrospect to these,where do you suppose the operating cost will filter to??? The value of these currencies to $$ which is the universal currency thanks to Breton Woods agreement is not helping our import culture. A lot of countries in the region do not subsidize these cost hence the consumers bear the brunt. Sadly,but most importantly because these destinations have no national carriers they may need to pull a connection just to fill out the seats and break even which makes a 2hr flight longer. Hence,the market for iata certified travel agents in Nigeria they have a better search database. I can go on and on but then my anger towards the system and the dissatisfaction with the way things are run would overshadow my points…..

  2. I remember when I had to travel to Malabo, Equatorial Guinea which is about 2 hours from Nigeria. Would you believe I traveled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia first, spent the night there then passed through Cameroon and then stopped at Malabo. I spent more money and hours in the air due to the fact that our infrastructure here is so poor. Forget travelling, try calling within West Africa alone, girl the money you’d spend calling there is ridiculous compared to the UK, US. Also, girl another issue is we are not as technological inclined as more developed countries, it’s harder to plan your trip to certain countries because details of hotels, places to visit etc are not easily accessible. Which is sad. Though, have you considered possibly exploring places like Port Harcourt or the North if you’re not scared. I’d love the travel to Kaduna state soon, perhaps next year seeing as this period is risky.

    Princess Audu

    1. *sigh* so many issues that we should have gotten over as a continent! Can’t believe you had to go all the way through Ethiopia then Cameroon to get to nearby Malabo!! As for Port Harcourt, that’s home so wouldn’t consider that a vacay lol. Wouldn’t mind trying the North though, I’ve been looking at Yankari National Park to see Wikki Warm Spring, though I think I’ve found somewhere, but I’ll share my findings in a post soon 🙂

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