Planning a safari can seem like a daunting task. Researching the endless amounts of tour operators in all of the countries claiming to offer the best safaris. However, it doesn’t need to be hard but you will need to dedicate some time to reading reviews, doing some research, and making a number of inquires. You’ve got to plan your time wisely, budget carefully and book ahead to make the most out of a trip.
Africa is a home to a variety of primates like: gorillas, chimpanzees, lemurs, monkeys, baboons, mangabey among many more. Your primate of interest greatly determines your destination of interest. Below are some things you should consider when planning a primate trip.
Know how to manage your money
Decide what to do about money a few weeks before you travel. In many countries, carrying large amounts of cash around isn’t safe; however, ATM’s are not necessarily available on every street corner. Avoid traveler’s checks, also, as they’re rarely accepted as viable currency. Generally, your best bet is to draw enough cash upon arrival to get you to the next big town, where you should be able to draw more money with your credit or debit card.
As everyone will tell you, you need to budget before you go traveling. But, when you’re out there, you also need to be good at managing the money you’ve got – and that takes practice. You can’t just turn up and expect to be good at living on a budget, especially if you have no idea how much things cost in that country. So restrict yourself before you travel and research extensively how much you can spend while there. You will also need to know the price of the activity you are going to participate in so as to avoid last minute surprises.
Know where you want to go and when you would wish to travel
There are various countries where primates can be spotted, deciding where to go can be daunting. The first step is to decide on the kind of vacation you want and what primate you are specifically interested in. this will make choosing a destination much easier.
Once you’ve chosen your destination, the next step is to decide when to travel. Most destinations have an optimum season, especially if you’re going on safari.
Roughly plan your route
You should have a good idea where you’re resting your head at night – whether that’s a fancy hotel, a hostel or you’re choosing to camp. You should check out the cancellation policies of places you’ve booked so you know what you’ll have to pay if you do get distracted on route.
Learn to pack well
There’s a limit to how much stuff you can take with you when traveling – you’ve got to be able to distinguish between essentials and luxuries. You’ll probably need enough clothes to get you through 10 days at the most. If you take more clothes than you need for that time it will be a nightmare to carry around. Most primates live in forested areas like gorillas, chimpanzees and seeing them requires trekking through these forests. You will need to pack good hiking boots, long sleeved clothes to avoid being scratched by broken parts of trees or being bitten by insects and you will also need a rain jacket because rain can be expected any time is this kind of vegetation.
Look after yourself
This includes visits with your doctor and dentist before you go traveling. But it’s also important to know how to look after yourself while you’re away. Make sure you can cook a few decent meals for yourself, for example, and keep up some level of exercise. These are the things that will keep you sane.
Check Your Visa Requirements
Make sure to check whether you need to pay for visa before you travel to any country, several months before your departure. This will be determined based on your nationality, not on your country of residence. Visa rules change all the time in Africa, so it’s important to check with an official government source rather than relying on advice given by outdated travel websites. Some countries allow you to purchase a visa upon arrival, while others require that you apply in advance from your home country. Even if you don’t need a visa, some countries have special requirements for your passport, including the amount of validity left at the time of travel and the number of blank pages available inside.