A Timeline for Planning Your African Safari

You should start planning your safari in the same way as you would for any type of trip. Research books and read travel guides about your particular regions of interest. Get inspired and remember that deciding which areas to visit and choosing which safari operator will be organizing your trip are the most important things you need to do. During your safari planning process, refer back to this handy checklist to make sure that you’ve covered all your bases.

Six months to one year ahead of time:

  • Research destinations and make a list of the sights you want to see
  • Set a budget
  • Start a digital/hardcopy safari file to keep track of relevant information
  • Consult guidebooks to narrow your choices
  • Contac a travel agent to start firming up details
  • Choose your destination and make your reservations
  • Purchase travel insurance

Three to six months ahead of time:

  • Apply for a passport or renew yours if it is set to expire within 6 months of travel time
  • Determine which other travel documents you will need
  • Confirm whether your destination requires visas and/or certified health documents
  • Arrange vaccinations or medical clearances
  • Book all excursions, tours, and side trips

One to three months ahead of time:

  • Design a packing checklist
  • Shop for safari clothing and equipment
  • Arrange a kennel for your pets in addition to a house sitter

One month ahead of time:

  • Obtain copies of any prescription medications and ensure you have enough of each medicine to last you a few more days than the entire duration of your trip
  • Confirm international flights directly, as well as any lodging reservations and transfers with your travel agent

Two weeks ahead of time:

  • Purchase some local currency
  • Obtain small denominations of U.S. currency (e.g., $1 and $5) for tips

One week ahead of time:

  • Pack your bags using your checklist
  • Arrange transportation to the airport
  • Reconfirm flights

A few days ahead of time:

  • Review weather reports for your destination
  • Take pets to the kennel
  • Buy snacks for the plane
  • Make one last check of your house and review your travel checklist one last time

And finally  – have a glorious adventure!

Safari Planning timeline
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