Mosquito Precautions

Apr 18th, 2005, 02:00 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 56
Mosquito Precautions

Hi Everyone,
My husband and I are leaving on May 30 for our birding/wildlife safari in Tanzania. The anticipation is overwhelming and we are actually getting to the nitty-gritty part of our preparations. So, any help would be really appreciated.
For a two week safari, how much insect repellent should we take per person?
Are there any recommendations of what to use?
Our lodging includes: Maasai Lodge in Arusha, Tarangire Safari Lodge, Gibbs Farm, Spekebay Lodge on Lake Victoria, Serengeti Sopa Lodge, and Eunoto Retreat. Should we be using mosquito nets in all of them? If mosquito nets are provided, should we spray them or assume they have been treated?
Do we need to bring our own mosquito nets?
Is it okay to wear sandals, short sleeves, etc. in the evening? What about sleepwear?
Thank you, thank you, and thank you.
jandj is offline  
Apr 18th, 2005, 02:39 PM
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Take my word - you do not have to drench yourself in insect repellent.

One bottle (plastic) of a repellent containing at least 25% Deet is fine. You only have to use it between mossie biting time - from dusk to dawn - on exposed skin. So if it's evening you should be wearing long pants, long sleeve shirt, socks and a sweater or jacket. June - August is actually winter in Tanzania, so the mornings and evenings/nights will be chilly (maybe even cold) so you can forget the shorts during these hours.

The day temps will warm to probably the mid-70s, so shorts aren't really necessary. But if you must, then 1-pair should be sufficient.

You will be staying at lodges, so these rooms are closed and rarely will there be mosquitos. If the room has nets (more for atmosphere), then sleep under them. If not, then it's certainly not necessary to bring your own. Many rooms do provide repellent spray, so if this makes you more comfortable, spray the room before heading off to sleep... but please leave the room to let the spray settle (and not on you). With chilly nights and depending on what you're ordinarily comfortable as sleep attire - wear whatever...T-shirt, PJs, sweats. Remember to wash the repellent off your skin before going nighty-nite!

Just remember to take your malaria medication as prescribed and dress appropriately during the time mentioned above and you should be fine.

Besides, if the temps drop below 40-45 and you happen to be at altitudes above 5,000' - not much worry about mosquitos.

We'll be in Tanzania and Kenya during the same time. While many prefer a heavy dose of Deet (as above) I don't use anything other then Skin-so-Soft - for bugs! There are contrary thoughts about this particular brand, but it's served me well for many safaris in Africa.

Enjoy your holiday and do report here on your return. Safe travels.
Apr 18th, 2005, 02:42 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,220
We usually take the 50% DEET stuff BUT do try it at home first - some people do react to it badly - it's STRONG stuff!

The alternatives are usually citronella based and not irritating to skin but also not as effective as DEET.

DEET kind of does weird things to plastic so I always worry about what it might do to me but it's always fine...

Second advice for long sleeves and trousers and if you take any evening walks I'd also tuck your trouser bottoms INSIDE your socks snugly to stop the little critters in the grass getting in.
Kavey is offline  
Apr 20th, 2005, 06:20 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 26
Is it necessary to soak clothes in repellant before leaving for Africa?
vacationbennett is offline  
Apr 20th, 2005, 08:40 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 87
We now only ever use 100% deet. Not nice stuff but it seems to work.
Photos, videos and travelogues of some of our trips.
rdkr is offline  
Apr 20th, 2005, 09:24 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 814
The travel medicine clinic I use (in the US) strongly recommends brands of DEET that provide either time release formulations by Sawyer(so you don't have the full concentration absorbed into your skin at once) or the Ultrathon brand (which has some type of carrier that minimizes or eliminates absorption into the skin). Ultrathon is 30%...Sawyer timerelease may be a bit higher. I've used the Ultrathon with good results in the past (I had bad skin reactions to some brands with higher concentrations, so be careful. Remember DEET will literally melt plastic, so be careful and don't use more than you need!!)

...and you don't need a huge amount, one tube per 2 people is likely to be enough, because you just put it on exposed skin in the evening. (1 tube per person if you are really nervous about running out.)
tashak is offline  
Apr 21st, 2005, 04:52 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,276
I will also put in a plug for Ultrathon. We used it on our recent trip to the Amazon - didn't see a lot of mosquitos since we were on the Rio Negro, but when we walked through the jungle we did and I really liked the Ultrathon. It was easy to put on since it's a cream and it didn't smell really strong like some of the DEET products. I ordered in on and it came very quickly. Getting some more for our upcoming trip to Africa. You can also buy clothing already imbedded with DEET called "Buzz-off". One of the women on our Amazon cruise had some very nice looking khaki pants and shirt that had it in already. A bit pricey, but depending on how many mosquitos you will run into it could be worth it.
jcasale is offline  
Apr 21st, 2005, 11:17 AM
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I would also suggest bringing socks to wear in the evening when mosquitos are most active. Even if you wear them with sandals, it gives some protection to your ankles. It's cool in the am's and pm's so you will want a long-sleeved shirt and a fleece vest
Apr 22nd, 2005, 02:32 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 814
jcasales: where were you on the Rio Negro-- by any chance were you at the CI Conservation Center/ Fazenda Rio Negro?
tashak is offline  
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