Saturday, March 18, 2023

Out of Africa Final Thoughts

minimal luggage

packing cubes
As I mentioned in the last post, we managed to take the trip to South Africa with only carryon luggage. We each had one suitcase as shown above. I also had a purse and my husband used a backpack. We had earlier purchased the Away brand carryon suitcases due to their size, weight, and positive reviews. We liked the fact that one of the inside compartments has compression capability, and they sell the packing cubes as well. I wanted to ensure that I got cubes that would fit inside these particular suitcases. The cubes worked great for keeping our belongings organized during the trip. We had no problems with any of the airlines with the items we carried on.

In terms of other advice given on what to pack and wear in South Africa, many things were not true. I'll preface what I'm about to say by clarifying that on our trip we stayed in lodges, and the safaris were in Toyota jeeps. We did not camp in the wilderness, and we did no hiking through the brush. Because of that, we wore tennis shoes on the safaris and they were fine. We did not need hiking boots, which was great because that saved space in the suitcase. Many online articles said to only wear tan, gray or dull green clothes so the animals wouldn't be disturbed by bright colors. Our clothing did not matter one bit. The animals are far more disturbed by the jeeps than what you have on. I did wear a large safari-style hat due to all my skin cancer issues. Our jeep was covered, but the sun still came in from the sides. I was happy to have my hat on for protection. We liberally used our sunblock, and had insect repellant wipes as well. Mosquitos can be a problem, especially since malaria is prevalent. We did not, however, take any malaria prevention medicine as I was concerned about the side effects.

The other thing of confusion for me was the power outlet situation in the areas to which we were traveling. I had read that the outlets are not standard in South Africa or in Botswana. I erred on the side of caution and purchased a power plug adapter kit that would handle several types of outlets, but in the end all I needed was the Type D plug. We did not need any voltage converters.

Covid was pretty much a non-issue on this trip. Masks were not requited anywhere, and the only time we had to prove we were vaccinated is when we landed at the Victoria Falls Airport. Botswana requires proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test. Just like in America, I did see that some Covid signs are still being displayed.

Africa covid signs

The biggest miracle is that we did not get Covid on this trip. Despite being in airports, planes, vans, and restaurants with their buffets (we haven't eaten a buffet meal in over three years!) we came home happy and healthy. To our knowledge, we have never gotten it. So far...

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