How to Plan a Safari to Africa

A safari is an exciting journey to see animals in their natural habitat. As such, it requires lots of research and preparation [source: Costello]. For example, you have to decide when, where and how you're going to travel. You can go on an organized safari and let the professionals do the work for you [source: Engle], or you can plan a safari to Africa on your own, and drive yourself through the park of your choice [source: Costello]. Here are some things to consider when planning your own safari:

  • Determine your budget Safaris can be expensive. Your budget will determine the type of safari you choose. You can go on an all-inclusive luxury safari with expensive accommodations, an overland safari with a group, or a self-drive safari to tour on your own [source: Costello].
  • Decide when to travelIt's best to plan your safari to coincide with the dry season. Although all safari destinations are in the Southern Hemisphere, the dry season is different in Eastern Africa and in Southern Africa [source: Engle].
  • Decide what to see Your destination dictates what you will see and do. Each country in Africa offers a different kind of safari experience. Decide what you'd like to see and choose your destination accordingly.
  • Check visa requirements Some, although not all, countries require a visa. Make sure you apply for a visa at least two months before your trip.
  • Update your vaccines Health precautions are necessary when traveling to safari destinations. Have your doctor check your immunization record to see if you need any immunizations before you travel. You may need to get various vaccinations, as well as anti-malaria medication before you travel [source: Costello].
  • Consider how strenuous you want your trip to be Safaris can be taxing, with long hikes at high altitudes, getting in and out of canoes, and traveling in jeeps. When planning your safari, consider how strenuous you want the trip to be [source: Engle].
  • Research travel insurance Travel insurance is essential when traveling to remote locations [source: Costello].
  • Take the necessary safety precautions Many African countries are plagued with political unrest. Be sure to check the State Department's Web site for travel advisories to your intended destination [source: Costello, Engle].