How exciting! You're about to go on a safari (or want to , at least)!
Here are some do's and dont's for packing and preparing for a safari. There are many places you can go, from Kenya, to Botswana, to South Africa...but you will basically want the same things.
SO, here are things I learned from trial and error:
1. It Gets Freezing
Yes, in Africa it can literally be freezing. Now this depends on where you are and what time of year, but my first Safari in South Africa started early in the morning in the middle of California summer/SA winter. I couldn't believe how cold it got! The safari driver gave me a wool blanket for the open-air car ride, but the wind chill was incredible and it's ALWAYS COLDER IN THE SHADE OR CANYONS.
The Lesson: Bring LAYERS! It does warm up but in SA it never got sweltering hot at all. Always wear pants.
2. There Aren't "Food Stops," So Bring A Snack
You're out in the wilderness. Don't be "that" person asking when lunch is. Come prepared to take care of yourself for a day with some healthy, filling snacks. Your tour operator MAY include a lunch of some kind, or have you eat before, but just be ready to self-sufficient.
The Lesson: I'm a health nut, but it payed off to bring to bring things like bars and nut butter. But I was really glad I brought them because drives are long and if you forget to eat and drink, you pay for it later.
3. You May Have To Cross Borders
Some safaris actually cross borders into other countries. I did this in Botswana and Zimbabwe where they both crossed borders into Namibia or Zambia and you have to be ready with CASH ONLY to pay for the visa.
The Lesson: Always carry some cash with you if your near borders and don't give all of it away to people selling you things along the way
4. You Actually Don't Walk Around Or Get Out Of The Car That Much
Bring comfy shoes but you will likely not be trekking around on technical terrain. I wear hiking boots that are above the ankle mostly to keep the dirt out when you do jump out, but you could definitely get away with good running/athletic shoes. Please note is aimed at a typical safari in a sanctuary or park where you are not walking around for photos for hours. If you do that, wear the type of boots I did. SEE THEM HERE
The Lesson: Wear something that's COMFORTABLE to be sitting in or jumping in and out of a vehicle. Make sure your skin is covered, especially from shoes to pants.
5. You Will Get Sunburned AND Windburned
It's dry. It CAN get hot. You WILL be in the car driving around getting blasted by dusty wind. Make sure you have sunscreen with you to keep applying throughout the day. ALSO bring chapstick and even a tiny thing of Vaseline for your nose, lips, or hands.
The Lesson: Don't think you're not getting burned. You are. Keep applying sunscreen. You'll thank you later.
6. Take Care Of Your Cameras
It makes sense that a safari is going to be dusty and dirty. Many of us want to take great pictures so we're constantly keeping our camera out OR taking it in and out of a bag. Since I'm a professional producer/photographer, I go to extra lengths to protect me cameras from the elements when I'm out in them...which is most of the time
HOT INSIDER TIP: Either bring a camera that isn't your baby or cost $10k OR (hot tip!) bring a plastic shower cap from home or your hotel and wrap it around the camera, especially where you insert your lenses to keep the dust and dirt out. Bring a couple wipes for your lenses if the lense itself gets a little dust on it.
So go forth and get a safari booked! You certainly won't regret it. Stay tuned for how to PACK for a safari and in the meantime, let me know what I missed! Do you have any top tips you'd throw in?
Written by Whitney Powell http://www.ironwillproductions.com Producer | Host | Athlete | Expedition Leader
I can’t sleep. I toss and turn all night. I am worried. My husband is awakened in the middle of the night by me. I tell him I should have never agreed to go, and he will have to go without me. He says, “don’t worry I will take care of you”. I am going on a Hot Air Balloon ride in the morning. Due to being frightened of heights, this balloon ride scares me. Morning arrives and we set off with our good friends, Jim and Melinda. We drive to the hot air balloon site. Everyone is excited, but I secretly hope the guy does not show up. He does show up and I feel sick. After all the prep-work, we are ready to take off. I begin to cry. We are off and in a few short moments I realize how amazing hot air balloon riding really can be. It is so relaxing and we are just floating over the desert in the cool morning sun rise. What an amazing trip with such good friends. This is one item to cross off the bucket list. Oh yeah, it was never on the bucket list to begin with but it gets added and crossed off. Thumbs up to a great adventure.
On our journey we flew over the LaQuinta, California area. LaQuinta is a resort city located in the Coachella Valley not far from Palm Springs. As we flew over this desert town we could spot the many golf courses, San Andres Fault and in the distance we could see the beautiful Santa Rose Mountains.
Balloons Above has an overall rating of 4 on Trip Advisor. I rated them a 5 for the following reasons: the staff was friendly and for the nervous balloon rider they made you feel comfortable. We started right on time and you could tell from the start how experience they were.
If I would have read more about the skills and experience of the crew at Balloons Above, I think I would have been more comfortable and might not have lost so much sleep the night before. So here is a little more about Balloons Above that really explains why I had such a comfort level.
