Heath & Safaty on a South African Safari
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It is extremely important to be aware of health and safety guidelines in the area you are visiting on safari in Africa.
We provide you with vital health and safety information when visiting South African on a safari, city break or vising other South African tourist destinations.
Malaria Hotline +27 (0) 82 234 1800
- Greater Kruger Private Parks and Lodges are located within a malaria zone.
- Consult your travel doctor about recommended oral prophylaxis.
- Whether you decide to take oral prophylaxis or not, it is necessary to take precautions all year round:
- Use mosquito repellent especially after dark and on guided walks.
- Wear long pants, light long-sleeved shirts and closed shoes at night.
- Sleep under a mosquito net in endemic areas.
- It is advisable to seek specific medical advice if you are pregnant.
Finding a Hospital, Doctor or Dentist
- General practitioner consulting rooms are located at Skukuza camp in the Kruger National Park.
- South Africa has a well-developed heath system.
- Excellent hospitals in the large cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town.
- Public hospitals are often very busy and full.
- Wealthy locals and visitors tend to favour the private medical centres with standards rivaling those in the U.S. and Europe.
- Look in the Yellow pages under Medical Practitioners, ask your hotel manager, ask the local pharmacist.
- Two leading private hospital companies are:
- NETCARE (tel: 082-911 for emergencies), http://www.netcare.co.za.
- MEDICLINIC (tel: 021 809 6500), http://www.mediclinic.co.za.
- Visit your local travel doctor for information & medication for diseases like malaria, cholera, tuberculosis and typhoid.
- Have a dental check before you leave.
- Know your blood group.
- Ensure your Medic-Alert bracelet is current if you have one.
- Follow health practices on long-haul flights (Do the stretch exercises, drink water not alcohol, wear elastic flight socks etc.).
- Most common illnesses in South Africa apart from Malaria are diarrhoea, sunstroke and sunburn.
- Avoid eating hot food from roadside stalls, eat fruits you can peel, drink bottled water if not sure of the water safety in your camp.
- Protect yourself against sun damage: wear a sunhat, loose cotton clothing and sunscreen, always keep a bottle of water with you.
- Bilharzia is a water-born parasitic disease found in some areas. Don't paddle or swim in fresh water without finding out if it is infected.
- Beware of hippos and crocodiles in rivers and around riverbeds.
- Rabies is a risk in wilderness areas. Avoid animals (particularly dogs and monkeys) that seem too friendly or come too close.
- Take precautions against HIV / AIDS.
- Treat even minor grazes with caution - you may not be immune to parasites and poisonous plants found in S.A.
SAFETY & SECURITY
Outside the wildlife reserves
- Never carry more cash than needed and place all valuables in the hotel/Lodge safe.
- On arrival at the airport, look confident and take a recognized taxi to your hotel.
- Avoid looking like a tourist - keep expensive cameras hidden and not around your neck.
- Expensive jewelry should be left at home.
- Handbags should be carried diagonally across your shoulder.
- Follow local advice and travel advisories about safe places to walk and visit.
- Avoid walking in unlit areas or around cities late at night - take a taxi.
- Avoid beaches at night.
- Be aware of ploys to distract your attention or people invading your personal space.
- Don't accept help at ATMs.
- Take your mobile/cell phone with you always in case of emergency.
- Keep car windows closed and doors locked particularly at traffic lights and stop streets.
- Be wary of street vendors selling wares or doing questionnaires at stop streets.
- Do not travel alone at night (females especially) or hitchhike.
- Women should consider dressing more conservatively in rural or quieter areas as a protection against unwanted attention.
Lost or Stolen Property
- Passport. Keep a copy or note of your passport number in a separate place from your passport holder. If you lose your passport - report it immediately to the police and then contact your embassy or consulate.
- The Tourist Assistance Unit of the S.A. police will help with processing a report.
- Tourism Information and Safety Call Line tel: 083 123 2345.
- Valuables. Inform the police if items are stolen and obtain a signed, dated and stamped copy of the statement for the Insurance Co. Inform your Travel Insurance Company as soon as possible.
- Stolen travelers cheques must be reported to the issuing company.
- Cars drive on the left hand side of the road.
- Observe speed limit at all times - they change frequently, even on freeways.
- Carry your driver's license on you when driving
- Some secondary roads are potholed - keep alert.
- Rural towns and schools surround Kruger.
- Most roads do not have pedestrian or bicycle lanes.
- Keep an eye out for animals, school children, pedestrians and bicycles on the road.
- Satellite Navigation Systems are invaluable. They can be hired at major car hire companies.
- If you do not have Sat Nav, keep a map of the area in the car.
- Fill up with petrol at large, well known petrol stations. This is often a good place for a stretch, toilet stop and even a snack.
- Keep one person in the car whilst it is being refueled to keep an eye on luggage.
- Lock the car and keep it in sight when eating at a snack stop.
- Do not stop at designated picnic stops on the way - they are no longer as safe as they once were.
- Keep valuables out of sight when traveling in the car, with doors and windows locked especially in built-up areas.
Safety on Safari
Dressing for a safari
- Light clothing repels mosquitos more than black.
- Keep whites to a minimum, as white attracts certain bugs at night.
- Pack light neutral-coloured clothing.
- Preferably not blue jeans - same blue as tsetse fly bait.
- Greens and khaki (not white or bright colours) essential for game walks.
- Take a hot shower and soap all over after a game walk.
- Spray insect repellent on shoes, socks and trousers up to knees before going on a game walk or evening drive.
Safety inside Private Wildlife Reserves & Kruger National Park
- It is strictly forbidden to feed wild animals.
- Do not alight from your car unless it is a designated area. Wild animals are dangerous.
- Never leave your car to search for help if it breaks down. Rangers will search for you if you fail to return after dark.
- Keep to speed limits within the park.
- Shake out all clothing or bedding left on the ground before using it.
- If camping hang shoes upside down and shake gently before putting them on, or keep them in a bag or drawer overnight for added safety.
- Keep extra water in the car in case of emergency.
- Close car and room windows and doors when you leave to keep animals out.
- Read park rules before entering.
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