Travel Tips for an African Safari
Let us guide you to plan your dream vacation ...
A valid passport is required for your trip; be sure to check the expiry date.
It is a good idea to carry a photocopy of the photo page and the entry stamp page of your passport as an additional piece of identification.
Valid visa - if required - Contact Us for updated information.
- One other picture ID (e.g. driver's licence)
- Photocopy of passport page to carry in wallet
- Air tickets
- Expense money
- Recommended inoculations
All visitors are responsible for their own international travel and medical insurance. You are strongly recommended to obtain the necessary travel insurance prior to your departure, which must include cover in respect of emergency evacuation expenses, medical expenses and repatriation expenses.
Certain credit cards will cover a certain part of your travels but not all – read the fine print because extra cover is normally necessary. Please ensure that you will be able to be repatriated in cause of illness or death or at least be able to be admitted to a private hospital. Certain insurances can also cover you if you cannot join the tour in which case you will normally forfeit either the balance or a portion of the full amount of the tour cost if you are not covered. Your plane might be delayed and your first night’s accommodation will be forfeited. Please also read through our “Terms & Conditions”
PLANNING & PACKING FOR YOUR SAFARI: What to Bring
When deciding on which type of safari you want, there are a few things you need to take into consideration: what type of activities you are interested in, your budget, the age and level of fitness of the person(s) travelling. It is important to note that some safari camps do not cater for young children, and some safari activities are not suitable for elderly persons.
Suggested list of Clothing you should pack:
As no formal clothes are needed throughout most of Southern Africa, we recommend that you limit your luggage to the basics; generally, casual comfortable clothing is suitable throughout the year but you may want to include items listed below:
|Good Walking Shoes (running/tennis shoes are fine).|
|Good quality sunglasses|
|Golf-shirts, T-shirts and long-sleeved cotton shirts|
|Sweat pants/sweat shirt|
|Warm winter sweater|
|Warm Anorak for the cold winter months (May to September)|
|Underwear and socks|
|Moisturizing cream, Sunscreen & Lip balm|
|Malaria tablets (if you choose).|
|Basic medical kit (aspirins, plasters, Imodium, antiseptic cream and Anti-histamine cream etc)|
|Camera, video camera, film, batteries, binoculars|
|Waterproof/dustproof Ziploc bags/cover for your cameras|
|Camera equipment, charges and plenty of digital storage|
|Visas, tickets, passports, money, etc.||
- Layers are most practical for the fluctuating day / night temperatures of Africa. Dull and / or neutral colours are more suitable for safari
- Cotton clothing is recommended for summer. It is best to pack hardy, durable clothing
- More formal attire is usually required only when staying in the more prestigious city hotel establishments or on any of the luxury trains
- If you wear contact lenses, we recommend that you bring along a pair of glasses in case you get irritation from the dust or pollen
- Leave room for purchases. Many airlines are strictly enforcing luggage weight limits so you may have to pay extra if your bags are overweight. Shipping items home from many countries can also be expensive and sometimes unreliable.
- A travel vest is a great item to pack. It’s light and comfortable and the many pockets are excellent for holding film, sunglasses, sunscreen, maps, snacks and other necessary items.
- Pack clothing that resists wrinkling and can be washed out in a sink and dry quickly overnight.
- Pack layers of clothing so you can adjust to any temperature.
IMPORTANT - There are strict weight restrictions on any itinerary which includes light aircraft transfers (Please see details of Luggage Restrictions in our Fly-in Safari section)
GENERAL HELPFUL TRAVEL HINTS:
- Start breaking in the shoes you will be wearing on your trip two weeks before you leave.
- Walk around with your packed luggage to evaluate weight and comfort.
- It is best to have luggage with wheels or a comfortable backpack. You may have to walk a distance to your lodgings from a train station and you don’t want to be struggling with heavy and unwieldy bags. (Note luggage restrictions on Fly-in Safaris)
- Be sure to pack items like sunscreen and mosquito repellent if you will be travelling in areas where you will need these items
- Be sure to drink a lot of water on long flights to prevent dehydration.
- Get up and move around during long flights to avoid leg cramps or more serious problems that can arise when sitting for long periods of time. Many airlines now provide cards with suggestions for stretching exercises you can do in your seat.
- Avoid jetlag by adjusting in advance your sleeping and eating habits closer to your destination’s time zone.
Click on TIME ZONE CONVERTER - www.timezoneconverter.com
- Many countries use the 24-hour clock (also known as military time) rather than the am / pm system most North Americans use. Familiarize yourself with this practice and keep in mind that Europeans and other write the date in the form of dd/mm/yy.
