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Top 10 tips to staying healthy when you travel to africaby Dalene Ingham-Brown

There are all kinds of motivations for going to a third world country, or even just a highly rural area. Whether it’s a service-based mission trip or a study abroad experience, there are additional precautions everyone must take when they travel to Africa, to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. Here are a few quick tips to keep that holiday in Africa, a holiday in Africa.


Image by Aleksandra P


Before you travel to Africa


1. Insurance

Call your health insurance companies. Besides the simple tips in this post, they have dealt with enough cases and are concerned enough about your health to offer anything you’d ever want to know about travelling to Africa.

2. Drug Mule

Get prescriptions from doctors for your prescription drugs. No one wants to be convicted of dealing drugs on their holiday!

3. Medical travel kit

Load up a travel kit full of over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen, aspirin, antibiotic ointment, band-aids and antacids.  They’ll be a huge help, and I would think anyone would be at a greater peace of mind knowing they already have these things on hand.

4. Vaccinations

Get your vaccinations! The four necessary ones are Hepatitis A & B, yellow fever, and typhoid, but you also should consider other recommended vaccinations as well when you're planning to travel to Africa.


During travel in Africa


5.  Use sun protection!

Wear sunscreen - anything over 30 SPF is recommended to avoid sun burn and blisters. Besides neck protection, a wide-brimmed safari hats plus polarized sunglasses protects the eyes too.

6. Stay hydrated

It’s been noted that physical and mental capabilities decrease drastically as you become more dehydrated. Keeping that water level up will have you feeling lively and give you the strength to outrun those lions and gazelles - that's a joke.

7. Watch what you drink

Staying hydrated is important, but equally important is how you stay hyrdrated. According to a Blue Planet study, contaminated water accounts for 80% of diseases in developing worlds. If you don’t like the 4/5 chance of getting sick, boil your water, use purifying tablets, and stick to bottled water when travelling in Africa.

8. Don't shower with your mouth open

Keep your mouth closed in the shower (think Sex and the City: The Movie) and brush your teeth with purified water. It’s not always easy, but try to confirm if your food was washed with purified water.

9. Be fussy

Be aware of street vendors and strive for food cooked in front of you. Otherwise, there’s no telling how long your meal had been sitting under a heat lamp baking in bacteria. Otherwise, go vegan for a safer bet.

10. Sanitise

Bring hand sanitizer and work it into your hands for at least 20 seconds to ensure all the doorknobs, handrails, and market items you’ve touched stay where they came from. You only want to bring the good things home with you! Now that you're clued up on what you need to stay healthy when you travel to Africa, it's time to book that safari in Africa!


About the author


Nate Schrader, writer for Travel Products enjoys learning anything about the world to help the confused traveler. When he’s not writing, he’s planning his next trip and one day strives to take a mission trip to those in need. Happy travels!

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