Health and Safety
A few pointers on the dos and don'ts...
Health and safety in Tanzania and Africa is something that many people worry about….but this is without real foundation in our experience. It is true that the major cities can be dirty and crime-ridden in places, but this is not unlike any big city in the world…and we certainly don’t recommend staying in these areas. Similarly, with Tanzania being a malarial area, many worry that it is too big a risk to head here…but, in both cases, with a bit of vigilance (from your guide), there is absolutely nothing to worry about. Have a look at a few of the major ailments below:
Peace of mind – before you read the below (and scare the hell out of yourself!), we would like to point out a few factors that will give you peace of mind during your trip…
Emergency evacuation cover: this is a specialist, flying doctor cover that is applied to each and every booking that is made through us. This will cover the costs of a doctor to fly directly to wherever you are in Tanzania for immediate medical attention and, if necessary, immediate air-evacuation to the nearest medical centre.
Water: at all times, the only water that you will come in contact with is sterilized and purified. This is better-than-mineral water grade water.
Camps, guides and ground handlers: we only use the most experienced and vetted safari camps, guides and ground handlers throughout Tanzania. We have been working with these companies for over 12 years and we know that, if there is an issue, they will get things sorted immediately and efficiently.
Us!: we have been sending clients out to Tanzania for safaris for a long time and, having been in Tanzania for every election and flood, we know where to send our clients when, and what problems they may have when they get there.
***Please note that we always recommend taking out comprehensive travel insurance at the time of making your deposit***
Strictly speaking, not being qualified doctors, we are not legally allowed to advise on Malaria and how to treat or prevent it. Tanzania is in a malarial area of the world and, as such, we recommend that you take the recommended precautions when you travel here (mosquito repellents and coils are usually provided by camps locally…please check if you need further information). The main seasons that mosquitos breed are in and just after the rains (April and May) and so this can be an uncomfortable time to travel. Otherwise, while there are mosquitos present year round in Tanzania, the drier months between June to October and January to March, are relatively mosquito free.
For further information on both Malaria and protection against it while you are travelling we recommend booking an appointment to see a specialist doctor at somewhere like the Trailfinders Travel Clinic in High Street Kensington.
Due to its proximity to the equator and, quite often, the varying altitudes that the safari is at, it can be tricky to keep covered up properly. One of the most debilitating experiences while out on safari (spending 4 hours in the dry heat of the sun) is to get heat stroke. It is, therefore, very important to bring along the correct headwear (as mentioned in our “What to pack” section, as well as plenty of sunscreen. We also usually travel with a few sachets of electrolytes in our bag just in case.
Simply due to a change in the environment and diet, many people find that they have an upset stomach for a few days. All of the food and water that is used both out in the bush and in the built up areas is either completely sanitized (in the case of the shower water) or is mineral water (for washing food and drinking).
Over the past year or so, the regulations regarding yellow fever jabs have changed for Tanzania and east Africa and so, today, if you have stayed or passed through a yellow fever country (mainly the band of countries around the equator), then you will be asked to show a yellow fever certificate. Similarly, if you are heading to another yellow fever country from Tanzania (such as Mozambique), then that country will ask you to show a valid certificate. It is something that they are very strict on and so something worth keeping in mind. If you have any questions then please ask your consultant.
Many of the transmittable diseases in Tanzania are water-born and, as such, rarely transmitted to tourists (such as Cholera). The main thing to remember is that the medical system in Tanzania is well organized and very efficient and so, if you need emergency help, then it is only a short flight away.