pregnant traveler

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May 27th, 2004, 07:50 PM
  #1
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pregnant traveler

just found out the good news but worried about the travel(leaving in a month).
can anyone please give me an idea on what to expect on safaris and lodges..i guess over- all convenience. i am also curious to know if all of you who are traveling or have traveld to SA had the Hepa A immunizations and took Malaria pills.
Quite concerned...would appreciate some info. thanks.
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May 27th, 2004, 08:19 PM
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Congratulations! My brother has traveled extensively in South Africa and informs me that you need no vaccinations, only anti-malarials. Hope this helps.
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May 28th, 2004, 05:02 AM
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sandi
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jet_setter - before you get on that plane discuss with your physician the following:

- need to take anti-malarial meds; will these have any effect on your pregnancy? Not knowing where you will be taking safari, know there are some areas that are "malaria free" - so no need for meds.

- the actual times out on safari (game drives) will have you in vehicles bumping all over uneven brush lands with few if any paved roads; again, how will this effect your pregnancy?

Once you've consulted with your physician, can a decision be made as to whether this is the right time to be going on safari.
 
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May 28th, 2004, 05:26 AM
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Jet_setter,

Congrats on your pg! I do think, however, that you really need to see your doctor/OB before embarking on this trip. i think there are certain antimalarials that cannot be taken in the first three months of pregnacy (e.g., mefliquine). Not sure where you are going in SA but some places on safari will require antimalarials.

Also, you may find the flight and the travelling exhausting. Will you at least be in business class so you can put your legs up? Will you be going to any fly-in lodges? The plane we took in Botswana was not pressurized and I believe it is not advised to fly in an unpressurized cabin if you are pg. We found the safari drives very bumpy!

Good luck!
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May 28th, 2004, 07:37 AM
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Can someone please share some game drive experiences at Kruger and Chobe. I realize most game drives are bumby...just need to hear it from someone who has tried.

Thank you for all the responses...a doctor visit is scheduled...wish me luck!
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May 28th, 2004, 01:59 PM
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sandi
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jet_setter -

I mentioned the bumpy roads in my earlier posts, because that is what the situation is. Whether in Kruger or Chobe - you are out in the bush and whatever roads exist where game drives take place, are dirt. Most are uneven and potholed. I've even recommend women wear a sports-bra (a recommendation I got from a friend before heading out on my first safari) for this very reason. And if you happen to be on a game drive where "off-road driving" isn't prohibited, you'll be in for a wild drive.
 
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May 28th, 2004, 05:52 PM
  #7
caribtraveler
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jet_setter: congrats. having done drives at kruger, i have to agree 100% with sandi about the bumpiness. we did drives with our own car and we did drives in a jeep on a private game reserve. they were ALL bumpy.
also, how are you feeling in the morning? you know that a lot of those drives are taken early morning. are you up for that?
good luck with your doctor's appointment.
 
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May 28th, 2004, 07:30 PM
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caribtraveler-
how long are the drives usually? i understand that the ride is bumpy, i just wonder if it's also at a high speed...i imagine it being slow- but please let me know how it is.

thanks again for all the replies...you've all been great help!
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May 28th, 2004, 10:07 PM
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I live in South Africa, am a pediatrician, and rode my horse everyday while pregnant. Talk about bumpy! First of all, malaria is highly overated in South AFrica. Most of our cases come from extreme northern KZN and imported from Mozambique. I would not take any drugs during your first trimester. No immunizations ae necessary. Hep A is no more common where you will be going than the US.
And don't worry about the bumpy roads. That is why we have amniotic fluid!!

Kim
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May 28th, 2004, 10:11 PM
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By the way, I am also a private pilot and flew while pregnant. As long as you are under 10,000 feet or so, and you will be, it will be similar to living in Denver.

Sorry to sound like such a know it all, but life does not stop while pregnant, and there are so many old wives tales out there. I worked until I went into labor, and my daughter is now in 11th grade in a boarding school in Massachusetts and getting straight A's.

Kim
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May 29th, 2004, 03:33 AM
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The drives are generally slow...you are also in an open vehicle. I was lucky and never plagued with morning sickness when I was pg with either of our two kids, but that's a personal thing and you might know by now if that's going to be a problem. At the lodges you can ask for bottled water (it's usually provided but you may want to ask specifically at meals). See what else your doctor advises...at this early stage, I don't think the bumpy drives will be a problem at all. That little tadpole is pretty well protected inside you!
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May 29th, 2004, 06:10 AM
  #12
caribtraveler
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jet_setter: the drives are slow. when we did the drives in a jeep at the private game reserve, they lasted about 2-3 hours (if my memory serves me correctly). we'd do a drive early morning, then a second one late afternoon/early evening.
i'm sure you've figured out not to take advice about your pregnancy on a travel board from perfect strangers. only your doctor and you will know what's best for you.
good luck with your baby! if it's your first one, you'll soon discover how being a mommy is the best job in the world!
From the mom of a 2-year-old.

 
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Jun 1st, 2005, 06:16 AM
  #13
 
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I will be 5 months along for our trip to SA. We are sticking to malarial-free zones, such as Madikwe and Addo. My main concern is having to use the loo while on safari!
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Jun 1st, 2005, 07:50 AM
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As sandi and others have mentioned the bumpiness of the drives is a concern. While it's true most of the game drive is relatively smooth - this isn't always the case and it can get very bumpy in a hurry if you're onto some animal.

In Botswana, after we spotted some wild dogs, we went from a Sunday drive to the Dakar rally in seconds. We ended up bottoming out in a warthog dig which was hidden by some long grass. We were almost bounced out of the Land Rover and loved every minute of it! Members of the pack were coming over a hill above us and we got a good look at them as they came upon us jacking up our vehicle out of the hole.

It was a great experience, but, it would certainly have given me pause had one of our company been pregnant!
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