#travel to africa
Africa Travel Advice
With over a decade of experience behind us, we are the experts in safari travel but this means more than just information about destinations and accommodation. Get our tried-and-tested tips on flights, getting around, what you should pack and what you should spend – it’ll all come in handy when you’re on your trip!
Flights Getting Around
Africa is well served by international airlines and its gateway airports are Johannesburg. Cape Town. Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. Once you’ve arrived, we can easily arrange a group or private transfer that will take you directly to your city hotel or we’ll show you how to connect with your ongoing flights.
Our top safari destinations are usually accessed via a scheduled flight to the nearest airport and then a pre-arranged transfer to the lodge; however, private charter flights can also be arranged which will take you to the nearest airstrip, often just minutes away from camp. Have a look at our detailed Flights section for more information on airports as well as flying into and around Africa.
For the more independent-minded visitor, South Africa and Namibia are great self-drive destinations and suitable vehicles can be hired and dropped off at their major airports.
A question often asked by first-time visitors to Africa is: “is it safe?”. Well, our recommended African destinations are actually some of the safest in the world and many are ideal for families travelling with children. We have many child-friendly safari lodges to offer you, malaria-free Big 5 reserves. and beach resorts with professional kids clubs. Medical facilities in Africa’s cities and major tourist destinations are fine and staff at safari lodges will brief you about camp safety on arrival.
Security issues are no worse in Africa than the rest of the world: it’s simply a case of using your common sense and not exposing yourself to risk. Our African Safari Experts will give you all the advice you need, and it always pays to ask for local advice once you’re in Africa. Read our blog “How to Travel Safely in Africa” for more helpful tips.
One thing that you will need to take care of is any medication that’s needed for your trip, whether it’s malaria prophylactics or a yellow fever injection. Consult your doctor during your planning or simply check with your African Safari Expert.
With ATMs and bureau de changes found throughout Africa’s major towns, you can access cash pretty much anywhere. Most African countries accept US dollars as their currency of choice (as well as Euros and Sterling in some countries) but you’ll need Rand (ZAR) for South Africa.
As for cards, Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted across the continent but be aware of incurring high transaction fees in certain countries. For peace of mind, we’d recommend purchasing a world currency card or cash passport card before you leave.
While tipping and gratuities are not compulsory on your African safari, they are always appreciated. Ask your African Safari Expert for details on tipping, check out our country-specific travel advice pages or simply ask your lodge manager or host on arrival.
Read more about budgeting for your trip with our Top Tips on Booking Your African Safari .
Read more about guides and tipping protocol in our article Africa Safari Guides Trackers .
What to Pack
Packing for Africa depends on where you’re going as well as what time of the year you’re travelling.
If you’re going on safari, it’s wise to pack decent walking shoes, light or neutral coloured clothing (not white) and a warm top or jacket for the evenings. A sunhat is vital, as are sunglasses, binoculars, a camera, spare batteries or a charger, insect repellent, sunscreen and malaria prophylactics if necessary. An international plug, small daypack and personal water bottle are also recommended.
You may also need several items of warm clothing if you’re on a winter safari in places like Botswana and Namibia as night time temperatures can dip below freezing. Conversely, if you’re heading off on a beach holiday then we recommend you bring along a bathing suit, sarong, wide-brimmed hat and flip-flops.
It is essential to ensure you have the right paperwork in place before flying to Africa. Generally all passports need to have a number of blank pages available while visa specifications differ depending on nationality and destination. Note that visa regulations can sometimes change without much warning.
We recommend contacting the relevant authorities in good time or simply chat to your African Safari Expert before you go – they’ll have all the answers.
For more expert advice on where to go, what to see and what to do on your African vacation, take a look at our Africa Travel Blog .