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According to Lonely Planet, these countries are trouble-free, relaxed and safe, habitable, ceaselessly cheerful, easy going and polite, but you must say `Hello` and always introduce yourself to elders.

Health and Insurance

Travel insurance is essential and you will need to organise suitable cover for the duration of your stay.

Vaccinations are not compulsory but ask your Doctor's advice at least 6 weeks before you travel and remember Malaria prevention. There are pills for treatment available from the local Pharmacy if you get symptoms and the incidence of Malaria is getting less. We will advise you accordingly during your stay.

Money

Withdrawals are available from ATM's but Visa is more common than Mastercard. Keep Euros or Sterling as a secret standby but don't bring local currency. You can change money at the local airport.

Once you have left the coast you will be a long way from an ATM so ensure you have enough to cover your stay.

You can receive quick money from the UK throughout West Africa by MoneyGram (UK Post Office) or Western Union. Please bear in mind that these options have high charges - it costs nearly 20% of the amount!

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Climate

This part of West Africa has a warm, sunny climate with blue skies throughout the year.

It is tropical and has its rainy humid period, mainly in July, August and September, but even then many days have sun and blue skies interrupted by occasional exciting tropical thunderstorms and amazing lightening displays.

Typical daytime temperatures are 27/28 C. Warm clothes are not needed.

Luggage Allowance

Only 20 kilos but extra clothes and shoes are cheap to purchase in African markets. Travel light.