Africa Cup of Nations is the main international association football competition in Africa.

The country of pyramids, Egypt is a fascinating and magical country and the AFCON is just the perfect window into exploring one of the oldest civilizations on the planet.

The tournament which will hold in June-July, which happens to be major peak periods, will cause costs of visiting Egypt then to spike insanely. This means that, if you are interested in attending AFCON, the time to start planning is now.

Here are a few things you need to start preparing for, off the top.

Tell your friends

A football tournament won't be much fun alone, besides there are so many other things to explore in Egypt. You still have about 6 months to get your friends motivated to go on the trip with you and allow them save up for it.

Travel funds

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Amarachi Ekekwe at the Pyramids of Giza [Travel with a Pen]

You might want to start setting aside the travel funds you would use for travel fees, accommodation, feeding and other miscellaneous expenses. As a strict budget traveller, you should start seeking ways to make your trip as budget-friendly as possible.

Flight tickets

Flight tickets are up there for things that spike during peak period. When you've confirmed dates for when you'll be in Egypt, you'd want to book as early as possible so the fares can be cheaper. Egypt airlines have direct flights to Egypt, which have a total ETA of 5 hours while Turkish airlines, for example, have connecting flights with layover in Istanbul et al, but a total ETA of 9 hours. The direct flight is more expensive than connecting flights.

Accommodation

It might be too early to book a hotel but bear in mind that hotels will be BOOKED UP if you don't get one on time. From now, you can seek other accommodation options too, such as AirBnB and Couchsurfing, which will give you enough time to relate with hosts.

Visa application

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The Pyramids of Giza [Travel with a pen]

The process of obtaining a visa to Egypt, from Nigeria especially, is actually straight-forward. The Egyptian Embassy is located at plot 340, Diplomatic Drive, Central Area, Abuja, Nigeria. There are three kinds of visa:

  1. Single entry visa (up to 90 days): $25
  2. Tourist multiple entry visa (up to 90 days, valid for 6 months): $60
  3. Business multiple entry Visa (up to 90 days, valid for 6 months)

You'd need to go to the embassy to submit: A valid passport; two passport photograph; a fully completed visa application form; visa fees in cash; photocopies of the passport and ID card; photocopies of the original passport and ID card, including copy of all visas(valid and expired); Copy of registration certificate/copy of visa and copy of work permit(if available)in Nigeria; Copy of round trip tickets or confirmed itinerary; Proof of health insurance covering international travel; Copies of bank statements from the past 6 months; Copy of a letter from your employer on business letterhead; Copy of confirmed hotel reservations.

The visa is usually ready in about 7 working days. So, you don't exactly have to do it right away.