Preparing for Africa

Travel suitcase preparing concept
By Aria Stiefelmaier, digital correspondent

Africa is a beautiful continent, plentiful with culture, wildlife, and mesmerizing landscapes, which makes traveling throughout it a true delight and a much anticipated journey. With a trip to Africa fast approaching, it’s easy to forget that a lot of preparation goes on in the months before you hop on the plane. In this blog I will include my top 5 recommendations on how to prepare for your upcoming expedition to Africa.

Vaccinations!

Probably the worst part of travel abroad, but one of the most important, are vaccinations. Visit your doctor a few months before you plan to leave as some vaccines take a follow up that can only be administered four weeks after the initial dose. The CDC and WHO recommend the following vaccinations for travel to Africa: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, yellow fever, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia and influenza. Consult with your medical professional to see which shots you are up to date on, and which need to be updated or added to ensure your health and safety abroad.

Travel Documentation

It may be obvious, but don’t forget your documents! Make sure your passport is up to date so that you are ready to cruise right through the airports on your travels. Book your flights to and from your destination in advance and confirm that you have transportation to your camp so that everything proceeds smoothly. Depending on your country of origin, and your final destination, you may need a travel visa as well.

Packing Tips

Sunscreen is a must! I also recommend packing a multitude including a flashlight, sunglasses, insect repellent, a small first aid kit, spare toilet paper, hiking boots, a hat, lip balm, a refillable water bottle, a good book, and an African travel guide as the internet can be spotty. As for clothes, it is important to pack light cotton t-shirts, keep the color scheme muted especially for safaris, or other light, loose fitting clothing to counteract the heat. If you happen to travel during winter, be prepared for cold weather, as it isn’t always hot in Africa, so pack accordingly. Another lifesaver I recommend is packing cubes, using these cubes can allow you to pack additional items and with efficiency so you stress less and are more organized.

Be Prepared for Captivating Beauty

Exotic and extraordinary sites await you on your voyage and you will definitely want to capture the moment. Be sure to pack cameras and sketchbooks (along with your favorite drawing pencils, pens, or markers!) to encapsulate the raw beauty of Africa.

Plane Necessities

Pack a small suitcase and bring it with you on-board. Having a change of clothes, and any prescription medicine, can be a lifesaver if your luggage should get temporarily misplaced. A small healthy snack, a refillable water bottle and spare USB battery will also make those long flights more comfortable. Wear comfy clothes on the plane rides as they are long, and usually overnight, so you can relax before your adventure. Also be sure to bring your phone, tablet, and some good headphones. Remember to download a good movie or two, you never know when your seat will be the one with the broken TV display. Just remember to put it all away once you land, you are in Africa now, enjoy the splendor!

Preparation is key, so don’t fall into the temptation to procrastinate, and instead be a proactive packer!