If you’ve taken to the notion of spending time in Africa on an adventure tour, there are some things you’ll want to do before getting on your flight.
The first step is of course deciding where to go. Africa is the second largest continent on Earth and is larger than North America, so there’s no way to cover everything in a single trip. Different areas offer different kinds of experiences, with South Africa being a particularly good entry locale for many, since English is widely spoken there and its neighbors Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique all offer remarkable experiences.
When to go is also worth researching. The dry season is generally in the winter, and if southern Africa is your destination and you live in North America or Europe, that means the summer months where you live. If you’re hoping to see wildlife, researching the migration patterns of specific species is also worth doing.
Whether to travel independently or to be part of a tour group are also topics to ponder. There are advantages and challenges to doing either, so spend some time early on visualizing what kind of experience you want to have in Africa and how best to achieve it.
Paperwork will also need to be handled. Not only will you need a passport, but some countries will also require visas too, so leave plenty of time to do your research and get your required papers processed. Travel insurance and emergency medical coverage are also worth thinking about.
You’ll also have to ensure that your vaccinations are all current and you’ll probably want to talk to your doctor about additional immunizations for certain areas you’ll be travelling to. Some vaccinations take a few weeks before full protection from disease is developed, so give yourself plenty of lead-time. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has information about specific destinations at its website.
Adventure travel is also more physically rigorous than most people’s everyday life, so getting in some exercise and improving your physical stamina might not be a bad idea. You might also want to read up about the politics and history of where you’re visiting, both to enrich the experience and to be better prepared to interact with the people whose countries you will be visiting.
Be prepared for the cost of not only your flight, hotels, meals, and perhaps tour costs, but also some of the smaller things that will add up: clothing and gear, visas, immunizations, malaria tablets, changing currency, etc.