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Into Africa

From photo safaris to rhino wake-up calls, Africa beckons with gripping wildlife experiences
Larry Olmsted
From the Print Edition:
Pierce Brosnan, Nov/Dec 97

(continued from page 4)

Don't try to cram all of Africa into one trip, Lungmus suggests: "Plan on coming back to Africa. There is an undeniable magic in the wildlife and people there that draws visitors back again and again." *

Larry Olmsted, who frequently writes about travel, golf and outdoor recreation, lives in Vermont.

SAFARI STRAEGIES

Entry Requirements: Visas are required before departure for most African countries. While few countries require Americans to be vaccinated, doctors strongly recommend yellow fever and other inoculations, as well as preventive malarial medication. Also consult your tour provider and the Center for Disease Control's International Traveler's Hotline at (404) 332-4559 for specific precautions you must observe for your itinerary.

Operators: Finding a good tour provider is imperative. The family-owned Micato Safaris (212-545-7111) is known for its excellent guides and personal service. The agency offers group and custom private trips, as well as cruise/safari combinations, and top-notch lodges and camps. Another respected name is Abercrombie & Kent (800-323-7308), which offers a wide range of trips throughout the continent, including private and mobile tented safaris. Mountain Travel-Sobek (800-227-2384) and Geographic Expeditions (415-922-0448) concentrate on active trips, including foot safaris and naturalist trips. API Travel Consultants has specialized knowledge of safari outfitters, and can book any of the above suppliers. For the agent nearest you, call (800) 401-4274.

Photography: For a photo opportunity of these proportions, you may want to leave your compact camera home and invest in something with at least a 200mm lens. Use ASA400 film or higher, because you'll be shooting at dusk and dawn. Bring plenty of film; guests typically use two or three 36-exposure rolls a day, and it can cost up to $30 a roll in East Africa. Bring spare video batteries as well. Most safari vehicles are equipped with charging outlets.

What To Bring: Pack warm sweaters, as the temperatures plummet at night. Safari vests may look funny, but they will hold all your film, camera batteries and such valuables as money, credit cards and your passport. For hiking you'll need sturdy shoes; casual footwear is fine for vehicle safaris. Sunscreen and sunglasses are a must, as is very strong insect repellent for protection against malaria. A good pair of binoculars is also recommended. --LO


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