Today I welcomed a Canon ImagePrograf 6100 24″ wide printer to my studio! I’ve been spending all evening installing print heads, ink, paper and calibrating it. I’m so excited! Now comes the journey of learning how to make great prints of my photos. I’m intimidated by all the intricacies of the process, but I know I’ll like it ’cause I’m a geek like that :) Stay tuned for some exciting news in the near future about what I plan to use this printer for!
I promise, one of these days I’ll stop writing about Africa :)
So you’ve got the bug…you want to go to Africa. Where to start. If you’ve done even the smallest amount of research, you’ve probably realized that there are a TON of decisions to be made. You want to make the right decisions because this trip will likely cost a good sum of money and it might be a once in a lifetime experience. Having been through the dizzying experience of planing a safari, I wanted to put together a quick executive summery of things you should consider. Obviously this isn’t the end-all guide to safari planning, but maybe somethings here will correlate to other things you read on the net and help you plan an amazing trip to Africa. So here it goes.
- It won’t be a PERFECT trip. This is international travel to the third world. Something might not go as planned. Having an easy going, flexible attitude will help you to have a whole lot more fun.
- Make sure you research the time of year you are traveling and see which areas are best. You may want to shift your travel dates to avoid rainy seasons or the hottest months. Extreme weather is no fun.
- When searching for guide companies, make sure they are approved by the tour operator’s association of the country you are traveling to. This will ensure that you’re going with a legit company. For Tanzania it is here: http://www.tatotz.org/
- Do yourself the favor of going on a private safari with a guide just for your party. Do you really want to be crammed into a vehicle with other random tourists who may have different agendas than you?
- Use Trip Advisor to research other people’s experiences. Find out from the message boards who the established guide companies are and if people had good experiences with them. When you’ve narrowed down a list of companies you’re considering, google the heck out of them to make sure there are no bad vibes out there.
- Buy trip insurance!
- Have a Dr. prescribe a powerful antibiotic like Cipro and start taking it the instant…and I mean the instant you start having diarrhea on your trip. Throw in some Immodium too. (Of course, don’t drink the water or eat salads in the first place).
- Carefully consider what kind of accommodations you like. The cheaper places tend to be big hotel-like lodges with hundreds of tourists. The more expensive places tend to be smaller, isolated and high on ambiance…but you may give up some creature comforts. Think of those places like ‘luxury camping.’
- If you don’t like dust, bugs or bumpy roads, Africa may not be for you.
- Meet other tourists on your trip. It’s fun to get to know people from other places and compare experiences. Some lodges have evening hikes and other group activities. Take advantage of them!