With captivating landscapes, tropical paradises, fascinating cultures, plentiful wildlife, rich history and welcoming people, Africa is a top tourist destination in its own right.
However, for a successful student trip to Africa, there are some important things you need to familiarize yourself with. These include details such as the cost of a holiday in Africa, the best time to visit, what to pack and more.
This article shares expert advice on some key details you need to know when planning a student trip to Africa.
1. The cost of a safari in Africa
With each African Safari covering different destinations and activities, the cost of one remains relative all-around. Generally, an Africa safari will cost anywhere between $250- $1500 per person daily depending on your choice of package. And of course, whether you choose a private or a group safari package.
Breaking down the costs, a budget safari trip ranges from $150-250$ per day, while the mid-luxury safaris start from $290-$450 per day. Beyond that, luxury safaris vary from $600-$1000 per day with Ultra-luxurious safari packages going for $1500 per day or more. The cost is super stiff here.
Notably, the packages are comprehensive meaning that transport, accommodation, meals, entrance fees are all included in the package price.
2. The best places to visit in Africa
Africa is home to numerous destinations scattered over each country, and it can be incredibly challenging to narrow down the best places to visit, especially for first-time visitors.
Nevertheless, these destinations are some of the best places to visit in Africa:
- Maasai Mara National Reserve — the award-winning Masai Mara National Reserve ranks as one of Africa's leading safari destinations with a blend of wildlife and bird species. Home to the Great wildebeest migration, the big five and many more animals wherever you look, it is no wonder the Mara is a popular bucket list destination for visitors.
- Serengeti National Park — an extension to the Maasai Mara Reserve, the Serengeti occupies the lion's share of the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem. It is home to over 3,000 lions and an exciting population of african wildlife, fantastic scenery and the Great Migration.
If you fully want to exploit your African safari, it's advisable to work with local safari guides who not only know but have seen more than just the attractive pictures of these destinations.
For sure, it is the recipe to thrilling safaris that will surely captivate your heart. Born and bred locally, these tour operators are knowledgeable and familiar with the lay of the land and what it has to offer. Just let them craft your safari experience, and you won't regret it.
When it comes to picking the right safari vehicle, the options available include the safari land-cruisers and Safari Van (mostly Toyota Hiace, Nissan NV200, or Mazda Bongo) with open roof for game viewing.
Most parks in Kenya also allow travellers to use private 4x4 vehicles such as Toyota Harrier, Subaru Forester, Nissan Patrol and others to get into the park. Small, 2 wheel cars cannot be allowed to enter the park.
3. The best time to see the Wildebeest Migration
You’ve probably heard about The Masai Mara Great Migration, which is one of the wonders of the world. If not, let me introduce you to mother nature’s most excellent show and one of the most irresistible wildlife spectacles on earth.
The phenomena involves the stunning back and forth movement of close to two million wildebeest as well as thousands of gazelle and zebra across the Serengeti National park and the Mara Reserve.
While you’ll still spot the animal move at most visits, the best time to experience The Great Migration is during the dry season - between July and October when the vegetation is sparse, and the waterways are dry. This forces the animals to cross to either side in search of green pastures, and here comes your chance of witnessing this spectacular display.
4. Vaccinations you need in Africa
Once your African Safari is reserved and confirmed, you need to research the relevant vaccinations you should take depending on your travel destination. We don’t want health issues affecting your long-anticipated safari.
So, no less than two months before you embark on your African safari, schedule an appointment with a travel doctor to find out the recommended vaccinations for your travel itinerary based on your overall health and age.
The recommendations may differ significantly from country to country and may include Hepatitis A, typhoid, malaria, yellow fever, meningitis, rabies and standard childhood vaccinations.
Besides, please consult with your doctor regarding any underlying health conditions or risks and how best to manage them on your safari.
5. What to pack
Knowing what the right things to pack can be a challenging task for most visitors. You don’t know what to bring along and what to leave behind.
All too often, we forget that this is a short trip and want to carry excess luggage. Excess luggage brings unnecessary inconveniences in your safari — you may incur extra costs or face airport restrictions.
First off, inspect if your travel documents and any other essential documents are valid before packing them. Make sure to carry enough money, preferably dollars which are easy to convert to local currency. And if you're bringing your ATM card, please inform your bank.
For clothes, think three to four attires that are lightweight and earth-toned including long-sleeved tees, jeans or long shorts. With most accommodation suites providing laundry services, they should be enough. Your attire selection is also dependent on the current weather of your destination.
Also, pick a pair of shoes that's lightweight yet durable, preferably waterproof and with firm treads. Don't forget some sandals, gloves, socks, a hat, a bandana, windbreakers or a fleece and a scarf.
On the other hand, carry the most needed personal effects such as toiletries, first aid and prescription drugs etc. Gadgets including lightweight binoculars, a camera preferably with a telephoto lens, your phone, laptop, and memory cards are essential not forgetting their chargers.
Africa is guaranteed to impress you with epic and unforgettable experiences whichever part you visit. As you plan your student trip here, the tips shared above should help you prepare for a memorable safari to Africa.
Should you need more information or want to go ahead and take up a safari adventure, look no further than MasaiMarasafari.in. We'll be pleased to help you plan and actualize your dream of taking part in an African safari.