Before You Go

  • Discuss the recommended vaccinations with your physician – This should be done several months in advance!
  • Discuss prescriptions that you desire, such as sleeping aids, antidiarrheal medicine, and antibiotics for stomach, lung, and general infections.
  • Find out what your personal/family health insurance does and does not cover
  • Obtain any OTC (over-the-counter) medications that you will take with you. Be aware that Benadryl is a controlled substance in at least one African Country
  • Be careful traveling with narcotics. Even if you have a valid prescription, some countries require a lengthy prior approval process to be able to bring them in with you.
  • Prepare a personal first aid kit to take with you
  • Buy sunscreen and lip balm with sunscreen to pack with your toiletries
  • Ensure that you have an adequate supply of prescription medications in a bottle having the prescriptions label attached

General Precautions when on Safari

  • Drink only bottled water, bottled soda, beer, or water that has been boiled. This is especially important when in tented camps in remote areas.
  • Do not consume unpasteurized dairy products
  • Wash your hands often with purified or bottled water
  • Do not handle animals, including feral cats, dogs, and monkeys ( Rabies and plague are transmitted through animal bites and scratches)
  • Take malaria medicine prescribed by your physician if traveling in a malaria area. This medicine must be taken according to the directions and should start before your travel into the malarial area and continue for the recommended time after you have exited the malarial area.
  • Protect yourself from insects using DEET-based insect repellents containing 30-40% DEET.  Children should be limited to a repellent containing 8-12% DEET
  • Do not wade in freshwater due to Bilharzia (schistosomiasis)  Chlorinated swimming pools are generally safe
  • DO NOT have unprotected sex while traveling! Many parts of the world have high rates of HIV!
  • Pay close attention to any cuts, wounds, blisters, etc. Clean and treat any wounds with triple antibiotic ointment!
  • Do not go barefoot to help prevent parasitic and fungal infections
  • Avoid foods purchased from roadside vendors
  • Eat only thoroughly cooked foods. Only eat vegetables or fruits that have been washed in safe water or that you have peeled yourself

As for drinking water concerns, if you are staying in an outfitter’s main lodge, ask them about the safety and quality of their water supply. They live and work there year-round, so they will know what precautions to take. In remote camps, caution is the best preventive. Montezuma is a long way away, but he visits often!

Doctors and Hospitals

If you are traveling or hunting, only the big cities may have hospitals that offer services that are commonly found in the US. On more remote hunts, you may be several hours by charter flight from critical emergency care. For anything serious, you want to get to a first-rate hospital if at all possible. That is why you should have a Medical Evacuation policy such as those offered by Travel Guard. They will come and get you and take you to receive the proper care!

CDC Recommendations for Travel (Consult your Physician before traveling)

Hepatitis A &B Vaccinations (Good for 10 years)

Typhoid Vaccination (Good for two years)

Booster doses for Tetanus-Diptheria

Yellow fever in certain central African countries.

Rabies vaccination if you are exposed to wild animals through recreation or work

Polio vaccination (once in a lifetime)

First Aid Kit Item Checklist

  • Aspirin/Tylenol
  • Aleve
  • Benadryl (controlled substance in some countries)
  • Antacids
  • Dramamine (if prone to air or motion sickness)
  • Imodium AD
  • Triple Antibiotic Ointment
  • Eyewash
  • Lip Balm with Sunscreen
  • Insect Repellent
  • Bandaids (large and small)
  • Moleskin (for blisters)
  • Scissors
  • Adhesive Tape
  • Tweezers
  • Matches or Lighter
  • Sunscreen
  • Ziplock Bags
  • Rubber Bands
  • Gauze Wrap
  • Ace Bandage

Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Use your common sense and stay safe!