1. Greeting: A handshake and a hello. Click here to learn African languages. One of the most significant things you can do is to extend a greeting to individuals in Africa.
A brief “hi” and a firm handshake are all that are required to establish a good first impression on anyone.

2. Show respect to elders. African cultural values are based on a foundation of the past and present, a leading reason why elders are so well respected. Always acknowledge an elder, let them ask questions, and during mealtime elders should be served first.

3. Pointing at things. It’s not a good idea to point with your index finger because it’s typically regarded as impolite or downright disrespectful. While different ethnic groups have distinct ways of pointing, I typically do so by pointing with my chin and opening my eyes.

4. Calling in an overhand motion. Avoid raising your palm in a calling gesture. Calling someone over while pointing your palm downward and bringing your fingers inward is the preferable technique.

5. Hissing and Kissing Sounds. To call the attention of someone is often performed with a hissing or loud smack of the lips.  If you are not expecting it, the sounds might come as a surprise, but it’s totally acceptable and very common.

8. Silence is an African Value. Don’t be alarmed or nervous with spans of silence during African conversation.  When there’s something to be said, it will be said; when there’s nothing to be said, silence is perfectly fine.  There’s no need to feel uneasy during a period of silence in Africa, take the time just to enjoy the presence of others.

0. Use Flexibility. Africa will teach you to be flexible. Closely relating to how future-time is of less importance, schedules aren’t always at the forefront of lifestyle.  If a plan gets shut down or changes drastically, there’s not always something you can do besides accept it and continue with a positive attitude.

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