Frequently Asked Questions about your Safari to Africa
Information about our safaris’, how they’re run, what to bring and more…
WHAT ARE THE VISA REQUIREMENTS?
Passports are required by all foreign visitors to Zambia and must be valid for at least 6 months after the intended length of your trip.
U.S. Citizens do require a visa for entry into Zambia. These are available at your point of entry in to Zambia for USD50.00 (cash only, exact change). For your convenience here is the link to purchase an e-visa before your arrival http://evisa.zambiaimmigration.gov.zm/#/
Please check with us regarding the tour you are on if you need a SINGLE entry or MULTIPLE entry visa.
PLEASE CHECK THE DATES THAT THE OFFICIALS STAMP IN TO YOUR PASSPORTS TO MAKE SURE THE ALLOTTED TIME FOR YOUR STAY IS CORRECT BEFORE YOU WALK AWAY FROM THE COUNTER.
We also suggest that before you depart on any international trip that you make a copy of the information page of your passport as well as any visas and leave this with a family member or friend in case you lose your passport!
WHATS THE WEATHER GOING TO BE LIKE?
The seasons in Southern Africa are reversed from those in the US.
The weather in Zambia is generally pleasant throughout the year with warm to hot days followed by cool to warm nights. However, the winter months (May – September) sees temperatures drop considerably.
The summer months in ZAMBIA are from November to the end of March which can be very hot. It is also the rainy season – cloud coverage and rain can cool things down but only for a short period of time.
The winter season begins in May and ends in August. This is also the dry season when virtually no rainfall occurs. Winter days are invariably sunny and cool to warm however, evening and night temperatures can drop below freezing point in some areas. The in-between periods – April/May and September/October – still tend to be dry, but the days are cooler than in summer and the nights are warmer than in winter. Make no mistake, in the winter months the evenings and early mornings can be very cold. On safari during this time you will need to take very warm clothing especially for early morning game drives.
THE CURRENCY & WHAT CREDIT CARDS CAN I USE?
Zambia's unit of currency is the Kwacha, denoted by the symbol ZMW.
Foreign currency is accepted for payment of goods and services in Euro, Pound, US Dollar and South African Rand. Please bring small denomination bills to make life easier for yourself.
You can use your credit card to pay for goods, services or activities in the larger towns and cities. Visa is the most widely accepted with Mastercard a close second.
Please DO NOT bring Diners Club or American Express – the charges to your account are large and both these cards are unlikely to be accepted in any event.
WHO COOKS FOR US?
African Safari Experts employs a private chef to prepare all your meals. Mariclaire has over 20 years of experience from all over the world. She will prepare some delicious meals for us!
WHAT IF I HAVE DIETARY REQUIREMENTS?
If you do have any dietary requirements it is extremely important that you inform us well ahead of time. We will do our best to accommodate you however please bear in mind that certain specific items cannot be purchased. If you are uncertain, please contact us.
If you have medical dietary requirements, then it is advised that you contact us 2 months in advance and we will advise you how best to proceed.
We need to know about allergies too – gluten, lactose, peanuts etc
If you will be celebrating a birthday or anniversary while we’re on safari please let us know, we would love to make a fuss and treat you!
WILL I BE ABLE TO DO LAUNDRY ON TOUR?
Yes. You will be!
If we are in the bush we will provide you with biodegradable soap as well as a bucket, pegs and wash line.
We will also be staying at selected lodges where a laundry service is available for a small fee.
WHAT ARE THE LUGGAGE RESTRICTIONS?
Medications, eye glasses, sunglasses, wallets, passports, computers, iPads, cell phones, cameras, binoculars, jewelry etc should be carried with you at all times in your hand luggage.
Please do not bring expensive jewelry with you. Do not take anything with you that is not replaceable or anything that you would be devastated to lose!
Most airports today do offer plastic wrapping of bags for a small fee.
Luggage restrictions vary between airlines / countries and aircraft. Please check with your travel consultant with regard to weight restrictions and quantity / size of bags permitted.
On safari we only allow SOFT bags with no wheels under 25kg’s. NO HARD SUITCASES CAN BE CARRIED.
We can arrange secure storage of your excess luggage if we are returning to the same point of departure.
SHOULD I BRING A CAMERA AND BINOCULARS?
Very definitely YES!
