for Your African Safari
for Your Safari
There are numerous preparations you should make
before you leave for your African safari vacation.
It is especially important to be aware of the physical
conditions and safety considerations if you are considering
a visit to Africa. Research the political situation
in the country you are planning to visit before you
book and confirm your travel. Official web sites
on the Internet will provide you with complete and
Before You Leave Home
A crucial consideration is to pack wisely and don’t
over-pack. But how do you determine what‘s
essential and what’s not? Although having the
proper clothing is very important, the key is to
travel light but travel smart. It is recommended
that you check out the local climate and weather
conditions before you embark on a safari. If you
have booked through an African travel specialist
for your trip, contact that company for clothing
suggestions during the specified period of your travel.
Be sure to include
good walking shoes that are comfortable and already
broken in; don’t make the mistake
of bringing brand new shoes. Include comfortable,
but protective clothing for your safari. Long-sleeved
shirts help protect your arms from the sun and long
pants will help protect you from mosquitoes, especially
in the evenings. Wearing neutral-colored clothing
will help you blend in with the surroundings while
you are admiring the wildlife and will also reflect
the sun, keeping you cooler. You may also want
to bring along a warm jacket for cool nights. In
addition, you’ll want to take some “dressier
clothes” for when you’re planning to
be in one of the larger African cities where more
formal attire is appropriate.
Regardless of the time of year you visit Africa,
the sun’s heat will be significant during
the day. High SPF sunscreen and lip balm are a
must, as well as a hat, bandana, sunglasses and
so forth. Covering up when in the sun is the best
approach to ultraviolet ray protection. Generally,
fabrics with a tighter, denser weave give the best
protection. Knit constructions, such as cotton
t-shirts, give relatively poor protection (SPF
rating of 4.8) since UV rays pass through loops
on the knit structure.
What about Health Care and Medicine?
You should definitely schedule a doctor’s visit
for a complete medical check up well in advance of
your departure. First and foremost, you should remember
to have prescriptions filled with an adequate supply
of the medications you are currently taking. If you
are visiting an area known to have malaria, you should
consider taking prophylactic malaria medication.
Your family physician and safari travel company can
offer advice regarding this medication based on the
region you are planning to visit. It is also a good
idea to have a dental check-up before your travel.
Be sure to enquire
about the quality of the drinking water and, if
in doubt, drink only bottled. Many
people become dehydrated when on safari because they
forget to drink enough water – be sure to drink
plenty of water every day. Re-hydration tablets
are also a good item to bring along, just in case.
a medical kit with painkillers, bug repellants, anti-diarrhea
pills, bandages and antiseptics for yourself and
anyone traveling with you. Finally, ensure that your
insurance coverage is adequate in case you become
sick or injured abroad. There are insurance companies
that specialize in overseas travel insurance and
offer short-term coverage’s to
suit all needs – your travel agent can help
When You Arrive
After you arrive at your destination, there are some
additional points worth noting to preclude illness,
accident, or injury so you can enjoy your holiday
to the fullest. First, to relieve symptoms of jet
lag and fatigue, eat lightly, drink plenty of
fluids and avoid alcohol and caffeine for a few
days after your arrival. Also, try to adjust
your activity levels to the local time zone as
soon as possible to get you physically in sync
with the local time.
One of the most common
reasons for injury abroad is automobile accidents. Be
sure to familiarize yourself with the local driving
culture, road signs, speed limits and local police
vehicles before attempting to drive.
When walking in cities
and urban areas in Africa, you may want to consider
using two wallets. Hide one of them with the bulk
of your cash, traveler’s
checks, credit cards and other essential items in
a safe place on your person. Fill the second wallet
with a small amount of money, and use that for routine
spending. In addition, you should avoid counting
your money in public, as this will cause the unwanted
attention of potential thieves.
Finally, if you must take an expensive laptop or camera
when walking around in populated areas, try to conceal
them as much as possible, preferably in an older or
beat up bag.
an African safari company, boasts an extremely
knowledgeable team of staff members, who are
passionate about every aspect of travel to Africa, including its wildlife and safari destinations.
When you're ready to plan your African safari,
a holiday in Africa, or if you just have questions,
please feel free to contact us toll free at 800-457-9575
or visit our web site at http://www.eyesonafrica.net/contactus.htm and
complete an information request form.
on Africa was selected most knowledgeable
Regional Expert for Southern Africa / Safaris by
National Geographic Traveler Magazine,
20th Anniversary Special Issue.