Preparing for African Travel

There is so much to think about when preparing for a trip and Africa can be especially daunting as it is so unknown. This list will help make sure you remember everything as you prepare for your safari adventure.

1. Passport

Your passport should be valid for at least six months after the end date of your trip.
As most African countries require visas for most nationalities, it is a good idea to ensure you have one blank page for each country to be visited. So if the passport is getting full and you are planning a big overland journey, it might be a good time to renew.

2. Visas

Check with the embassy of the country (or countries) to be visited whether your nationality needs a visa. In sub-Saharan Africa, visas can easily be acquired on entry, but this is not true for all nationalities. Do not rely on your tour operator to know the rules for every nationality either – it is usually your responsibility to find out this information and, of course, apply in advance for those visas if necessary.

3. Travel Insurance

In Europe, many travellers forego travel insurance and take their chances. It is simply not worth it in Africa. The medical facilities available are usually not up to the standards in the West so having emergency evacuation cover is essential. Protection against petty theft, lost luggage and sham tour operators are also helpful.

4. Book flights, tours, accommodation

The general wisdom is that eight weeks prior to travel is the optimal time to book flights. There are plenty of online booking engines that can find cheap flights, but for a complicated itinerary there are still travel agents ready to assist.