African Safari Tips : 5 Tips To Prepare For Your African Safari

5 Tips To Prepare For Your African Safari

Elephant Kruger National Park South Africa

When considering bucket list and once-in-a-lifetime experiences, an African safari is a front-runner. The chance to see majestic creatures in their natural habitat gives a fascinating insight into the animal kingdom and will leave you with memories that you’ll treasure forever.

Whether you wish to head off in search of the ‘big five’ or you’re a twitcher looking to catch a glimpse of a rare and exotic bird, here are five useful tips to help prepare you for what will be the trip of a lifetime.

#1: Pack Those Essentials

Packing the essentials is an important step when going on any holiday, but it is even more so when venturing off on safari. The first thing in your luggage should be a pair of strong, sturdy walking boots that you have worn many times before. If you plan to buy yourself some new footwear especially for your trip, be sure to break them in weeks before you jet off. Other essentials include sun cream (year-round), binoculars, mosquito repellent, a small medical kit (which could include tablets to help you stay hydrated) and some warmer layers for the early morning game drives.

One last essential is your camera. The kind of camera equipment and how much of it you take will depend on how passionate you are about photography and the type of photos you wish to capture, but remember to keep your luggage limits in mind.

#2: Be Clear On Visas

Different African countries have different requirements when it comes to visas. Places such as Botswana, South Africa and Namibia don’t require you to have a tourist visa for stays up to 90 days, but others like Tanzania and the island of Madagascar do. Although some destinations give you the opportunity to purchase visas once you arrive, it is always better to organise these in advance where possible.

If you are unsure whether you need a visa or not, your travel specialist will be able to help direct you towards the right information. It’s also worth remembering that you will need a different type of visa if your itinerary takes you back into a country after you have already left it once.

There are other considerations to take into account, though, even if you don’t need a visa for the country you are heading to. In most cases, you will need at least 6 months of validity left on your passport and two blank pages in the visa section.

Lion Kruger National Park South Africa

#3: Don’t Keep The Doctor Away

A good few months before you travel, it is advisable to consult your GP regarding any vaccinations or tablets you may need for your trip. Doing this early means that you won’t need to worry if there is a long wait for certain immunisations and it won’t create unnecessary stress as your African safari approaches. As well as vaccinations for diseases such as malaria and yellow fever, your doctor will ensure that your UK boosters for things such as tetanus are up to date. The NHS FitForTravel website is a great place to start when researching which immunisations you may need.

#4: Think About What You Want To See

Whilst the main reason people go on an African safari is to see the incredible wildlife, there are still some things to consider. Top of this list is which animals do you definitely want to see? If you are keen to track down the ‘big five’ (lion, buffalo, leopard, rhino and elephant) then somewhere like the Kruger National Park would be perfect. However, if you know you want to see high numbers of elephants as well as hyenas, you might want to think about heading to the Chobe National Park instead. And if you’re hoping to see tigers…you’re on the wrong continent. Different game areas can offer different animals, so do your research (or ask your travel specialist) in order to choose the right safari experience for you.

Giraffe Kruger National Park South Africa

#5: Decide Your Level Of Luxury

There’s no doubt that an African safari is an adventure and that means there will be varying levels of comfort available when choosing somewhere to stay. If you’re looking to keep the cost down and only require the bare essentials in terms of facilities, there are basic accommodation options available that will take you into the heart of the action. However, if you would like a bit more luxury, fantastic meal options and upgraded facilities, there are some excellent choices on offer in this area two. Just be sure to book the right level of comfort for you so that there aren’t any nasty surprises when you arrive and there’s nowhere to charge your phone.

Fred.\ Discover offers a variety of Safari Tours to suit you, from walking safari’s to jeep safaris and specialist photography safaris. You can also combine a safari with a luxury train journey through Africa via Rovos Rail !

Rovos Rail South Africa

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Gary Bembridge

I grew up in Zimbabwe, but I have been based in London since 1987. My travel life spans more than three decades and that includes more than 95 cruises. In 2005, I launched Tips for Travellers to make it easy and fun for people to discover, plan and enjoy incredible cruise vacations. And the rest, as they say, is history. I have the largest cruise vlogger channel currently on YouTube, with more than 2 million video views per month.

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3 Responses

  1. John says:

    Gary,
    We have done a few safaris now and can relate to your tips. One thing that we have not tried, but which some safari companies offer, is the loan of equipment. To save people buying expensive kit, or risking their own, some companies offer the loan (included in the price of the trip) of DSLRs with large telephotos.

    I’ll send you a link to some of our shots, but I also have a photo blog running, mainly street stuff. https://eclecticphotosblog.wordpress.com

    All the best
    John

  2. Going on a African safari looks like it would be so much fun. I hadn’t even thought about talking to a doctor about vaccinations and things though, so thanks for that. If I ever end up going, I will make sure to talk to a doctor.

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