Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Safari Travel Advice FAQs

What to pack? View our safari travel advice FAQs

1. How do I choose an African Safari?

When it’s time to translate your desire for adventure into an exciting travel plan, you’ll want to consider the following questions. Your answers will help you discern what layers of Africa’s vast landscape, wildlife and culture you want to experience.

  • Will you be on a solo journey, or with friends, family, or your significant other?  The size of your group and relationships among those traveling with you influences what types of trips are available, and which sights may be of greater interest over others.
  • What animals are on your must-see list for an African safari? Have you been dreaming of lions or wishing to see encounters between animals at water holes?  Perhaps you want to see creatures you never knew existed, and observe wildlife in situations you couldn’t imagine to be true. Decide on what wildlife you are eager to see up close. This will help you determine what time of year is best for your long-awaited safari.
  • What ecosystem(s) and climate(s) are you most interested in experiencing? Africa’s ancient and broad landscape offers sights that titillate, from one extreme to another. The country boasts almost every type of ecosystem from desert landscape to tropical rainforests. Where do you want to see the sun set? What smells do you want to experience after a cool day in the rainforest, or on the plains of the dry savannah? Let your senses lead the way!
  • How luxurious would you like your experience to be?  Do you prefer the simplicity of meals cooked over a fire and tents open to a warm night’s breeze? You might be thinking that after a long day out in the wild, a bed, quality lodging, and a gourmet meal are preferable. Whatever your desire is, there is an itinerary perfect for your vision.

Give yourself as much time as possible to be on safari. A week is the minimum length trip that we recommend. Although your budget might dictate some of the details of your trip, your experience will far exceed any expectations. With endless things to see and do in any one place on Africa’s continent, enough time to absorb and immerse yourself in the experience is the greatest luxury you will take home from your travels.

2. What is bespoke travel?

Safaris with established itineraries are designed to go above and beyond what travelers have in mind. These charted activities and events have been selected for travelers to come as close as possible to Africa’s purest forms of expression.

You may want to consider bespoke travel if you need to create your own departure date, or would like to add specific experiences to the agenda. If you have a certain vision for your journey, or want to push the limits of how you experience what Africa has to offer, you have the freedom to modify or re-define your entire trip! The most common reason travelers customize their trip is to travel with their own private party. Your safari will be a success no matter what way you choose to travel.

3. Should I use you to book my own flights or should I book them myself?

We would be happy to make all of your international travel arrangements for you. Allowing us to book your flights and any other transportation needs ensures the most streamlined travel experience while also guaranteeing reasonable pricing and optimal comfort for everyone in your group. We do not, however, have the capability of accepting frequent flier miles as payment for your travel. To use your frequent flier rewards, you would need to go directly through either your credit card company or the airline.

4. Do I need a passport?

When you leave home for domestic trips, you usually bring your driver’s license, some form of money, and maybe clean underwear. But when you travel to Africa, you cannot leave home without your passport! Pull your passport out and check the expiration date. Make sure it will be valid for at least six months after your expected departure date.

If you do not have a passport, or the one you have has expired, visit your government’s website to figure out the steps necessary to obtain a current passport (for the U.S., start here: http://travel.state.gov/passport/). It’s important that you have at least two free visa pages in your passport for every country you plan to visit, including room for possible extensions. These visa pages may not be required, but it’s critical to take every basic precaution while traveling abroad. Your peace of mind will allow you to enter Africa with an open mind, ready to explore.

5. Do I need a Visa?

Visa requirements depend on the countries you’ll travel to, as well as the country you’re from.  In general, visas are required for all travelers entering Kenya and Tanzania. Visas are also mandatory in Zambia, but they can only be obtained when you enter the country, and no photos are necessary. In Zambia, the visa fee is required to be paid in US dollars. The single-entry fee for US citizens is $50, with different fees for multiple entry or one-day visas (as of Aug. 2013).

