Advice for Travelling in Africa
Africa is the second largest continent in the world, containing only ten percent of its population. There are over one thousand languages spoken and a wide variety of culture, wildlife and heritage. Visiting Africa should be a fun filled adventure but first there are some things to consider, here are some tips on how to remain healthy, wealthy and wise when travelling in Africa.
The main risk travelling in Africa is from insect-born diseases such as Malaria and Dengue fever. Symptoms can include fever, nausea, headaches and joint & muscle aches. It’s important that you take prophylaxis and you should consider some vaccines. But there are simpler steps you can take to ensure you enjoy your holiday malaria-free; Wear long sleeved shirts and full length trousers in the evening, take mosquito netting to sleep in, consider buying smoke coils and buying insect repellent which contains DEET. You can also purchase ankle and wristbands which fend off mosquitos.
Despite these preventative measures, it is strongly recommended that you see a doctor at least 2 months before you plan to travel to Africa so you can receive the relevant jabs. Be specific; sometimes you need different jabs for different areas. Yellow fever immunisation is important as many African countries won’t let you in or out without it.
Ask locals and other tourists what areas are safe to walk night and day. Certain parts of Africa are extremely dangerous, particularly at night.
It doesn’t matter how much of an impoverished student you think you are, in Africa, you are a rich tourist. It’s best to consider yourself as such. Keep all your money safe, and be wary of anyone who wants money from you.
Often hostels in Africa will not even have locked doors, so sleep with your cash!
Guides and Tours
When looking for a tour guide, shop around! If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Talk to several tour guides, and don’t hand over any money until you have visited their offices and spoken to someone who has also taken a tour with the guide. There are a lot of tourist scams in Africa, don’t be a sucker!
Avoid water which isn’t bottled or boiled. Also avoid taps, water fountains and ice. If you don’t know where some food has come from, don’t eat it, as it could have been cooked in unclean water.
Don’t pet monkeys, dogs or cats as often they will be carrying rabies. You might want to consider a rabies jab from your doctor.
If you plan to be sexually active in Africa, it is even more important than normal that you use protection. Aids is spreading through Africa like wildfire.
Despite all this advice, it is advisable to check the exact health requirements for your destination with your doctor at least 2 months before you travel. Give the doctor as much information about your holiday as possible, so that he or she can give you the most comprehensive protection before your trip.