Africa, a huge continent, probably one of the most foreign to Westerns in terms of culture and landscape especially. Africa is the second largest continent in the world and offers an amazing array of widely varying experiences from country to country. Northern Africa is largely influenced by Islam and its middle eastern neighbors. Muslim is the primary religion in most North African countries. Western Africa is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, but beware of the riptide, which has claimed many lives in the surf off the coast.

Central and Eastern Africa is characterized by wide plains and desserts, and unfortunately holds the most war torn countries of the continent, including the Congo and South Sudan. South Africa used to be under British colonial rule, and its culture reflects many influences from Europe. But the apartheid and continued civil war has left its mark on the economics of the country and and the heart of its people. Still one can find many amazing and beautiful sites in South Africa, such as Victoria Falls or many of the safari opportunities available.

Due to safety restrictions it is difficult to get visas to some countries in Africa. People wanting to visit Africa can find many different ways to go, rather than just as a tourist. Many organizations offer opportunities to volunteer in Africa to teach, build needed buildings like schools, distribute humanitarian food and clothing, or offer much needed medical care to some poorer countries. Just be wary of anything you sign up with! Look for good reviews and an established company.