The requirements for foreign travelers may change depending on your home country. For example, no visas are necessary for South Africa and Botswana for American and Canadian citizens. For information and assistance on obtaining passports or visas, visit the webpage: http://cibtvisas.com/

Many African countries, including Zambia, Kenya and South Africa, require that you have two consecutive blank visa pages in your passport, which lie side-by-side. Also note that the blank pages at the end of US passports are simply amendment and endorsement pages, which have nothing to do with visas. Further information on obtaining a Kenyan visa will be found at the Kenya Ministry of Tourism website. To acquire a visa for Tanzania, visit the Tanzania Tourist Board website.

6. Do I need to get any vaccinations before I travel to Africa?

Africa’s foreign landscape has many rich new experiences to offer you, which also means the potential to encounter elements of life that may be foreign to your body. Depending on which countries you’re traveling to, there are certain vaccinations required. We will give you specific and accurate information on immunizations you may need, as well as helpful suggestions regarding any over-the-counter medication that would be advisable to bring with you, along with other general health concerns to be aware of. The first thing you should do to get this process rolling is to consult your physician. You’ll also find a great deal of information on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.

7. What if I get sick or injured in Africa?

You may feel far from society roaming through wild Africa, but in the unlikely event you become ill or injured, you’ll always be able to receive optimum care, wherever you are on the continent. There are many excellent medical facilities in Africa, and South Africa and Nairobi offer services that are on par with those offered in the United States.

East Africa also offers Flying Doctor Services, which is a service consisting of a group of esteemed physicians who fly throughout the East African bush to treat people and render emergency transportation. Your Safari Hands are equipped to offer you any type of first aid treatment you might need, and they know how to access the most elite health care resources in the countries you travel through. In addition, any travel insurance you may purchase for the trip will cover medical evacuation services for critical emergencies—which are highly unlikely, but it’s always best to be prepared. Leave behind your worries and venture forth!

8. Do I need travel insurance?

The forecast for everyday of your safari looks wonderful, but as with any day in life, things can change in an instant. There’s no need to feel the risk of having to spend thousands of dollars on any unseen event that may occur. Obtaining travel insurance is highly recommended for all travelers.

Travel Guard is a great insurance company, which can take care of your travel insurance needs, including setting you up with comprehensive Emergency Evacuation Insurance (for Flying Doctor Services). The company also offers services dealing with lost travel documents, legal, medical or dental emergencies, emergency cash wiring and much more. You can reach Travel Guard day and night any day of the week! As you step into an unknown land, you’ll feel at ease to know your tail will be covered no matter what.

9. Will my domestic medical insurance work in Africa?

Once you leave your country you will start shifting gears to interact with a different social environment. This means exploring another set of cultural customs and systems. It also means that your domestic health care insurance only extends so far.

Most health care companies offer members some fraction of coverage abroad, but to know the extent of your coverage you’ll need to contact your provider. Insurance designed for traveling through Africa will detail specific options of health care coverage, which are unlikely to appear on your domestic coverage.

Furthermore, you may find yourself having to pay on the spot for medical care under your domestic coverage. This would entail filing claims and including itemized receipts when you return home in order to be reimbursed by your healthcare provider. A simple process could turn into weeks or months of working through your healthcare system, not to mention the difficulty of finding a good doctor in Africa. You’ll find every excellent and convenient option for all your travel health care needs when you purchase travel insurance for your adventure.

10. What do I wear on my African Safari?

Did you know that bright colors frighten wild animals? Or that wearing white increases your visibility to an animal? There’s a reason that old safari hands dress in the dry greens, browns, and khaki colors reflecting Africa’s landscape. Take their cue and search for olive and tan clothing, which will allow you to move closer to wildlife.