Balloons Above is owned by Wil LaPointe. Wil shares on his website that he “was in the cellular communications business in the late 1980’s when he saw his first hot air balloon in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area. He immediately realized the potential to draw a crowd, so he purchased a rooftop type to advertise his business. One day, a salesman stopped by who was also a balloon pilot. Although Wil had never been “up” in a balloon, he purchased a red, white and blue passenger balloon, perfect to promote his U.S. Cellular business. The pilot took him for his first ride and he was hooked on the experience.
Wil then trained to be a licensed pilot and became quite successful at competitive racing, eventually being ranked #5 in the entire country. He has been having the time of his life introducing people to the joy of hot air ballooning for the last twenty years.”
The associates at Balloons Above have the following certification:
FAA LTD Commercial Pilots and Flight Instructors
FAA Certified equipment
Liability Insured to California regulations for Balloons and Vehicles
Member of Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
BFA Nationals Competitor for 15 years
Learn more about Balloons Above at: http://www.balloonabovethedesert.com
Please contact Tina Honkus for California Adventure.
Agent: Tina Honkus
You have your work, your friends, your home and suddenly you decide that the safety net wich you created with so much love and tenderness in not enough for you anymore. Last summer I graduated from university, had already completed my internship and here I am with absolutely no clue about my future, about what I want in my life, what will make me happy. So I just disappeared in Portugal for one month. Was it a success? Did I book the first ticket back to Greece by the time I set my foot to this country? Well keep on reading my friends.
Worldpackers is a company which helps young people to travel around the world without spending a small fortune as they provide free accommodation, meals and sometimes a pocket money in exchange for their skills. These skills vary from photography to cooking or even painting. Mine where storytelling and photography so I found a job in a hostel/surf camp, called “Perfect Spot Lisbon” and was located well in Lisbon, in order to provide their business in social media and press. Did I mention that I always wanted to learn how to surf?
So here I am, in a residence five minutes from the ocean trying to decide what to cook with my roommate Kamila, who is also a volunteer in the hostel. By the afternoon we had already finished all of our work, so we just hit the ocean to spend the rest of the day surfing. As you can imagine we were starving by the end of the day and the good thing with our hostel is that it has a huge kitchen equiped with pretty much everything so in no time pretty much everybody was gathered in the kitchen for an “international” dinner.
This is the second thing that I loved through my experience in Portugal, the first one was the ocean. The fact that you can meet so many interesting people, all of them travellers. Some were travelling for the last year, some of them have just started their journey, and some of them were only for their holidays. But you know the main characteristic was that they were all very keen to know with each other and have a great time while spending their time there.
Besides good food is for sharing, and trust me Portugal has amazingly good food. Since I was supposed to stay there for a month I mostly cooked but I had promised to myself that once in a while I would take him out for dinner. By that time I discovered “Mules and Gin” which serves around fifteen different types of mules and around ten different types of gin. If you happen to be there you have to pay it a visit. Another place that it can easily become a spot in Cascais is “House of Wonders”, a terrace for smoothies, tapas, sweets and great cocktails, totally recommend it.
In general I used to spend my days in Cascais because I was working, living, surfing and doing horse riding there but if I wanted to check Lisbon, I could just take the train and in thirty minutes I was in the centre. Lisbon is located in seven hills so there are many viewpoint or you can just “miraduro”, the view is amazing and if you are a fan of sunsets I should advice you to go to “Park”, which is literally a parking lot with a hidden door leading to one of the most beautiful terraces you have ever saw.
Between surf, horse riding, the work in the hostel, and my small adventures in Lisbon, I did not realize how my holidays came to an end. I did not forget that, in the beginning of my article I told that I came in Portugal for a reason. Well I advice you that if at any case you find yourself lost in a more than one ways you just have to book a ticket. Through my journey I realized not only that destiny is to invest myself in the travel industry as a digital storyteller but also I had the chance to meet so many inspirational people, one of them actually is sitting with me while I am writing this article. Hope that you found my experience inspirational, see you soon possibly bringing news from another destination.
Author: Ilektra Chatzopoulou
I love camping since I was a child. When I settled in California and had my own family, I took the family to go camping every summer at several camp grounds through out California. Our last summer 2016, We visited Norway to see many places in the capital of Oslo. We squeezed our limited time with couple days to camp in Østmarka: Øvresaga, Oslo. It is a self-service cabin accommodation with gas, wood fuel stove, 8 beds. 3 canoes in the forest.
We stayed in a cabin approximately 1 hour's drive from Oslo. The cabin was called Øvresaga and belongs to the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT). It is Norway's biggest outdoor activities organization. Most of the DNT cabins don't have electricity, but they are well equipped with everything you need except for food. The cabins have bunk beds with pillows and blankets, wood for the fire, pots, pans, matches, candles, and sawdust toilet with toilet paper. We had to carry water buckets from the stream near our cabin for daily usage. Living in such conditions was tough but it makes us appreciate what we have at home even more. The best part was the beautiful nature, quiet environment, and fresh air, picking wild blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and canoeing on the lake.
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