Please consult your health-care provider 4-6 weeks prior to travel to ensure you are receiving all required vaccinations and that the medication has enough time to take effect. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance with medical benefits and that you bring any personal medication with you. Please also check with your health department prior to departure for any changes in health regulations.
Yellow Fever – all travelers ≥9 months of age coming from a yellow fever infected country will be required to show a valid Yellow Fever certificate on arrival. It is otherwise not required or recommended. You should be vaccinated at least 10 days before you travel, as this will allow enough time for your body to develop protection against the yellow fever infection. Your proof of vaccination certificate will only become valid after this time.
Malaria prophylaxis – highly recommended for all travelers
Expert opinion differs regarding the best approach to malaria prophylaxis. It is important to bear in mind that malaria may be contracted despite chemoprophylaxis, especially in areas where chloroquine resistance has been reported. Both chloroquine-resistant and normal strains of malaria are prevalent in Africa.
Malaria is transmitted by a very small percentage of female Anopheles mosquitoes. They are mainly active in the early evening and throughout the night. Malaria transmission is at its highest during the warmer and wetter months. We strongly recommend you take the following preventative measures:
Use plenty of mosquito repellent. Some camps provide a locally made repellent but please bring your own as there may be skin sensitivity.
Wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers/slacks in the evenings.
Please use the mosquito net over your bed where supplied/available.
If staying in a bungalow or tent, spray with a suitable insecticide to kill any mosquitoes that may have flown into your room.
Mosquito coils are also effective.
There is a six to seven day minimum incubation period before symptoms present themselves. If you become ill on your return, while still on prophylaxis or even once you have stopped taking them, ensure that your doctor does everything to establish that your illness is not malaria. Please remember the best precaution is the preventative kind.
It is inadvisable for pregnant women to visit malarial areas as malaria infection during pregnancy can be detrimental to both mother and child.
It is advisable to carry medication supplied by your physician for simple stomach upsets. In the first few days of your trip you may suffer from mild upsets attributable to a change in food and water.
Ticks exist all over the world and are well known carriers of diseases that affect both animals and humans. Symptoms of this disease present after a 5-7 day incubation period and include fevers, headaches, malaise and even a skin rash, but effects can vary dramatically from person to person. A dark black mark usually results at the site of the infected bite and is a helpful diagnostic. The disease is easily treated with antibiotics although this is not always necessary.
After walking in the bush it is best to brush your clothes down and to examine your body for ticks. If a tick is found, remove it entirely without leaving the biting mouth parts in your skin. Anti-tick sprays such as Bayticol can be very effective against ticks and wearing long pants will prevent many bites.
Tsetse flies exist in large areas of sub-Saharan Africa including parts of Kenya. They are best known as the carrier of trypanosomiases – causing sleeping sickness in humans which can be fatal but is easily treated and cured. In the unlikely event that symptoms are recorded after a visit to an area containing tsetse flies, we recommend that a doctor be consulted. These symptoms can present a few weeks to months after a visit and begin with fever, headaches and pains in the joints followed by dramatic swelling of the lymph nodes. If left untreated these symptoms can evolve to cause anaemia, cardiac and kidney disorders; alternate bouts of fatigue and insomnia can disrupt the sleep cycle.