Travel Tips

Travel, Packing, Vaccinations, Visa & More

Even if you’ve traveled the world and back, travelers should always read through my free collection of resources before going on vacation. Contact me to schedule a meeting and I’ll be happy to guide you myself.

        Table of Contents

  • Packing Essentials 101

  • What My Pack Looks Like

  • Vaccinations/Medications

  • Visas

  • Flights

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Packing Essentials 101

Packing can be OVERWHELMING and is different for each person but I tend to always see people pack TOO MUCH! So there's a couple of questions to ask your self before you start:

  • What am I going to be doing?

  • What is the weather going to be like?

  • What Travel Documents do I need?

  • What medications do I need?

  • Do I NEED this?

Now, when I travel I only ever carry two backpacks. My big Osprey pack where all my main stuff goes and my smaller pack that holds all my valuables, documents, or stuff I most often use.

When traveling to Africa with a guide and on an excursion, there is a lot of things that they take care of for you. Like laundry. Don't overpack clothes. Depending on your itinerary your laundry will most likely be done every other day if not every day if you are in a hunting camp.

When you start to think about packing spend the next couple of days analyzing what you use every day and make a list. Like a toothbrush, hairbrush, contacts or glasses, phone charger, book, e.c.t.

Are you bringing your rifle? Personally, I use my PH's (professional hunter) rifle when I travel because honestly, I don't want to deal with the hassle. If you are going to bring your rifle you will need to think of things such as

  • Rifle

  • Case

  • Lock

  • ammunition

  • Documentation (few of them)

Just remember your not moving there so don't pack in boxes but also remember the important things like medications, documentations, and personal essentials. Everything else can be purchased or replaced there for much cheaper.

What My Pack Looks like

I'm going to list off every item that goes into both of my packs and my packing routine each time I make the trek to Africa. Hopefully, this helps you maybe unpack some items or give you the "oh crap! Don't forget that" idea. Also, keep in mind I'm a lady so some things may be different for you fellas. 

Clothing

  • 2 pairs of pants

  • 1 pair of comfortable shoes

  • 1 pair of sandals

  • 2 pairs of shorts

  • 2 tank tops

  • 2 T-shirts

  • 2 long sleeve shirts

  • 1 light jacket

  • 1 "heavier" jacket

  • 1 hat

  • 5 pairs of underwear

  • 5 pairs of socks

      Technology

  • International wall adapter (for phones)

  • Power bank

  • 2 phone chargers

  • Charging block

  • Camera

  • Laptop

  • Headphones

        Toiletries

  • Shampoo & conditioner

  • Hairbrush

  • Toothbrush/paste

  • Contacts

  • Glasses

  • Feminine products

  • Deodorant

  • Lip balm

    Documents

  • Passport

  • Laminated copy of passport

  • State ID

  • COVID - TEST (72 hours old)

  • Plane tickets

  • Any booking references if needed

  • Debit and credit cards

  • List of US embassies and emergency contact

  • Travel insurance

      Miscellaneous

  • Cigarettes

  • Lighter

  • Wallet

  • Book

  • 2 pens

  • Bug wipes

  • Mosquito net

  • Malaria meds

  • Travel anti-diarrhea meds

  • Blanket

  • Head Pillow

Now, I've been doing this a lot so I've got it down to a T, but I remember when I first started I would lay everything out on the floor and stare at it for hours making sure I didn't forget anything. Don't drive yourself crazy. Like I said earlier if you forget something you can always purchase it there for much cheaper. The most focus should be your documents and medications. One random thing I do recommend is getting a copy of your passport and laminate it. Stash it somewhere safe in your pack just in case. Also, don't forget an outlet adapter! They are different in other countries and can be a pain to find while you're there. You can purchase them off of amazon. Last little packing tip for clothes. RUBBER BANDS! I love rubber bands. I will layer my clothes, roll them up, and rubber band them together. This creates so much more room in your pack or suitcase and keeps everything contained if you need to rummage through it.

Vaccinating

Vaccinations/Medications

Depending on where you are going in Africa some vaccinations may be required (yellow fever) or highly recommended. Everyone is different when it comes to this. Do or don't but it's important to know what diseases are prevalent in the country you are traveling to. I am by no means a doctor, this is solely based on my own experiences and beliefs. Always refer to the US CDC and your travel doctor for important information on the country you wish to travel to.

I have traveled all over the world so I'm pretty much vaccinated for everything under the sun but specifically for Africa these are the most common vaccinations or recommended medications you will hear about. Most of which you've already had as a kid.

  • Yellow fever

  • Malaria (pills)

  • Chickenpox (Varicella)

  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis

  • Flu (influenza)

  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)

  • Polio

  • Hep A

  • Hep B

  • Typhoid

  • Rabies

So now for my personal opinion. I am vaccinated for all except for rabies and malaria. You cannot get vaccinated for malaria. Instead, they give you medication to take. Depending on what kind you are given you will take 1 each day while you are there and after you return. Honestly, I always get a prescription but I never take them while I'm there. I have it for peace of mind and in case the mosquitos are really bad but I have never personally felt the need. One of the other pesty creatures over there carrying diseases are ticks. So I always cover myself in repellant anyway. This being said, yes, ticks can be BAD depending on where you are. They spread diseases such as Lyme disease and tick bite fever so bug repellant is a MUST. You won't see the locals use much if any at all but I promise you this will be different for you. I swear our foreign blood smells different. WEAR BUG REPELLANT.

For more information or to start getting vaccinated contact your local travel medical professional and schedule a consult.

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Visas

Depending on the country you are traveling from and to you may need to obtain a visa beforehand. For example, in order to enter Kenya as a US citizen, you must apply and be accepted for a visa. This is a process that I help you with every step of the way. Most African countries allow you to obtain a visa upon arrival and are good for so many days. We can discuss all of this as you proceed with booking. Each person's situation is different and there are far too many possibilities to list them all here, but it is essential to know your requirements before booking a ticket. Contact me to get more information on visa requirements.

Image by Yassine Khalfalli

Flights

This can be an important component and often overlooked by most travelers. If you're used to traveling around in your own country you don't think about major time differences or using the 24-hour clock. Trips to Africa from the US can be anywhere from 15 to 30 hour long trips. You will want to give yourself a day on each end to account for travel time to ensure you have the most adventure time. Your flight booking also may have times depicted in the 24-hour clock. This is important when you are making connections or getting on your flight back home. Become comfortable with the 24-hour clock or have a quick conversion ready so you're able to read your flight bookings.

 
Masai Mara National Reserve Kenya

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