Planning a vacation is a really fun thing to do, but taking a vacation to an international destination that you haven’t properly planned for can be a catastrophe waiting to happen. There are some things you should do ahead of time no matter what your destination, but for exotic locations and activities such as an Africa Safari, it is especially important.
When should you take your trip? Knowing the prime travel season for your destination can ensure you don’t travel during an excessively uncomfortable time of year. Some locations are extremely hot, or extremely wet at particular times of year making a vacation far less enjoyable. Another consideration regarding the general tourist season is the availability of desirable accommodations. If you are not planning far enough in advance of the time you want to go, you may miss out on the best places to stay. Keep in mind you may be able to get fantastic deals on trips that fall outside the most desirable times, and if you do a little research these “off” season trips may be just as full of wonderful experiences and opportunities as those considered “prime”.
Knowing your budget and if you are booking an “all inclusive” type trip, be sure you truly understand what is included, and more importantly what is not. Though your room is included, you may need to prepare for tips, additional meals, travel expenses, and any activities you intend to participate in. Ask in advance so you don’t find yourself with a bill at the end and no funds set aside to pay it. An African Safari can be created to fit many different budgets so spend a little time making sure you get the most value for your dollar.
Take health and safety precautions ahead of time to ensure your experience is as worry free as possible. Get inoculations for common illnesses, bring sunblock, appropriate sun protection clothing, mosquito netting, and repellents and know your destination. There are many parts of Africa that are considered statistically quite safe, while others are not nearly as desirable for travelers. Know where travel advisories are in effect, and remember that Africa is composed of 46 countries that offer a myriad of diverse environments, economies, cultures, and travel risks and rewards. Wherever you choose to go, take standard travelers precautions with your belongings.
Get prepared for your entrance paperwork requirements well ahead of time. Without a valid passport, you won’t get in. If your passport is not valid for a minimum of six months past the date you report you will be leaving, you may be sent packing. Be sure you have enough extra pages in your passport book, as each country requires a clean page. The best plan is to update your passport or order additional pages to ensure you don’t run into any problems. They take this very seriously in Africa.
The most important aspect of planning an Africa Safari is getting way ahead of the game and getting a solid game plan in action long before you want to go.