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Zambezi Safari and Travel Co.

Planning your safari

Zambezi Safari and Travel Company
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Medical matters: We don't dispense medical advice! Instead we've included some brief summaries on things that you should consider plus web links to additional info sources ... 

Insurance is a pre-requisite for any safari - you simply can't join us if you don't have it. We've tried to de-mystify the topic with some basic explanations and web links to providers ... 

Air fares and logistics in Africa - visit our sister site for some simple explanations on African logistics with destination maps, details on all the important gateways and hubs in Southern and East Africa and an online Trip Planner for obtaining real time airfare quotes.

Visas - unless you've planned well in advance we strongly recommend the use of consular services to obtain visas (a small premium could save a lot of hassle)

Travel Gear - unless you plan specific shopping time at a large African centre before your main trip starts we recommend that you do your gear shopping before your leave home...

Essential "safari primer" resources on this site
Intro  |  Destinations & Maps  |  Seasons  |  Types of safaris
Safari costs and prices  | 
migrationPlanning a safari  |  Good safari examples

 

Medical issues on safari

Speak to your doctor before you travel - get accurate and current advice on inoculation requirements and any recently recognized medical precautions that may be necessary. There are a few "definitive" websites listed below - visit them before finalizing your safari plans.

Common medical concerns on safari include the following:

Malaria: caused by a mosquito borne parasite, malaria is endemic in all of our main safari areas. From experience we've found the worst time of year for malaria generally from mid February to the end of June. The incidence of malaria diminishes as the season gets drier and cooler but there is still a risk even at the end of the dry season before the new rains. The best precautions are physical barriers in the early evenings and at night (long trousers and sleeves, 30% plus deet-based repellents, mosquito nets). You need to watch for the symptoms for several months after your return home - it's important to get treatment very quickly if you've contracted malaria. If you develop flu-like symptoms then get a quick and simple blood test without any delay to be on the safe side. [...more from FitForTravel, CDC and MedicinePlanet

Diarrhoea: a common problem when travelling in Africa. We've seen advice recommending that even salads should be washed in bottled mineral water?! That's extreme, the reality is that food preparation and presentation in some of the remotest camps is better than the fare you'll get in many well known hotels in Europe and North America. Just be sensible about what you eat and drink, and bring suitable medication in case. [...more from CDC

Sunburn: The African sun even during our southern winter from May to July is fierce. Aside from the long term risks of skin cancer, a bad sunburn could spoil a safari. The greatest risk of serious sunburn is on the lower Zambezi canoe safaris, white water rafting at Victoria Falls and on walking safaris. There's no need to get extreme with precautions unless you're particularly sensitive to the sun. Be sure to bring a hat, long sleeves, strong sun barrier that suits your skin type and sunglasses. On canoe safaris a towel or "kikoi" covering the legs is essential. 

Medical services: Even the remotest camps are reasonably well geared to handle minor mishaps in terms of first aid practitioners, trauma kits etc. In the event of a serious accident, Johannesburg in South Africa is the only real option for immediate high care evacuation in Southern Africa. Ensure that you have adequate medical insurance - as a rule the remoter and less developed the destination, the more expensive the evacuation. 

Required inoculations: Recommendations are changing constantly, we recommend that you take a look at the CDC updates and consult a medical professional.  

Some valuable web sources for medical guidance

  • Fit for Travel: An excellent all round source of travel health information - used by our own doctor friends...
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Destination updates, reference materials, current news, special needs travel info, travelling with children, excellent checklist, hotline numbers... 
  • MedicinePlanet: San Francisco based team - premier health resource for travellers, visit the Adventure Travel Center or get specific updates on the individual African safari destinations...subscribe to this site... 
  • US State Department: medical information for Americans travelling abroad, includes a very valuable listing of addresses of Med-Evac and Travel Insurance companies plus additional regional tips etc. 
  • British Department of Health: Simple but comprehensive advice for British subjects travelling abroad with extensive introductory material, planning and treatment

Travel Insurance on safari

Irrespective of whether you're on a business trip or a high-risk adventure to a remote spot in Africa don't leave home without adequate insurance cover. If you're coming on safari, you need to understand that any safari activity is potentially hazardous and the Third World doesn't always run as smoothly as you might like - travel insurance is your responsibility and you must have it. 

There are two main types for which you must make provision: 

  • International Medical Insurance is short or long term medical insurance designed to reimburse you for medical expenses incurred when you're travelling 
  • Travel Protection Plans will cover your non-reimbursed travel expenses if an emergency (death, sickness, airline strike, technical delays on flights, tour company/operator default/bankruptcy etc.) occurs right before or during your trip causing it to be cancelled, interrupted or delayed. 

... some basic travel insurance tips ....

  • If your remuneration package, existing insurance policies or credit cards include international travel insurance then check the small print to ensure that you're adequately covered. 
  • "Adequate cover" is a bit like defining the length of a piece of string. Understand that if you require emergency evacuation or urgent high care treatment for whatever reason, you'll need to be able to cover the costs without delay.
  • International travel insurance whilst on foreign travel is a prudent option under normal circumstances - it's an absolute necessity when planning a safari
  • Ensure that your premiums are up to date and keep a copy of your travel insurance card or certificate of coverage handy. 

Some valuable web sources for travel insurance

Other planning items - Visas

Other planning - Travel Gear

  • The Safari Store: Safari and Travel supplies (including clothing, "soft" luggage, binoculars, books, camera equipment and accessories) are available through our partner The Safari Store. Go to www.safari-store.co.uk to purchase your travel gear and ensure you’re well equipped for your safari. These high end products also make great gifts for your travel companions! Claim a 10% discount, quote “zambezi” at checkout.

  • Passing through Johannesburg? Visit one of the Cape Union Mart outlets.

  • Essential travel accessories - especially for expeditionary-type trips

Other planning - travel tips, hints and random advice

...move onto our safaris for this season...

 

african safaris

"Safari" Primer menu

Introduction | Destinations | Seasons | Types of safaris | Safari costs
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african safarisSafari planning | ...some typical safari modules...

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Last updated 01 December, 2011

 

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