Think comfortable and casual. Give your body the ability to breathe and move freely in the landscape, and don’t think twice about letting some dirt and dust rest on your trousers. Of course you will need the essentials, such as underwear and socks, but in addition, consider bringing a pair of convertible hiking pants, a few t-shirts, a fleece for the evening, and a lightweight set of rain gear for the wet season. A hat and sunglasses will keep you cool, and you can improvise regarding what other items will be essential to ensure your comfort while traveling.

11. What do I need to pack for my African Safari/Adventure?

Will you be taking small charter planes at any point on your trip? How long will you be traveling? The answers to these questions will help you determine what to pack. For example, there are often weight restrictions for how much you can bring on a small plane. If you’re traveling for more than a week, you’ll also want to consider only bringing a few changes of underwear and socks, which can be washed in rotation. Do you like to pack as light as possible, or do you like to carry many options with you? Take all of these questions into consideration, as well as the type of luggage (backpack, duffel bag, etc.) recommended for your safari of choice.

The essentials you’ll need are:

  • Lightweight clothes that are hand-washable
  • Long-sleeved, lightweight shirt(s) to protect you from potential insects (despite the heat)
  • A light fleece or jacket for cool nights
  • Travel size toiletries
  • Hiking boots (lightweight, waterproof, and durable!)
  • Pair of flip flops
  • Waterproof bag
  • Sun hat with a tie for around the chin (so it doesn’t blow off)
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Insect repellent

Other luxury items you’ll want to consider are a camera, reading device/book, shawl, an inverter plug if you need to charge batteries (check if your camp has access to charging facilities), and ear plugs.

12. Is there anything I can read before my trip to Africa to help me prepare for my experience?

You’re ready to leap into your safari adventure. Great! There are plenty of resources to get your gears turning. If you’re in the process of determining where you want to go and what you want to do, inspire yourself further by looking through resources in this order:

  1. Country guides
  2. Animal identification and behavior guides
  3. Park specific African Safari books
  4. Site guides

Browse Bradt travel guides to see what countries most interest you. These guides are well known for offering relevant information on, and pictures of, Africa. From there, you’ll want to check out two great resources; The Safari Companion: A Guide to Watching African Mammals by Richard D. Estes, and National Audubon Society Field Guide to African Wildlife by Richard D. Estes, Duane Schlitter, and Bunny McBride. These books not only reveal the habits of African wildlife, but contain valuable information, fantastic photographs, and geographic and climate information about your destinations.

If you want to take your planning a step further, Mark W. Nolting’s book, African Safari Journal, is the perfect preparation tool, with a wildlife guide and checklist, pages to keep a journal of your Safari experience, a map, a metric converter, a trip organizer, and phrasebook.  The Internet is also an important resource. Read online journals and blogs by people who’ve been where you’re going.

Last but certainly not least, maybe you’d enjoy reading articles and literature based on your destination. Two famous books that have inspired countless people to explore Africa on safari are Dark Star Safari: Overland From Cairo to Cape Town by Paul Theroux, and I Dreamed of Africa by Kuki Gallmann. Scrape the tip of your safari’s iceberg by starting with a book, then see where your inspiration leads you.

13.  What is the weather like in Africa?

While Africa’s climate varies by region and season, no matter where or when you decide to travel to Africa, you’ll find temperatures moderate and pleasant year-round, with sun-filled days ranging from warm to hot temperatures, and serene nights fluctuating between cool and warm.

With high altitudes and little rain, more eastern countries that border the equator, like Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Tanzania, experience dry to semi-arid climates and stay refreshingly cool throughout the year. Even in the summer months (Dec.-March), temperatures are mild and comfortable, embracing visitors with averages of 70-80° F during the day, and 60-75° F at night.

Like their eastern neighbors, the more southern countries like Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa stay quite pleasant year-round, though temperatures do fluctuate slightly more from season to season. During the summer months (Oct.-April), daytime temperatures average 75-85° F, while at night temperatures drop to 65-70° F. Nov. through March marks the rainy season for southern Africa, and dramatic yet beautiful afternoon thunderstorms are not uncommon during these months.

