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“The only man I envy is the man who has not yet been to Africa, for he has so much to look forward to.”—Richard Mullin

There is something magical about Africa. It’s different than the rest of the world. Africa is one of the last places on earth that is still raw and less disturbed by modernization. It’s rich, vibrant, colorful and incomprehensibly huge. It’s hard to travel to Africa and not come home with a different perspective of the world. Here are the seven ways a trip to Africa will change you forever.

RELATED: 5 awesome African safari lodges

1. Africa will make you feel incredibly small (in a good way)

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You can’t wrap your head around how small Africa will make you feel until you see a place like the Serengeti | Photo by GettingStamped.com

There are countless landscapes in Africa that seem to go on forever. From the endless Sahara Desert to the vast Great Rift Valley to the Serengeti, which translated literally means “Endless Plains,” Africa is home to many attractions with superlatives including Mt. Kilimanjaro (tallest free-standing mountain), the Ngorongoro Crater (largest intact volcanic caldera), Sahara Desert (largest desert), Dune 7 (tallest sand dune) and many more.

2. You’ll learn that happiness isn’t proportional to wealth

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Maasai men performing a traditional dance in a small village outside the Maasai Mara National Park Kenya | Photo by GettingStamped.com

Possibly the most impactful thing you’ll take away from a trip to Africa is that the people of Africa are generally happy. They may not have all the things we have at home, but nevertheless still enjoy their lives. Malawi is possibly the best example of this. The small landlocked country is among the poorest in all of Africa, yet the people are among the warmest and friendly you’ll ever meet. When checking off your safari packing list, throw in a few things that you no longer need to give away in Africa.

3. You’ll realize how absolutely huge Africa is

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Once you go to Africa you won’t come back the same. | Photo by GettingStamped.com

Most people don’t realize it, but the African continent is staggeringly massive. It’s so large that most of the world’s largest countries—including China, the United States, India, Mexico and about 14 other large countries—would all fit within its landmass. Another fun fact most travelers don’t know is that the way most maps are drawn make the areas around the equator look much smaller. Modern maps stretch the countries near the poles giving a deceivingly small appearance to countries like Kenya, Ethiopia and the DRC.

ALSO: Imagine the huge rewards you’d earn if you booked an Africa trip! Join Orbitz Rewards now.

4. Africa will make you feel alive

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Photo by GettingStamped.com

There’s an energy to Africa that is unlike any other place in the world. You might even feel it as soon as you get off the plane; the air is different. There’s something old, pure and good about this content. Scientists believe that somewhere around modern day Ethiopia, the human race started and then populated the planet.

5. You’ll realize most of the problems you face are first world problems

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You don’t have an iPhone 7 yet? Wow, you have it rough. | Photo by GettingStamped.com

Most places in Africa aren’t like the emotional TV commercials asking for donations, but life in much of Africa has a lot more challenges than what we’re used to at home. Simple things like having clean water to drink are still issues that exist in many African countries. Even countries that have a relatively better standard of living still struggle with political and economic issues created by colonization in the past century.

6. A trip to Africa will ruin zoos for you

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Sorry but a trip to the zoo will never be the same again either. | Photo by GettingStamped.com

The biggest downside to an African safari is that any future visits to a zoo will likely be a letdown. Seeing lions penned up in an enclosure isn’t going to cut it anymore after what you’re going to see in the Serengeti or other African game parks.

7. Africa will leave you in awe and longing to return

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There’s no place like Africa, and you’ll be back. | Photo by GettingStamped.com

Africa has a way of drawing you back. It’s a one of a kind place full of unique destinations and experiences you just can’t find in other parts of the world. Once you go, you’ll know.

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Tagged: Africa

Note: Orbitz compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

Hannah & Adam | Getting Stamped Bloggers
Hannah & Adam are travel writers & photographers who have called the road home since 2013. Their passion for adventurous travel has brought them to 60 countries and counting. They blog about their adventures on their travel blog GettingStamped.com.

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