Are you getting ready for an African hunting safari? Let\u2019s be honest - this is definitely one of the most exciting things you could do in your life. But, while this is an adventurous occasion, that doesn\u2019t mean that you should just go on a safari on a whim, without proper preparation. In fact, getting ready on time is crucial if you want to remain safe and sound, while also getting the most out of your trip. With that in mind - we\u2019ve got a general preparation timeline for you, along with some handy advice! One Year Before - Booking The Trip You should know that going on a safari trip requires significant forethought and preparation, as you\u2019ll see for yourself pretty soon. With that in mind, you should plan to go on a safari trip at least a year in advance. Then, you can pick a good hunting outfitter, and book the African hunting safari of your choosing. Most of the quality hunting outfitters book pretty much all of their trips a year before if not more, depending on the rarity and availability of the species in question. And the more limited you turn out to be regarding the dates, the sooner you should find the best possible safari destination. Sounds familiar? Yes, all the right movers are booked for some months in advance too. Check fourwinds-bahrain.com if you don't believe us. Also, bear in mind the time at which you plan on booking the trip. More specifically, the months from May to August are the most popular ones when it comes to African safaris; these are booked the earliest upfront for any given year. Airline Tickets Here is another thing you should take care of well in advance - airline tickets. These are also going to be up for sale a year before the due date, so if you want to be certain that you\u2019ll have a seat available, we recommend taking care of the tickets as soon as you know precisely when you\u2019ll be flying. And make no mistake - for some of these destinations, ticket availability is an actual issue. Many African hunting safari destinations don\u2019t have a lot of different airline options, thus limiting passenger capacity. And during peak hunting seasons, you will find plenty of routes selling out even months before the flight. Your Passport If you\u2019re not someone who\u2019s done a lot of traveling and you\u2019re not sure where your passport is, make sure you find it six months before your trip. And if you\u2019ve lost it, get a new one as soon as possible. Also, you need to check the dates on your existing passport, if you\u2019ve already got one. More specifically, this document needs to be valid for at least six months after your departure date. This is a requirement you\u2019ll find in most African countries. If that\u2019s not the case, you will need to file for an extension of your current passport or just take out a new one. Don\u2019t worry, you may not have to go through a passport agency in order to file for a new passport. There are options to get one through the nearest post office; in most cases, probably a more convenient choice. You can find all of the required information at the Department of State website. Regarding existing passports - we advise making sure that you\u2019ve got a minimum of three completely blank pages, so that entry stamps and visas will be clearly visible once you set out on your African hunting safari. And if this isn\u2019t the case with your passport, and it\u2019s all filled up; you can actually apply to add new pages to your passport! Your Entry Visa Speaking of your entry visa, the process for obtaining one differs from country to country. In some places, you will need to get an entry visa before you go on the actual trip, via the consulates and embassies in your home country, while other nations will just issue an entry visa once you arrive at the airport. But if the former is the case, then you need to get this ball rolling as soon as possible. Depending on your target destination, this process could take up to a couple of months - and you may need to send your passport to the embassy. So, we recommend taking care of your visa some 6 months before the trip. Depending on your destination for the African hunting safari, you may find the visa process to be excruciatingly complicated and prolonged. In that situation, it could be worth to hire a company to handle all of the visa paperwork for you; most people opt for this in similar circumstances. Consult With A Physician Before you can go to certain safari destinations, you may need to be properly inoculated. And certain countries will actually ask for proof that this is the case before they let you in. The proof of this was known as the Yellow Card, or the International Health Certificate for years; though it's been recently renamed, now recognized as the ICVP - the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis. It's quite critical to visit your physician a couple of months before the safari trip; there are certain kinds of vaccinations that will take more than a month to be complete as it comes in series. Or, you may need to wait for a few weeks for your immunity to the particular disease to become fully developed. That's why forethought is so important when you're preparing for an African hunting safari trip. Remember - the average physician, especially in a small town, may not have the vaccinations you need for traveling through Africa readily available. So, take some vaccination recommendations from the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and the World Health Organization. Deal With Paperwork Before you can get your adrenaline-pumping Safari adventures, you will have to do the boring part. As you may have gathered by now, preparing for an African safari hunting trip will mean going through quite a lot of red tape. Yes, none of us like dealing with paperwork; but in cases such as these, it's an absolute necessity. With that in mind, remember that you'll need the paperwork like: Trophy shipment permitsTransit permits for getting hunting weapons through airports and other checkpointsCopy of your itineraryInformation for emergy contactsPersonal requests and requirementsA letter from an African hunting outfitterCITES permitAmmo permitWeapon permitHunting permit (with desired game listed)Hunting license Getting Into Shape If you want to truly enjoy the wonders of your African hunting safari trip, we recommend getting into shape as much as possible, in the months leading up to the trip. Depending on the specifics of your safari, it could be less or more physically demanding. With that in mind, we advise you to get to know the specifics of the trip, thus learning of all the different physical requirements that you'll have to overcome. Trust us - you don't want your hunt to become unpleasant just because you weren't physically ready to enjoy all that it has to offer. In order to avoid this, ask your safari hunting outfitter questions about the: terrainaverage miles you'll walk each daydistances you'll cover by car, as well as the road conditionsaltitude and weather factors that could physically affect your wellbeingchronic conditions or other physical limitations that could become a problemother health-related concerns. Here's a simple tip - before you go on your trip, you should spend a certain amount of time getting comfortable with your hunting boots. Not only will this give you an idea of the feeling you'll have while you're out on