For those who have booked an African Safari and are already dreaming of standing up in the back of a jeep -dust in your nose – with a pair of binoculars to your eyes – scouring the veld for lion; or sitting patiently in the cool evening at a water-hole waiting for the animals to come down to drink. You can almost see the comical giraffe with their long necks towering over the tree tops and imagine the feeling of awe of being up close to a big elephant bull lazily picking leaves of the trees with his trunk.
15 safety tips for smooth African Safari
Are you one of the lucky ones to be going to see the migration in the Segengeti? Well take some good advice and read these 15 tips and ensure that you have a Successful African Safari:
- Be flexible. Traveling in Africa is often unpredictable. Always have bottled water with you and something to eat – transport schedules can be pretty erratic.
- Listen to the tour guide when he/she says don’t go near that big pussycat-looking lion or don’t go alone into that part of town that looks just like downtown Small Ville. In Africa, things are often not what they seem. African Safari’s can turn sour really quickly.
- Before you leave home to catch a glimpse of the Big Five, make sure you are in good health – dental too. And get the all the shots and vaccinations you need.
- Take enough essential medication with you on your African Safari as well as a basic first aid kit. Make sure you have full medical and travel insurance.
- Make photocopies of your passport, tickets and travel documents and credit cards – leave one set at home with a friend and take another set with you, just in case.
- Only use reputable tour and travel companies. Ask for references. Who wants to be stuck in the middle of nowhere half way through their Kenya Sarfari or Tanzania Safari?
- Leave the flashy jewelry at home. Who needs a Rolex on an African Safari when the searing ball of fire in the sky above your head tells you clearly when it is time for an ice cold beer?
Keep your sense of humor.
Hey, you’re there on an African adventure; go with the flow. As the natives say “Africa time” rules.
- You’re not Angelina or Madonna – don’t try to adopt orphan-looking babies. Africans are proud of their heritage. Don’t patronize them by trying to “save’” them.
- The weather is more extreme than most Westerners or Easterners are used to. When you’re on your African Safari, be prepared to get hot, wet cold and dusty – all in one day. Hats, caps, sunscreens, jerseys and jackets for cold nights and very good footwear are essential.
- Most African countries are members of CITES – don’t purchase ivory or animal skins – they will probably be confiscated at the border and you could be fined or jailed.
- Only change money at the hotel or bank or at a real Change bureau. Don’t use black market exchanges – things can go very wrong.
- Remember you’re traveling in poor countries. Watch out for pickpockets. Don’t stray from your tour group. Never leave valuables lying around.
- Always have a roll of toilet paper with you. You want your African Safari to be reasonable comfortable. And a bottle or two of water at hand is a good idea.
- Just relax and enjoy the warmth of the people and beauty of Africa
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