If you’re an adventurous traveller, then no doubt a safari holiday will be on your bucket list if you’ve not been on one before.
The thrill of riding through an African bush or wild life park in an open top jeep and seeing wild animals at almost every turn will probably satisfy your adrenaline-seeking cravings.
Apart from the exotic safari locations in eastern and southern Africa, the beautiful and natural setting of Yankari Game Reserve located in Bauchi state, Nigeria’s north-east, offers a wonderful experience to tourists.
So before you plan your ultimate safari experience, here are seven tips that will help you traipse through the jungle like a pro and help you have a swell time while at it.
It seems obvious, but it would be remiss not to remind you to pack your international passport, a travel itinerary, travel insurance documents and eTickets (where applicable).
Even if you’re using the services of a travel agency, having all your relevant documents in a large wallet in your hand luggage is very essential.
Prescription and preventative medication
Remember to put your prescription medications in your hand luggage (with a signed note from your pharmacist) in case your check-in bag goes “astray”.
Just in case the worst happens, be readily armed with preventative pharmaceuticals to give you relief against diarrhea, headaches, indigestion and heartburn.
Insect repellent, hand sanitiser, antihistamine for bites, lozenges for sore throat, eye and nasal drops, and most importantly, anti-malarial tablets are important to have handy.
Make sure you have enough of each type to last you through the entire safari trip.
What’s a safari without the sights and sounds and something to capture the moment for a lifetime?
Packing a quality camera is indispensible to your safari trip. But if your mobile phone camera is topnotch then you’re still in business.
However, another essential item not everyone bothers about is binoculars. Binoculars are essential for optimum wildlife viewing on safari.
A good pair of binoculars will make a big difference to your safari.
Not only does the boundless wildlife you will encounter come in different shapes and sizes, they will almost always be viewed from varying distances—some from afar and others from up close.
Do not forget to pack chargers for your device, backup batteries and memory cards and country-specific adaptor plugs.
You don’t want to miss out on the continent’s stunning landscapes, colorful people and fabulous natural lights!
What to wear—clothes, toiletries and accessories
A very key part to enjoying your trip depends on the clothes you pack and how you use them.
Casual, comfortable clothing is suitable throughout the year when on safari and should not be compromised.
Select reasonably neutral or ‘earth-toned’ clothing that are practical and will blend well with the surroundings so that you don’t draw undue attention to yourself.
Think long sleeves, khaki pants and/or shorts, a jacket, raincoat, comfortable walking shoes or boots, your undergarments, swimwear (for safari lodges that have one) and even an elegant casual outfit for dinner!
Do not forget to pack a hat, travel size toiletries, sunscreen, lip balm, sunshades and a portable battery powered flashlight (as backup for your phone) and a backpack which can double as your hand luggage.
Remember though, that it is important to pack light so that you will not have unnecessary items competing for space in your luggage.
Check the weather
Ask your travel agent or check online and find out what the weather will be like at the time you would be on your holiday.
You may not need any serious cold weather gear at all and that will really help with the luggage limit.
Note however that most safari locations tend to be cold as temperature drops dramatically when the sun goes down in the evenings.
So you may need gloves, a scarf, a thick jacket and a beanie (head warmer).
Your raincoat will come in handy for those wet months when the tropical or savannah rains are in full swing.
It is not advisable to wear any form of clothing that may be construed as “camouflage,” such as those with brown or green “combat” style coloring.
You may be questioned and harassed by the security authorities if you’re found wearing them.
Do not take any expensive personal jewelry on safari. Be minimalist or take only those everyday items that you normally wear, like your wedding band, inexpensive earrings.
With regard to securing your luggage, you can use one or more combination locks to secure zips together if your suitcase does not have its own locking mechanism.
Unfortunately, luggage tampering in airports does occur, so you have to take extra measures to protect your property.
Bear in mind that restrictions on what can and cannot be taken on board an aircraft are still in place – including for liquids, flammables and sharp objects.
The rules change frequently, so please double check and take heed.
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