It may be called as the ‘Dark Continent’ but Africa is a paradise for Safari dreamers and nature lovers. Blessed with the thickest and largest rainforests and wildlife, it is a land of geographical diversity and breathtaking scenic views. To start with the simplest, you can get your selfie while going on a camel safari or get plentiful real sights of the wild animal species you read in your school books. You need years of travel to explore the Amazon rainforests, the Nile river civilization, the golden Sahara, and the surprise-rich Savanna grasslands, to pick a few of Africa’s wonders. As a popular saying, “Nothing comes free of cost”, so is the African Safari. Given the majestic landscapes and wild lands, the travelers should be fully prepared and aware of the various challenges they may face and the out-of-the-world experiences they will get from the mysterious continent.
How well are you prepared for the journey?
Africa has more than 50 countries, each with a distinct geography, demography, government policies and infrastructure. The documents and resources that you need to carry depend on the country and region you are planning to tour. Certain countries are highly developed while some are still struggling to get the basic things right. The developed ones have a more stringent screening of tourists and the underdeveloped ones do not even require visas. So it is better to contact the embassies for clarified requirements.
Take care about the validity date of your passports, which should be more than six months beyond your return date from Africa. Another critical requirement is to have sufficient blank pages for passport entries, especially when you are on a long tour, visiting multiple countries (at least 2 pages).
Africa is a land of extreme climates, weather changes and countries covered with tropical forest. Africa is the hottest continent and since the Great Sahara covers a major chunk of the continent, spanning east to west, the northern and parts of central Africa arid and sandy. Days are very hot and the prominent seasons are summer and rainy seasons. Winters make the night-time temperatures and early mornings drop to freezing point in some areas. The Amazon areas have very heavy rainfall and the rainforests can become tricky for travel. Rains make the Nile River swollen and flooding is common during rainy season. Knowledge about the best season to visit each place and planning in advance is essential to ensure a problem-free Safari.
Some regions are undeveloped and you may not get any medical help for several miles. There is the danger of a pandemic (respiratory infections, malaria, yellow fever, and other tropical diseases) occurring at any time due to pathetic conditions in some populations. So, it is advisable to know the climate, common diseases and if possible medical facilities in the places of your travel. Have a medical check-up and if necessary, take the vaccinations recommended by the physician to protect you from the possible infections in the Safari. Also, carry the preventive and prophylactic medicines as required.
Get the protection of reliable insurance which gives cover for medical emergencies, loss of baggage, evacuation expenses and change of itinerary. Taking safety precautions to prevent any possible thefts or security hazards from the side of visitors is advised to compliment the security arrangements made by the travel agents.
Just like the transport, means of communication is also important when we travel. Not all places in Africa are provided with options to contact the outside world. There are regions so remote that let go alone communication, they do not even have electricity and power. In the safari route, you may be staying in camps in such secluded locations. For some travelers, it is a welcome attraction and the others should be able to use the radio communications arranged in remote camps. In better-off places, you can get facilities like the internet at hotels of stay.
Since Africa has the most diverse flora and fauna, so do the cuisines. Usually, the organizers of the Safari arrange the food for their visitors based on their preferences. In addition to the indigenous local dishes, foreign dishes are also made available at the restaurants and hotels.
Know the continental divisions for your Safari
Egypt is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and forms a part of North Africa. East Africa includes Kenya and Tanzania, both of which are known for wildlife Safaris. The East African region is also a delight for its landscapes such as Mount Kilimanjaro, craters, and Serengeti Plains. Equally fascinating are the scenic beauty and wildlife safaris of Southern Africa. The Victoria Falls, animal safaris, natural reserves, wetlands, all make this region a favorite spot or family adventures. Central Africa constitutes Congo, Uganda, Burundi etc which are in demand for gorilla tracking safaris.
Yes, it is quite confusing on which region to choose, but there is absolute surety that whichever part of Africa you go to, you will come back with a whole lot of experiences to cherish for a lifetime.