Leaving 7-22-08 for Africa !!

May 15th, 2008, 09:48 AM
  #1  
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Leaving 7-22-08 for Africa !!

Thanks to everyone for all the fabulous information...even though I don't write much I am constantly getting sooo much wonderful information from all of ya'll.... we are going with OAT on the Ultimate Safari.... Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe... then, to Cape Town to meet up with a friend for a few days.... it is our 45th anniversary & we have been saving for a long time..... we will be gone 23 days...
should we bring mostly cash?? how about malaria medication for that time of the year? any suggestions are greatly appreciated....
thanks,
nancy & bob
ChaChi is offline  
May 15th, 2008, 10:07 AM
  #2  
 
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Congratulations, on your anniversary and your trip. You'll need enough cash for tips for guides and camp staff, plus some miscellaneous expenditures, and perhaps some souvenirs. I don't think malaria is limited to any season, so you will probably need that. Have fun.
hguy47 is offline  
May 15th, 2008, 12:06 PM
  #3  
pippa13
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CONGRATS nancy and bob - you are 18 years ahead of us ;-)
as a rough guideline you should calculate around 50US$pd for camp staff and guides tipping/20$ more if you have guide and tracker.
i always get 10% 1$ bills, 25% 5$ bills, 30% 10$ bills and the rest 20$ bills.
you should avoid 50$ bills as these often cause trouble based on falsifications in the past; some banks don't accept them at all! plus some cash for souvenirs etc.
as this is not rainy season malaria shouldn't be a problem. so instead of chemical prophylaxis i would just cover in the morning and evening, wear bright colours like beige and use some insect repellent.

enjoy africa - happy landings
 
May 15th, 2008, 01:50 PM
  #4  
 
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OAT will provide you with tipping guidelines. You'll tip at each camp for the staff and guides. I'd follow their guidelines. As for your question about malaria, PLEASE use a malaria prophylactic! Covering up and using insect repellent is good as far as it goes, but if you're bitten by the wrong mosquito, you'd be facing a bout of malaria... it's not worth it. You can check the CDC website for the areas you're going to be in, or check with a local travel clinic for the recommended inoculations and malaria meds.
ShayTay is offline  
May 15th, 2008, 02:48 PM
  #5  
pippa13
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@ shaytay
regarding chemical malaria prophylaxis:
- many of the anopheles mosquitoes are resistent now in view to prophylaxis. even malarone, the prophylaxis which has the least side effects, doesn't offer a 100% protection.
- if one takes prophylaxis and gets symptoms like muscle pain etc. the possibility of having cought malaria is often neglected because of the prophylaxis.
- any chemical prophylaxis has impact on to the body.
our doctor specialised in tropical medicine clearly says he himself would never take malaria prophylaxis outside rainy season and only in highly infested areas.
we have been following his advise for more than 15 years now and we never got an infection.
we always travel with a stand-by medication e.g. malarone.
it simply doesn't make sense to swallow every day chemistry when the risk is next to nothing. therefore would always advise to get a stand-by dose, wear long sleeves and pants and use repellent - outside rainy season this most definately will be sufficient!
 
May 15th, 2008, 03:17 PM
  #6  
 
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ChaChi,

Congrats on your anniversary! It is best to consult a travel clinic or your doctor about malaria prevention. The travel clinic I use has always advised me to take malaria prevention. While it may not offer 100% protection, I would not go to a malarial area without it.
atravelynn is offline  
May 15th, 2008, 03:20 PM
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Here is a post entitled, "Anyone not taking malaria drugs?"

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=35101808
atravelynn is offline  
May 16th, 2008, 04:04 AM
  #8  
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Thanks so much for all the information.... I was wondering about the tipping. We want to make sure we are doing our part.... any suggestions about using a phone...only needed if we had an emergency with family, etc... certainly don't want to be "chatting on phone" when we have come all the way to enjoy the beauty of Africa !!
thanks again...
have a great day.... I'm sure we will have more questions as time gets closer.... even though we don't post much I read this forum everyday.... and love it !!
nancy & bob
ChaChi is offline  
May 16th, 2008, 07:32 AM
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Pippa13, while a prophylactic doesn't offer 100% protection, it certainly offers more than just "covering up and using insect repellent." Perhaps German doctors have a more lax view of malaria than do our US docs. Personally, I think it's irresponsible to advise anyone to skip taking malaria meds while visiting a malaria area. While there is some resistance to the older prophylatics in certain areas, that hasn't been seen with the newer meds such as Malarone. And yes, there can be side effects, but they pale in comparison to malaria! If someone can't or doesn't want to take a prophylactic such as Larium or Malarone, then they could take doxyclycline as an alternative.
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May 16th, 2008, 08:56 AM
  #10  
pippa13
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@ shaytay
doxy only for dark eyed/hair/olive and darker skin humans. blue eyed/blonde/bright skin types are becoming extremly sensitive to sun rays! so doxy is not an option at all for the latter. the side effects might well ruin the trip!

i wouldn't say german doctors are "lax". they certainly more often evaluate thread/burden/impact for prophylaxis outside rainy season.

it's also for the traveller to evaluate any risk which we do for almost 20 years travelling in south east asia, PNG, east and southern africa.
we never got any problem. but we got a case of dysentery at a high-end fly camp in taz. no prophylaxis possible at all except skipping ice cubes, salad and fruit! but obviously the dishes were contaminated.
and a spider bite in PNG. you see - travelling is holding surprises. but some of them can be well evaluated and some cannot.

of course it's easy to prescribe prophylaxis for each and every case to be on the (assumingly) "safe" side - even it's not necessary and it also excludes any compensation if a traveller get's malaria despite chemistry.
furthermore it's a great yielding factor.

in july
namibia - is bone dry all over the country

botswana - dry except the ocavango where a pool or two might be breeding grounds but not all mosquitoes carry the illness and only the femals might carry it.

zim - dry

cape town - nothing at all

nancy and bob

happy landings and great travels!

