If you ask most people what travelling adventures they have on their bucket list, the African safari is likely to be right up there. But the reality is that many people don’t have the time or the funds to make this amazing journey while they’re young; more and more people are delaying it until their retirement.
The benefit of saving this adventure for your older years is that you have both the time and the money to do it properly. But there are some elements of the trip you will need to consider carefully to make this the life-changing experience you’ve been hoping for.
Here’s our guide to getting the most out of your African safari when you’re over sixty.
Take Out Adequate Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is always important when you’re planning a trip, especially if you’ve got any existing conditions that may need medical attention while you’re away.
When you are going somewhere where you might incur extra risk, like an African safari, it’s a good idea to talk it through with your insurance broker or provider to make sure you’re fully covered.
Think Carefully About Your Itinerary
This is going to be a trip of a lifetime so you want to make sure you give yourself time to really enjoy it. There’s no point packing so much in that by day two, you’re too exhausted to take in what you’re seeing.
Make sure, when planning your itinerary, that you schedule in rest days in which you can stay put and enjoy the hotel facilities and the beautiful landscape without having to travel.
There are travel companies, such as Responsible Travel and Zicasso, which specialise in creating an African safari experience specifically for the over 60s. These are a great option if you’re not sure how much is too much.
See Your Doctor Before You Travel
A safari can be a challenging experience so it’s a good idea to book in to see your doctor before you set off just to ensure you’re in top health. Make sure you get a prescription for any medication which will cover you for your entire time away.
While you’re with your GP, discuss exactly where you’re going and ask if there are any vaccinations which might be necessary to cover illness present in that area.
For specific specialist advice on vaccinations you may want to contact the Medical Advisory Service for Travellers Abroad.
Be Prepared For the Conditions
Find out what the weather and climate is likely to be in the areas where your safari is located, and then pack accordingly. Temperatures can vary from extremes of swelteringly hot during the day to bitterly cold at night, so make sure you have all possibilities covered.
For those unused to the extreme heat in African during the hotter seasons, make sure that you keep out of the sun during the warmest times of the day and remember to stay well hydrated. Drink water regularly throughout your trip.
Follow these basic health and safety tips and you’ll have a wonderful trip and see some awe-inspiring sights. Maybe you’ll even be tempted to make this a twice or even a three times-in-a-lifetime experience.
Patrick Chong is the Managing Director of InsureMore, an award-winning team of specialists in global single trip, family and annual travel insurance for those heading off on an African safari or business and holiday travel anywhere else in the world. Besides offering great deals on travel insurance, Patrick also collects and shares the best free travel competitions to help his clients get the most out of their holidays.