General Health -
- Be sure to check for travel and health warnings before you plan a trip.
Click on CENTRE FOR DISEASE CONTROL - www.cdc.gov
- Be sure to obtain any necessary vaccinations at least a month before you plan to travel. Some vaccinations such as Hepatitis B take several weeks to take effect, so schedule all vaccinations well in advance of your departure date.
- Visit your doctor before you plan to travel. You can obtain extra prescriptions to take with you on your trip and any special medications you may need such as medications for altitude or motion sickness. Again, see your doctor well in advance of your departure date. Some preventative medications such as anti-malarial pills should be taken two weeks before your departure date for full protection and effectiveness.
- Keep any prescriptions in your carry-on luggage so you have them in case your checked luggage is delayed.
- Pack your prescriptions in the bottles from the pharmacy to avoid questions at airport security. Also make sure that your prescriptions are legal in the country you will be travelling in. Some medications that are legal in your own country may not be in other countries.
- Call your health insurance and check to see if and what your coverage is while travelling.
- If you wear contact lenses, bring an extra pair in case you need them. Or disposable contacts are excellent for travelling. If you wear contacts or glasses, it is a good idea to bring your prescription with you should you lose or break your existing pair. Having a copy of your current prescription will have you the hassle of trying to find an optometrist or ophthalmologist in a foreign country.
- Travel prepared with a currency exchange rate sheet.
Click on CURRENCY EXCHANGE – www.oanda.com/currency/converter/
- Make arrangements with your bank to pick up foreign currency at least two weeks in advance of your trip. Many banks do not have foreign currency exchange at all branches and it may take some time to process your transaction. Try to obtain a couple hundred dollars in smaller bills instead of large denominations.
- Obtain travel insurance if your current plan does not cover you abroad. An accident or illness can ruin your holiday and your bank balance.
- If you are planning to use credit cards when you travel, you should contact your credit card company before you leave to advise them of where you will be travelling and for how long. Many credit card companies monitor unusual spending patterns as part of their security practices and you would hate to have a hold placed on your card in the middle of your trip. Please note that 800 numbers don't work in many foreign countries. Make sure you have the correct phone numbers if you need to contact your credit card company.
- Check with your bank to see if you will be able to use your ATM card while travelling. In many countries now you can withdraw money in that country’s currency with an ATM card. However, most ATM's in other countries only accept 4-digit pins and sometimes don't accept pins with zeros in them. Check to see if your card is compatible with foreign ATM machines and what your daily withdrawal limits are and change your pin if necessary.
- Don’t expect to learn a new language before every trip, especially if you are going to be in a country on one day and in another the next. Instead, learn a couple key phrases such as good morning and thank you for each place you visit.
- Have a pocket translation guide on-hand or download an App on your mobile for quick reference.
Travel Savvy -
- Make several copies of your passport and any credit cards or ATM cards you will be carrying with you. Leave one copy at home, keep one with you, but do not carry it on your person, and give a third to a travel companion. Another option is too scan your passport and other important documents and email them to yourself or a friend. Then, if the need arises, you can retrieve your information from a computer.
- Make sure your luggage is clearly marked with identification inside and out.
- You may want to carry a small colour photo of your luggage so if your bags are lost you can give the airline an accurate description of your luggage.
- You may also want to write up a list of your luggage contents and keep it with you in case your bags are lost or delayed.
- Be sure to apply for and obtain any necessary visas at least a month before your trip. Visas may take quite a while to process and you would hate to have your trip delayed because your visa did not arrive in time.
- While travelling, keep your personal items close to you at all times. Do not carry wallets in your front or back pockets. Use a money belt or sturdy bag placed securely over your shoulder. These are sure sign that you are a savvy traveller and will deter any pickpockets.
- It is best to travel in official taxis approved by the government with set rates. This will help avoid any problems like gypsy taxis and ensure that you arrive at your destination without hassle or "tourist rates."
- Be aware of the customs and practices of the countries in which you are travelling. Many countries have different standards of modesty and may object to bare legs or shoulders. Be especially aware when visiting religious sites; churches and mosques may require that shoulders and heads be covered, particularly for women.
- If you are planning on renting a car while travelling, reserve your vehicles well in advance of your arrival date. Be aware that car sizes differ from country to country so be very clear what you need when making your reservation. Double check with your credit card company to see if they cover insurance on your rental car.