questions and answers about traveling to africa

what health precautions should I take

There are a few basic health matters that require care and attention. We are obviously not medical practitioners and the following points are recommended guidelines only. Please contact your doctor or a specialized travel clinic for further advice. As with travel in any part of the world, it is advisable to know your blood type in case of an emergency. Please consult with your local or national health department for up to date recommendations and regulations regarding inoculations.

a) Malaria:  Malaria can be found in much of Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Northern Namibia, Rwanda and Uganda and throughout Zambia and Zimbabwe.  In South Africa, malaria is encountered mainly in northern and eastern Mpumalanga, northern Kwa-Zulu Natal, and the border areas of the Northern and North West Provinces. Malaria is also common in the lower lying areas of Swaziland. Should you be visiting these areas malaria precautions are needed and must be started prior to your departure.

Malaria is transmitted by a very small percentage of female Anopheles mosquitoes. They are only active in the early evening and throughout the night, at the times when one is usually sleeping or sitting around the campfire.

Please remember that the best insurance is the preventative kind. Help to avoid bites by liberally using mosquito repellents. Wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers/slacks in the evenings. If staying in a bungalow or tent, spray with an insecticide like DOOM to kill any mosquitoes that may have flown into your room.

b)  Inoculations:  Inoculations are necessary when traveling to East Africa as well as other African destinations.  Some inoculations must be administered a few months prior to your departure so please contact your health care provider as soon as possible after booking.

c) Water
It is very important that you drink plenty of water especially during the warmer months. It is generally recommended that you drink at least 4 to 6 pints (2 to 3 litres) of water per day to limit the effects of dehydration. This excludes tea, coffee and alcoholic beverages which act as diuretics and can actually contribute to dehydration.   Some camps have their own water filtration plant but if you are in doubt as to how your system will react please ask for bottled water which is readily available.  Most camps will advise you regarding their water safety but if they do not, please be sure to ask about this.

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