drunk half a bottle of champagne, bubbling over with heartfelt gratitude for being alive.”
Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen)
What you should know before you travel to magical Africa
Visa requirements vary by country, but many African countries require tourists to come armed with a travel visa, even for short stays. Some countries, such as Kenya and Zimbabwe, allow travelers to obtain an airport visa upon arrival. Not all countries issue airport visas. Some, such as South Africa, will turn travelers away if they arrive without a visa.
Health & Vaccination
|Vaccinations & Immunizations|
Important part of planning your trip to Africa is vaccinations and immunizations. Some African countries have entry requirements – proof about vaccinations against a specific disease. It’s highly advisable to double check with embassy of country you travel the latest information. The most common is yellow fewer and the some countries have vaccination proof as entry requirement. Yellow fever is a mosquito-borne disease, most common from July to October in West and Central Africa. If you are traveling to sub Saharan Africa you have to take anti-malaria prophylactics, to avoid malaria. Vaccinations against Hepatitis A, Meningococcal meningitis, Rabies and Typhoid is highly recommended for every African country. The best time for vaccinations is 4-8 week before you travel.
Travel Health kit
Before you travel prepare small medical kit including aspirin, ibuprofen, against malaria pills, allergy medicine, antiseptic solutions, cream for itches and rashes, band-aids, stomachache medicine, antibiotics, supplements such as multivitamins and minerals, diarrhea medicine, prescription antibiotic effective against a broad range of bacteria and any prescription medications.Carry a copy of your immunization record in your travel health kit. Include your original International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis for yellow fever.
Africa has a bad reputation regarding the safety and while most of Africa is safe for travel and nearly all tourist attractions on the continent is far from conflict, official government travel warnings should be respect. Safety is a big concern for visitors to Kenya also. Thousands of people enjoy going on safari in Kenya every month, but with official government travel warnings out for the country, it’s difficult to know what the situation is like. While you are traveling you should follow the guidelines related to stay safe during the travel. It’s recommended to have a bag with lock option so you can be sure about your belongings even in hotels.
Planning Safari should start half of year to 1 year a half before travelling. You should decide when to go, make decision on langue, camps or etc, check the latest information about countries you plan to visit or travel through, be vaccinated and prepare for stay healthy and safe because participation on a safari requires that you be in generally good health, read about safari experience, animals, and tours. One of the start points is to decide which animals you want to see.
Big 5— Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Rhino and Elephant: If you want to see all of these animals in one trip, the Masai Mara in Kenya, Kruger National Park, in South Africa and the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania are good options.
Gorillas: If you’re interested in gorillas you would want to head to Rwanda, Uganda or Gabon.
Chimpanzees: Gombe Stream National Park in Tanzania.
Lions: The Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in East Africa are the best parks to view lions.
Black Rhino: To see the black rhino is quite rare, but you still have a chance to catch a glimpse in Etosha National Park, Kruger National Park and Chobe National Park.
Hippos and Crocodiles: Plentiful in lakes and rivers throughout East and Southern Africa. a Canoeing Safari in the Zambezi River, which runs between Zimbabwe and Zambia. Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania and Liwonde National Park in Malawi also offer fine viewing opportunities, but be cautious, crocs and hippos can be extremely dangerous.
Birding: If ornithology is your passion then you will be very happy to know there are many birding safaris available in East and Southern Africa.
Safari Travel essential
To feel comfortable during the Africa trip, it’s very important to be well prepared and to check recommended items to pack.
Africa Travel essentials
Lightweight clothing and right shoes for your travel or safari type. Sweater for early morning and evening, because there is a large temperature range each day. It can be quite cold on early morning game drives and long pants and a warm sweater are needed. Please note that Army camouflage uniforms and hats are forbidden in certain African countries. Dark colors are not a good idea especially if you are going to be out in the sun, as they absorb the heat. Tsetse flies love colors like blue or black. Lighter and more natural colors such as khaki, brown, beige, olive and green is recommended. Protect yourself from mosquitoes by wearing pants, long sleeved shirts, socks and shoes plus insect repellant. Hat – must provide you with complete coverage from the sun (including on the back of the neck area), must allow your head to “breathe”, and be perspiring absorbent on the inside, while waterproof on the outside – to protect you in case of a storm.
The check in luggage limits on the regional commercial flights is 20 kg pp. You are allowed to have 1 carry-on bag (South African Airways, British Airways, Nationwide Airlines, Kulula etc). Luggage, including camera equipment and hand luggage, is restricted per person traveling on seat rates, as follows:
· 12kg in Zimbabwe.
If you are going on an organized safari you may be limited to baggage size you can take on your safari vehicle – its advisable to check additionally about the baggage size limitation.
Camps and safaris in the remote wildlife regions of Southern Africa have no access to electrical power due to the remote nature of their locations. Most camps have generators on site with 220v electricity or they make use of solar panels.
Money & Credit cards
Most places accept credit cards (Visa, MasterCard and Amex), but not all (example Zimbabwe); however it is a good idea to carry some cash with you to pay for curios, bar accounts, gratuities and other special costs. In South Africa it is advisable to change your money into Rands (currency).
Also it’s recommended to carry some cash in US dollars when you traveling to African countries. In Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, Swaziland, Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar and even Namibia if you pay for something with US dollars, you will receive change in the local currency.
ATMs are available across South Africa, as well as in large cities in other African countries. Should you bring cash, we recommend that it be US dollars in notes of $50 and less. One dollar notes are very handy for tipping.
Guides: about US$5- US$10 per guest per day is a recommended tip. Camp Staff. US$3 per guest per day. In Restaurants and Hotels 10% from the amount.