A Safari trip is considered by many travelers to be the ultimate “bucket list” trip, the experience of a lifetime, and with a little research it can be. The centerpiece of most Safari trips is viewing wild animals in their natural habitats, and many tour operators are happy to oblige, driving their guests into National Reserves and locating watering holes where animals can be viewed from open trucks.
If you’re considering an African Safari trip for your next adventure, you’ll want to think carefully about the risks posed by this trip, just as you would any trip.
When you travel, anything can happen and rather be prepared than wishing you had been prepared. While it is considered optional when travelling, considering unforeseen circumstances and risks, a Comprehensive Travel insurance is a must when embarking on a Safari. This is your sole responsibility AND will ease any concerns or worries you many have.
South Africa has very good private hospitals and some of the most qualified and experienced doctors in the world. So no need to worry about finding these facilities before your arrival. Your Outfitter or Tour Operator will be able help you if a problem should arise
- Before departure, make sure you know what to do in the event of a problem or emergency.
- During your Safari, always keep your policy and 24-hour emergency phone number with you, share it with a third person as well as the Outfitter / Tour Operator that you will be on Safari with.
- If anything happens, and you anticipate having to make an insurance claim upon your return home, be sure to document as accurately as possible any incident, injury or loss. Doctors notes and police reports will aid any claim and photos if possible
- Look up and Understand the Health Risks
- As with any trip, the health and safety risks a traveller is likely to face while on Safari are mostly predictable and manageable, as long as you are aware of them. For example, Malaria may be a minor problem in South Africa, but it could be a primary issue in some parks depending on the season
Umdende Hunting Safaris is located in a Malaria free zone and no medication is needed, however if your Safari is taking place in a Malaria zone we will notify you and we highly suggest seeing your local GP before departure for advise precautions.
Below are common health risks including:
Malaria– Often occurs in major game parks while Safari because Safari activities often include sleeping in tents, observing animals at dusk near watering holes- all of which puts the traveller closer to potential Malaria- carrying mosquitoes. Take appropriate preventative medication and use all your personal protection techniques, including wearing loose, long clothing, using insect repellent, and sleeping under a permethrin-treated mosquito net
African Tick-borne Fever- Occurs primarily in rural areas of Southern Africa, caused by a tick bite. Many of your Malaria prevention techniques help considerably with preventing this illness, which typically rare among travellers. Regularly check your body for ticks on your Safari and watch for symptoms which include fever, enlarged lymph nodes, and rash.
African Sleeping Sickness- also called Trypanosomiasis, is transmitted by Tsetse fly bites, which occur in the daytime. Again, Malaria prevention techniques are useful for preventing these bites, especially wearing loose, light-coloured clothing. Watch for symptoms of fever, headaches, and nervous system involvement as well as swelling at the site of the bite. These flies occur in parts of Mozambique.
Its important that travellers understand they may be asymptomatic for weeks after their trip. When symptoms do appear its important to inform your Doctor of your recent trip to aid a more accurate and prompt diagnosis.
Umdende Hunting Safaris highly recommends that you do invest in Travel insurance when travelling to South Africa, either for a Hunting Safari or a Photographic Safari. We highly recommend the use of Global Rescue and Ripcord.