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Keep scrolling down and read along! For this is one experience that could change your life forever. Being up close with a lion or an elephant or a leopard is no less than meeting your favorite celebrity actually better than that and gives you a perspective of your own mortality. One actually feels there is so much more to life during the safari and the adrenaline rush is totally worth it.

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On Safari in Africa : Things to Know Before You Go : Patrick Brakspear :

Visit Website. Image Source. Thanks to the varied topography of Africa, there are plenty of options for adventure lovers to get their adrenaline rush. There are some incredible local bazaars and markets no matter where you are in Africa. And these places are not only great to buy souvenirs, and local handicrafts but are also great to get an insight into the culture of the country. And yes, there are a lot of high end shopping malls and brands too! All in all, shopping is one of the best things to do in Africa and you must not skip it at any cost.

Africa with all its natural, historic, and cultural goodness has some of the most famous places to see in the world. From the pyramids to the desert to the largest waterfall in the world, here are a few places you must definitely visit on your trip to the continent. First, let's define the regions. Meanwhile, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and The Democratic Republic of the Congo, all destinations popular for gorilla tracking safaris, are generally considered Central Africa.

Malawi and Zambia are also sometimes classified as Central Africa. In terms of landscapes and attractions, the regions are quite different. The wildlife species found in the two areas are essentially the same; most of the predators and plains game can be seen in both regions and only some birds and a few mammals and reptiles are distinct between the regions. East Africa offers herds of zebras and wildebeests in the hundreds of thousands. The annual migration between the Maasai Mara in the north and Tanzania's Serengeti in the south is a spectacle unequaled anywhere on earth today.


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The major differences between East Africa and Southern Africa for safaris are the density of tourists, the safari accommodations and the safari vehicles. East Africa, in general, has earned a reputation for a high density of tourists staying in hotel-styled lodges. The most common safari vehicle in East Africa is the mini-van with its pop-up roof, whereby passengers stand up to take pictures while peering out of the roof or sit in the enclosed vans.

Conversely, Southern Africa is known for its luxury tented safari camps and huge tracts of wilderness areas with very low tourist densities, making for a private safari experience. The safari vehicles used here are modified, open-air Land Rovers which also add to the intimacy of the experience. That said, there are a growing number of luxury lodges cropping up in East Africa, particularly in Tanzania and these lodges offer a far more exclusive experience than the large safari lodges which may have typified Kenya and Tanzania.

(101 Things to Know When You Go) on Safari in Africa

For the most part, Southern Africa is dominated by huge land concessions, which are owned or leased by luxury safari camp operators, and these concessions are for the sole use of the individual camp and its guests. With an average camp size of only guests and only one or two vehicles for the entire concession, one can drive all day and not encounter anything but wilderness and wildlife.

What are the entry requirements? All people traveling to the Southern African region require a valid passport that is normally valid for six months beyond the intended length of stay. At present, holders of American passports do not require visas for South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. They do however require visas for Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Zambia; all but Kenya's may be purchased at the point of entry for a nominal fee.

It is advisable to check with the consulate of the country that you intend to visit as requirements can change without notice. Southern Africa has become very strict with regards to passport control requirements. There have been instances of visitors being deported due to non-compliance. Passports MUST be valid for at least six months after your return home date. We recommend a validity of nine months to prevent any problems in this regard. The passport entry requirement for any travelers entering South Africa is a minimum of two blank pages in their passport in addition to the two endorsement pages in US passports.

If however a guest should be traveling to more than one African country via South Africa, then the traveler must ensure they allow for sufficient pages for each country visited and also have the minimum of two blank visa pages for each re-entry into South Africa. Should I take any medical precautions before going to Africa?

As vaccination requirements change on occasion, we recommend that you check with your local doctor or health department for the latest health precautions. The most important health consideration in Southern Africa is malaria and it is strongly recommended that prophylactics i. You are not legally required to have any vaccinations unless you are traveling from a region where yellow fever is prevalent, in which case an inoculation will be required against the disease. Should I get traveler's insurance? Is communication with the "outside world" possible while on an African safari?

Many African safaris especially in Southern Africa, offer a self-drive option. Distances, however, can be vast, so some serious researching into distance and road quality is necessary before deciding.

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The Long Road - Simone Roda. Road conditions tend to deteriorate the further north in Africa one goes. Many areas require a 4X4 vehicle and a driver who is experienced in rough road driving.

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Here, again, there are options. Basically you hire a car and a driver to drive it. This is a great way to see the country and get to know the locals too. Insurance - Chris Potter. Comprehensive travel insurance is compulsory for any trip to Africa. We cover travel insurance in detail over here. First Aid Kit - Marcin Wichary A cost often missed when budgeting for a safari, is vaccines and medicines. While there, get a list of items that you should take as part of your First Aid Kit and budget for them too.

Many areas visited on safari are rural and far from any medical help, you want to be well-prepared! Passport - Jon Rawlinson. Visa requirements differ depending on the country you're travelling to, and what passport you hold. Some countries require you to apply and pay before you leave on your trip, while others require you to buy it on entry into the country. Be sure to include these costs in your budgeting. Passport requirements, too, differ from country to country. Some countries require that the expiry date is at least six months after entry. Others require a certain number of blank pages in your passport.

Check these requirements before booking your safari trip as renewing passports can take a while and add cost. Huts - William Warby. Also, the accommodation offered on the safari trip affects the price significantly. There is, especially in South Africa, a whole range of accommodation types to suit every budget and every comfort requirement.

When planning to book accommodation for your safari, check on what is included and not — meals, game drives etc.

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Often places that offer all-inclusive packages are actually more economical than paying for each aspect separately. Sleeping Kitty - Collin Jackson. This payment is usually made in US dollars. Be sure to ask your consultant if there is one, and how much it is, to include in your budget. All safari trips offer optional activities over-and-above those on the itinerary. When budgeting for your trip, be sure to check which activities are included in the price, so that you can budget for any that you wish to do as extras.

Market - khym Of course you want to take mementoes of your trip to Africa home with you. And gifts for family and friends. Remember to factor this into your budget. Throughout Africa, there are incredible artists and traders who make a diverse range of truly African art — from wooden giraffes to soapstone bowls, and everything in-between.

Curio shops exist all over the place, as do markets and stalls. Curio shops tend to add on a mark-up and buying directly from the artists in the market is cheaper. Haggling is also welcomed.


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In more rural areas, especially in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and East Africa, bartering is also welcomed. Clothes, shoes, pens, batteries, non-perishable food can all be swapped for beautiful African curios. Simons Town - Graeme Churchard. Tipping differs from country to country and depending on the service offered. In the rest of Africa, US Dollars are preferred.