If you’ve never travelled to Africa, what are you waiting for? Africa is one of the most beautiful regions of the world, and a safari is one of the most memorable trips you’ll ever take in your life. People have described an African safari vacation as having changed their lives, from the friendly people to the exotic wildlife and the unforgettable landscapes. Whether you are travelling with family, with your spouse, with friends, or on a solo adventure, there is a safari vacation package that’s right for you. Before you head out on safari, however, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you have a trip you’ll remember forever, in all the very best ways.
First, dress the part. This doesn’t mean you have to necessarily go out and get a full-on safari outfit, but it does mean you should choose your wardrobe with care when going on a safari trip. Wear colours that are native to the environment, such as beige, brown, green, khaki, gray, etc. Bright colours with draw the attention of the animals, which is not something you want when you are in an open-sided vehicle surrounded by lions and giraffes!
Don’t forget your camera! Even if you don’t fancy yourself a true photographer at home, a safari will offer you some of the best photo opportunities you can imagine, so don’t forget to bring along your camera. If you have a DSLR camera, you might want to invest in a telephoto lens if you don’t already have one, so you can get up close and personal without getting up close and personal, if you know what I mean. And don’t forget to pack an extra battery and your charger! Speaking of photos, although it’s generally acceptable to photograph the animals and the scenery during your trip, it’s considered good etiquette to ask permission before photographing the locals. Most will be OK with it; but respect those who decline.
As with any trip, it’s usually a good idea to support local businesses by buying local handicrafts and frequenting locally owned restaurants. (This is also a great way to find some hidden gems off the beaten path!)
Before your trip, research the customs and etiquette for the region you are considering visiting to ensure you don’t run into any issues with poor manners or social faux pas while on your vacation.
While in Africa, remember that water is a limited resource in the region. Use it sparingly and thoughtfully. On a practical level, the water in the region you are visiting may not be safe to drink, so it may be wise to use it only for bathing. Do drink enough (bottled) water to stay hydrated, however, as it is very hot in Africa and dehydration is a very real possibility. In addition, don’t forget to bring with you sun protection such as sunscreen, sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat and clothes that offer lightweight breathability but also coverage from the hot African sun.
Gifts are a good idea. Bring Western gifts with you from home, particularly those things that African children may not be able to get such as crayons, books, and colouring books. Although these things are inexpensive for most of us to buy, they are luxuries to many African children.
As with all trips requiring air travel, it’s important to be aware of baggage restrictions and requirements such as the amount of liquids you can take with you.
Remember that some diseases are much more common in Africa than they are in North America, such as malaria. Well in advance of your trip, be sure to speak to your doctor to receive any necessary vaccinations or preventative medications to dramatically reduce the likelihood that you’ll contract these nasty diseases while you’re away.
Going on safari can be one of the most memorable trips you’ve ever taken. If you’ve always dreamt of taking one, now is the time. If you don’t have the money on hand, you can always finance your vacation so you can travel today and pay off the trip over time w hen you get home. That way, you get to take the trip of your dreams today.