Egypt has a wealth of accommodation, and can be seen on a budget.
Lesotho is a great destination for trekking and hiking.
Zimbabwe has great value game reserves.
Mozambique has some excellent affordable accommodation, and pristine beaches.
Botswana is hugely enjoyable – visit the Okavango Delta and experience some of the local culture.
South Africa can be expensive – not by Western standards, but by the standards of elsewhere in the continent. Fortunately, the Garden Route, a popular strip of coastline between Mossel Bay and Port Elizabeth has some great budget accommodation. This area is brilliant for hostels. Numerous buses ply the route, and there’s also minibuses aimed at budget travellers. If you’re self-driving, then you’ll find plenty of excellent self-catering options, and this is one of the best areas in Africa for guesthouses. This is a fairly well-developed tourist area, so there are plenty of attractions and restaurants. The Garden Route will suit couples and families as well as younger travellers, and its popular with senior travellers too – there’s something for everyone here.
Malawi is a great destination for budget travellers. Lodges at Monkey Bay, on Lake Malawi, are very popular – some are geared towards young travellers and backpackers, and some are aimed at families and couples. During the day you can chill out at the beach, kayak and snorkel, and at night you can meet other travellers, do a booze cruise, or simply enjoy the sunset. Malawi is also a fantastic destination for game viewing. Visit Liwonde National Park to see elephants and baobab trees. Malawi is great for younger travellers.
Gambia is a brilliant place for a budget holiday. You can book budget package deals including flights and hotels, and can enjoy this friendly and warm hearted country without breaking the bank. Enjoy some of the local beer, take a cruise on the river, and enjoy shopping for local crafts. There are small game reserves, and you’ll also enjoy the beaches. Gambia is an easy and good-value way to have an African experience.
Morocco can be a fun place to experience as a budget traveller. Go to the local hammams instead of the tourist baths, to have an authentic North African experience. Try haggling in the souks, eat local couscous and tagines, drink mint tea, and generally have a fantastic time. Morocco also has some unique budget accommodation options. Local auberges and gites d’etape are small, locally run inns, and are great value places to stay. Riads are small guesthouses found in historic tourist areas. You can also rent a mattress on the roof of some hotels, which keeps the costs down and keeps you cool!
Aside from accommodation and flights, your biggest expense is likely to be car hire – unless you’re willing to rely on tourist excursions, the only way to see much of Africa is with your own wheels, as public transport can be slow, awkward or non-existent.
Self-catering can be an excellent way of keeping your costs down – you may find that you save more on eating out than you do on picking the lowest priced accommodation.
Eating as the locals do and using local buses can be a great way of keeping costs down. However, travellers can be obvious targets for pickpockets or worse. Chat to locals before you go off the usual tourist track. You might also find that the local buses don’t go to places you want to visit, or are more geared around the needs of local workers than tourists.
Your main expense is likely to be your flights – it might make sense to stay for a long holiday.
There are numerous backpacking and self-drive tours available, so you can see Africa and keep costs low.