How to stay safe and healthy on safari
We are African safari specialists, not medical experts and so we recommend all our guests to visit your Travel Doctor or General Practitioner in good time before departure to discuss any vaccinations you may require. Whilst we have indepth on-the-ground experience in Africa, your Travel Doctor or General Practitioner will make recommendations based on a number of factors, including your previous travel history and personal medical history.
Some countries lie in the global yellow fever zone and proof of vaccination against the disease is mandatory before you can enter other countries after you have visited ‘the zone’.
If you are travelling to countries that fall into the yellow fever zone, you may have to produce proof of vaccination if you want to then enter countries that are outside the zone. For example, if you travel from Kenya to South Africa, the South African government insists on this vaccination because Kenya is in the global yellow fever zone. But if you travel from South Africa to Kenya, you will not have to produce a yellow fever vaccination certificate to enter Kenya, because South Africa does not fall in the yellow fever zone. However, please remember you will most likely always require a yellow fever certificate when you return home from a country in ‘the belt’.
The Yellow fever vaccination is available from specialist travel clinics. You must have it at least 10 days before you leave for two reasons: (i) it takes a few days before you are effectively protected, and (ii) you may experience light flu-like symptoms, which are unpleasant on a long haul flight.
Malaria is one of the most common diseases in Africa. Like yellow fever, it is borne by the female of the disease-carrying mosquito species and thus the risk of contracting malaria is highest when mosquitos are prolific – especially during the hot and humid summer months. Fortunately, the safari high season in both East Africa and Southern Africa is during the dry, cooler winter months when the risk drops significantly.
Although there is no vaccination against malaria, you can take an anti-malarial prophylactics. You can also take the following precautions to reduce your chances of being bitten by mosquitos.
- On dusk cover wear, long-sleeved shirts, socks and closed shoes
- Re-apply insect repellent after every shower or bath, and every time you change clothes.
- Spray your room lightly with insect spray. Most lodges with either do this for you or provide you with a can. It is best to do this before you go to dinner, so any lingering smells can dissipate.
- Keep your tent/lodge doors closed and windows’ gauze zipped up, especially from dusk onwards.