Frequently Asked Questions for Africa Travel
Below are a few of the more frequently asked questions we receive. Should the answer to what you are looking for not be on this website, contact us and we will gladly assist you.
Is it safe to travel to Africa?
The short answer is ‘yes’. Africa derives a significant portion of its foreign income by the spending that international visitors contribute to a country. It is in both the private companies and government's interests to keep the visitor safe in their visiting country.
Most safaris take place in remote wildlife areas, away from villages, towns and cities, and so the risk of crime to visitors travelling to tourist destinations are generally very low. The transfers (by road or air) between airports, hotels and lodges are operated by reputable companies or by the properties themselves. This means you will not be unattended at any time during your safari and your chances of encountering problems are minimal. However, no country is 100% safe, therefore it is wise to take precaution when travelling and be alert as you would in any situation, and let common sense prevail.
What are the medical health precautions and issues?
The most serious health consideration in Africa is malaria and we recommend a course of anti-malaria tablets as a preventative precaution. The less common insect-borne diseases that you may encounter are sleeping sickness, tick bite fever and dengue. These can be prevented by wearing long-sleeved clothing, and most camps and lodges are equipped with insect repellents and mosquito nets, which will prevent them. Aids is rife in Africa, so always use precautions to reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. We recommend that you check with your local medical practitioner for the latest health precautions. Visit this page for more information on Health precautions when traveling to Africa.
Wildlife safety while on safari – Aren’t wild animals dangerous?
We only recommend good lodges and qualified guides to accompany you on your safari. You may come across a variety of wild animals, as most camps are within the natural habitat of the free roaming wildlife. The highly trained guides are armed with an amazing understanding of the wildlife and will avoid situations which could be potentially dangerous. You will need to follow the instructions of your guide and keep aware of your surroundings.
Is there electricity in the camps? Is communication with the "outside world" possible while on an African safari?
Most camps and lodges are situated in remote wildlife locations and are not connected to a mains electricity supply. Solar panels are common or camps make use of generators, which run while guests are partaking in their activities. Lanterns usually provide light at night and the camps have ample electrical power to charge batteries for cameras and video cameras.
Due to the isolated location of camps and lodges, communication to the outside world is limited. For most people this adds to the allure of being on safari. However, all camps have satellite phones in case of emergencies, as cell phones do not work at most safari lodges and camps. There are some exceptions in the more developed African countries, where there are cell phone towers in certain parks and camps here are connected to the main electricity grid.
Are children allowed on African safaris?
Africa is a great destination for children; however the majority of safari lodges and camps have a minimum age limit of 6 (some of them 12 years of age). Due to the active nature of African safaris, most camps and lodges require that children need to be 6 years in order to participate in game activities. This will always be at the rangers discretion.
How much luggage can I take on safari?
Luggage restrictions vary between 12 – 20kg per person depending on the type and the size of aircraft used, and also the safari destination you are visiting. On charter flights, no hard suitcases are allowed as they physically cannot fit into the aircraft, therefore only soft bags will be accepted.
If you’re booking a single location beach resort vacation with us, please feel free to pack as much luggage as you wish. However, if your safari entails multiple air transfers between camps, we recommend that your luggage be kept to a minimum.
What kind of trip insurance do I need, if any?
We highly recommend that you carry the correct comprehensive travel and medical insurance to cover yourself against all eventualities and circumstances. Trip insurance should cover you for events that may occur before, or during travel; such as trip cancellation, lost or stolen baggage, emergency evacuation, medical expenses and emergency cash transfer.
What should I wear on safari?
Naturally toned colours are the order of the day. Ideal colours to wear on safaris are greens, browns, olives and khakis. Natural colours ensure you blend in as much as possible with your surroundings and that you do not disturb the wildlife you are viewing. White, bright and pale clothing should be avoided as it stands out against the brown and green tones of Africa. Clothing that is black and blue should also be avoided, especially if you’re travelling to East Africa as these attract tsetse flies. This is not such an issue in Southern Africa. Camouflage clothing is not allowed and in a number of countries you could actually be arrested.
What should I pack for safari?
- Comfortable long-sleeved t-shirts and sturdy shoes
- A safari jacket or fleece
- Hats and Bandanas
- Mosquito repellent
What pre-African safari reading do you recommend?
We recommend that tourists do some advanced reading before embarking on their African safari, as this will help you get even more excited and heighten your safari experience. Pre-safari reading will help you gain some upfront knowledge about the animals, flora, cultures and history of Africa and the locations you intend to visit. It is difficult to recommend a book that will fit all, but we found Bradt Travel Guides offer guidebooks on almost every African safari destination. Lonely Planet also offers an extensive range of informative African safari books, and you can also read African books online at the Rough Guides Website.
To help you identify and learn more about the animals you’re going to see, we’ve compiled a list of African safari books, which you may find interesting:
Beat about the Bush: Mammals – Trevor Carnaby
The safari companion: A Guide to Watching African Mammals – Richard Estes
The Kingdon pocket guide to African Mammals- Jonathon Kingdon
Birds of Africa South of the Sahara – Ian Sinclair
Field Guide to the Birds of East Africa
Around Africa on my bicycle – Riaan Manser
White Mischief – James Fox
Out of Africa – Karen Blixen
My Pride and Joy- George Adamson
Born Free, Forever Free & Living Free – Joy Adamson
I Dreamed Of Africa – Kuki Gallman
The Ukimwi Road – Dervla Murphy