First water safety, now dairy??

Old Aug 24th, 2008, 03:58 PM
  #21  
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I'm really not talking about street food, or even cheaper restaurants. Last night we had dinner with our frequent-Africa-traveler friends, and again they warned about: butter; cream in coffee; milk; salad; and, worst to my ears, ice in G&T's. Their point was that your immune system is stressed already when you get there after such long travel (we live outside of Philadelphia), and everything gustatory is unfamiliar - so we should err on the side of caution. Even if you're told the Wilderness Travel camps or Virunga Lodge make ice from bottled water, why would you take the risk and believe them?
We're going to be there for a month. We're doing the Garden Route, Cape Town (including Lynn's recommended shark dive and Robben Island), the Selinda Walking Trail and the Great Wilderness Journey in Botswana, and finally two gorilla treks in Rwanda. I'm afraid to sacrifice any of that for an ill-considered G&T! But, on the other hand, I've been scornful all along of all the warnings I've gotten from people who would never even consider solo traveling, as we're doing for the first week, or shark diving, or trekking into the mists to see gorillas. We've decided to pack coffee creamer. We're fine without the salads, butter, milk, etc. But I'm still thinking about those sundowners....if they say the ice is from bottled water, maybe I'll believe them?
(We're leaving Friday, after planning this trip and lurking on this board for more than a year, and I have to admit I'm finding quite a few things to be anxious about!)
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Old Aug 24th, 2008, 05:47 PM
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To bolster your immune system, I'd take it easy the first day or two. That's as important as what you eat. Take a nap if you need to, don't be the last one at the campfire or the bar, etc. Just common sense stuff.

Most people don't come off the plane as a basket case, though. What you might want to do, and I do this after being coughed on once and getting the flu, is take a mask that you can get at any drug store. You can choose to wear it or not depending on the company around you on the plane.

There are products you can buy that are marketed especially to boost the immune system of travelers. If you are concerned, I'd take one of those.

Did these friends stay at reputable properties in Africa? Are they trying to scare you unnecessarily? Was anyone concerned about the sanitation of the place you had dinner? If it was your home, then my apologies.

If you have any concern about a mixed drink, then I certainly wouldn't order one. I've never had a G&T in Africa and don't feel like I've missed anything. The no ice rule is simple to follow. I always ask for no ice even at home because of sensitive teeth. It's no big deal in Africa.

If you will not be eating any salads, fruit, or dairy, you should let your agent know before leaving home so alternatives can be served to you.

Of course the butter can be ransid, but so can the meat, and then there is salmonella on the vegetables. I put the risk of food poisoning at any of these reputable places equal to any restaurant at home. It could happen but I don't worry about it.

In South Africa you can drink from the tap.

I am not cavalier about risks. For example, I never considered driving myself in South Africa because I know my limitations. But I spend not a moment worrying about any food in any reputable restaurant, camp, or mobile safari. In many trips to Africa, I've never had a problem that a couple of Peptos could not solve.

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Old Aug 24th, 2008, 06:15 PM
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Bobbieharv,

You can carry a few bottles of Aquafina with you to the Selinda etc etc., and get them to make ice for your G&T's from it?
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Old Aug 24th, 2008, 06:16 PM
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Disclaimer: That was my attempt of humour. Do not recommend you actually do that!
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Old Aug 25th, 2008, 12:04 AM
  #25  
sniktawk
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My understanding was that at Selinda all water had been passed by the management.
 
Old Aug 25th, 2008, 04:21 AM
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bobbieh,
It would be helpful to all to hear where your African traveling friends have seen problems with the foods and ice.
I didn't add that I did indeed use ice in my drinks in Zimb. and Bots. and had problems.
Bringing an antibiotic may ease your mind. Not really sure what else will.
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Old Aug 25th, 2008, 05:08 AM
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EDIT;
Sorry, what I meant was that I did use ice and DID NOT have problems.
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Old Aug 25th, 2008, 05:11 AM
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Hari and Sniktawk, that's pretty funny.

Back to the ice and safety, Cybor do you think your problems were due to ice? I think I recall in your report that you had repiratory troubles, along with your travel mates, the Chemical Brothers. Did you have stomach issues as well? I hope you zapped it quickly with with some drugs.

Bobbieharv, I know they often bring some kind of cooler for the sundowner drinks. If not ice, maybe the beverage could at least be cold. (I never have a sundowner so I don't know the temps of the drinks.) Otherwise, you could request a type of wine that is good at room temp.

Maybe you'll just feel better about swearing off any ice, despite the low risk the way I feel better about wearing a life jacket in a canoe, despite the very low risk of tipping. Peace of mind is worth lots. You don't want to give yourself stomach problems because you are worried about getting stomach problems.
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Old Aug 25th, 2008, 05:38 AM
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Hi Lynn,
NO,no,no, read my above edit. Silly edit function never seems to work for me.
I lost my undies, I lost my windbreaker but certainly not my appetite. Perhaps I was trying to feed my cold.
I'm doing extra spinning to carve off the homemade bread, African honey and Amurula.
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