Bring snack food.
Bring snack food.
Start adjusting your time an hour a day before departure.
Photocopy all documents with at least two copies. One in your luggage and one in a traveling companion's.
Keep an open mind when hunting plains game. You might not see that gold medal gemsbok but a trophy bush buck may appear in front of you. Be flexable.
Be nice to your PH's staff. They are serving you food.
Bring appropriate chargers for all your electronic gear. Verify before you get on the plane what adapters you'll need for the country you're going to.
Always book an isle seat if you have to take medication on a long flight.
Take along candy or food if food is recommended with the medications.
Put all items in a Zip lock bag. That is easily reached.
My travel bag has small pockets at both ends for easy to reach items.
If traveling through Amsterdam with a firearm, have the proper permit and make at least 3 copies to take with you.
When returning to the USA this year, one copy was taken in Tanzania and another in Amsterdam on my return trip.
For the lowest conversion rates, try to use credit cards instead of cash for hotels and other charges when in a city. The card company will convert the African currency on your statement to U.S. dollars using that day's rate.
As someone above has said, you should alert your card companies that you will be out of country and check their fees long before you go. To that, I'll add that you see what they recommend to avoid identity theft in another country. You may want to consider a new card to use only in Africa.
Remember, airports generally are the most expensive places to convert U.S. dollars to or from an African currency. Ask your bank at home what its rate would be and buy your rands (of whatever) before you leave if the rate seems reasonable. If not, arrange to exchange your money at a bank at your destination.
Some outfitters may exchange the local currency for dollars, too.
Speaking of outfitters, long before you leave home, check with yours to see if he will accept a check for trophy fees, etc. Some will.
One final tip: Try to have US$100 in the local currency and 15-20 US$5 bills with you when you land You'll never know when you will need them for tips, taxis, etc.
If possible add a day or so to your trip just in case there are problems with your flight so you don't miss hunting days.
Also, try the Amarula. Enjoy a shot shot for every animal you harvest and if need be one for each animal of your hunting partners also.
I'm about to give away my favorite travel tip. I wasn't going to but i really need the luck to win this ticket!!!!
Wear a fleece, t-shirt or jacket with either the springboks or some other rugby or South African team on it. You will literally breeze right through the airport. Think about it, if you were walking around an airport over here and saw someone in a Denver Broncos or Kansas City Chiefs jacket, you wouldn't think twice about whether they were foreign and worth pestering.
This really helps keep the porters and beggars away, and the "requested tips" seem to disappear. In fact, my PH in Zimbabwe didn't even approach me to take me on the hunt. We were both sitting in the waiting/pickup area until i finally figured he must be my "guy". After talking to him, he said he thought i was just a guy on holiday from Pretoria and was wondering where his client was. Ha.
The only other time it has been a problem was when i was crossing into Zim at Beitbridge and the border guard wanted to start a conversation about how the "Boks" are doing this year in Afrikaans. I told him i didn't speak the language. He switched to English....then i had to tell them i didn't have a clue about the sport or the team. He must have thought i was a weirdo.
But really, give it a shot. You will be amazed how easy it is to blend in when dressed correctly!!
Zim PH Rhodie Tourle is on the left, i'm on the right.
Second tip: Stay away from looking like "SAFARI JOE" with tan zip off pants, columbia multi pocket shirt, and your safari hat with zebra band. You are just asking to be bothered!
Wear easy on easy off shoes for airport removal and pack your hunting boots on your carry on.
I carry a soft side brief/computor case along with my carryon bag. It contains copies of all my paperwork. Earphones, Candy, sleeping pills, Paperback book , Camera, ect.
When going thru the airport security I drop my watch, Keys, Coins, ect. in it so I can grab it and go when it clears. Really makes the process simple.
It’s not widely known, but American Express offers $1,000.00 travelers checks. They can save you a lot of signing time when you pay your safari fees. Some bank tellers have never heard of them, and you may have to ask the bank manager or someone at anAmEx to order them for you.
Before you head for Zimbabwe, check with your outfitter or agent to see if hotels where you plan to stay will accept credit cards, and if there is a surcharge for using cards. There should be no problem in Victoria Falls or Harare, but this may not be the case elsewhere in the country.
Thank you for an interesting competition. I have started another message but pressed a wrong button by mistake before completing it. This is the correct version.
PREPARING FOR THE LONG FLIGHT AND JET LAG
Donít think of the 15 hour long haul to South Africa, but prepare yourself psychologically and how to kill time. Reading, watching videos, walking around and stretching, drawing out the meals and sleeping, all help to make the flight more bearable. Once you arrive at your destination, the long flight is quickly forgotten.
Sleeping a lot, drinking lots of fluids like water and juices (not alcohol and coffee), getting into the sun once you have arrived and sleeping whenever you are tired all help to reduce the effects of jet lag and to recuperate more quickly.
Welcome aboard and enjoy your flight.
Travel with a partner who is more experienced than you.
Trip insurance is not the only coverage you should consider when planning a safari. Insurance to cover emergency medical treatment and evacuation to the States is dirt cheap when compared to what a medical emergency could cost you without it. You also may want to consider insuring your firearms through SCI or elsewhere.