Traveling and enjoying a new destination with new attractions and activities with no hinderance is a great experience for travelers on Falling sick and failing to do any activity is the worst experience a traveler can face on his or her safari to Uganda and other African countries. For those planning gorilla safaris, good health is one of the key features for a successful gorilla trekking tour in Uganda and other countries sheltering the endangered species which are Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. It can be the worst experience getting sick while your Uganda safari. Below are important to take precautions and keep health on your dream vacation.
It’s very important to take health safety measures when traveling to Uganda since it comprises of tropical climate. Uganda travelers don’t usually get sick but prevention is better than cure. A holiday to Africa is most of the time a once in a lifetime opportunity the needs you to be in very good health so that you fully enjoy it and create beautiful lasting memories. Below is a compiled list that should help you keep good health
• Immunizations: This should be done right from home before setting off for Africa. Yellow fever vaccination is very necessary if you have visited any country where it exists, but the rest of diseases such as – tetanus, polio and diphtheria, hepatitis A and B, meningitis depend on your doctor’s advice whether they are necessary or not.
• Malaria Prevention: This is the one most likely to catch you, Uganda being a tropical country. Precautionary medication includes; malarone, doxycycline and mefloquine. These are the standard. Malarone being the best and most expensive, doxycycline makes some sensitive to the sun, make sure your not allergic to which ever meds you go for. Start your regiment before you arrive in Uganda and follow directions as prescribed by medical persons.
• Drink Clean water: Don’t drink just any kind of water while in Africa. Take precaution and stay away from ice cubes. Stick with only bottled waters here and make sure to buy it from big supermarkets or shops. If you boil water, do so ad make sure its boils up to 100 degrees take no chances with taking half or un boiled water.
• Travelers Running Stomach: This is very common with the first day of your safari. Just eat well-prepared hot food – do not eat cold food. Make it a point to wash your hands before eating with soap and water – don’t take liberties of thinking your hands are clean – what ever you torch here is dirty. You’re encouraged to keep away from raw foods such as salads, fruit salads. Bring some Imodium and Ciproflaxin which is an antibiotic and will help in extreme cases. Rare do such cases happen but taking precaution should come in handy since consequences can be extreme and painful.
• Bites, bites: There are several other insects apart from mosquitoes that can be a threat to travelers – Uganda being tropical client, these include insects like Tsetse flies. The best precaution is to spray your body with insect repellant every single day before you set to bed. Wear loose cotton clothing. I like jeans, even though they are heavy, and this is a warm climate, I find they protect quite well. Also wear long sleeved shirts and avoid shorts in the evenings. At your hotel or safari lodge, have them spray in the evening as you go out for dinner. In many hotels it is automatically done. Use the mosquito net and a fan, flying things do not like to move against the wind. When on safari in the game park – avoid blue shirts – Tsetse flies are attracted by them and will take a bit of your blood. The Australian RID works against both Tsetse flies and mosquitoes.
• Sunburn: Pack one from home, but can also easily be acquired in Uganda, make sure to apply thick layers on your skin to protect it from sun burns. If your hair is thinning, wear a hat. If you are going on a boat ride on the Nile or Lake Victoria, lotion is the key to avoid getting burned.
• Bilharzia: A small snail that at the end of the day causes damage to your organs. Make sure not to swim in lakes, there are not many that are truly Bilharzia free. Enjoy the view of the lake instead. Lake Bunyonyi is Bilharzia free.
• HIV-AIDS, STD’s: Best way to avoid is abstaining. The biggest percentage of bar girls in Kampala have STD’s and HIV-AIDS. For safety use a Condom if you cannot abstain. Of recent, many prostitutes are known to also rob their clients of everything, wallet, money, passport, watch, cell phone while you sleep. Recent police reports have shown that some use chloroform on body to knock you out and then take your things. This has happened in up-market hotels. Reliable statistics to sober you-almost 60% of prostitutes have STD’s and almost 50% are HIV positive. In recent years the HIV infection rate has increased, attributable to the myth that ARV drugs cure (deal with symptoms, that circumcision protects you totally from HIV (reality it reduces the chances). In the 90′s there was a joint effort from the President and his wife along with the faith communities and everyone else that joined forces to educate people about HIV. This educational process has waned and changed and the results are higher percentages of new infections.
• Meningitis: You can get inoculated before you arrive and avoid the chance of getting it.
• Nicks and Cuts: If untreated, they become the cause of infection that can last a long time. During gorilla tracking, wear buggy clothes. Clean the cut or nick properly. Use a proper anti-septic cream.
• Heat Rash: Cool down, wear baggy clothing and powder your body with talc.
• Snakes: They more often move away from you before you ever meet them. Most snakes are not poisonous. If you are a backpacker, you will not come across some of them.
Places for Medical Emergency:
• The Surgery – 2 Acacia Avenue, Kololo. Tel: 0414256003. 24 Hour Emergency Service Tel: 0752756003,
Ambulance Service. Tel: 0752 756003
• International Hospital: Down from Rest Corner in Muyenga up from Kabalagala and then down toward Namuwongo. Everyone knows International Clinic and it was founded by Dr. Ian Clark who still lives in Kampala and is a weekly commentator in the New Vision Newspaper and was elected by a wide margin to the position of Local Commissioner 3 in the Makindye area of Kampala. It is the hospital that I use. Tel :0312200400, Ambulance Service: 0772200400/1
• Sterling Dental Clinic: Located on Kampala Road in Bhatia House.
It is rare that visitor on Safari in Uganda becomes ill – the reality is that lodges take the utmost care to take care of their visitors and most safari companies. Its important to not that the day of gorilla safari, its very important to do some exercising to avoid muscle stretching which is painful the following day. Prepare for your gorilla trekking adventure with some level of fitness.