If you are on a guided African safari your chances of encountering problems are minimal. We make it our business to know what’s happening on the ground through contact with our local suppliers and guides.
It is sensible to take normal precautions on your African safari, particularly when travelling through urban areas (ie don’t walk around at night instead take a taxi).
Travel Documents / Money
Make a copy of your passport, travel insurance, visas and travellers’ cheques.
These copies should be packed separately from the originals (i.e. keep them in your luggage). It is never a good idea to carry large amounts of cash, and most urban centres (hotels, shops) do accept credit cards (Visa and Mastercard are most common), and traveller’s cheques. You might need cash for purchases local markets – keep this in a travel wallet, or a zip pocket.
Never leave cameras and hand luggage unattended, whether in a vehicle, or even in a hotel foyer. Never pack valuables (this includes medication), in your check-in luggage.
When travelling independently on your African safari, stay informed in terms of the local news. Ask at your hotel about any unsafe areas, and codes of dress and behaviour. Don’t openly carry valuables. If you must carry your passport and money, keep them in a buttoned-down pocket.
Your guide will always do a safety talk with you, whether your game viewing is to be done from a vehicle, or on foot. Wildlife is potentially dangerous, but as long as you adhere to what you guide tells you, there is very little to worry about. At viewpoints, hides and camps, wildlife is more familiar with people and less intimidated by your presence.
Although Africa is known to be home to a number of potentially dangerous species, especially snakes, scorpions, spiders, and insects, very few visitors are adversely affected. If you go on a walk, it is always a good idea to comfortable, enclosed walking shoes, socks, and long trousers – just as a precaution. Lodges and camps generally have insect (especially mosquito) proofing in their rooms.
You can also pack the following to have on hand, if needed:
• Lip balm
• Anti-histamine cream or tablets
• Sunscreen and after sun balm
• Water purifying tablets
• Pain killers
• Anti diarrhoea remedy
• Dehydration salts
• Insect repellent
• Sterile dressings
• Antiseptic cream
A good tip for personal hygiene is to buy anti-bacterial shower gel and bring along anti-bacterial wipes. The wipes are really handy to wipe hands as often as you like. Small pocket pack tissues are also handy!
NB: Bring a long a few small packets of baby wipes – they especially help to wipe away the dust during the day and keep you cool.