In my last post I wrote about how to find the proper safari guide and outfitter for your African adventure. Remember that is very important to find a properly sanctioned guide and get references from past clients before you make a reservation and commit to your travels. www.atta.travel – African Travel and Tourism Association.
With this post I want to give you an idea of what to do before you pack for your safari adventure.
Most people who have been on safari are eager to answer questions so when you seek out travelers it is good to have some questions in mind. The more specific inquiries you have regarding your particular trip the better.
The US dollar is the main travel currency in Africa. However, it is a good idea to know the exchange rates for the country you are headed to or passing through.
Some countries have an airport tax that is due before you can depart. Check with the airlines that you may be using to get specific information.
Always make copies of your passport and itinerary. Leave a set at home with someone you can contact if the need arises. In addition always take a copy with you but keep them in a separate place just like you would some extra emergency cash.
Check with the US Embassy to see if there are any travel restrictions regarding the country or countries you plan to visit. The political world can change quickly in some places. www.usembassy.gov/ It is always a good idea to let the embassy know your travel plans for security.
Contact your destination country about any Visas you may need several months in advance of your trip in case there are problems. See your personal physician and secure any reentry medical documents regarding smallpox and hepatitis shots and medicine prescriptions like Malaria well in advance. For further information contact the US Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.hhs.gov/ .
Travel insurance isn’t a must but Safari businesses have been known to shut their doors without warning or if they do not book enough clients they may cancel the trip just as you are ready to depart. You may have an unforeseen problem and have to cancel yourself. You should at least check into travel insurance and weigh the logistics. www.TravelGuard.com/Compare
Check to see if you own health insurance will cover you if there were to be an accident or you are injured on location. Be sure it will cover an air extract from remote locations. You may be a long way away from a major airport or real hospital.
Electricity in Africa is 220-240V AC50HZ. You can obtain adapter plugs from companies like Magellan’s catalog online, www.magellans.com. They also have reliable travel gear and clothing. Travel Smith is another company that has safari gear and clothing. www.travelsmith.com.
Now, for some information about clothing tips and safari gear, it is important to note that while on a wildlife safari do not make the mistake of wearing bright colored clothes. Safari clothing should be in neutral colors like light brown, khaki and darker green. For wildlife viewing you want to blend in.
To enhance your travel safari experience get yourself a language dictionary and learn some of the local words for better communication and showing an interest in the country’s culture. I did pick up English – Swahili pocket book for useful phrases and it did bring more smiles from locals. Just making an effort can mean a lot. www.taboraonline.com
The next post part 3 will finish with information on clothing, personal and camera gear to consider before you go on your safari.
Photographs used in this post are copyrighted by Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography, 2010, All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in any manner is prohibited without the written permission of Wayne Scherr, Range of Vision Photography. My image catalog can be viewed at http://www.rangeofvisionphotos.com. You can contact me through this blog or through email at: email@example.com