Bring spare batteries for your camera, lots of memory cards and somewhere to backup all those fantastic photographs you will take. A laptop, iPad or remote storage device is highly advised.
A good, strong pair of binoculars is essential. Game is not always co-operative and birds are often a good distance away so a decent set will add great value to your safari experience.
HOW WILL I CHARGE THINGS ON SAFARI?
African Safari Experts has solar panels and inverters for just this sort of thing. We will have auxiliary battery systems on each vehicle that are charged by the vehicles alternator when the vehicle is running. When we are in camp we will use solar power for charging batteries and when staying at lodge campsites we will use their electrical power.
DO I NEED ANY VACCINATIONS? WHAT ABOUT MALARIA?
NO, there is no formal requirement for any shots for entry into Zambia however, we highly recommend that you do take precautions against malaria, particularly in the summer months.
Your physician will be able to assist you with a prescription for prophylaxis for malaria prior to your arrival in the malaria area.
Tips on avoiding Malaria : Take a prescription antimalarial drug. Use insect repellent liberally which we will supply and wear long pants and sleeves to prevent mosquito bites.
To maximize the benefit of inoculations/immunizations we suggest you see a health-care provider at least 4–6 weeks before your trip to allow time for your vaccines to take effect. Please consult with your physician for recommendations regarding inoculations/immunizations.
You must purchase comprehensive travel insurance (including trip cancellation / curtailment and medical evacuation) before you travel. You will be asked to present proof of this medical evacuation insurance before you depart. Your Expedition Leader has a satellite phone with him at all times and should an evacuation become necessary he will need all your insurance details in order to affect an evacuation.
If an incident does occur where a med-evacuation is required, we have a full med-evacuation plan in place to cater for such incidents.
African Safari Experts provides full medical evac cover free of charge to all our clients.
African Safari Experts has partnered with Specialty Emergency Services (SES – Zambia www.ses-zambia.com) who are Zambia’s foremost emergency services provider. SES Zambia is a division of Unihealth which is under-written by BUPA (British United Provident Association www.bupaglobal.com ) With a fleet of vehicles, helicopters and fixed wing aircraft they provide medical evacuation services to any point in Zambia. Our partnership with SES will give peace of mind that no matter what happens, or where we are, you are covered completely.
WHERE DO I SLEEP?
Each vehicle is equipped with a rooftop tent. These tents have built in mosquito protection and are completely waterproof.
The tents are situated on the roof for your safety as we are travelling through remote areas.
Are you safe in these tents? Yes, absolutely! All the vehicles will be “laagered” in the evenings providing mutual protection. Its not uncommon for animals to wander through camp at night but these are rarely seen.
At some of the campsites that we stop at there is alternative accommodation in the form of Meru tents or Chalets. It is very important to book these in advance.
WHAT ABOUT WATER?
In most cities and towns the water is safe to drink. However, as this water may contain things your tummy isn’t used to we recommend that you stick to bottled water at all times.
Having a dodgy tummy on safari is not fun and easily avoided.
African Safari Experts will provide safe, clean drinking water while on safari.
WHAT ELSE SHOULD I PACK?
· Light weight shirts/blouses with long sleeves as protection from the sun and mosquitos
· Safari trousers
· A light weight water-proof jacket
· Comfortable walking shoes/sneakers
· Comfortable walking sandals or flip flops for warmer days
· A wide brimmed hat with under-chin tie to prevent it from flying away
· A warm windproof jacket (winter)
· A fleece jacket that will go under the warm jacket (winter)
· A warm polo neck shirt (winter)
· A beanie (winter)
· Gloves (winter)
· A warm scarf (winter)
· Spare prescription eye glasses/contact lenses
· Cameras and related paraphernalia like lenses etc and plenty of memory cards and spare batteries
· A small powerful flashlight and extra batteries
· Travel alarm clock
· Small purse size umbrella can come in handy
· A light packable backpack or tote to carry equipment and stuff on game vehicles
· A supply of Ziploc bags in different sizes may come in handy for dust or water proofing items
· Chargers for cell phones, iPads, cameras, computers etc
· Band aids
· Antiseptic cream
· Pain tablets
· Heartburn relief
· Eye drops
· Insect repellant
· Itch spray for bug bites
· Sunscreen with high SPF
· Hand sanitizer
· Purse size kleenex packets
· Eye drops
· Any prescription medications that you rely on, on a daily basis.