How to Prepare for an African Safari

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Two lions in the grass
Photo: Geran de Klerk

For many, the opportunity to visit Africa is a once in a lifetime occurrence. An African safari is a chance to experience unique environments and new cultures, and to see the magnificent wild animals in their natural habitat.

Preparing for an African safari can be exciting, but a little stressful because you must make sure everything is prepared, and nothing is forgotten. Here are a few useful tips to help in the process of planning your African Safari:

Choose a country – the most exciting step is choosing a country in Africa to visit for the safari. Rwanda, South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania are the most visited countries for the safe and adventurous safari.

Research reputable safari companies – the best references for a reputable travel company are sourced from friends and colleagues. Talking to someone first hand about their experience is certain to be more productive than simply going online and typing in a relevant search. Before making a booking, make sure you are 100% clear on what your safari tour includes (lodges, camps, guides, etc.). Also, read up on the cancellation policy.

Book your flight early – Aim to book the flight to your safari destination at least two months in advance. Also, check to see if the ticket is refundable or not. A refundable ticket gives that extra piece of mind in the event of last minute illness that can prevent travelling.

Passport and visa – a valid passport is required for any country visited on the African safari. Your passport must have at least six months remaining from the date of travel, and preferably two or three blank pages for stamps.

The need to apply for a visa depends on the African country you are visiting. Look up this information early in the planning process because the application process can take several months to complete. A visa can run to about $100.

Get Any Immunizations you need – a journey to the African continent is certain to mean exposing yourself to potential health risks. The African county entered will dictate what protection is needed. Book an appointment with your doctor well in advance of your departure date (two months is usually enough time).

Pack a copy of your vaccination records in your luggage which may be needed in the event of needing medical attention abroad. Extra precautions can be taken on arrival in Africa, such as sleeping under a mosquito net, using an insect repellent, and covering exposed skin with long-sleeved shirts.

What to wear – the type of safari clothes you pack in your luggage is entirely dependent on when you go. For instance, the African climate in the summer is extremely warm, but will cool for the winter when it is practical to layer up.

In the summer, maybe a thin shirt and light khaki pants would be practical along with a wide brimmed hat to give protection from the intense sun. Also, try to wear clothes naturally light in colour. Green or khaki is flavoured in front of a bright yellow shirt which is easily noticeable by the wild animals.

Plus, an African safari cannot be experienced without a handful of useful accessories, such as a pair of binoculars to see the wildlife in the distance and a good camera to capture the perfect shot.

4 COMMENTS

  1. I actually planned having a Safari trip to Africa soon; South Africa in particular. I learned the weather there is a bit temperate compared to other African countries. It will really be fun having to visit Africa to see the real animals and their ways.

  2. This reminds me of my last Safari visit to South Africa. It was a mixed feeling all the way as I had a tough time booking my flight at the last minute. If I had known, I would have done that earlier and save myself of the unnecessary hassles. Anyway, getting to South Africa was really fun and I would say it’s a perfect country to visit for a safari.

  3. One thing I never leave home without is my maps of the area. I love to see where I’m going, the terrain around me and the places where rivers and mountains are in relation to my camp. It’s a game changer and honestly so worth the enhanced experience.

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