Kenya safari anxiety

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Jul 2nd, 2012, 07:02 PM
  #21
 
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I am planning on Traveling to Kenya for 5days only to the game parks in last week of July, I have been worrying about the yellow fever vaccine especially after reading the side effects. I am going to take the advise given above and skip that vaccine. Thanks for the info. I would appreciate if anyone knows on yellow fever statistics in Masai Mara area.
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Jul 2nd, 2012, 07:30 PM
  #22
 
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indiabrown, you can check this out by doing some web searching, but I believe it's been 15-20 yrs since the last confirmed case of YF in the whole of Kenya.
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Jul 3rd, 2012, 09:43 AM
  #23
 
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... yup, last case of YF in Kenya was in the early 90s and that was 1/person. There is no need for this inoculation for entry unless coming from a YF endemic country. The need for the inoc is so that visitors don't bring the disease into the country at which you are holidaying.

However, it's also important to know whether this inoc is required for re-entry to your home country or if onward to another country that might require proof having arrived from East Africa.
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Jul 3rd, 2012, 09:53 AM
  #24
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What about a visa to Kenya? My travel agent recommends obtaining it before travel but I've read online that getting it at the airport is a lot easier than mailing your passport, etc. Any recent travelers to Kenya who can share light on this issue?
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Jul 3rd, 2012, 10:11 AM
  #25
 
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Very easy to get your visa at NBO and not all that time-consuming---you'll probably get through before, or very shortly after, your luggage comes out. I used to get my visa ahead of time, because living near DC I could take the Metro to the embassy and leave things off. But then I worried about the passport getting lost in the return mail, which the embassy wanted certified adding extra cost. So now I just get the visa on arrival. Make sure you have the fee in clean, new bills (e.g., 2006 and up).
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Jul 3rd, 2012, 11:29 AM
  #26
 
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Unless a vaccine is required for entry into a country, nothing is required. It's your health, your choice. Inform yourself of the risks and make your own decisions.
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Jul 4th, 2012, 06:25 AM
  #27
 
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Easy enough to purchase Visa on arrival at NBO. Download the form from the Kenya Tourism site, complete, keep with passport and on arrival go to queue - Purchase Visa - hand in to agent with correct amount due (they don't make change).

No photos are required as agent will take your pic and fingerprints on arrival.

Enjoy your holiday.
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Jul 4th, 2012, 10:46 AM
  #28
 
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My husband and I are travelling to Botswana and Zimbabwe in July, and we went to an infectious disease specialist, because the travel agent told us that he had been asked for a yellow fever certificate the last time he had travelled. The doctor told us that, yes, sometimes people are asked for such a certificate upon entry from a country in which Yellow Fever has been a risk, but that he would give us certificates that said we were medically excused from the vaccination; it is the same certificate and you have to read it to find out what it says, and anyway it should be acceptable. He did not think that the risk of getting a YF shot was outweighed by the risk of getting YF in a place in which the disease was not really a problem.

I did get a typhoid shot and a polio booster, as well as a Hepatitis A/b shot; I did not need a tetanus booster. The doctor said, as other posters above have said, that rabies would really be overkill unless we planned to handle animals.

Certainly, it is possible to overdo the precaution, but most of the shots that I did have are long-lasting and might come in handy for other travelling I might want to do.

As for malaria, I am planning to bring repellent, duct tape in case the netting is ripped, and permethrin-imbued long pants and shirt in case the bugs are bad in the evening. I will also take a preventative. I don't care for DEET much, but I really don't like mosquitoes, and I just got over a case of Lyme disease, so I'm not as indifferent to the idea of bug-borne disease as I once was.
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Jul 4th, 2012, 01:32 PM
  #29
 
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There are repellents that do not contain Deet that some choose to us.

And, from a discussion between Bill Gates and Charlie Rose (PBS), the other night, Bill described the work scientists are doing to determine what odors mosquitos do not like and hope to have a new repellent against their bites. When can we expect something new? Well, who really knows, but they're working on it!

As to permethrin imbuded clothing... really no need. Regular attire, long pants stuck into your socks, along with long sleeves and repellent on exposed skin (except face and back of neck)... and do wash off before retiring, should be more than sufficient.

Mossie nets - except for one camp at Chobe in Botswana where these surrounding the bed was the most romantic I'd ever seen, we did... otherwise, I have never slept under them elsewhere in Africa.

Seems the bugs simply do not like me... whoopie!
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Jul 5th, 2012, 09:22 PM
  #30
 
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When I recently returned to Australia from Kenya, I was asked to show my Yellow Fever Certificate. Someone did mention that the YF cert could be needed to re-enter your home country, but many said it may not be necessary, so I just wanted to share my experience, and re-iterate that it's not a bad idea to get YF so you can get home after your safari
I'll back up the others who said it's easy to get a visa on arrival in Nairobi, don't worry too much about getting it at home first.
Enjoy the safari!
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Jul 6th, 2012, 08:50 AM
  #31
 
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Regarding Australia and the need for showing a YF certificate upon re-entering after visiting a country where YF occurs, it's my understanding as well that one may be asked to provide proof of vaccination. However, a person can re-enter Australia without proof of vaccination but will be placed under Quarantine Surveillance which asks the person not to travel to Northern Queensland and to present the Quarantine Surveillance form (the yellow form) to one's doctor if illness occurs.

But I agree, despite the extra cost, I think it's a good idea to just get the jab and have no worries about the re-entry issue while on holiday.
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Jul 6th, 2012, 09:11 AM
  #32
 
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Just a comment on Passport Health - we used them because my family dr also directed me to a travel clinic when I asked for YF vax. The one we went to (I think they're a franchise?)made suggestions of other vax we should consider but didn't push them.

However I was more than a little upset by the pictures they had hanging in their waiting room which were basically every terrifying non-hygenic situation you can imagine in a third world country -- dentists set up out in the middle of a public square pulling teeth with rusty pliers, crazy food/drinks served from filthy stalls, plates being washed in buckets of dirty water, etc. So they definitely wanted to scare people into taking every precaution they could. I was trying to shield my husband's eyes - he worries enough as it is!

Our local hospital has a Travel Medicine section which provides the same service (doesn't accept insurance) and with no scare tactics!
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Jul 6th, 2012, 01:25 PM
  #33
 
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"they had hanging in their waiting room which were basically every terrifying non-hygenic situation you can imagine in a third world country -- dentists set up out in the middle of a public square pulling teeth with rusty pliers, crazy food/drinks served from filthy stalls, plates being washed in buckets of dirty water, etc. So they definitely wanted to scare people...."

Goodness, scary for sure, but unless one is a backpacker and on their own out in the bush or away from any civilization in Africa or elsewhere around the world, most who head out on safari will never ever see or encounter such scenes.
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Jul 7th, 2012, 05:15 AM
  #34
 
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May I pop in quickly here with my own Kenya anxiety? I fear it will be several years before I return to Kenya. Just typing that has caused my palms to sweat and my stomach to knot.
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Jul 7th, 2012, 05:24 AM
  #35
 
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atravelynn,
Totally agree

I thought 2013 would be the year I finally got to make it to Selous Ruaha & Mikumi in February. But I cant get 2 weeks off in Feb. The attractive airfares are turning my stomache. Maybe I will break down for a 5 day visit
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Jul 7th, 2012, 05:28 AM
  #36
 
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atravelynn - funny!

sandi - I know, it was really obscene that they'd show situations most travelers would never experience but try to make that look like the norm. It wasn't done in any tongue-in-cheek way either, very serious - "here is what we can protect you from."
I would actually LOVE to see that kind of dentistry in action but have never been so lucky as to come across it.
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