Winter (May-Sept.) in eastern Africa is sunny, cool, and dry, with daytime temperatures averaging 65-70° F. Nights can get quite cold during the winter season (as low as 30° F), so you’ll want to pack your coat, gloves, and winter accessories if you plan to venture down south this time of year.

14.  When is the best time of the year to travel to Africa?

The best time of year to plan your trip to Africa all depends, of course, on the sorts of wildlife wonders, majestic terrains, and safari activities you want to experience. In eastern Africa, winter (June-Oct.) is the best time for wildlife viewing. Adventurists hoping to catch the peak of the great migration will want to plan their visit between June and Aug., when you can witness the wildebeest herds make their way across the Grumeti River on Africa’s eastern edge. Keep in mind, however, that the migration is a year-round cycle, and while you’ll be able to see the herds in full action during the winter months, summertime holds its wonders—especially from Jan. through March, when you can witness calving season for the wildebeests in the Ngorongoro Crater area. Moreover, if you decide to visit in March, not only will you be able to witness the birth of these beastly babies, but their often times short-lived existence as prime prey for lions.

Winter offers the best wildlife viewing in southern Africa as well, especially between June and Sept. However, for visitors setting their sights solely on “the smoke that thunders,” you may want to plan your travels between Feb. and May, when Victoria Falls experiences the greatest flow of water. If you’re looking to maximize both scenic and wildlife wonders, consider visiting the southern regions between June and Aug. With warm days and cool nights, plus little to no rain, visitors will have spectacular wildlife viewing on safaris and still be able to witness the mighty curtain of water thundering over the falls.

While winter remains the most popular time for keeping up with the herds on safari, summer months hold their own riches. In southern Africa, summer (Nov.-April) is ideal for birding safaris (especially in Namibia). Visit our blog article, “Spotlight on: Namibia Birding,” for more insight into Namibian birding adventures. Additionally, with summertime in southern Africa bringing fewer travelers, little rain, and tranquil temperatures, this season can be a perfect time for visitors seeking a more private safari experience amidst some of the worlds’ greatest natural wonders.

15.  What types of food can I expect to eat?

You can expect to eat luxuriously. Each complimentary meal you sit down to eat is an exquisitely constructed dish of the freshest ingredients and the utmost quality. Your lodge will provide a variety of delicious choices; there is something to please every palate. The dishes will reflect the region’s delicacies, fusions of cultural influences taken from French, Indonesian, Malay, and Indian cuisines. Lodges use the freshest fish, game, fruits, and vegetables harvested from local farmlands. Any meal or dietary requests can be made in advance or upon arrival. Our staff will be sure to accommodate any of your needs, and make you feel as comfortable and satisfied as possible.

16.  Why should I use Soul of Africa travel and not book the trip myself on the Internet?

Africa is a large, vast, and different world. It can be difficult to piece together a trip to a destination you are not familiar with. That’s where we can help. At Soul of Africa Travel, we are experienced and passionate Africa natives and travelers. We want to share with you the secrets of our homeland, and show you the heart of Africa you might not discover without a proper host. Creating the most memorable and fulfilling African vacation while remaining within your budget constraints requires help from individuals who have experienced Africa first-hand, have acquired expert knowledge, and have established an intimate connection with the land and the African tourism industry.

17.  Why should I use Soul of Africa Travel as my African travel company?

Soul of Africa Travel’s philosophy of personalized, soulful travel focuses on the individual client’s desires and needs in planning the perfect African itinerary. Our strong ties to Africa and our committed relationships with safari operations throughout the continent allow us to work directly with you and our African counterparts to construct an enchanted, unforgettable safari experience for you and your companions. Each one of us here at Soul of Africa Travel knows Africa. We are passionate travelers who continue to return to this beautiful land year after year, and want you to experience Africa in the most authentic and safest way possible.

