As a first time visitor to Africa, and first safari huntress, Twiga did the following prior to the trip:
* Verified that passport expiration was not within 6 months of date of travel, and that there was at least a page (front and back) available for Visa stamps for each African country of entry. (Some African countries, ie Tanzania, take a whole passport page for their visas.)
* Updated Vaccination Yellow Card. Checked wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations for updated health information and vaccination requirements. Another good source of information was http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/travel/africa for vaccination recommendations.
* Researched Visa requirements for African countries of travel (ie Tanzania is $50 per visit for non-US citizens, acquired at time of entry, and $100 for US citizens which is valid for multiple entries for a year)
* Located where required vaccinations could be administered. Not all doctors/clinics can administer the yellow fever vaccination. A good source is http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/find-clinic
* Practiced shooting and handling a rifle safely
* Educated herself on where to shoot the animal being hunted with kill zone diagrams/photos. A good source for African game is http://www.africahunting.com/section/hunting-18/
* Researched weather during time of safari to determine clothing requirements. Since it was fall weather, the temperature was going to be lows of 45 F to 80 F (cold in the morning and evening and hot during the day). Layering is the best way to accomodate the change in temperature while out on a hunt. Twiga chose to take a thermal long sleeve shirt and leggings, turtlenecks, scarf, short sleeve shirt and cami shirt- all in brown, olive green or khaki. Camoflage or tan pants, or tan convertable pants (pants that can be made into shorts by unzipping the legs off). A canvas or wool coat with a hood would be useful also while out on the bakkie (truck). A nylon coat is too noisy when tracking…
* Coordinated clothing requirements to fit into a carry-on suitcase as frequency of lost checked luggage is increasing in Africa
* Purchased a clothes line, stopper, and Woolite packets for laundry during the trip. This kit (http://www.amazon.com/Lewis-N-Clark-Laundry-White/dp/B00004SRAX/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1370304428&sr=8-8&keywords=travel+clothesline) and this clothesline (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000PWIQKO/ref=oh_details_o09_s01_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) worked famously.
* Printed itinerary, accommodations, and contact information for reference
* As the date of travel drew closer, checked on current exchange rates for African countries of travel
* Stocked up on prescription, diarhea, bites, and cold medication for travel
* Stocked up on allergy friendly snacks. Africans are not as aware as Americans to allergy friendly foods/meals, so non-allergic snacks are a good backup.
* Packed a couple of books for the plane ride and layovers.
* And most importantly, stocked up on enough dark chocolate for the entire trip!
Bwana Mbogo found out, during this recent trip, how to have cell phone access without having to pay the high roaming charges or purchase a Satelite cell phone. The key is to have an unlocked cell phone, and then purchase a prepaid SIM card at the African country of travel and switch out the US SIM card with the African country SIM card. We did not do this, but will try it on the next trip.