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Safari Health Advice

Safari HolidaysSafari Holidays - Health Advice

Just as travel arrangements and packing appropriately are all part of the “work” involved in a major excursion, so a certain amount of preparation for your health and safety is advisable, as well as good practice when you are overseas.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

-          Find out at least some basic information about the country you are visiting – the culture, the political and security situation. A Lonely Planet guide or similar is a good place to start. To some extent you need to prepare yourself physically and mentally for a trip to a totally different environment. The Web, of course, is a great source of such background information.
-          Photocopy all official documents regarding your trip, scan them and email them to yourself so you can access them from an Internet café or other PC wherever you are. Include a scan of your passport and make a hard copy written note of your passport number – learn it if possible. Note down the diplomatic mission offices to the country you are visiting. Should you lose your documents, this will initiate the process of replacing them. There are Internet cafes in almost every part of Africa and in all major safari-going centres.
-          It is better to book an earlier flight than a later one – it avoids stress and often offers alternatives in the event of contingencies.

FINANCIAL SECURITY

-          Set a limit on your credit card. Should it be stolen, the thieves will be unable to extract an amount of money beyond your expectations.
-          Use two wallets. Hide one of them with essential belongings in your jacket pockets. Fill the other with a small amount of money. In case of an assault you can hand this second one over without argument.
-          Do not count your money in public - you might become a target for thieves. It sounds obvious, but it happens a lot.
-          Be aware of any distraction techniques that can occur during money transactions. This enables a third-party to learn where you keep your money, for example, or to pick your pocket.
-          Where possible, know what notes you have in your pocket and wallet. Keep larger denominations away from prying eyes.
 
PHYSICAL SECURITY

-          It is easier and safer to find your hotel and the people you may need to meet during the day than the night.
-          Try not to stand out in the crowd. Should you have an expensive laptop, cover it so it is not readily visible.
-          .Do not use or take an expensive mobile phone; an older but reliable model will do
-          Learn to identify what the uniforms of the local police look like.
-          Do not take any taxi you find - check to see if it belongs to an official company . Ask the hotel reception about rates you can expect to pay when you use a taxi.
-          Always set a price before getting into a taxi or ask the driver to use a meter. Pick up the hotel's business card. You can always present this to a taxi driver if you cannot find your way back.
 
CLOTHING

-          Look up the climate and likely weather conditions before you venture on safari. If you have hired a safari operator, ask them for recommendations on clothing during the period of your visit.
-         On a cultural note – err on the side of discretion; all the African countries expect modest attire.

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