 
May 16th, 2008, 09:09 AM
  #11  
 
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Well, I'm blond haired and blue-eyed, and I'm still on my doxy prophylaxis. Once you know that doxy increases your ability to sunburn, you put sunscreen on--no big deal.

Additionally, I had at least one tick bite during my trip. It was nice knowing that they use doxy to treat African tick bite fever, so my chances of getting that presumably dropped.

I agree with you though, in that I rarely encounter mosquitoes when I've traveled to southern Africa (excluding Maputo).
Gritty is offline  
May 16th, 2008, 12:07 PM
  #12  
pippa13
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@ gritty
good to know that you didn't suffer! i - not really blonde but hazelnut and green eyed - suffered enormously. even sunscreen 60 didn't help that proph i got from a windhoek pharmacists who should have known better. it's not available in germany at a proph. it's a antibiotica and strongly opposed to take it as a proph.
 
May 16th, 2008, 12:35 PM
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My light-skinned friend has taken doxy several times on her African trips as a prophylactic. Of course, it makes you sun-sensitive, so you have to take precautions, as my friend did. For people who have medical issues with taking Larium or Malarone, doxy is an alternative. Not taking anything is playing "Russian Roulette" with your health. You might get away with it; then again, you might not.
ShayTay is offline  
May 16th, 2008, 12:54 PM
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My brother-in-law, who is an infectious disease specialist and the family worry-wart, tells me that Botswana is experiencing unusually high levels of malaria this year, including areas in which malaria is not usually seen. This might be a factor to discuss with your doctor in considering the question of malaria medication. The bottom line is that a good infectious disease or travel medicine specialist should be consulted, since he or she would likely have the most up-to-date information.

For those who'd like more information, here's an excerpt from the Botswana government website on the recent outbreak. (Bobirwa is in the far eastern section of the country, not the north where most tourists go):

Malaria outbreak in Bobirwa
07 April, 2008

SELEBI-PHIKWE - Six people have died of malaria in the Bobirwa area, while 201 others were treated for the disease, a public health specialist has said.

Dr Trude Arnesen, who covers Selebi-Phikwe and Bobonong areas, said these were confirmed cases from Mmadinare, Bobonong and Selebi-Phikwe hospitals since March 1, 2008 to date.

So far we have six deaths and 201 sick lab confirmed cases and this is unusually high in Bobirwa as the area usually report few cases, she said. And its double the figure of the previous two years. A 600 figure have not been confirmed.

Bobirwa areas include Mmadinare, Bobonong and areas around Selebi-Phikwe. Badly hit areas include Tshokwe, Motlhabaneng, Tobane and Bobonong and some of the patients from these areas are treated in Selebi-Phikwe.

Dr Arnesen said she feared that some people were not coming forward because they did not know they had malaria, especially that the disease had vague flu-like symptoms which included muscle pain, chills, fever, vomiting and headache as main symptoms.


isabel25 is offline  
May 16th, 2008, 05:00 PM
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ChaChi,
We, as well, are leaving July 22 and will be celebrating an anniversary as well - 25yr. for us. Congrats.

As for the prophylaxis issue, as suggested, I would make an appointment with a physician who specializes in African travel and go from there.
To my knowledge, none of us here are physicians so take what we say with a grain of salt.

As one who is outdoors frequently, I seem to always find the stray mossie whether it's dry out or not. We did indeed find mossies last Feb. in Tanzania when it was dry as a bone, so to speak.
Our guide did tell us that there was a higher than usual incidence of malaria and dengue fever outbreaks at the time.

We also did not find any mossies to our knowledge in the Seychelles considering that it was hot and extremely humid - go figure.

There was however some type of disease circulating at the time - I think it was called Mozambique fever (can't remember the name but it was like an encephalitis.)
I only know this b/c the crew I was with panicked when I developed a high fever.

My point, there's all types of things/diseases that one has to be aware of.
cybor is offline  
May 17th, 2008, 04:23 AM
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WTH?

I'm also flying to JNB on 22 Jul. Popular date, I guess.
DonTopaz is offline  
May 17th, 2008, 05:10 AM
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What's your itinerary rizzuto? I'll top mine if interest.

Chachi, are you flying into Jburg?
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May 17th, 2008, 06:11 AM
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cybor, I'll be spending a couple of days in the French Alps, then off to Lebala and Savuti. Like everyone else, I'm more than impatient to get going.
DonTopaz is offline  
May 17th, 2008, 06:14 AM
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I'll also be in Lebala. Don't mean to stalk you but perhaps we'll cross paths.
cybor is offline  
May 17th, 2008, 03:41 PM
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I'll be at Lebala from the 23rd to the 28th, cybor Do we overlap?
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