As soon as you confirm your travel plans, take out travel insurance. Select a policy that covers cancellation, medical illness, emergency evacuation and associated hospital treatments. Be sure to take your travel insurance emergency phone numbers and your policy number/details with you.
Your personal safety and security is mostly a matter of common sense. So take the same precautions while travelling in Africa on safari that you would in any major city at home:
Carry a combination of cash (preferably US$ for most countries…and Rand for South Africa) and at least one credit card.
Travelers cheques (checks) are not widely accepted in African countries (i.e. Tanzania ) anymore. The United States Dollar remains the most widely accepted, followed by the Euro and Sterling.
A very important Travel Tip relates to money. Take at least US$150 to $250 per person/per week in cash from home. Visas secured on arrival must be paid in cash and in the exact amount.
Some countries do not accept US$ bills dated before the year 2000, due to suspicions of counterfeiting.
Be wary of streetside money-changers! If you do use one, be sure to count each note separately to satisfy yourself that the whole amount is there before handing across any of your own cash. Once counted, be sure not to let the pile out of your sight. It is an old trick to switch bundles and for you to later discover that the new bundle is mostly newspaper. If the money traders are legitimate, they will not be offended!
Electricity in Africa is all 220 -240V/50Hz AC, as is much of Europe, the UK, Australia and New Zealand and virtually all the Asian countries and India. Those of you from North America must bring an adapter for the proper plug configuration and a converter.
Generally speaking, communications in Africa are not what you are accustomed to at home but mobile (cell) phone coverage (and even Wi-Fi) is certainly more widespread throughout Africa – although not in some of the more remote safari destinations (thankfully).
A Travel Tip before you leave home: check with your service provider that your phone is registered for international roaming (and check that the phone you have is compatible with the networks in Africa. Most operate on GSM digital networks, running at a frequency of 900 MHz (and some 3G networks too). If your phone is a dual or tri-band GSM phone it will work just fine.
More and more we are seeing Wi-Fi being offered at safari camps/lodges – some as an extension of that countries communications grid, and some connected via satellite. Check with your Africa Travel Specialist before you leave home about which camps/lodges have WiFi. Better to use WiFi than your mobile phone. Avoid exorbitant international roaming charges!
Please note: Not all conventional communication options (phone, fax, internet and email) are available at the more remote safari camps (and mobile camps particularly). Communications are sometimes only available via HF radio.