Are you planning an East African safari for the first time? Here are some practical tips and helpful resources to help make your journey as safe and enjoyable as possible.
With its diverse landscapes, iconic wildlife, world heritage sites, and exotic islands, East Africa is a wild realm of extraordinary beauty, making it one of the top travel destinations in the world.
Whether you want to go gorilla trekking in Rwanda, see the great wildebeest migration in Kenya, or unwind along the golden sands of Zanzibar, this corner of the world offers travellers a truly unique holiday experience.
Finally decided to pursue your greatest dream and go on an East African Safari?
If you are a first-time traveller to East Africa, it can be difficult to know where to start. To help make your experience easier, here are some of the big questions first-time safari goers face, and some tips on how to make the most of your once-in-a-lifetime trip.
Top Tips For an Epic East African Safari
While planning an East African Safari can seem like a daunting task, it doesn’t have to be! Take the stress out of the experience with this helpful summary of the key things you need to think about before you jet off.
Once you have all of them covered, you can sit back, relax, and look forward to your safari adventure.
1. Applying for an East African Visa
One of the greatest things to happen to East African tourism over the past few years is the introduction of the East African visa. This visa allows you access to Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda, and it’s not only a time saver, but it also works out considerably cheaper than purchasing individual visas.
To apply for the East African Visa, you’ll need the following:
- A passport with at least six months validity
- $100 USD application fee
- One standard sized passport photograph
- A completed application form
Tip: It’s important that you apply for the East African visa with the country from which you will begin your travels. The visa will be valid for 90 days from the date marked in your passport.
2. Vaccinations and Health Requirements
When travelling to East Africa, there is only one shot that is compulsory, and that is the yellow fever vaccine, but there are other health precautions and vaccinations recommended by the WHO and CDC, which include:
- Hepatitis A and B
- Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR)
Note: While this is a general guide to vaccinations required for your East African safari, you should always visit your doctor before your departure to obtain the best advice. A pre-trip health check and discussion of what vaccines are necessary for you, as well as how to deal with any unique health concerns, is imperative for a safe and enjoyable safari.
Most safaris are all-inclusive when it comes to food and drink, but you still need money for certain activities, local purchases, and tipping.That’s why it’s a good idea to carry some local currency with you.
Carrying US Dollars
The US dollar is widely accepted by international hotels and safari camps in East Africa and traveller cheques are also an option. Visa cards are usually a safe bet, no matter where you go.
Tip: You may want to consider changing money at the airports, as banks there usually give better exchange rates than hotels.
On an East African safari, you should go for comfort and convenience when it comes to your clothing. Some of the things you should remember, include:
- Bring lightweight layers in both long and short lengths, plus socks, sleepwear, and swim wear.
- Always take a sweater or fleece jacket, as it can get quite chilly at night and during early mornings.
- Unless you’re planning to trek, bulky hiking boots are rarely necessary. However a comfortable pair of lightweight trainers are a must and if you’re planning on going to the beach after your safari, don’t forget your flip-flops.
- Don’t forget a hat, as you’ll want to protect your face and scalp from the equatorial sun.
- It’s not recommended to wear bright colors on safari, so consider buying some khaki, dark green, or darker colored clothes before your trip.
The Must-Haves For Your East African Safari
Before you leave for your East African Safari, make sure to have these items packed and ready to go:
- Mosquito repellant
- Sunblock/Body lotion
- Any prescription drugs (keep these in your hand luggage)
- A camera
- Electrical adaptors
- Binoculars (a pair per person)
- A small bag or day pack
Let’s Go Travel Makes Planning Your East African Safari Easy
At Let’s Go Travel, our travel agents have years of experience and expertise when it comes to planning East African Safaris. We can advise you on everything from visas and vaccinations, to lodging and itinerary planning.
If you want a stress-free and enjoyable safari experience, contact us today at +254 722 331 899.