Sunset

First place photograph by Tim Robson

Bush Tip No.3

Bring the best Binoculars you can afford and have them with you at all times

 

Expedition Ready


Read up on our pre-departure information in order to help prepare for your safari.

Passport & Visa

A valid passport is required to enter all countries in Africa. It should be valid for at least six months from your expected entry date. If it is not you must have another passport issued.

Check with the nearest Consulate, Embassy or High Commission to see if a visa is required for your nationality. If so, please apply for your visa before you travel. You should allow plenty of time for processing before your departure.


Insurance

It is a condition of Nigel Perks Discovery Ltd that all participants be fully insured with trip cancellation, medical and evacuation insurance as a condition of travel. Please see your travel professional or research the internet for providers of this type of insurance.

Trip cancellation insurance is essential in the event you are unable to travel due to illness. Most policies also provide for cancellation in the event of illness of a family member.


Health

Please consult you doctor or Health Travel Advisory Service to get up to date advice on vaccination and malaria prophylaxis. You should travel with your own personal first aid kit including any over-the-counter or prescription medications that you regularly use or may need.

Eyeglass wearers should bring an extra pair and contact lens wearers should bring glasses as well. There is a lot of dust and glare on safari that can affect sensitive eyes. A good pair of sunglasses and plenty of sunscreen are also essential, as is a broad-brimmed hat.

Vaccinations

Commonly recommended vaccinations:

  • Yellow Fever
  • Polio
  • Tetanus
  • Hepatitis

Each African country has its own requirements for people entering and this often depends on where you arrive from. Please check with your Doctor or the websites below for your requirements. Allow plenty of time to obtain the necessary immunizations.

Malaria

Malaria is a serious tropical disease that affects millions of people each year, mostly locals. Certain areas are within a malarial zone, notably the coastal areas and lower elevations; and there are strains of malaria present that can be resistant to certain anti-malaria drugs. It is recommended that you take anti-malarial tablets before, during and after your stay in Africa.

Please contact your doctor or International health clinic to get the best advice on which anti-malarial to take. Malaria is spread by one species of mosquito (Anopheles gambiae) that feeds from dusk to dawn. The best way to prevent contracting malaria is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

Follow these suggestions:

  • Use insect repellent
  • Cover exposed skin after dark
  • Use a mosquito net when provided (at the coast and low elevations)
Further Information

For more travel health and malaria information visit the following websites:

Water & Food

While in Africa you should drink only commercially bottled water, which is available throughout the well-travelled areas.

We take the utmost care in choosing and preparing all food to a high standard. Most of our fresh produce comes from organic vegetable gardens. We can cater for most dietary requests if given ample notification.

Money & Security

Security

As with travelling to any part of the world use common sense with your money and belongings. Please leave all valuable jewellery at home.

Exchange rate

Rates fluctuate considerably and also fluctuate within each country, becoming higher in more remote areas. For the current rates see the link on our website.

You can exchange currency at most hotels and lodges as well as banks and bureaux de change in bigger towns. Always count your money when cashing foreign currency, even at banks. If possible, wait to change money in Town rather than on arrival, jet-lagged, from a long flight.

Which currency to bring

US dollars are preferred and almost anything in Africa can be purchased with US currency. Bring plenty of small notes for tips and incidentals but fifties and hundreds get a better rate of exchange.

Cash is the easiest, but less secure, so it is advisable to bring a mixture of traveller’s cheques and cash. Bring your proof of purchase papers when bringing travellers cheques, as banks often want to see these.

Credit cards are not always widely accepted in Africa and there are often additional charges and high rates of exchange associated with their use. Getting a cash advance on a credit card is nearly impossible and there are few, if any, ATM machines. Do not rely on credit cards for anything other than an extreme emergency back up. Bring enough cash in US dollars or traveller’s cheques with you.

What to spend it on

Depending on your type of safari, most things are included in your trip. Below are some of the things that you may need money for:

  • Drinks while staying in lodges
  • Souvenirs and curios
  • Books and postcards
  • Lodges and camps excellent shops
  • Art, if shopping in the larger centres
  • Gratuities
Tipping

Although tipping is optional and totally up to your personal discretion, it is a safari tradition. Our staff are well paid but they do appreciate reward for excellent service. Typically, individual camp-crew members receive US$ 5 per day from the group.

Safari guides typically receive between US$20-100 per day from the group, depending on the level of satisfaction. If there is a lodge stay included in your safari you may want to consult the lodge for the tipping guidelines. Many lodges have a staff tip box. Your guide can advise you, but generally, a few dollars go a long way.

Packing List

We suggest that you pack all your gear into one soft-sided medium sized duffle bag. You can use a small daypack as your carry-on that will work well in the safari vehicle and be useful on a walking safari.

Essential Items
  • 2 pairs trousers
  • 2 sweat shirts/jumpers
  • 1 fleece or warm jacket
  • 4 shirts - preferably long sleeve for sun protection
  • 2 pairs shorts
  • Sun hat that covers your ears.
  • Cap for standing up through the game-viewing hatches
  • Socks and under clothing
  • Light weight thermal if you really feel the cold (can double as pyjamas)
  • Light weight rain jacket or wind breaker
  • 1 pair flip flops or ‘Teva’ style sandals for around camp and showers
  • 1 pair of comfortable shoes
  • 1 good torch/flashlight with extra batteries
  • Personal toiletries — camp provides towels
  • Sunscreen and lip salve
  • Personal first aid kit and all medications including malaria tablets
  • Insect repellent
  • Sun glasses with strings to hold them on
  • Spare camera batteries
  • Spare eyeglasses
  • Binoculars
Walking Safari Essentials
  • Light-weight boots that breathe (well broken in)
  • Comfortable padded socks
  • Blister pads or moleskin
  • Heavy duty water bottle
  • Daypack
Optional Items
  • Zip lock bags
  • Note book and pen
  • Guide books (see reading list)
  • Gadgets are always interesting — GPS, Leatherman, etc.
  • Beach attire if heading to the coast

Most light scheduled and private charter flights have a strict luggage allowance of 15 kilograms (33 lbs) per person for your safety. This includes carry-on and camera gear. It is essential to pack light and in soft-sided bags. Laundry service is available in lodges and while camping, so there is no need to bring more than a few day’s worth of clothing.

Photography

We have over 18 years experience working with cameramen and photographers including the BBC Natural History Unit and National Geographic.

Our guides are well trained in all aspects of photography and have the knowledge needed to help get you into the best position for your shots. A trip with us will give you endless opportunities for photographing nature.

We also do several dedicated photographic trips each year, often lead by professional photographers.

Enter our Photographic Competition

Binoculars

It is absolutely essential that every member of the safari have a pair of binoculars. If you only buy one thing, get a good pair of binoculars, its well worth the investment.

Top of the range

These are the best binoculars available and often come with a lifetime guarantee.

  • Zeiss 10x40, 7x42, 8x30
  • Leica 10x42, 8x42, 7x42
  • Swarovski 10x42
  • Bausch & Lomb Elite 10X42
Good mid range binoculars
  • Canon image stabilisers 10x30
  • Nikon 10x40 monarch or 8x40 monarch — excellent
  • Bushnell 8x42 or 10x40