HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW?
If you’re visiting Southern Africa and you are worried, your safety comes down to exercising that little thing your mum used to tell you about called common sense. Would you wander around at night by yourself in your own city with your valuables out on display, and expect that nothing untoward would come of it? Probably not.
Be aware, but not afraid, and you’ll soon find yourself having the time of your life enjoying incredible Africa for what it is, rather than worrying about becoming a victim.
ALWAYS TRAVEL WITH TRAVEL INSURANCE
Sometimes, despite your best efforts and planning, things go wrong. And if they go seriously wrong and you haven’t taken out proper travel insurance for your trip, you’re likely to find yourself in debt, lacking medical cover, or worse.
Read our in-depth travel insurance guide to help understand why it’s so important.
YOU MAY DRINK THE TAP WATER (JUST CHECK FIRST), EAT THE FOOD
Despite what you may think, you can drink the tap water in southern African countries like South Africa and Namibia (apart from some rural areas). The further north you go you’ll need to start dropping some iodine tablets in (or boiling the water) just to be safe. We do recommend bottled water (please use bins!), purely due to the amount of plastic waste which is dumped by the roadsides. Plastic waste and recycling is a big problem in Africa.
That said, we do generally steer clear of meat once we’re in the more remote areas due to a lack of electricity and proper refrigeration.
WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T GET MALARIA
No, really. Just don’t. No one likes getting weird illnesses when on holiday but getting sick in the middle of rural Africa isn’t just a blow to your plans, it’s dangerous.
Health services vary greatly through the region; more developed countries have brilliant hospitals, rural areas sometimes struggle to provide you with much more than a drip. Throw in a lovely tropical illness like Malaria, and you’ve got yourself a bad sit!
To stay healthy in on your African adventures you need to be thinking of your health well before you leave for the airport. Almost every African country requires proof of Yellow fever vaccination, while Hepatitis A, Rabies, Typhoid, Meningococcal meningitis are all pretty common jabs to get.
We never travel in Africa without our trusty med-kit full of:
– Anti-malaria medication
– Iodine tablets
– Hydrocortisone cream
– Insect repellent