It is advisable to keep up to date with local news. News from Africa www.newsfromafrica.org is updated daily with newsworthy events.
Driving in Africa can be an adventure in itself. Many African roads and vehicles are poorly maintained. Animals and people walk along the roads day and night so it important to be alert at all times. Depending on which country you are in, vehicles may travel on either the right or left hand side of the road. Please ensure that you are aware of these facts before travelling.
Park your vehicle in well-lit areas and always ensure that your doors are locked – even when you are driving. Do not leave valuables where they can be seen. Hitchhiking is not advisable.
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.
As with anywhere in the world, please remain vigilant at all times. Stay aware of what is happening around you. Be careful to conceal your passport, money and valuables.
When on safari, 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 your 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. Never tease or corner wild animals – this may cause an unpredictable response and a potentially dangerous reaction.
A valid passport is needed for ALL international travel. Please ensure your passport is valid for at least 6 months AFTER returning from your trip – this is an international requirement. It is also essential that you have sufficient blank pages in your passport for visas, entry stamps or temporary residence permits. We recommend allowing two blank pages per country that you are planning to visit.
Some countries will require entry, re-entry or departure permits and/or visas, which are issued at their consulates/embassies. It is important to remember that visa requirements change without notice and we cannot be held responsible for these changes. Please contact the relevant issuing authorities in good time to double-check the entry requirements, and then arrange for all the necessary permits and visas you need.
International Driver’s License
Please ensure that you have a valid international driver’s license if you are planning to do any driving anywhere in Africa.
Documents and Permits
It is advisable to ensure that you travel with certified copies of all documents and permits. Please keep these copies separately from the originals as this will benefit you should your documents/permits be lost or stolen while you are travelling.
Airline, Car, Hotel Travel Vouchers
Please ensure that you have all necessary documentation before you travel.
Please consult the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) website to view up-to-date information about health tips before travelling http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.aspx
Malaria is common in Africa, and it is important to take the following precautions:
- take malaria prophylaxis as recommended by your healthcare professional
- always apply insect repellent to exposed skin
- wear long-sleeved cotton shirts and long trousers
- use a mosquito net wherever possible
- spray insecticide or burn mosquito coils
- If you have any flu-like symptoms within six weeks of your visit to a malaria area, see a doctor immediately.
It is possible to travel to enjoy a malaria-free safari in Africa – please contact us for more details.
Water purity in some African countries is not good. It is advisable to ensure that you stick to bottled or boiled water and avoid tap water, drinking fountains and ice cubes. Where water quality is bad, please stay away from fruit and vegetables unless they are peeled. Please use your common sense when it comes to food and drinks. Do not touch them unless you are sure that they are safe to consume.
AIDS is rife throughout Africa. Please use condoms to reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, and be careful to avoid direct contact with blood.
Please ensure that you visit your local healthcare professional or travel clinic to ensure that you have the relevant inoculations required to travel (e.g. yellow fever, cholera). Please carry these certificates with you at all times.
CDC recommends the following vaccines. Please see your doctor at least 4-6 weeks before your trip to allow time for them to take effect:
- Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG)
- Hepatitis B if you might be exposed to blood (for example, health-care workers), have sexual contact with the local population, stay longer than six months, or be exposed through medical treatment
- Rabies, if you come into direct contact with wild or domestic animals
- Typhoid, particularly if you are visiting developing countries
- Booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria, measles and a one-time dose of polio vaccine for adults, as needed
- A yellow fever vaccination certificate may be required for entry into certain African countries, particularly if you are coming from tropical South America or elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa.
All travel involves a degree of risk. Please ensure that you are covered for events such as illness, accidents, theft, or unforeseen amendments to travel arrangements. The best way to ensure that your trip will be as problem-free as possible is to take out a Comprehensive Travel Insurance Policy.
A good policy covers not only medical and accident, but assistance as well, be it from contacting your family in an emergency, to assisting with replacement of travel documents, or giving you legal advice.
Although many credit card companies do offer a degree of cover for your holiday arrangements, we strongly suggest that you check the full details before travel. Cover is also only offered if you purchase your International Airline Ticket by Credit Card.
Many Travel Insurance Companies offer a top-up policy to the credit card cover. A minimum requirement is good medical cover, which will allow for a medical evacuation to hospital, treatment, and repatriation.
Your Travel Insurance Policy should be purchased as soon as you have made your final holiday arrangements.
We would be happy to assist with a comprehensive Travel Insurance Policy, for our clients who travel to South Africa. The policy will cover you for all of the countries that we offer arrangements to, as long as South Africa is also included in your itinerary.
What to Pack
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Khaki, brown or beige casual clothing
- Long-sleeved shirts/blouses
- Long trousers
- Short-sleeved shirts/blouses
- Swimming costume
- A sarong or kikoi type garment
- Sunblock and good quality sunglasses with a protective case
- Wide-brimmed hat (baseball caps will not cover your ears and neck)
- Sweaters or sweatshirts
- Lightweight, waterproof windbreaker
- Warm jacket
- Smart-casual clothes for evening wear – some establishments may have dress codes
- Personal toiletries
- Malaria prophylaxis and insect repellent
- Prescription medications: make sure you have enough to last during your trip, as well as a copy of the prescription(s)
- Binoculars, camera and plenty of film or memory for a digital camera
- Spare batteries
- Visa or MasterCard credit card and/or traveller’s cheques – Diners and American Express are not always accepted
- Most lodges and safari camps offer laundry as part of their service. Hotels all offer laundry, at additional cost
- Paperback reading, writing material (keep weight at a minimum)
- Moisturizer, lip balm
- Personal first-aid kit (headache pills, antihistamine cream etc)