West Africa is known for pristine beaches, thriving art, music, distinctive cultures, fascinating landscapes, impressive structures, ancient architecture, deep transatlantic slave history, wild nightlife, breathtakingly sights (e.g. waterfalls), unmatched nature and dizzying array of cuisines. There is something exciting for everyone, from the food tourist, to the history buff, sightseer, and beach lover.
One uncommonly spoken attraction for West Africa as a preferred destination amongst travelers is its people. There is no gainsaying that the people are upbeat, delightful, real & authentic, and that is the highlight of visiting West Africa. Every day you open your hearts to explore the unbeaten paths of West Africa, you create beautiful memories and will most certainly return home buzzing about the life-changing holiday experience.
OTHER REASONS TO CONSIDER WEST AFRICA AS A HOLIDAY DESTINATION.
1. It is off the tourist trail
There are fewer people visiting West Africa than America, Europe or even other parts of Africa. This has an advantage on the flipside and that is there are fewer crowds at popular sights and tourism is untainted. By nature, the less explored, the more interesting the travel story.
2. Value for Money
With a stronger currency like the Dollar or Pounds, you have a better advantage in West Africa which means that everything becomes extremely cheaper; from the food, to transport etc. This also means that aside from being able to splash on luxury, you can consider (when possible) giving back to the local communities.
3. Volunteering Opportunities
While West Africa is an amazing destination for holiday, like any other developing region of the world, it is faced with economic, social and environmental challenges. You can volunteer (if possible) to teach, build, create arts or sports coach etc. This is an easy way to make an impact and leave a place better than you met it. There is so much pride and satisfaction that can be derived from volunteering.
4. Opportunity to visit multiple destinations
For many holidaymakers, visiting any part of Africa is a huge decision, consequently making the most of the trip is utmost priority and this is the sweetener of exploring West Africa as a holiday destination. There are connecting road networks, albeit not perfect, between some countries. For instance, you can travel easily and by road as well from Senegal, to Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea and Sierra Leone before heading east through Ivory coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria. This route can afford you the opportunity of exploring multiple countries in West Africa at once. Unfortunately, that can’t be said for some other areas in the region where there are poor flight/vehicle connections.
Overland tripping across West Africa is also favorite for most foreigners and returnees who want to experience the incredible sights and enjoy an adventurous journey. Remember a change of plan or the unexpected is inevitable. That said, it is important to plan but also be flexible to accommodate any eventualities, like any other trip.
5. Less Visa processing hassles
Visa policies in each of the West African country varies but not complicated. As an ECOWAS passport holder, you would be able to visit West African countries without visas, however, other passport holders may require visas to visit some West Africa countries, so please confirm the most recent visa requirements before departing your destination or home country. As at today, the below table is a snapshot of visa requirement for ECOWAS, US and UK passport holders.