Let’s talk vaccines
When browsing through amazing African Tour packages, including once-in-a-lifetime safaris, choosing your dream African vacation is the easy part. After you tell your family, the difficult questions might start. Don’t let phone calls from concerned family members about health risks stop you from traveling. After educating yourself on the necessary vaccines and using a good dose of common sense, you should remain healthy on your trip to Africa.
Speak with your Doctor
Talk to a trusted health care professional about which region of Africa you are visiting to get their best recommendations. Your initial visit with your doctor should be about six months before your vacation to Africa. If you have any concerns about any medical condition of yours, make sure to mention them to your doctor.
Remember, some vaccinations can take several weeks to be fully effective and others involve multiple shots. It is recommended to schedule your vaccinations about 4-6 weeks before your trip to Africa.
The CDC’s website (https://www.cdc.gov/ ) and other government health organizations also have a detailed list of recommended vaccines and travel advisories available for every region.
Check up on Routine Vaccines
Make sure you are entirely up to date on your normal recommended vaccines. Infectious diseases like measles, mumps, rubella influenza, chickenpox, polio, diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus may not be very prevalent in the USA and Europe. However, they are much more common in some African countries and can be deadly. Check your records and schedule any that are now outdated.
Essential Vaccines for All African Vacations
There are some vaccinations that you need for any trip to Africa. The four vaccinations that doctors recommend for travel to all countries in Africa are yellow fever, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and typhoid.
To enter some countries, you will need documentation of your yellow fever vaccination. In Sub-Saharan countries, yellow fever is particularly present, and you will be turned away at the border without it. Make sure you travel with extra copies and keep them safe, so you are not turned away at the border.
Country Dependent Vaccinations
Some vaccinations are only recommended when traveling to certain parts of Africa. Those visiting Ethiopia, Nigeria, Angola, and Ghana should get a polio vaccine. Those traveling to rural areas and anticipating exposure to animals should consider a pre-exposure rabies vaccination.
Some of the most popular and recommend African tour packages are adventurous safari adventures. Even on the safest safari, you should plan for any animal bites, as unlikely as they might be.
A lateral strip of land above the equator is known as the “meningitis belt” and stretches across sub-Saharan Africa. There are occasional epidemics, which worsen during the dry season (December to June). If you think you will be in an affected area, get your meningitis vaccine.
There is unfortunately no vaccine to guarantee protection against malaria. Your doctor still might prescribe anti-malaria medication to lessen your chances of contracting it. Some are taken before your trip, while others are taken before and after.
Even if you are taking anti-malaria medication, take preventative measures. Use netting while sleeping to avoid mosquito bites. Insect repellent should be applied every time you wash or shower. Additionally, your body should be covered from the neck down from dusk onwards.
Symptoms from malaria can take as long as six months to develop or as little as a few days. If you feel ill during your vacation to Africa, tell a tour guide or head to a doctor right away. After your return home, keep listening to your body and go to the doctor if you start experiencing flu-like symptoms.
As much as friends or family members who have never been to Africa might try to worry you, your vacation to Africa will be the trip of a lifetime. As long as you talk to a trusted healthcare professional, take the proper precautions, and practice smart safety precautions while traveling, you should remain happy and healthy. Once you take care of these details, relax and allow yourself to enjoy discovering this beautiful land.