The essence of traveling to new places is to have a good time seeing, learning, and doing different things. Falling sick on a holiday can really dampen the mood for you and the people you traveled with.
After what we have all gone through with the COVID-19 pandemic, the value of good health is more pronounced.
In this article, we are going to look at how you can stay healthy while you are on a Safari in Africa. We'll look at some diseases which you can very easily avoid, so as to keep healthy and enjoy every minute of your African safari journey.
The advice stated below is of a preventive nature and we strongly recommend a consultation with your doctor such that your specific needs are addressed. Our general thought process is that "Prevention is better than cure".
Staying healthy on an African safari
The coronavirus is still a big health threat in all countries of the world, even though scientists have been able to bring some vaccine options to market and the future looks good for us.
You probably know the ways of preventing coronavirus already, but we'll repeat them because prevention is better than cure.
- Wear your mask - especially in social situations or closed spaces
- Sanitize your hands - especially after touching common surfaces. If you can, try to avoid touching most surfaces.
- Keep social distance - Keep the social distance to avoid contacting it from other people's spittle.
The good news is that you have already been doing these for a while, and you can definitely do it again for that peace of mind.
There are so many allergies, especially for food. Depending on your specific allergies, you might need to take different precautions.
Since we are not medical professionals, we advise you to do the following;
- Consult with your doctor about your travel plans in relation to your allergies
- Talk to your tour consultant about your allergies and restrictions
At the end of this, your trip should be well organized to suit your needs at every stage, so that you can only focus on enjoying the moment - the NOW.
Malaria is among the big killers in Africa, especially in the Subsaharan region. since mosquitoes can survive in any relatively warm place with stagnant water, Malaria is a very easy disease to catch - but equally very avoidable.
Here are some things you can do to avoid mosquito bites.
- Wear long pants and shirts especially if you are staying outside in the evening.
- Sleep under the mosquito net. Lodges always have these and you needn't carry one.
- Consult your doctor about taking some anti-malarial drugs.
The main idea is to avoid mosquito bites since malaria is spread by mosquitoes. While the mosquitoes and bugs in the national parks might not exactly have malaria, it is best to avoid all such bites because some can actually hurt a little.
4. Yellow Fever
Yellow fever is one of the diseases for which there is no cure/treatment and can easily spread. This is why most African countries require visitors to present a yellow fever vaccination certificate before being allowed entry.
The good thing is you only need to get vaccinated once and it will last you a lifetime.
Yellow fever can easily spread through mosquitoes, but the good news is that most countries haven't had a single case in years and you are unlikely to catch it. Yet again, prevention is the policy and we advise you to get that vaccine - if you haven't already.
Related article: Vaccinations for going on an African Safari
5. Upset Stomach
An upset stomach could be simple growling or it could be a serious running stomach. Having an upset stomach will definitely upset your whole day.
Here are some ways you can try to keep your stomach peaceful,
- Be careful about street food
- Don't drink tap water as it is mostly not suitable
- Wash your hands before eating
This is going to be tricky for you because things like street food are a big way of experiencing a new place. If your tummy easily gets fragile, we advise sticking to packed snacks and meals from the hotel/lodge. Better to be healthy and happy.
Getting sunburn can ruin your holiday, wherever you are. The African sun gets really hot and missing your sunscreen will make the entire holiday more than uncomfortable.
This is of course easy to solve, pack your sunscreen or buy one. If you have a preference for a given brand that might be hard to find, it is advised to carry it.
While there are so many things that can affect your health on a safari, we feel like these 6 are very common and equally manageable as far as prevention. Depending on where exactly you are going, some more measures might need to be undertaken, while others might not be necessary.
The big goal for this article is the highlight the fact that your health is always important and even more so while on a safari - because lasting memories should be made without any blemishes of ill health or a sunburn.
Finally, we have to state once more that you should consult your doctor such that your decisions are professionally informed.