TRAVEL TO AFRICA EXPERIENCE GAP

It takes a lot of planning and preparation to travel to a new destination, and we’re here to help you every step of the way! Whether you’re purchasing your plane ticket, applying for a visa, or getting ready to pack, this guide (along with your expert Gap Year Specialist) is your ultimate resource for a successful experience. So read on to learn more. And remember that we’re always available to answer any questions that you may have, and to share our personal expertise.

In Rabat, Morocco, it’s:

In Hohoe, Ghana it’s:

In Kilimanjaro, Tanzania it’s:

Flights

Your fellow volunteers will be from all over the world, and some of you may even end up on the same flight. Regardless of the flight that you choose, your arrival airports for your gap experience are:

Morocco: Rabat International Airport (RBA)

Flight to Morocco: Arrive at RBA any time on your program start date (Saturday)
Departure Flight: Depart RBA any time on your final Saturday in Morocco

Ghana: Kotoka International Airport (ACC)

Flight to Ghana: Arrive at ACC between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm on your first Saturday in Ghana
Departure Flight: Depart ACC between 12:00 pm and midnight on your final Saturday in Ghana

Tanzania: Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)

Flight to Tanzania: Arrive at JRO between 5:00am and 10:00pm on your first Saturday in Tanzania
Departure Flight: Depart JRO between 8:00am and midnight on your program end date

There are many online resources available to purchase your flight, but here are a few recommended by our team of volunteer travel experts:

Call Key Travel
Sapphire Team

(646) 218-2100

Call STA Travel
(800) 781-4040

Once you arrive at the airport, you’ll be greeted by a friendly CCS driver or staff member, like Abdou.

We’ll be waiting for you right outside of the departure gate, so keep an eye out for a smiling face with a “Cross-Cultural Solutions” sign!

CCS Driver, Abdou

Immunizations

We want to make sure you're healthy during your CCS experience, so take a moment to review the recommended vaccinations for your destination at the Centers for Disease Control, or by visiting a travel doctor.

All travelers to Ghana are required to have a valid Certificate of Yellow Fever, proving that you have been vaccinated, for entry to Ghana (this is not required as part of the visa application).

Visas

In Morocco, as long as you're traveling for less than 90 days, you don't need to obtain a visa if you hold a passport issued from the United States, Canada, or United Kingdom.

If you're traveling to Ghana with a U.S., Canadian, Australian, or British passport, you'll need to get a visa to enter the country. Please start your application 90 days before you arrive in Ghana. The recommended visa type for your travel is a TOURIST VISA (or “Temporary Tourist Visitor”).

For U.S. passport holders: Visit the Ghana Embassy in New York
(Visa fee: $60-$100 non-expedited)
For UK passport holders: Visit the Ghana High Commission
For Canadian passport holders: Visit the Ghana High Commission in Canada
For Australian passport holders: Visit the Ghanaian Consulate

Learn more about Ghana visa application guidelines.

If you are traveling with a US or Canadian passport, you will be asked to submit a Letter of Invitation from Cross-Cultural Solutions. Please type your full name, as it appears on your passport, into your Letter of Invitation (if you’re Canadian, use this one; if you’re from the U.S., use this one), ensure that the font is normalized (matches the rest of the font), and press print! We’ve also included a copy of your Ghanaian host’s ID card, as you are sometimes required to submit this.

If you're traveling to Tanzania with a U.S., Canadian, British, or Australian passport, you'll need a visa to enter the country. Please start your application 90 days before you arrive in Tanzania (as your visa may take a few weeks to process).

Please carefully review your instructions for your Tanzania visa application.

Who is my “Contact Person in Tanzania” on the visa application?

Your contact person in Tanzania is Thea Mushi. Please use this address: Cross-Cultural Solutions, Karanga Village, Moshi Municipality, Tanzania (there is no street address). When you’re completing the remainder of your application, make sure you read the instructions carefully! We suggest that you mark down $1000 under “Budget for your Stay”. Remember NOT to list Cross-Cultural Solutions as your employer (we go under “tour operator”).

Fill in your information (noted by the red text) on the Visa Supporting Letter to submit with your visa application.

