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Africa Budget Safaris - Essential Travel Checklistby Tania Wheeler

So you’ve booked the ultimate of Africa budget safaris and you’re ready to set off into the deepest, darkest parts of Africa on the adventure of a lifetime. Your itinerary is sorted, your flights are booked and everything is set. Before you can relax and begin daydreaming about your departure however, you will need to ensure that your travel checklist is complete – this will prevent any problems such as forgotten documents, bad packing decisions and other issues, leaving you free to enjoy your budget African safari, safe in the knowledge that every last detail has been considered.

The essential travel checklist includes the following:

Travel documents Depending on where you plan to be enjoying your Africa budget safari, you may or may not require a visa to enter the country. While many African countries do not require anything above a passport, other countries require a visa as well as visa costs. Not having these can result in barred entry, or worse – fines or other issues. Your overlanding tour company will be able to advise you on what you need to bring in terms of travel documents, and will assist in advising how to go about getting a visa for countries that require visa for entry. Do not ever leave this to the last minute, and always ensure that your passport is up to date, with enough space to add more stamps.

Vaccinations If you are planning a longer, multi-destination budget African safari, it is best to have vaccinations for Yellow Fever, malaria and the basic vaccinations such as tetanus, hepatitis and TB. While no one likes to think about health problems on their safari, it is always better to be prepared and have your shots before travelling to ensure that you stay healthy wherever you go. Hospitals and clinics are not always reliable in Africa, especially in the more remote destinations, so vaccinations are essential when travelling through the continent.

Guide books Even though your overlanding crew and guides will be on hand to give information about the places you visit on your safari, having a comprehensive guide book on the places you will be visiting is a good idea. Phrase books are also highly recommended – these will help you interact with the locals that you meet on your safari, to make friends and get the full experience of Africa’s warm and friendly culture.

Camping essentials The most important items to pack for Africa budget safaris are: torch (with extra batteries), small first aid kit with painkillers, bandages, antiseptic cream, diarrhoea and nausea pills, and other basics, as well as mosquito repellent, sleeping bag, binoculars, camera (with memory cards and batteries), camping mattress and large re-usable water bottle. You overlanding guide will advise on any other things to pack, depending on the type of safari you are planning.

Clothing and shoes Pack plenty of clothes for hot days and cold nightse. You will also need your swimming costume, a sarong, sandals, comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots, comfortable loose-fitting clothes for the hot days, warm waterproof jackets for the rainy days as well as sunhat, sunscreen and sunglasses for the harsh sun that can cause sunstroke if you aren’t careful. You can also pack a smart outfit for the occasional night out. Simple is best on budget Africa safaris though, so pack sensibly and avoid bringing too much.

For any budget Africa safaris and overland travel info email the team at OverlandingAfrica.com or post your comments below.

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