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Taking a Baby on Safari

Travelling with a young baby can be difficult to manage.

Here is a concise guide to travelling with a young baby to a safari destination. 

We give you our tips and suggestions to help make it a lot easier for you


Is my baby too young to travel?

  • Most airlines prefer your baby to be at least a few days old before you travel, but the final decision is yours.
  • Babies are easy to handle during the flight - all they need is feeding and sleep.
  • Breast feed or bottle feed your baby at take-off and landing to prevent earache.
  • Secure a basinette on the plane so you can catch up on sleep when baby sleeps.
  • The baby carry cot illustrated is from Minipiccolini
  • We also like phil & ted's sleep nest


What about Malaria?

You don't have to visit a malaria-zone if going on a South African Safari.

There are many malaria-free safari destinations within South Africa ( see the list here)

If you are venturing into a malaria zone with a baby, here are some things to consider:

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) 

  • Newborns and infants less than 12 months of age are one of most vulnerable groups affected by malaria.
  • During pregnancy, malaria infection in the mother causes low birth weight and can result in infant death."

Take the following precautions:

For Baby

  • Use a baby-friendly personal insect repellent.
  • Cover the baby's legs and arms after dark.
  • Close windows and doors and spray the baby's room with a baby-friendly mosquito repellent.
  • Choose air-conditioned accommodation where rooms can be temperature controlled to suit the baby.
  • Use a long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) over the cot or basinette.
  • Keep the baby inside a mosquito-protected room or under a mosquito net (as above) after dark.

For Pregnant women

  • Pregnancy reduces a woman's immunity to malaria.
  •  If you are pregnant, it is vital to consult an expert travel doctor before entering the malaria area.
  • Some vitamins can render malaria medications uesless.
  • Travel in winter months.

* For futher information visit -  the South African  Malaria Hotline and WHO malaria information

Things you should know
  • Breast-fed babies do not receive immunity from their mother's anti-malaria medication.
  • It's vital to get qualified medical help if a child develops a fever during or after a trip to a malaria region.
  • Pregnant women should get expert medical advice before venturing into a malaria region or taking anti - malaria medication.
  • If venturing into a South African malaria zone, choose winter months when there are less mosquitos around.

Safety tips when travelling

  • Ask for a baby-seat when hiring a car - check it is properly installed.
  • Do not put baby in the front seat if the car has  air-bags.
  • The sun is fierce in Africa - window shades for the car shield your baby's skin & eyes from the sun.
  • Look for a dark mosquito net for the baby's pram/stroller - it acts like a sunscreen, protects baby from bites.
  • ( Find one at EUREKA KIDS  or phil&ted's.)


  • ALWAYS KEEP DOORS LOCKED & WINDOWS UP when driving in South Africa.



Shopping List Suggestions

    • Infant paracetamol for fever.
    • Saline drops.
    • Teething gel.
    • Nappy/diaper rash cream.
    • Barrier cream/petroleum jelly.
    • Baby-friendly sunscreen.
    • Pawpaw cream/baby lotion, oil moisturiser for baby's skin.
    • Cotton balls.
    • Baby brush/comb.
    • Electronic/rectal thermometer.
    • Baby soap (tested by baby beforehand)
    • Disinfectant wipes.
    • Non-sting antiseptic wipes.
    • Baby hand wipes.
    • Nappies/ Diapers
    • First-aid booklet for babies.
    • Favourite solid food sachets.
    • Bibs


    If travelling into a malaria zone


    • Malaria medication if prescribed.
    • Mosquito net recommended by travel doctor.
    • Personal insect repellant recommended by travel doctor.
    • Baby-friendly room insect repellent.

    How to cope with sleeping when travelling?

    There are many travel cots out there.

    • Look for one that is safety approved and has safety approved bedding.
    • A proper baby cot is preferable for nights.
    • Having a colapsable travel cot for days out is great.
    • Take a look at the phil&ted's Sleep Nest and the Pea pod.


    How to cope with feeding when travelling?

    • Bring a baby carry cot.
    • Buy travel-sized packs of formula. You can even get them ready-madeup.
    • Bring or buy a stainless steel flask for boiled water.
    • Pack extra teats and bottles so you have a few on hand.
    • Pack a set of small airtight containers for ready measured formula.
    • Bring a travel bottle sterilizer.
    • Always have a bottle of boiled water handy - your baby can easily dehydrate when travelling.



    Things to Pack

    • Foldable pram/stroller.

    • Baby sling or carrier.
    • Travelling crib.
    • Baby linen.
    • Baby sun pod or sunshade if going onthe beach.
    • Stroller rain hood for rainy or windy weather.
    • Sun hat.
    • Baby sunscreen (visit babble for more info.) 
    • Clothing.
    • Diapers for travelling.
    • Swimming diaper.
    • Baby monitor.
    • Toys
    • Change mat.
    • Breast pump.
    • Universal bath plug.


    More Information



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