Review the requirements so that you are prepared with the appropriate paperwork upon arrival. Access the Summary of Education and Experience form here.

Is your passport issued from a country other than those listed above? Find out if a visa is required for your travel!

Is your passport issued from a country other than those listed above? Talk to your Gap Year Specialist to find out if a visa is required for your travel!

Insurance

As a CCS volunteer, you’ll automatically be covered by our comprehensive Travel Medical & Emergency Evacuation Insurance while you’re participating in our program. If you’re traveling before or after your program, you may choose to extend your insurance so that you’re covered every step of the way.

What does your insurance include?
  • To start, up to $50,000 of medical expenses (with unlimited Medivac services), benefits allowing you to speak with mental health professionals, and $1,000 trip cancellation insurance in the event of illness or injury.
  • In the event that you do need medical assistance, keep in mind that you’ll need to pay the medical costs directly and claim for reimbursement once you return – so budget an additional $100 just in case.
  • Learn about all the details of your insurance in the Insurance FAQs.

Need to upgrade your insurance? There are alternate plans available to you, which can increase your medical expense limits to $500,000 and your trip cancellation insurance up to $5,000. Just log on to the Core Travel website to print your card, extend your insurance, or upgrade!

What to Pack

Rabat’s weather is Mediterranean – mild & temperate, with the summer months reaching 88 °F (on average) during the summer months of June – August. During the slightly cooler winter (December – February), the average temperatures can range from 45 degrees to 71 °F.

Hohoe’s weather in one word is steamy. The humidity is typically around 80%, and temperatures are in the 80s and 90s (°F). If you’re traveling between April and June, expect some seasonal rains. Whenever you’re traveling to Ghana, though, plan for lightweight, breathable clothing.

The Kilimanjaro region has a tropical climate with distinct wet and dry seasons. During the Tanzanian winter months (May – August), average temperatures can range from 60 to 78 °F. In other months of the year, expect temperatures in the 80s and 90s during the day, occasionally dipping to the 60s at night. If you’ll be in Tanzania in March, April, and May, be prepared to get a bit wet – most of the rain that falls in Tanzania falls in these months.

As international travelers, we love everything about preparing for our next adventure—but we must admit, packing can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. We’re here to help you figure out what to bring and what to leave at home, and we've even created a handy packing list as a general guideline. This assumes you’re doing laundry around every 10 days, so feel free to make adjustments based on what is right for you.

Pack light!

You don’t want to drag around heavy suitcases. And remember, you can get toiletries and other essentials in-country.

Save some room!

We’re sure that you’ll fall in love with some amazing keepsakes during your time in-country, so feel free to bring along an extra, empty bag to cart it all home.

Spending Money

Across Morocco, Tanzania, and Ghana, you'll be working with 3 different currencies. You can exchange your currency when you arrive at the airport, or withdraw local currency at local ATMs. Remember to contact your bank and credit card companies before travel to let them know that you’ll be out of the country!

While everyone’s spending habits are different, you might want to budget for around $50 to $75 USD per week for keepsakes and free time activities. Plan around $150-$300 USD for most weekend trips (it can be a bit less depending on your choice of accommodations), and a bit more (around $350 - $500 USD) if you’re planning on the camel ride through the Sahara in Morocco, a safari in Tanzania, or a trip to Cape Coast in Ghana.

Emergency Contact Information

It’s helpful to inform family and friends of your travel plans so they know how to reach you. Just input your flight information and you have a handy Travel Contact Sheet to email or print for your family and friends.

Remind friends and family that if they’d like to make an international call to reach you at the CCS Home-Base, US and Canadian residents should dial “011” before the number, and UK residents or residents of other countries should dial “00” before the number.

Your safety is our top priority, and to make sure you comprehensive support, we request that all volunteers register with their government for access to emergency support and safety information. Please select the appropriate link below to follow some simple steps (it only takes a minute) to register your travel information:

US Citizens: Safe Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) through the State Department
UK Citizens: Foreign Commonwealth (FCO)
Canadian Citizens: Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT)
Australian Citizens: Smart Traveler Program through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)

GO TO: Getting to Know Morocco, Ghana, and Tanzania

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