Being able to take this magnificent trip was quite a gift. We will never forget the places we visited, the animals we saw, the amazing guides, the excellent accommodations and the wonderful traveling companions. We would recommend Smartours for a future trip without reservation.
We packed just about the right amount of clothes. Jim took shorts, which he never wore. I took sandals, but wore once. We took bathing suits, but didn’t use. Otherwise, we packed layers to wear for the cooler parts of the day and light things for the warmer parts. May is a wonderful time to go to Africa. It is fall, after the rainy season, but with some greenery still left. The days were cloudless for the most part, too.
Taking the correct electrical adapters is very important and we recommend that you take a three way plug, so you can charge your camera, iPad, phones and anything else at the same time, as outlets were sparse in some hotels. Most hotels had a hair dryer, so leave yours at home. Besides, unless you have a dual voltage one, it will be of no use and it takes up room.
We traveled light, Jim with a medium sized bag and me with a carryon, plus a small duffel. Many times, I checked the carryon, when possible. I hate to pay extra to check a bag. Neck pillows are a must on the long flights, and inflatable ones are really nice to have, so you are not lugging it around. We also had several inflatable pillows, which were great fo soften the hard airplane seats and use as a footrest. We wore compression socks for the long hauls, which keep your feet from swelling and help to minimize the possibility of deep vein thrombosis in your legs.
One other item we recommend is a luggage cover. It keeps your bags from being damaged or getting dirty, but also makes identifying them on the carousel easier. They are very stretchy and come in different sizes. Many people use the bag wrapping service, but it is a one time thing and for less money, you have a covering that can be washed and reused.
The shopping was minimal, but I did purchase a carved ostrich egg, which will be a wonderful reminder of this trip and a lovely night light. I already had the light ready and waiting!
I hope you enjoyed reading about our adventure. Aside from sharing our journey, documenting it reminds us of the many experiences we had.