your adventure, but you'll also learn if your safari gear is as usable and comfortable as you need it to be. That way, you'll be able to make any replacements before the trip if need be. Practice Shooting A couple of months before you travel to Africa for your safari trip, we recommend you also get comfortable with the weapon you\u2019ll be using. Do some practice shooting, and use a wide range of positions and many different distances. Try kneeling, resting upon a tree, or another position you might find yourself in once you\u2019re on the actual safari. Practice quick reloading, follow-up shots, and other moves you\u2019ll need to be able to perform instinctively if you want everything to go over smoothly. While this may be expensive, especially in terms of ammo, you need to use the very same kind of hunting gear that you\u2019ll have while you\u2019re in Africa. This will allow you to learn all of the intricacies of your weapon, and be intimately familiar with it when you\u2019re out in the wild. In certain situations, hunters take different grain ammo in order to hunt different species; we recommend game hunting with only one kind of ammo while you\u2019re there. Sure, the species you\u2019ll encounter are likely to be near their natural habitats. But at the end of the day, there\u2019s absolutely no way to know what you\u2019ll encounter at any time. And if something unexpected comes along - you don\u2019t want to miss out on a nice trophy because you were fumbling around with ammo. Registering Your Trip These days, the African continent is more open to visitors, hunters, and tourists than ever before. And while the planning of your African hunting safari isn\u2019t simple, it\u2019s much easier to pull off than just a couple of decades ago. All of that being said, though, you should be well aware of the fact that some African countries are still dealing with political instability, often leading to dangerous violence by armed gangs and paramilitary outfits. Considering that, depending on where you\u2019re going, you may want to register your trip with the Department of State, through their website for travel registration. This goes double if you\u2019re going to visit a country you already know is politically unstable. Field Rescue and Medical Evacuation Regardless of whether this is the first time you\u2019re traveling to Africa for a hunting safari, there\u2019s no question about the fact that certain accidents can happen. And it doesn\u2019t matter whether we\u2019re talking about security or a medical emergency; getting evacuated from a remote African area could be quite expensive; over $100,000, in fact. That\u2019s why companies like the world-renowned Global Rescue have been cropping up in the past few decades; promising quick response times even in the most remote areas. However, the true effectiveness of such methods isn\u2019t always certain. That\u2019s why it\u2019s important to do as much research about possible health risks and political situations as you can before you go on your trip. After all, imagine if you thought about something like even moving to an exotic foreign country; not just going on a short trip. You would try to learn all you can about it. And that\u2019s what we recommend doing here as well! Money Management As your trip starts drawing nearer, you\u2019ll have more practical concerns on your mind. For example, you\u2019ll have to think about the payment methods you\u2019ll use on your trip. Plus, you\u2019ll have to consider the budgeting for your entire trip, and the costs you\u2019ll face once you\u2019re there. This included tips for personnel on your trip, fees for the entry visa, as well as any other taxes on your ammo, guns, and other air travel expenses. You may wish to pay a visit to your bank and get some foreign currencies and traveler\u2019s cheques. Also, take into consideration that a lot of African banks only take traveler\u2019s cheques from American Express. If you do decide to go with traveler\u2019s cheques, take care to ensure signature consistency; you\u2019d be surprised how difficult this is for many people. Indeed, you need to be sure that the signatures on all of the different cheques match, so we recommend singing these at the bank when you take them, or at some other point before you go to Africa. Just remember - plenty of outfitters have faced issues while trying to cash traveler\u2019s cheques, largely due to signature inconsistencies. Wire Transfers For people who don\u2019t want to rely on the abovementioned cheques, but aren\u2019t comfortable with carrying a lot of cash, you could make a different arrangement with your agent or outfitter. For example, you could send them a wire transfer for trophy fees and other expenses before you leave on your trip, though we do recommend only doing this if your outfitter is trustworthy. Important Documents In the weeks leading up to your African hunting safari, you\u2019ll need to start gathering all of the important documents that you\u2019ll need to bring with you. Once you deal with that, we recommend you give copies to someone reliable who\u2019s staying back home; that way, if there\u2019s information that you need to access or any kind of document you need to confirm - you\u2019ll have a backup you can rely on. For further convenience, you could scan all the important documents in question, and have them sent to your email address, or backed up on a cloud file hosting service. If you do that, you\u2019ll be able to access any kind of document remotely - as long as you\u2019ve got an Internet connection and a device capable of using it. Take Probiotics When you go to a developing country, there\u2019s definitely going to be a certain degree of culture shock. However, while you adjust to a different way of life and a new culture, it\u2019s not all about the socio-political situation. For instance, getting accustomed to the local cuisine will likely turn out to be troublesome; stomach issues are quite ordinary in this kind of situation. With that in mind, the World Health Organization recommends taking some probiotics before you go on your travels. This would go a long way towards preventing stomach complaints and issues like traveler\u2019s diarrhea. Knowing that, why not make your life easier on the road? Stopping Mail When you go on your African hunting safari trip, it\u2019s quite crucial to remember that the world around you doesn\u2019t stop simply because you\u2019re not there. Considering that, think about whether someone will be house-sitting for you while you\u2019re away, or if some of your family will remain home. If not - stop newspaper and mail delivery on time. This isn\u2019t difficult - the US postal service will gladly hold mail for you while you\u2019re not home. Plane Reservations Regardless of what your ticket says, you should definitely confirm any domestic and international plane reservations some 72 hours before you leave. This is especially important for any flights that originate in Africa, seeing as these will be harder to replace if you miss any. Conclusion As you can see, planning an African Hunting Safari isn\u2019t something you can do in a couple of days or even a couple of months. If there\u2019s one key piece of advice we\u2019d love for you to take away from all of this, it\u2019s that you should give yourself at least a year to plan the whole thing out properly.