While Africa is thousands of miles away from home for many, there's no doubt that it provides the best of what nature has to offer and is more than worth the trip. A journey that far from home will require extensive planning in order to ensure that you have everything in check.
Planning is a vital stage for any African safari.
Most travelers seek help from a tour or travel provider, as they tend to understand the basics of what you may require during your trip. To start, you'll have to choose your specific safari destionation and also decide on what time of the year you would like to visit. Your decision on both of these will be dependent on what you would like to see and achieve when it comes to wildlife and weather.
Checklist for Planning an African safari
Passport and Visa
As with all international travel, you'll require a passport to travel to Africa. Certain countries may also require a visa so make sure that you check whether this is a requirement for your country and apply for one in advance if needed. Some countries may require you to apply for a visa several months in advance, so plan ahead to avoid inconvenience.
When traveling, safety should always remain a top priority. On an African safari, you can expect to encounter wild animals such as lions, hippos and crocodiles, which can be dangerous if you are not aware of park rules and safety guidelines. Ensure that you are informed regarding precautions at all times.
You should also research any travel diseases prevalent to the area that you'll be visiting and enquire as to whether there are any vaccinations you should receive prior to arrival. Certain areas of Africa are home to diseases such as typhoid, yellow fever, malaria, and hepatitis A and B. Visit a travel doctor to determine whether any of these diseases occur in the areas that you will be visiting and obtain the necessary vaccinations or medications in advance of your trip.
Travel insurance is recommended for any trip to Africa. You can usually acquire it from a tour or travel company. African safaris aren't cheap and in the rare ecent that something should go wrong, you'll want to know that insurance is available to cover medical costs and emergency care.
As African safaris have grown in popularity, so have the travel scams that come with them. Certain travel and tour companies attempt to take advantage of tourists wanting to visit Africa for the first time and don't offer a genuine experience. Before booking a safari with a company be sure to do your own research and look for reviews or ask for references. A good rule of thumb to go by is that if it seems too good to be true... it probably is.
Politics and Unrest
Before traveling to any international destination, it's important to research the country's political situation. You should be aware of any unrest or political instability in the region and prepare to take any precautions necessary to remain safe. It's a good idea to register with your embassy prior to travel, letting them know where you will be staying and how they can contact you in case of emergency.