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Are you considering embarking on an African safari? That’s a good decision because a wildlife safari, particularly in Africa is an experience like none. It is all about you and the wild, raw Mother Nature at its best.
There are many things you are expected to prepare and learn before you embark on a safari in Africa to make sure the safari lives up to your desired expectations.
Here are some useful tips to help you plan and prepare for a remarkable and extraordinary African safari.
Selecting the Best African Safari
The surprising aspect of an African safari is that Africa accommodates more than 800 different types of animals, such as the African elephant that you cannot get in any other part of the world.
With self-defense for everyone, hunting and nature fans frequently go on an African safari with the hope of sighting the Big Five: the leopard, lion, Cape buffalo, rhinoceros, and elephant. These are just a few of the animals you will see on your trip.
Depending on the part of Africa you choose to go, you will also see Hyenas, antelopes, giraffes, warthogs, wildebeests, and zebras among others.
Conducting research on different types of safari vacations in Africa and making a list of aspects of your safari must-haves will help you narrow your choices down and make you choose a perfect destination.
Consider the following:
- Transportation mode
- Your preferred type of accommodation
- What you want to see
- Your budget
- Other activities you want to involve in
Start making the list by asking yourself the major reasons you want to go on an African safari. When you have this clear understanding, you will have a better focus and able to remove options that will not fit your preferences and needs.
What to Arrange
– Visas: For some African countries like Tanzania and Kenya, you need a visa for entry, in addition to a valid passport. Therefore, check up the list of visa requirements of the African country you are visiting on sites such as VisaHQ.com. Make sure you file your visa application at least 60 days (2 months) before your travel date to make sure you have sufficient time to get the visa processed.
– Insurance: Good travel insurance is a must when going on a safari adventure to Africa. Embarking on a safari needs adequate preparation than most other types of adventures. As a result, many tour operators may want you to buy travel insurance before booking a package. Buy a policy for your protection even if it is not required by the tour operators.
– Vaccines: You will need to get yourself immunized before embarking on your African Safari as some diseases including yellow fever are commonly found in Africa. Apart from yellow fever, you will also need vaccinations against typhoid and hepatitis A & B.
However, get your shots done well ahead of your departure as some vaccinations normally take several weeks to take full effect. Go to the Center for Disease Control website for more information on destination-specific vaccines.
Top Things to Pack for Your African Safari Trip
- Sunscreen: You will need a sunscreen of SPF 15 and above because you will probably be exposed to sun A LOT for the period of your trip. To minimize the risk of sunburn, use your sunscreen often because Africa’s sun can be cruel. Also, take a hat and polarized sunglasses along.
- Clothing: Pack relaxed; lose layered clothing to protect you from the sun. Opt for the ones that you can wear many times and are khaki, green, or olive. Do not pack many clothes and don’t worry about special or brand new safari-style clothing. It is noteworthy that it can get extremely hot or cold on safari. Hence, get yourself ready for both.
- Camera Gadgets: Carry your best camera of at least 200mm lens with you for taking pictures of the animals as there is no way you can use your Smartphone to snap nice pictures. Make sure you have reserved batteries and replace them each time.
- Soft-sided Travel Bags: It is recommended that you pack light and carry a soft-sided traveling bag, whether you are planning to take a small plane in Africa or want to join an organized tour. Avoid carrying hard-shell suitcases to Africa as they are not permitted in case you want to board a small plane or follow a group tour.
- Binoculars: Your safari adventure will not be thrilling without binoculars. However, you can go without one, but the truth is that it will be more fun and interesting if you have a pair.
- Light Snacks and Drinking Water: Make sure you have some drinking water and snacks with you always. Although organized rides will give you water and other drinks, as well as snacks, the fact is that you must be patient until they stop somewhere.
- Medication and First-aid Kit: You may want to carry some medication and your first-aid kit with you if you are prone to travel sickness. Roads in Africa can be bumpy. For this reason, take medication against diarrhea. On the other hand, you may need malaria pills, depending on the area.
What You Expect to See
You must know what you hoping to see on your African safari adventure. Although Africa has a wide collection of wildlife, it is noteworthy that many of its species are unique to particular regions alone.
For example, if you are interested in seeing the five species in the course of your visit to Africa, you have to go to countries like Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Malawi, Botswana, and The Democratic Republic of Congo.
But the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda should be on the top list of destinations to consider if doing some gorilla tracking is your interest.
The Best Time to Travel
The best time to go when it comes to safaris depends on the destination(s) you have decided to visit. In general, the dry season when water is scarce and the animals would normally gather around the few available water yet to dry up is the best time to embark on a safari tour.
Furthermore, dirty and bumpy roads are easier to navigate during the dry season. In the rainy season, some areas may be flooded, which makes getting around more difficult. Ensure you consider the time of the year if you want to see wildlife migration.
With these insights, tips, and information, you can now prepare for an extraordinary African safari that will linger for a lifetime.