Why It’s Difficult For African Travelers To Visit Other African Countries
By Isha Thorpe
From the outside looking in, it may appear to many that African travelers who would like to visit neighboring African nations can do so easily. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
An article published by BBC News dove into the reasons behind the difficulty of intra-African travel and it’s quite the eye opener. According to the story, the majority of African travelers from countries all across the continent must obtain visas if they would like to visit another African country. The African Union (AU) was actually supposed to terminate the need for these visas in 2018. But that didn’t happen. Many African countries, South Africa for example, have even strengthened their travel regulations for other African travelers who want to come, while European travelers can visit South Africa with little to no difficulty.
“Our leaders seem to go to ridiculous lengths to preserve and protect the colonial borders,” said Katchie Nzama, who’s a South African travel blogger who’s visited 35 African countries and has racked up a number of visas in the process. As of right now, the Seychelles is the only African country where visitors don’t need visas. This nation is one of only 22% of other African countries that don’t require the travel document.
Many visas also cost a pretty penny. The price of these visas serve as another obstacle for African travelers who want to explore other parts of the continent. “I’ve spent more money applying for visas than transport costs in my travels across the continent,” Nzama said.
On top of all of this, flights from one African country to another are fewer than you may think. And when they are available, they are expensive.
“Flying from Kenya to Namibia is the same price as flying to Thailand, and the cost to Dubai from Nairobi is way cheaper than flying to Morocco,” said Winnie Rioba, a Kenyan travel blogger.
Rioba continued: “How will I convince an African traveler to go with me to Angola if the trip will cost as much as travel to five countries in Europe?”