Step-By-Step Planning Guide

We have created a step-by-step planning guide to help you travel in Zimbabwe and Africa as a whole. This guide makes the process less daunting whether you are traveling on a full safari, or backpacking across Africa. The guide is broken down into different planning phases.

Under each phase, you will find links to important travel articles (recommended reading). By following these steps, you are sure to be prepared for your journey!

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Phase 1: Initial Trip Planning

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These are the first steps you will take when planning your trip to Zimbabwe and Africa. Primarily choose which cities and attractions you would like to visit, and then create a travel itinerary, estimate your travel costs, and book your flight, as well as make any other required preparations.  You will spend a large portion of your time in this phase, especially the itinerary planning.

Itinerary planning

The Nyuchi Safaris Inquiry Tool is a great way to get started. Our customer service agents are here to give advise and happily help you build your itinerary.

Purchasing Travel Insurance

We recommend that you get travel insurance for all of your travels to protect you against any unforeseen accidents, injuries, lost, or stolen baggage. 

Read our article on tips on choosing travel insurance. This will aid you get to travel safely.

The best season to Travel

In Africa, we have distinct seasons, and we name them differently! Below I have split them into regions. 

East, Central, and West Africa. 

  • Wet Season (November to April) - not an ideal time to travel as there is a dry spell between January and February, when vegetation is dense and it is hard to see animals.

  • Dry Season (May to October) - highly recommended with low or no vegetation, so spotting wildlife is very easy.

Southern Africa

  • Dry Season (June to October) - highly recommended with low or no vegetation, so spotting wildlife is very easy.

  • Green Season (November to May) - not an ideal time to travel as there is a dry spell between January and February, when vegetation is dense and it is hard to see animals.

  • Low Season (January to March) - it depends on you, as it will still be raining, but there are really good deals available.

Frequently Asked questions

We have a list of questions and answers for you already. Our team is adding to the list, so if you do have any that are not on here, please send us an email

Phase 2: Budgeting & Money

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How to budget for your Africa Excursion

Budgeting is the first place where you will want to start when planning a trip. Here you can determine how, where, and with whom, you want to travel. We recommend to travel: budget, standard, or luxury. From there, choose how you want to do it: fly-in safari, with a private touring company, self-drive, motorbike, or an over-lander. With that all decided, what would you like to do activity wise? Finally, book and pay for as much as you can before you leave, and then—enjoy your trip.

How money works in Zimbabwe

The biggest question we are asked whilst traveling, is how does money work in Zimbabwe? Here is a summary of the most important details.

  1. Always arrive with USD cash on you.

  2. Make as many accommodation bookings online.

  3. Never buy in the shops with USD or your credit card - exchange to the local currency first!

  4. Check what the black market rate is, if not, you will be paying 60% or more than what you are supposed to be paying.

Whenever you can, pay with local currency. For tours, safaris, activities, etc., it is fine to use foreign currency as those prices are stable and are based on the USD.

Traveling to Zimbabwe in the last decade has become a tedious task mainly due to the currency issues. This has not changed today, in the next coming months there may be changes; however, we are just keeping our fingers crossed.

Money in Africa

Using money in Africa is similar to the points above. Always have USD cash when you arrive. Withdraw local currency from the ATMs to use in shops and restaurants. For accommodation and activities, book as much online as possible. If you have to pay with cash, ask what they would prefer: local or foreign currency. Most places in Africa are slowly switching to swipe machines for your credit or debit cards, but they are not always working. On the other hand, if you have a card without a pin you may get stuck, as some machines need a pin for the transaction.

phase 3: Packing lists

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How to Pack

Packing for a journey can be stressful. With a few tips and hacks, we can certainly help you! Have you ever heard of KISS acronym? Keep It Simple Stupid! Well, this applies here in every aspects of your packing. Of course it does depend on your length of stay. Here is an average list that can be used as a guideline:

Packing list

Clothing:

  • Layers - long and short sleeve shirts and trousers

  • A warm fleece or jumper

  • A lightweight waterproof and windproof jacket

  • Comfortable but sturdy shoes

  • Flip flops or sandals

  • Swimming costume (bathing suit)

Miscellaneous:

  • Small day backpack (to carry essentials; such as camera, rain gear & sunblock)

  • Personal toiletries

  • Sun cream of SPF 30 or more     

  • Lip balm

  • Insect repellent     

  • A hat or baseball cap                         

  • Sunglasses (with neck strap)

  • (Head) torch

  • Binoculars (8x40/8x42 is recommended)

  • Camera (with 200/300mm lens)

  • Dust protection for your camera equipment

  • Zip-lock bags

  • Extra batteries & charger for your camera  

  • Extra memory cards

  • Adaptor (each country is different)

  • If you wear contact lenses, bring your prescription glasses as well for comfort, as eye irritations can happen while traveling under different climates that you are accustomed to

  • Small notebook

  • Good book or kindle

Extra comforts:

  • Small pillow for use on transport, and if the hotel pillows are uncomfortable

  • Ear plugs

  • Good quality water bottle

When in doubt, put an extra set. Make sure you have all your vaccinations, mosquito spray, medical papers, and contact numbers, as well as any those personal requirements whilst traveling.

PHASE 4: ACCOMMODATION

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hOW TO CHOOSE aCCOMMODATION

Most places in Africa are grouped into 3 categories: budget, medium and luxury. You can then choose which type of accommodation, BnB’s, hostels, guest houses, safari lodges, hotels and much more. When booking with a tour operator like ourselves, you generally will be given two options per destination you go to other times it will be only one, the reason being, is that they have a good relationship with those places and the standard of service is to their liking.

How to Book

If you are traveling solo with now set itinerary or you are on a self-drive safari, you will need to book all your accommodations yourselves. Booking.com or Airbnb are tour best bets outside of national parks and game reserves. Inside the Parks, some lodges you can book through booking.com other times you will have to contact the lodges directly.

In Zimbabwe, you have to option to also book national parks lodges, cottages, and campsites directly online or via reservations.

Phase 7: FAQ’s

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Q: Is it safe to travel in Africa?

A: Yes, it is. We do recommend that it is always best to travel with a buddy. You have to make sure your personal belongings and documents are stored safely whilst traveling. Just be cautious on busy streets and places of who is around you. 


Q: What is the best time to travel?

A: The best time is between May and October (dry season) in Southern Africa. During this time the animals congregate around sources of water, and the bush is thin and low making visibility much easier. The other times of the year are good times as well, yet your activities will vary depending on the season. The Green Season (wet season) is from November to April, the bush is very thick and animals are dispersed.  


Q: Do you Need A visa for the countries you are traveling to?

A: This depends on which country you are from. Visas will vary from USD $30 - $100.

A. For Zimbabwe and Zambia you may get a Kaza visa, which allows you to travel between the two countries multiple times for 30 days. You can visit the Zimbabwe Website for more information on visa requirements. 


Q: Is the water safe to drink in Africa?

A: Water out of the tap in most countries is not safe to drink. Locals may do it, but their immune systems are adjusted to it. It is advisable for all international travelers to drink bottled water. 

 

Q: What type of food is served in Africa?

A: Food varies from country to country and upon your budget. In most forms of accommodation, food is of a western cuisine. Local food can be found in the local restaurants. If you have bought any fresh fruit or food, make sure you wash it with running water, or bottled water.   

 

Do you have any more questions?

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