General travel safety precautions

How to limit dangers and annoyances

Please note: by reading the advice below you might get the impression that the countries covered on SafariBookings are unsafe for travelling. In general, that is not the case. Outside of specific disturbances, often linked to political events which are rare and well publicized, the countries in our opinion can be considered safe. This is even more so the case if your visit is primarily an organized safari or tour – your safari operator is there to ensure your safety. The advice below is solely intended to help you further decrease the already small risks.

  • Buy good travel and health insurance and check that all activities on your trip are covered.
  • Check the entry requirements for the country you are visiting, including: number of empty pages and months left before your passport expires, visa requirements, if holding a return ticket is required, etc.
  • Get all the required vaccinations, antimalarial medication and insect repellent before you depart. Insect repellant should contain at least 20-30% DEET.
  • Lock all bags before handing them over at check-in at the airport. Keep all valuables in your hand luggage or money belt, including your passport and bank cards.
  • Make photocopies of important documents like tickets, insurance papers, passport and visa and keep them separate. It is also recommended to scan these documents and email a copy to yourself and somebody at home, along with your flight other travel details. If you don't have a scanner, you can leave photocopies with somebody at home.
  • Put your valuables in the safety deposit box of the hotel and make sure to take at least one bag that you can lock.
  • Check with your tour operator what to pack for your trip. It is important to be protected against the sun and have suitable clothing for wildlife watching (see the Wildlife watching safety precautions page for more info).
  • When small charter flights are part of your trip, check the luggage weight limits.
  • Don't drive at night as the road conditions are a lot different from Western countries. Potholes and road edges are harder to spot, livestock may wander onto roads and other vehicles may drive haphazardly and even without lights.
  • When driving in areas known for car hijackings (like in and around Johannesburg) you should lock all doors and keep your windows closed. Don’t stop at hijacking hotspots, like empty parking lots or the emergency lane of highways. The risk is significantly higher after dark.
  • Don't offend or irritate police officers. Always show respect. In some African countries police officers might try their luck by asking for a bribe. If so, don’t get aggressive, it’s your choice as to whether you agree to a bribe or not but remember, corruption is being encouraged with each successful bribe. A light attitude and a joke might well get you off the hook.
  • Don't take photos of government or military buildings and constructions.