Travellers who decide to visit the vast plains, mighty mountains and deep forests of Africa to see the Big Five can look forward to an unforgettable time. Going on safari and experiencing the wilderness up close is often supposed to be a highlight. But it is the little things of everyday life that can either be the icing on the cake or spoil entire holiday. Follow our practical advice that you won’t find in a travel guide.
1) Hot and cold
Depending on the season you will sweat in the afternoons and be cold in the mornings. While it is hot in summer all day, the winter has quite cold nights. Make sure to pack the right clothing, and dress like an onion with many thin layers over one another. The best fabric for safaris is moisture-absorbing textile like merino wool or cotton that is breathable and UV non-permeable. A buff can protect you from the sun and provide coolness especially if you wet it with cold water.
2) Clothing colour
Watch out for the colour of your clothes. You might miss the opportunity to make close contact with a giraffe because your glaring t-shirt disturbs the animal. Dress in natural colours like shades of brown, beige and green. Spare your colourful clothes for other occasions!
3) Photo equipment
Remember to get memory cards and plenty of batteries for your flashlight and other devices like your MP3 player. If you have a camera, do not store it inside a black camera bag but use a bright one instead. This way you prevent the sensitive electronic from overheating in the African sun. A bathing cap or a simple plastic bag will protect it from dust and water.
4) Power adapter
Don’t forget an adapter for your electronic devices. If you forgot it you can use televisions as most have a USB port at the back where you can charge your smartphone.
5) Sturdy footwear
Pack robust shoes for your safari. Make sure that the soles are not too soft so that thorns do not hurt your feet or destroy your shoes (we don’t want you limping back to the lodge!). If you are going to buy new shoes before the trip, make sure to run in them before you leave!
6) Medication and sun protection
If your holiday area has malaria then inquire about medication with your doctor. Do not forget about insect spray. The sun is much more intense here that in Europe or Northern America, so stock up on sun cream that has Factor 30 or higher and bring sufficient aftersun lotion. And of course, do not forget your hat and sunglasses.
7) Internet connection
Do not trust your smartphones internet connection and its GPS or Google Maps. This is Africa. It probably won’t work. Why not go old-school and use a map and a compass instead?
8) Needle, thread and dental floss
Dental floss can render a good service that has nothing to do with dental hygiene. When you get blisters after a long hike, do not pop them. Thread the floss through the blister with a needle and cut off the excess floss at the sides of the blister. This way the wound fluid can drain out and the new layer of skin can quickly grow below it. And with needle and thread you can mend holes in your mosquito net.
9) Families with children
When you travel with children, you hopefully have chosen on of the children-friendly lodges of Jenman Safaris. Many of them offer special programs for children. On game drives, you might have to wait quietly for an encounter with a lion or a cheetah. This may be hard for energetic kids. Bring games to entertain your children or tell them stories.
10) Unwanted insects
Shake out all of your luggage after returning home and wash all your textiles thoroughly so that you not bring insects into your home by accident.
Africa is a fantastic place and full of wonders! Don’t let the little things take away your joy of travelling. The guides on our tours will assist you with everything you need to have an unforgettable holidays with Jenman African Safaris.