18.  What about airport transfers?

Once you arrive in Africa, all transportation is taken care of. You will be picked up from the airport upon your arrival in a particular African nation, and driven straight to your accommodations. If your safari itinerary includes multiple destinations by plane, we will be sure to arrange proper transportation from your lodge and to and from the regional airport that will take you to your next stop on your African odyssey. Upon arrival in any new cities during your trip, a driver will be waiting, and will comfortably transport you from the airport to your new lodge. If you require any assistance within the airport, an airport attendant will surely resolve any concerns. You will also be provided with the direct contact information of your safari guides and Soul of Africa Travel’s representatives’ in-country in case of any challenges that arise during your journey.

19. Do I need to rent a car?

It depends on the type of trip you book with us. If your journey solely includes a safari, all necessary airport transfers will be arranged. An airport welcome will also be arranged to transport you to your lodge or camp. If your group is doing a self-drive like the Garden Route, for example, then you will need a rental car. We can provide you with the information needed to book a rental car. If you will be travelling in a larger group, a coach service with escorted guide can also be arranged. If you do rent a car, be sure to learn the country’s driving regulations. Most countries in Africa use kilometers, and South Africans drive on the left side of the road.

20.  Does Soul of Africa Travel charge me for booking my trip?

No! Soul of Africa Travel is proud to offer you our services to help you plan your perfect trip to Africa at no cost. We are able to create the most fitting safari experience for you and your family so efficiently and easily that it’s hardly work for us anymore—so why charge a fee? But don’t let our complimentary trip planning and booking trick you into thinking you are getting anything less than the highest quality care and assistance possible. Our company’s success lies in our strong African roots, our committed relationships with our partner safari operators in Africa, and our devotion to our clients.

21.  What is included in the cost of my African Safari?

With the exception of airfare, pretty much everything is included in your African Safari package! Accommodations, all meals, snacks, and drinks (including alcohol) are complementary. Any additional activities that you may desire can be planned in advance and prepaid for your convenience.

However, be sure to budget accordingly for expenses that are not included such as passports and immunizations before the trip, and souvenir purchases and phone calls during your travels. It’s always a good idea to keep a little cash on hand in case you want to purchase a novelty item at one of the many open air markets or street vendors during your travels through different regions of Africa.

22.  Is there Internet access in Africa?

Most lodges do provide wireless Internet access, but due to their remote location, service can be unreliable at times. Therefore, just to be safe, it’s a good idea to take care of any urgent business before you embark on your safari adventure. Your time on safari is a chance to connect with nature and take in Africa’s majestic scenery. Any information you need regarding your trip or flights will be readily available to you by one of your lodge staff members. However, Internet access is available in larger towns and cities, and you can easily find a computer in hotels or cafes there if an online connection should be absolutely necessary.

23.  Will my cell phone work in Africa?

A major part of the safari experience entails leaving the modern world behind and immersing yourself in some of the world’s greatest remaining natural wonders. Therefore, most safari camps and lodges require guests to turn their cell phones off at camps and lodges and during activities.

However, cell phones do work in most major cities and towns in Africa. Find out which international plans your service provides—especially the details on their rates-per-minute for international calls—before you leave for your trip. Keep in mind that roaming quality will vary from place to place, and it is unlikely your cell phone will get a signal while out in the wilderness on safari. A convenient and more affordable alternative to stay connected is to purchase an international SIM card before you go (or a local SIM card when you arrive). A SIM card will provide excellent coverage and save you money on roaming charges.

24.  Can I bring my children on Safari?

Most safari lodges welcome children of all ages. Those who do have age requirements usually request that children be a minimum of 8 to 12 years of age. However, there are a number of safaris that are geared toward families, specializing in itineraries that offer family-oriented activities. Some lodges even provide complimentary childcare, so parents can enjoy a bit of relaxation and peace of mind knowing their children are being closely watched and entertained with a variety of recreational activities. Africa is a place for everyone—there is no age limit required to experience its majestic beauty. Visit our “Just for Kids” page to view a comprehensive list of hotels, lodges, and safari expeditions that cater specifically to families with children and offer a wide range of activities that the entire family can participate in.

