Aliyah Mahdi, an African American who repatriated to the continent seven years ago with her husband RJ Mahdi and their two children share some helpful pointers when traveling to the continent and Senegal for the first time
If you have never heard of Senegal before, the small, beautiful country sits on the most western point of Africa and is considered the door to Africa.
Aliyah Mahdi says, “Since we have been in Senegal we have been organizing events for
returnees and tour services through our company The Made in Africa Project. I am hoping this article will provide you with good insight on traveling abroad to the continent. We want you to be prepared when you arrive.”
The first thing I always ask people is what are your goals when traveling to the continent. This
will help in your overall planning process. Everyone has different purposes for traveling here, whether it be cultural, spiritual, or for business and investment purposes. Either way, it’s good to know this ahead of time so you can get the most out of your trip.
Always check the your Embassy’s website about the country you will be traveling to prior to
departure. This will give you clear instructions on whether you will need specific vaccinations, if any at all. Here in Senegal there are currently no vaccinations required to visit.
Learn about the country’s visa laws. Travel visas are different from work and residential visas. Travel visas are usually good for 30-90 days. In Senegal, there is no visa required to travel, so it will save you some money on your travels. Most TRAVEL visas can be purchased at the airport upon arrival.
Check the weather before you book the flight. You don’t want to be uncomfortable during your trip. There are dry, hot seasons in Africa, as well as a rainy season. You may not want to get caught in either one. I recommend visiting Senegal in the moderate months, mostly in the fall season, from August to December.
Search for events happening in the country around the time you wish to travel, and you can
double up on your experiences. We are hosting The Return event in Senegal this year during
Juneteenth and we are inviting the diaspora home to celebrate with us. If you are interested in joining please contact us www.madeinafricaproject.com . We can help you get setup, assist with relocation and provide investment services.
We look forward to welcoming you home to Mama Africa very soon!