Organising a safari is always exciting, however, it can be a little bit daunting if it’s your first time. It’s even daunting for people who have gone on safari before because things change and different places require different things. In order to put your mind at ease, we’ve compiled a list of our top ten most frequently asked questions when preparing for a safari.
- Are all safaris the same?
Definitely not. There is an incredibly wide variety of safaris to choose from. Most people think of the traditional African safari trips—you know, the Big Five sightings, the African savannah, the vast plains … But, you can also go on boat (mokoro) safaris in Botswana or even ocean safaris in Mozambique! This is a great way to see hippos, elephants, and even crocs up close. Another thing to remember is that there are different types of game drives at different times of the day.
- Will I definitely see the Big Five?
This is something that really can’t be guaranteed. Unfortunately, nature is unpredictable, so it really is just all about luck. Don’t get obsessed with seeing the Big Five—just sit back, relax, and enjoy the things that you do see – you will no doubt be blown away by the experience!
- Do I need a visa to travel to Africa?
This truly depends on which country in Africa you are visiting, and which country you are coming from. If you are visiting Botswana, Mauritius, Namibia, or South Africa, and you are from either the UK or the US, you will not need a visa if your visit will be less than 90 days. If you’re visiting Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia, or Zimbabwe, and you’re from the UK or the US, then you will need a visa, but you can obtain one when you arrive in the country for approximately $50.00 per person. If you’re visiting Mozambique or Uganda, and you’re from the US or the UK, then you need to obtain a visa before you travel to these countries.
- Do I need to get any vaccines?
Yes. You need to book an appointment with your doctor to make sure that they can recommend the most up-to-date vaccine advice. You need to let them know where you’re going and for how long. Also inform them about any stop-overs that you might be having because if you stop over in Kenya at all, you will need to get vaccinated against Yellow Fever. Other African countries will not allow you to enter from Kenya if you have not had this vaccine. Most game parks in Africa are malaria areas so it is important to take malaria medication. The vaccines that are generally prescribed are for Hepatitis A and B, typhoid, and diphtheria, but your doctor will be able to advise you on this.
- Which currency will I need to take with me?
It’s best to use US dollars in Africa. However, South Africa does not accept US dollars, and so you will need to take the South African Rand if you will be staying in South Africa. You can use your credit cards as well, although the surcharge might be quite large.
- Is it safe to visit Africa?
Of course. We make sure that the countries where we operate our trips are safe, and we are kept up to date with regular updates about each country so we would be the first to know if there were any issues or safety concerns to worry about.
- Is there a specific dress code for a safari?
No. It’s important to dress comfortably and casually while you’re on safari. You should, however, take some smart casual clothes to the top lodges for the evenings. You should wear khaki for game drives, and you should bring along a polar fleece jacket for early morning game drives. Pack in a few cardigans or sweaters just to be safe because the evenings are sometimes quite cold. Here are a few more tips on what to pack when going on safari.
- Will I be able to charge my electronic devices?
Yes. Most of the lodges have an electricity supply of 240 volts and most use the UK-style plugs. South Africa is the exception because its sockets are either 2 prong or three prong with the larger, round pins. But, you will definitely be able to charge you camera batteries at all of the lodges.
- Will food and drinks be included in my accommodation fee?
Most safari lodges include your food and drinks in your accommodation fee but there are exceptions. You need to find out from your safari specialist whether or not your food and drinks will be covered by your specific lodge.
- Is it okay to drink the local water?
It’s best to be safe and to limit yourself to bottled water for your time spent in Africa. The safety of the water depends on the area so you can ask the camp manager whether or not the water is safe to drink.
For any other queries or questions you might have please contact us and we will be sure to help you out.