Are you planning a vacation to Africa and not sure what to expect? Fortunately, African safaris are not as dangerous or scary as they are dramatized to be, and there are some very simple steps you can take to prepare for the best trip possible. Here are some tips and tricks for planning your first African safari:

Take an Inventory

Africa is a massive continent, and with some distinct regions that have very different offerings for tourists. When planning your trip, you will need to decide what it is that you most want to experience about Africa, and then book reservations accordingly. For example, if you are interested in zebras, mountain climbing, and tourist resorts, then East Africa might be your ideal location, but if you are interested in camping out, waterfalls, and elephants, South Africa might be more your speed.

Health Vaccinations

Before you travel, you will need to be completely caught up on all of the standard vaccinations (measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), polio, influenza, and chickenpox, for example). Additionally, you should check with the Centers for Disease Control (cdc.gov) to find out what specific vaccinations might be required in the area of Africa you are traveling to. Remember that some vaccinations must be administered over a month in advance, so don’t forget this important detail when planning your trip.

Avoid Malaria

As you may or may not know, mosquito-spread malaria is rampant in certain parts of Africa, and the avoidance of mosquitoes (and prevention of malaria) are typical considerations for people planning a trip to Africa. However, what some people don’t know–and what you should–is that you can experience an African safari without the dread of mosquitoes by simply spending your vacation at a Malaria-free safari park. Search the web to find such parks in the area of Africa you’re interested in visiting.

Travel Visas

In addition to your passport, you will have to have a travel visa to travel to different parts of Africa. Some countries (like Kenya, Zimbabwe, Uganda, and Mozambique, for example) will allow you to purchase your travel visa “at the door,” but some countries (Egypt and Madagascar, for example) will require that you already have your travel visa when you arrive. This is something you will need to do before you leave the states, so take travel visas into consideration when planning your itinerary.

Your African safari is sure to be an experience you will never forget, whether you book African Safari trips at zicasso.com or through your local agent. Just make sure you get the most out of it and avoid any common tourist pitfalls by keeping these considerations in mind when traveling.