how to not get sick on safari


Jan 6th, 2016, 09:37 AM
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To echo what others have said (and just add to the consensus), the camps you have picked will not be a bother for you. The food will be fine and they'll instruct you on the water use. Either there will be bottled water in a thermos for you or the actual bottle of water. You will just have to "worry" when you're not at a camp and on your own, like if you spend time in Nairobi on your own, etc.

I go to a travel clinic at home which my primary care doc referred me to. He said he couldn't even attempt to tell me what vaccines I'd need and he said he didn't stock most of what I might need anyway. Interestingly, among the other vaccinations I got, I was advised to get a measles booster, not for going to Africa but because Boston (where I live) was having repeated outbreaks in the last several years. So that was worth the visit right there. I have Blue Cross and all the shots were paid for, I only had to pay the co-pay, but I know others' mileage may vary.

I took Malarone on my first two safaris and will take it again next month when I return to Kenya. I take it with my main meal in Kenya (usually at night) and with two tablespoons of peanut butter at mid-day at home; fatty food seems to make it go down fine and I've never suffered any ill effects. Despite going during "non-mosquito season" in February, I got eaten alive by mosquitos at Lake Manyara in TZ, which was enough for me not to want to take the risk. Someone on Safaritalk wrote of suffering from malaria, and her experience alone was enough for me not to want to risk contracting it.
amyb is online now  
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Jan 6th, 2016, 11:06 AM
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Amy, thanks for this and hope your trip is wonderful. I just paid Sangeeta so we are good too.
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Jan 6th, 2016, 01:57 PM
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Here are tips that have served me very well:

1. Hold scope in your mouth when you shower. Then you will not open your mouth while showering.

2. If you are going to eat eggs, only eat hard boiled.

3. Only eat fruit you can peel. Preferably only fruit with thick skin

4. don't shave. Dirty water can get into nicks and cause infection

5. No dairy unless it comes from carton. I make sure I see the carton myself.

6. carry straws. Drink from straw rather than glass.

7. Obviously, no ice.

8. No salad

9. No street food.
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Jan 6th, 2016, 07:39 PM
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This is a crazy thread! I can't imagine being so scared constantly about everything. Just go. Eat Drink. Be merry. Or at least try to - with all this fear mongering I'm surprised anyone leaves the house.
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Jan 8th, 2016, 10:22 AM
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I tried to find a photo of the shower scope. I was going to stick it in here. No success.

If going with a reputable company to reputable camps, lodges, the above 1-8 seem extreme. #9 is a good idea in most places.

If doing volunteer work in remote regions where visitors are rare and conditions are known to be hazardous to your health, it could be a good idea to heed 1-8 and pack the scope!

Here's one thing I started doing not long ago. I take wipes on the airplane and wipe down the tray table before I eat.
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Jan 9th, 2016, 09:59 AM
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Wow! I agree "crazy thread". I would tell your friend .....keep your mouth shout when you shower. I don't ingest shower water even at home. Who does?

I will also suggest you take Cipro or the like with you. My doctor says "take it at the first sign of diarrhea, don't wait". I have to say that one pill has saved the day for us and for other travelers who we've met. No one wants to sit out a day or two of safari drives.

I also can't imagine take malaria pills "only if needed". By then it's too late. It's a profillactic medication, right?

My packing thread is still on here from our Tanzania trip. You may find it of some help.

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Jan 9th, 2016, 02:35 PM
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Just came back from a 2 week safari trip to Kenya, staying in 3 camps and a hotel pre/post trip. Brought Cipro but never had to use it. I ate everything served at the camps & hotel, fresh salads, fruits, everything and neither I nor my friend had a moment of illness. The camps were meticulous about fresh produce and it is important to them that you stay healthy. Iprobably had ice, too, but only at the hotel & camps.

I always brushed my teeth with the bottled water available and rinsed by toothbrush with it as well. I brought an extra toothbrush in case I forgot or felt one had been contaminated, but never used it.

One thing I always do if possible is to eat the local plain yogurt each day as it has the 'good' bacteria that helps your body process new things. This served me well in Israel where my DH and DS both had tummy issues and I never did, even though we ate in the same places - they did not try the yogurt!
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Jan 13th, 2016, 05:14 PM
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great to know-and no issue with anti malarial drugs?
plambers is offline  
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Jan 14th, 2016, 08:14 AM
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No malaria drug issues for me, but everyone is different. In general, non-Larium anti-malarials don't seem to have widespread side effects that lots of people complain about.
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Jan 14th, 2016, 08:59 AM
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We both took Malarone with no side effects at all. My husband is a physician and he made it quite clear that malaria is not something anyone wants to get.
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