The tickets have been booked, your bags are packed and you are ready to head off on an exotic safari in the heart of Africa. You probably want to enjoy every minute of your holiday and the last thing you need is some sort of minor inconvenience spoiling the entire trip. While the operator you have booked your safari through should have taken care and alerted you to most of the details, there are always a few useful tips to keep in mind.
Before you leave
Make sure that you have done everything that needs to be done and have everything you need before you leave home. If all the affairs are settled and you have everything you know you will need, your trip will be much more enjoyable.
- Find out if someone is meeting you at the airport, where you need to go and how you are going to get there.
- Find out if the safari has any baggage limits that need to be adhered to.
- Inform the safari operator, hotel or lodge about any medical conditions they need to be aware of such as allergies or special medication.
- Inform the safari operator, hotel or lodge about any special dietary needs or restrictions.
- Ensure that the safari operator has emergency numbers to contact people back home – just in case.
- Ensure that you leave the contact numbers of the safari operator, hotels, etc. with someone at home so they can reach you if they need to.
- Ensure that you insurance, if any, covers the activities that you are going to be engaged in.
- Leave a copy of your passport and your itinerary with someone you can trust.
- Speak with your doctor to make sure that your vaccinations for the area you are travelling to is up to date and that you have the right medication (for malaria, for example).
- Take some basic medication like headache pills, diarrhoea medication, motion sickness medicine, etc. Most hotels and lodges should be able to provide it, but it helps if you have your own when you need it.
- Remember that African electricity uses 220-240V.
These may seem like simple things to remember, but they can make your stay that much more enjoyable.
While you are there
Once you have reached your destination, you want to make sure that you enjoy every minute of your stay. Keeping the following things in mind will help make the best of your stay.
- Drink plenty of water! Plenty of people suffer from dehydration when they visit Africa. Keep yourself hydrated – especially through the hottest part of the day.
- Use sunscreen! You will likely be spending lots of time outdoors. Even when it is cloudy, the African sun burns easily.
- Try new things! Make the best of your holiday. Try the local cuisine, local drinks and learn about a different culture.
- Listen to the guide! Especially when you are on a game drive or a game walk, the guide knows what they are talking about and will keep you safe.
- Ask permission first! Whether you want to take a photo or just look at something, ask the locals for permission first. Not only is it polite, but you may be surprised at how accommodating they are.
- Do not touch! No matter how close an animal comes to the vehicle it is still a wild animal. Do not feed them or touch them.
Remember that you want to enjoy your trip as much as possible. Just be responsible and you should not have any trouble. Also remember that should you need anything, just ask. Your hosts will do everything in their power to make your stay as comfortable as possible.
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