What to bring when you can not just buy another toothbrush …
The very reason that many of us are so entranced with African safaris is actually because they are nothing like home! You get to wave goodbye to the crowds of people, the dependence on technology, the exhaust fumes, and remember what you are … a human animal. However, there are some parts of modern society that would have been a great pity to leave behind; your toothbrush, your freedom (if you do not bring the right paperwork) and your skin cancer-free status are among them. Today we check out what you need to bring, wear and prepare to enjoy an African safari without any permanent scars.
What to Bring
Here are some frequently forgotten items that can put a dent in your dream African safari experience:
- Your passport and documents: You will not be able to leave without your passport. You can also carry a photocopy in case it is needed as security – you should never give up your original. Bring your travel insurance details, emergency contact details, and credit card bank details.
- Prescriptions: You'll probably need a letter from your doctor stating that you have been prescribed any medicines you bring, and which may need to also state what condition it treats.
- A power adapter: You'll need an adapter both for the shape of the plug, and the voltage. If you have 110V mains power, you'll need an adapter for the 220 / 230V African mains.
- A GOOD camera! You'll want your photographs to match the vividness of your memories of the African safari. Do not buy disposable – take a digital camera and try to upload your pictures to a web server every night, just in case of a natural disaster involving those precious pics.
What to Wear
On an African safari, preparation in terms of what to wear is often as much a matter of what you do not bring as what you do. You'll want to be able to carry all of your things easily – there is little in the way of luggage carts and porters in many safari destinations! While there are quite a few luxury African safari experiences available nowdays, it is always easier to travel lightly. Here are the essentials:
- Hat: You'll need a big, reasonably thick, wide brimmed hat for your African safari. Do not worry about getting too sweaty in your hat – sweat washes off far faster than sunburn heals!
- Vest: If you'll be doing any hiking or outdoor exploring, a vest is very handy. Vests are also handy for those exploring African cities; your beloveds will be more secure worn close to your body.
- Mozzie-proof clothing : You'll need some light, long sleeved tops and pairs of long pants to keep cool while protecting against malaria-bearing mosquito bites.
- Something warm : The nights can be as cold as the days are sweltering, so pack at least one jacket or sweater.
- Boots : These should support your ankles and have closed toes; steel caps may also be helpful.
- Sarong and bandanna : These are versatile and very useful on both luxury African safaris and ordinary ones.
When you're packing your clothes, do not wear white, do not wear red and in the name of all that is sacred, do not wear camouflage gear! Red and white both make you conspicuous to wildlife.
Look for natural materials like cotton, which will breathe. Synthetic materials will become uncomfortably very quickly in the heat of the savannah.
What to Prepare
Before you think about booking your plane ticket, you'll need to prepare things like:
- Travel vaccinations
- Your knowledge of local customs and laws
- Knowledge of where your relevant embassy is
African safaris are truly magical … the experience of a lifetime. Good preparation and remembering the basics will help ensure you get your trip right the first time!