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Preparing For Your African Safari

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IT’S ALMOST TIME FOR A SAFARI WITH US! HERE ARE A FEW TIPS TO PREPARE.

For the purpose of this information piece the content is relevant to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana.

Below follows the most important items you need to consider whilst preparing for your trip.

PREPARE FOR YOUR AFRICAN SAFARI

Visas

VISA – Visitors from most European countries as well as the Americas, New Zealand and Australia do not require a visa to enter SA, Botswana and Namibia, whilst Zimbabwe requires entry visas, but they can also be bought at any port of entry into Zimbabwe.

Make sure your passport will be valid for 6-9 months after the journey. Most countries require 2 blank pages for their stamps, so be sure your passport has sufficient pages available.

Medical

MEDICAL INOCULATIONS AND MEDICATION – None of the Southern African countries we offer safaris in have any inoculation or vaccination requirements for you to enter. For your own peace of mind I would suggest you consult with your travel doctor well before departure to Africa and take advice on the vaccinations recommended from an expert. In years gone by some South African countries insisted on yellow fever vaccinations but this has been cancelled.

MALARIA – is prevalent in Northern parts of South Africa, Northern parts of Namibia as well as most of Botswana and Zimbabwe. Again I would suggest you consult with your travel doctor about a prophylaxis most suitable to yourself. Once on African soil there are some additional safety precautions to take in order to minimize the risk of being bitten by malaria carrying mosquitoes. This includes long sleeved clothes, using insect repellent and mosquito nets.

MINOR MEDICAL ISSUES – I strongly recommend you bring a minor first aid kit containing the following items:

• Nausea, diarrhoea and stomach cramp medication
• Headache tablets
• Water purification tablets
• Sunscreen and lip balm
• Body lotion for the harsh climate
• A pair or 2 latex gloves
• A spare toothbrush and toothpaste
• Tweezers and a small pair of scissors• Anti-bacterial ointment/ cream
• A small bottle of disinfectant
• A few good plasters and bandages

Although your safari operator will have a well-stocked 1st aid box, bringing your own mini kit is always recommended.

Cameras & Binoculars

There isn’t much to say about cameras and binocs other than that they are probably the most essential of all the items on your travel list as they will bring your African experience back home with you and fast forward a few years, they will still be there….

Reminding you of the great safari you had. Make sure to bring a couple of spare SD cards as the photo opportunities will be never-ending. iPhones and other hand held devices also take amazing photos and be sure to use them as well.

Clothing

The clothing you wear will depend on the type of safari you choose.

Wildlife safaris dictate for neutral colours, whilst cultural and landscape tours have no specific colour requirements and feel free to wear whatever makes you comfortable.

Time of the year is another factor as temperatures between rainy and dry seasons vary immensely.

If your tour takes place between May and end July do bring a number of long sleeve pants, long sleeve tops, a fleece or two, a warm jacket, beanie, gloves and scarf. 

This in addition to some shorts and T-shirts which you will wear during the day, when temperatures are in the mid 20’s.

The other months of the year brings warm to very hot weather and too many warmer items will be a waste. You do however need some light longs, shirts and a fleece or two to protect against mosquitoes at dusk and throughout the night.

Finally a nice hat, sandals and a light rain jacket will all come in handy.

Insurance

Be sure to take out travel insurance before your departure to Africa. 

This should cover tour cancellation and curtailment, theft as well as hospitalisation.

Money Matters

Always carry a couple of thousand USD in cash with you as well as Visa or Master cards. Both are accepted everywhere for payments as well as for withdrawals. Zimbabwe might be the exception and therefore USD is a good idea to have in Zimbabwe. 

American Express and Diners Club cards are generally not accepted. It is a good idea to have some of your cash in small denominations for purchases of curios and items along the way.

General Items

Chargers for both cameras and cellphones are imperative items and I suggest you check with your tour operator about the options available for each individual country you intend to visit as they each have their own specifications.

Tipping in Africa is important to the locals and be sure to have notes of USD or the local currency in 1 – 10 denominations on hand during your travels.

Bring a good book to read as well as a diary to record your memories during the tour. A good safari guidebook like Game Ranger in your Backpack is also recommended.

This enables you to read up on the different species as you spot them whilst on game drives. 

These are the more obvious items to consider before departure to Africa.

Be assured that we will assist you in finer details before your dream adventure with Africa’s Best Adventures.

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