Health on Safari & elsewhere

photographic safaris kenya south africa health

First of all talk to your GP for medical advice when traveling to Africa. He/she wills advice regarding vaccinations and malaria precautions. From there it is your own decision what steps you wish to take for your holiday in Africa.

I get often asked about the medical precautions necessary when traveling to Africa and especially about malaria. I’m not a doctor and always recommend talking to the GP. Secondly I share my own experiences if asked for. I will share in this blog my personal experience with malaria precaution and my personal choice of treatment. Please be aware, this is my personal experience and opinion and it suits my personal situation and physical condition. This doesn’t apply necessarily to others. Everybody needs to check which is appropriate for the own personal situation and physical condition.

On my first visit to Africa I used Malerone as malaria precaution, a product that most of the people get when going on safari. I was careful using it with the meals and experienced no side effects during the recommended period of use. Only afterwards back in Europe I noticed that a flue was stronger than usual, but didn’t pay much attention to it. During my second safari I used again Malerone. Back in Europe I suddenly got the chicken pocks. I had always been immune for the chicken pocks, what was proved by many exposures to school friends, who had the children’s decease. I never got it, but I got it after my safari. The friend I was traveling with had the virus picked up from a relative at home before the trip and I got it from her during the holiday. This was the second time I got sick in a way I usually never got sick and I wondered about the reason. The connection seemed to be the malaria precaution. I got to the conclusion that the tablets weakened my immune system what made me vulnerable for the viruses. From that moment I never took the pills again, although I had been since them very often in the bush and it became my work being in the bush.
I learned from people in the Masai Mara to use neem tea as precaution for all sorts of things including malaria and it works very well. From infections, stomach bugs, flues and maybe even things I wasn’t aware of it helped. Neem tea works very well for me and I can recommend to use it also when not being on safari, but please consult your doctor to make sure it is not interfering with any other medication or condition.
There are plenty of websites about the benefits of neem, here one example:
“neem tea products”
Stay healthy and enjoy your traveling.

Ute Sonnenberg,