Ok so you made sure (twice) the stove is turned off, your tooth brush is packed and still you have that nagging feeling you forgot something... Don't worry, Zippy has compiled a handy check list for your holiday in southern Africa..
Travel documents and papers to bring:
1. A valid passport, be sure to check the expiry date, it should be valid for at least six months from the date of entry, and a minimum of four blank pages as required by South African law.
2. It is a also good idea to carry a photocopy of the photo page and the entry stamp page of your passport as well as an additional piece of identification if possible such as one other picture ID (e.g. driver's licence).
3. Visas if necessary, double check if you need before you leave, currently they are not required for Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Uganda or Zimbabwe.
4. A print out of your itinerary, with the contact details of the places you will be staying at and the companies whose services you will be using.
5. Any medical documentation you may need such as doctors prescriptions, allergy information or chronic medication information.
6. Map and road map of the areas you will be going, as well as any guides or guide books
7. Air tickets, please make sure your air tickets are valid and all in order.
8. Travel insurance documents, information and contact numbers
9. Drivers licence in English, with a photocopy just to be sure
10. Your daily budget and spending money, travellers cheques and credit cards
(NB: Please check the expirey dates of your credit cards, and inform your bank of the countries you will be using your cards in!)
11. Your present list, it is a good idea to bring a list of names so that you can remember all the people who you would like to buy local gifts for.
Suggested list of clothing you should pack:
As no formal clothes are needed throughout most of Southern Africa, we recommend that you limit your luggage to the basics, remember that there may be weight restrictions on luggage amounts for internal / domestic flights. (NB: see SAA baggage information below) Generally, casual comfortable clothing is suitable throughout the year but you may want to include items listed below:
1. A wide brimmed hat preferable to a peak cap in order to protect the sensitive neck area prone to sunburn
2. Comfortable shorts / skirts as well as pants such as long trousers, golf-shirts, t-shirts and long-sleeved cotton shirts for daily wear. If out on safari, bright colours and white are NOT advised, neutral colours are best.
3. Semi formal attire will be needed for city restaurants, and you might need also need formal attire if you are staying at a prestigious hotel.
4. A warm winter jersey, anorak or Parka is recommended for early morning or evening activities, depending on the time of year.
5. Underwear (ladies, sports bra recommended on game drives as the roads can be bumpy and uneven) and socks, as well as a bathing costume.
6. Good walking shoes such as tennis or running shoes that are comfortable and sturdy. If you will be doing lots of mountain walking, you should consider bringing hiking boots. Some sandals or open shoes to relax in when not exploring is also a good idea.
Other items to bring:
1. Basic medical kit containing (chronic medication, allergy medication, aspirins, plasters, Imodium, antiseptic cream, anti-histamine cream etc)
2. Personal toiletries - including cosmetics, lip balm, moisture cream, and sun protection cream
3. If you wear contact lenses, we recommend a pair of back-up glasses or a spare set of lenses.
4. Sunglasses, are necessity for the strong sunlight and related glare common in South Africa
5. Binoculars, video and camera equipment, with extra film or memory storage cards
6. Torch with spare batteries
7. Insect repellant - Note that local brands such as 'Peaceful Sleep' and 'Tabard', as well as herbal citronella-based repellants are inexpensive and readily available at most convenience stores.
8. Chargers and any adapters you may need for mobile phones, digital cameras and other portable electronic devices.
9. Field guides, maps and other documentation for the areas you will be visiting, as well as game and bird guides
10. A journal and pen to write about your daily adventures
11. An interesting novel to relax with on long journeys.