25. What is there to do for kids in Africa?

A better question would be, “What isn’t there to do for kids in Africa?”

One of the most unique aspects of an African safari is how tangible much of the knowledge, information, and ideas you have learned and acquired throughout the years becomes in such a remarkable place. The majestic roar of a lion in hunting-mode like thunder darting through your skin; the bouncing and trouncing of gazelle packs blatting across the expansive safari plains; the bird-chirped solace of the night, uninterrupted and untapped by human civilization—these are only some of the many things your child can only imagine through a coloring book or child encyclopedia, but which they will be able to experience face-to-face on an African safari. In other words, your children’s senses, imagination, and perspectives will be tapped in ways that nothing else can accomplish; and they will carry this pristine experience with them throughout their life. Our “Just for Kids” page has plenty of suggestions and insight into how to make Africa fun and safe for kids of all ages.

26. Are the safaris escorted?

Yes. We understand that an African safari is more than just a vacation to a foreign country: It’s an adventure to a whole different world, one that is still largely untapped by humans. Thus, we are committed to enhancing your experience with experts who will serve as escorted drivers and trackers for the duration of your visit. Personal drivers can also be prearranged for your group if you are interested in exploring other areas in the region. All of the experts we hire have been thoroughly trained and selected as the best representatives in the field. They are certain to enhance your experience and provide only the highest quality of service.

27. Will there be other people on our African Safari?

It is up to you. The number of people in your group will vary depending on the size of the lodge, the time of year you are traveling, and whether or not you have opted for a bespoke safari. Rest assured that our safari groups are never too large to inhibit your wildlife tracking and viewing experience. Plus, being accompanied by travel companions from different corners of the world will only add more excitement to your adventure!

However, we do provide a more private alternative in case you want the luxury of enjoying your own personalized safari with just your family and friends. These more private excursions—Bespoke Safaris—have the advantage of being extremely personalized and suited to your unique tastes and needs.

28. What is the currency used in Africa?

Remember that Africa is a vast continent made up of more than 50 different countries. From the Algerian dinar to the Ethiopian birr to the Zimbabwean dollar (different from a US dollar), Africa sees a wide array of currencies that do not always travel well from country to country. If you know what country you’ll be visiting, we recommend that you convert a fraction of your cash into that country’s respective currency, just to be on the safe side in case some mom-and-pop shop only takes local currency. However, the majority of Africa’s countries welcome US dollars and Euros, so don’t be too worried about exchanging all of your cash. All our travelers would do well in keeping some of their money in the form of liquid cash, and storing it in waist-bands under their clothes for easy access. Moreover, we also recommend you keep different types of currencies (e.g. dollars, Euros, and the local currency), just to cover all of your bases.

29. Can I use my debit or credit card in Africa?

Since all of the safaris we offer are prepaid prior to your departure, you will have little need to carry cash while on your adventure. Travelers going to South Africa will find that their experience has a more balanced mix of wild and urban, which means you will have more opportunities to use your debit and credit cards in big cities like Cape Town and Johannesburg. But other than big cities and high-end hotels, most other destinations will only take cash, so consider withdrawing a few bills from the airport ATMs. Carrying a small amount of money with you is a great idea in order to provide tips for your service providers, and to purchase any souvenirs along the way. Also, make sure to notify your bank of your travel plans beforehand to ensure that you will have access to your funds while abroad.

