Travelers usually make sure they have the proper papers, shots, cameras, film, proper clothes, etc. Here are a few helpful hints that this author learned while on her first safari. They might make your trip a little easier and enjoyable.
They don’t just work in your laundry, but in Africa, or anywhere else where there are mosquitoes. Take a bunch of dryer sheets in a baggy.
During the day put them in pockets, under shirt collars, under hats, in socks and shoes, inside waist bands or belts. During the night, put them under the pillow, on bed stands, on top of the sheets or blankets.
If you not sensitive to the dryer sheets, you can even rub down your neck, arms and legs with them.
I don’t know why, but pens are a big commodity in Africa. Roadside vendors, informal sellers, etc. will often make trades for pens, or at least take pens as partial payment. Going to a dollar store before you leave and buying pens to trade, or give out, will come in handy. I traded the few pens I had in my purse for porcupine quills. The vendor was on the side of the road, overlooking the Great Rift Valley.
Credit Card Problems
Even though credit cards are readily accepted almost everywhere in Africa, there is one problem; If you are in a safari lodge, there is a good chance, especially if it is raining, that their computer connection will be down, making it difficult to purchase souvenirs, wine or alcohol, etc., with a credit card.
Take Some Cash
Everyone who helps you in any way, regardless of how much or little, will expect a tip. In truth, this gets a little obnoxious after a while. While I would not normally recommend carrying cash, it’s a good idea to have change or small bills on hand for just such occasions.
Can You Help?
The poverty in Africa is obvious. If you are on a tight budget, it is hard to help out. However, if you have the extra money, be generous. Besides tips and pens, other articles you can hand out, if you have room in your luggage to take with you, are magnifying eye glasses, flip-flops and small bars of soap, to mention just a few.