Well before the sun has reached the horizon, safari vehicles laden with excited tourists, snacks, water and all the photographic equipment you could dream of, leave various hotels and lodges and head to the Kruger National Park. As dawn breaks, the slow going vehicles take guests through the park, taking in all of the sights and sounds the park has to offer.
While it is a simple description of a Kruger Park safari, it is one that resonates with those who’ve done it before and those who have read up about what to expect. The problem with the description though is that it is very basic, and there is a lot more going on behind the scenes that makes a safari relaxed and unforgettable.
Once you’ve settled on a safari company, booked your trip and made your checklist, you might be worried that you’ve left out an important part of your planning. It might not be something you’ve forgotten to pack, but instead, it could be a place you want to see but haven’t factored into your plans, something you’ve not included regarding your health, or something associated with your all-important travel documentation.
Visas, Passports and all that Jazz
Every international visitor will need to make sure that their passports are valid and up to date. They will also have to know how long they intend on staying in South Africa. Most visas are valid for up to 6 months, but not every traveller requires a visa. Make sure that you have this part of your planning out of the way well before you are set to leave. To minimise the stress, work with a travel agent or the nearest embassy. They will be able to guide you.
Are you vaccinated?
When travelling in certain parts of Africa, you need to have certain vaccinations. Yellow Fever is a common vaccination requirement and if you are travelling in the Kruger, you’ll want to take something to prevent malaria infection. You should also find out the requirements regarding travelling with certain medications. If you are unsure about what medication you can and cannot bring, talk to your travel agent or do some online research.
Sure a cell phone could do the job, but the quality won’t do what you are capturing any justice. You need to have a camera that can take sharp, focused images and have enough space to take as many photos as you like. And the great thing is that you don’t have to break the bank. There are many great camera brands available at relatively low prices.
Sometimes you have to leave the paperwork, such as passports and tickets out of the rest of your luggage. It can be stressful when you think about the possibility of accidentally leaving it behind! To be on the safe side, make a few copies of the documentation you need and keep it somewhere safe throughout your trip. This extra precaution can come in really handy if you get stuck.
The Kruger National Park sits in a mosquito area, and the worry about malaria aside, mosquitos leave a very distinct itch once they have bitten you. An insect repellent should keep them away. Unfortunately, there is no way to keep the sun away. Bring sunblock, a hat, sunglasses and lip balm to protect your skin from the sun.
Whether you are enjoying your Kruger Park safari in summer or winter, you will feel the heat! Even in the middle of winter, packing for Canadian weather is not necessary. The winters are mild and the summers blistering. Pack accordingly!