So you’ve booked the vacation of a lifetime to come on safari with Ashworth Africa. Good move! Now it’s time to prepare and get informed about what to expect from your time with us in Africa.
First of all, relax – we’ve got you covered. The Ashworth Africa team will take care of every part of your itinerary, making sure everything runs smoothly. We go to great lengths to ensure your expectations are not just met but are exceeded at every turn, and we’ll be on hand to answer any questions you have. Before you leave home, here are some tips to help you get the very best from your African safari.
Getting ready for departure
First, make sure your passports are up to date, that they have at least four blank pages for immigration stamps and are not due to expire within 30 days of the end of your trip. And take care of any visa requirements before you leave to avoid potentially lengthy airport queues.
In addition, get all your COVID-19-related travel documentation in order: vaccination certificates (if you’ve been vaccinated) or a valid negative PCR test within 72 hours of your departure. Add this to your travel insurance documentation and any other paperwork required by your destination country (we will advise the specifics depending on your destination).
If you take medicine for a chronic condition, pack all your medication in your check-in luggage. Keep copies of your prescriptions and sufficient medication for the journey in your hand luggage with you.
Finally, if you are travelling with children, make sure you have any documentation required for them to enter your destination country/countries. Again, we will advise you what is needed for specific ports of entry according to the country’s immigration policies.
What to pack
There’s a simple rule when packing for a successful safari – keep it light! From your luggage to what you put in it, you should aim to minimise what you travel with. While international flights offer generous check-in luggage allowances, small planes between safari camps can be very restrictive when it comes to heavy bags.
We’ll let you know in detail depending on your itinerary, but each traveller should generally aim for 15 kg (33 lbs) in a soft-sided duffel bag with a firm, flat bottom. This is so that it can sit properly on a luggage conveyor belt but can also be squished into tight spaces on small planes if needed.
Your camera bag and a small piece of hand luggage normally won’t be weighed, and they can go on board with you.
It’s easy to pare down for a safari, because most of the places you’ll stay offer a complementary laundry service. Here’s a list of the basics:
Two pairs of shorts
A pair of cargo pants
A pair of long pants
Two or three T-shirts
Two or three vests
A long-sleeved shirt
Walking shoes (closed)
A lightweight wind-cheater or waterproof anorak
A microfibre fleece, beany hat, gloves and scarf (for the winter months)
Sun hat or peaked cap (all year round)
Go for neutral colours and earth tones to blend in with the bush. White is good for around camp and is very cooling, but it can be a no-no on a safari vehicle.
The secret to safari clothing is to pack things that can easily be layered. In the dry winter months, it’s cold first thing in the morning and in the evening, especially in an open safari vehicle. So layer up in the mornings and remove items as the temperature rises. For your late afternoon game drive, on the other hand, pack layers to take with you on the safari vehicle and add them as the temperature cools.
It is always cooler next to water, so a lightweight wind-cheater or fleece is a good idea, especially for early morning river cruises.
You’ll be given blankets and ponchos when it’s cold and/or wet, but a waterproof jacket is a good addition if travelling in the wet season.
No gluten? No problem! Let us know ahead of time if you have any dietary requirements or preferences, and we’ll let the camps you are staying at know. All the camps and lodges we use are renowned for their cuisine and hospitality, so you’ll be well taken care of.
If you’re a keen photographer, your African safari will be a dream come true. Pack your camera and photographic gear in a robust camera bag that can handle bumping around in an open safari vehicle. Bring a wide-angle lens and a zoom or two for close-up wildlife shots. If you use a compact camera or cell phone, that’s fine too (you’ll score on the luggage front!).
Today’s digital compact cameras can be a real boon on safari, because you won’t need to change lenses. They nonetheless offer excellent focal range, often going from 55 mm to 600 mm and shooting great video.
Also bring good binoculars if you have them – an 8 x 42 or 10 x 42 focal range is optimal for game viewing and bird-watching.
While all the camps and lodges have recharging stations in the rooms or in communal areas, a travel adaptor is always a good idea. Also consider bringing spare batteries and memory cards.
Ready to book your African adventure? Drop us a line – we are open 7 days a week, 365 days a year!