> General Africa Safari Articles
African Safari Preparation
By Michael Russell.
If you are planning on going on an African safari, the last thing
you would want to do is spoil the trip right out of the chute by
forgetting some essential things. Make yourself a list of things to
do and check everything off as you go along. There are some
important things to consider before you head to Africa.
You will want to wear comfortable, but protective clothing on your
safari. Long sleeved shirts help protect your arms from the sun, and
long pants will help protect you from mosquitoes. Wearing neutral
colored clothing will help you blend in with the surroundings while
you are admiring the wildlife, and will help to reflect the sun,
keeping you cooler.
Remember, your transportation may not allow you to carry a lot of
luggage, so be conservative. You may have to travel by a small plane
or boat and not be able to carry more than a few pounds worth (maybe
20 or 25). Be sure your gear and clothing is packed in something
waterproofed like a duffel bag. Most safari guide services recommend
only 2 or 3 days worth of clothing be taken as there will be
facilities to do laundry in most camps and lodges. If you are
planning on being in any of the larger African cities with
restaurants, they may require more 'dressy' attire, so take
Here are a few items you might want to take along on your African
Clothing - sweater and jacket, raincoat, jeans, dress pants or
skirts (if you plan on going into the city; you might even want to
take a tie and some dress shoes), t-shirts, underwear, sports bra,
sun protecting hats, socks, hiking shoes
Miscellaneous - large handkerchief or headband, oral hygiene
supplies, hair care supplies, shaving gear, sun glasses, wash rag,
plastic storage bags, sunscreen and insect repellent, medications
for allergies, colds and headaches, flashlight, pocket knife, camera
and film (this is important - don't count on getting it there),
batteries, small first aid kit, eye drops, lip balm
You should plan on visiting your doctor several weeks before your
trip to make sure you have the vaccinations and medications you may
need. There are some things you may be susceptible to in Africa that
you want to guard against.
A Yellow Fever Vaccination Card is required for entry into Kenya,
Uganda and Tanzania. Malaria prophylactics are advisable before
entering into a malaria area (particularly Kruger). Malaria is
spread by mosquitoes, so take other precautions, too. Avoid
Bilharzia (caused by tiny parasites) by not swimming in stagnant
rivers or streams.
If you are a non-resident of Africa, you will need a passport that
does not expire for at least six months after your return home.
Visas which are acquired before you travel are required in Egypt,
Madagascar, Mozambique, and Tanzania. Visas can be obtained upon
arrival in Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Also, plan on getting at
least the minimum amount of travel insurance.
Many places outside of the African cities accept American currency
as well as local currency. Also, take travellers cheques in small
denominations for incidental expenses. Many establishments in the
cities also accept international credit cards. Some banks have ATM
machines where you can use an international credit card to obtain
local currency. You will need to ensure you have some American cash
for visas, airport departures, taxes, tipping, etc. Carry small
denominations like $10 - $20 USD and plenty of $1 USD for tipping.
So, getting ready for your African Safari is a job in itself, but if
you arrive prepared you will certainly have a much more enjoyable
and hassle free trip.
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