30. Are the electrical plugs the same in Africa as the USA?

There is no universal plug-in you can take for the whole of Africa. It is important to remember that Africa is made up of different countries that may have differing electrical outlets. Most of our African safari destinations do not have the same electrical plug-ins, and are not USA- plug friendly. You will be surprised how much you will rely on electricity during your trip (e.g. cameras, cellphones, reading devices, etc.), so it’s important to make sure that you have the correct travel adapter for your destination. For all our travelers, we recommend that you visit this website http://www.safariguideafrica.com/african-electric-plugs.php, which lists the appropriate adapter you need to purchase according to the country you will be visiting. The website also recommends a travel adapter plug-in called the Belkin F8E449 Universal AC Travel Adapter, which many of our travelers have used to good effect. We still recommend you browse the website, since there may be a better-suited adapter for your particular destination(s).

31. What is it like to drive in Africa?

Unless you are planning on getting a rental car, this is not something you should be worried about. Our expert Safari Guides and Safari Directors will be doing all of the driving throughout your trip. Let us remind you that these are professional individuals who have been hosting and running these wonderful excursions for years, and they thus have the quick-witted response times and minute-to-minute driving precision of a NYC taxi-driver—the good ones. Still, don’t worry, since most of the driving will take place on rocky terrain and unpaved, dirt-covered roads through the African plains, and therefore don’t suffer from traffic jams. Although it’s highly possible that you’ll be stalled for a few minutes while your party waits for a pack of traveling gazelles, zebras, or African buffaloes to pass through, but that’s hardly something to complain about, right?

32. Is Africa safe?

Just like traveling to any other country, there are always necessary safety precautions you need to take in order to optimize your safety during an international trip. And as many third-world countries around the globe, crime rates and safety enforcements might not be as respectively low and high as in the United States. However, it’s important that we remind you that our family safaris take place in remote regions where the chance of crime is very low, and in no way as dangerous and risky as some African cities—and those cities to which we do take you are only the safest destinations in the continent. As for the wildlife you will be encountering in the safaris, you are always under the protection and surveillance of a professional Safari Guide who is expertly trained to deal with various types of emergencies. And be sure that animals are more interested in going about their daily lives than they are in disturbing yours.

33. Are there ATMs in Africa?

Before our travelers’ trips even begin, we always recommend that they withdraw some money prior to their flight departure (at home) and also when arriving at the African airport, where there are plenty of ATMs. (Note: the best place to keep your money is inside a money belt that you can strap around your waist underneath your clothes). As for where you will find ATMs, it depends. Travelers who are visiting South Africa will have more access to cash machines, since South African safaris tend to have a fair balance between wildlife and urban access. Outside of the airport, only major cities and high-end hotels have ATMs. Just remember that ATMs on site in a given country will dispense that country’s currency, so make sure to plan how much local versus US currency you’d like to carry with you. And don’t forget to notify your bank that you will be traveling internationally!

34. Are there any rules in Africa restricting photography?

No. If there were, African safaris wouldn’t enjoy such a plentiful and vast clientele. In fact, there are people who book safari trips primarily for the photo-taking experience. African safaris provide travelers the luxury of observing wildlife in its natural state, and capturing it all with the click of a button. We recommend bringing a few things: 1) plenty of memory cards, 2) back-up equipment (i.e. backup flash memory cards, and portable photo storage devices, and 3) long lenses with a minimum of 200mm that you can rent cheaper than you can buy. And keep safety precautions in mind, above all. Remember that you will be watching wild animals at close range, with no fences between you and them, so it is imperative that you remember to act with safety as your first priority.

35. Is the tap water safe to drink?

As per FDA safety-standards, no, the tap water in most African countries is not safe to drink. Just like other foreign countries, most regions, towns, and cities in Africa do not have the healthiest drinking water flowing from their kitchen faucets. Most of these areas do not have the highest-quality filtration systems and purifying procedures that make tap-water in the United States safe to drink. However, there is no need to be concerned about the quality of the water your family and friends will be drinking. Throughout your safari experience, we will provide you and your companions with filtered and bottled water that is as safe to drink as the water that flows from your tap at home.

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