There are all kinds of motivations to travel in Africa and none of them pair well with feeling ill. If you’re a first-time traveller to Africa, you may need a bit of direction in terms of the additional precautions travellers should take, to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.
Here are a few quick elements to consider, ensuring that holiday in Africa, is indeed a holiday in Africa.
Before you travel to Africa
Call your health insurance companies. Besides the simple tips in this post, they have dealt with enough cases and are concerned enough about your health to offer anything you’d ever want to know about travelling to Africa.
2. DRUG MULE
Get prescriptions from doctors for your prescription drugs. No one wants to be convicted of dealing drugs on their holiday!
3. MEDICAL TRAVEL KIT
Load up a travel kit full of over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen, aspirin, antibiotic ointment, band-aids, antacids, water purification tablets, anti-diarrhoea tablets and antihistamine. Also in your medical travel kit you’ll need to remember to pack your anti-malaria tablets if you’re travelling to an affected area. Malaria medication is extremely important and should be used among other precautionary methods of keeping mosquitos at bay. These precautions include using a mosquito net while you sleep, using DEET mosquito repellent, and remembering to wear long sleeved shirts when out at night. This pack will be a huge help, and I would think anyone would be at a greater peace of mind knowing they have these things on hand.
Get your vaccinations! The four necessary ones are Hepatitis A & B, yellow fever, and typhoid, but you also should consider other recommended vaccinations as well when you’re planning to travel to Africa.
During travel in Africa
5. USE SUN PROTECTION!
Wear sunscreen – anything over 30 SPF is recommended to avoid sun burn and blisters. Besides neck protection, a wide-brimmed safari hats plus polarized sunglasses protects the eyes too.
6. STAY HYDRATED
It’s been noted that physical and mental capabilities decrease drastically as you become more dehydrated. Keeping that water level up will have you feeling lively and give you the strength to outrun those lions and gazelles – that’s a joke.
7. WATCH WHAT YOU DRINK
Staying hydrated is important, but equally important is how you stay hyrdrated. According to a Blue Planet study, contaminated water accounts for 80% of diseases in developing worlds. If you don’t like the 4/5 chance of getting sick, boil your water, use purifying tablets, and stick to bottled water when travelling in Africa.
8. DON’T SHOWER WITH YOUR MOUTH OPEN
Keep your mouth closed in the shower (think Sex and the City: The Movie) and brush your teeth with purified water. It’s not always easy, but try to confirm if your food was washed with purified water.
9. BE FUSSY
Be aware of street vendors and strive for food cooked in front of you. Otherwise, there’s no telling how long your meal had been sitting under a heat lamp baking in bacteria. Otherwise, go vegan for a safer bet.
Bring hand sanitizer and work it into your hands for at least 20 seconds to ensure all the doorknobs, handrails, and market items you’ve touched stay where they came from. You only want to bring the good things home with you!
Now that you’re clued up on what you need to stay healthy when you travel to Africa, it’s time to enjoy the safari of a lifetime.
Source: Overlanding Africa