Medication for your First African Safari

Going on your first African safari can be quite daunting.  You want to be prepared, but you also don’t want to overdo it and make your luggage too heavy.  It is always best to double check the list of medication that you’ve made with your general practitioner.  It is also a good idea to contact the lodge where you will be staying to find out what they have in place in case of a medical emergency.

Here are some ideas for your list of medication:
  1. Prescription medicine. Always make sure that you have an adequate supply of your prescription medication with you.  It may be difficult to find replacement medication depending on where you are going.
  2. Malaria medication. Found out before the time if you are travelling to a malaria area.  There are different types of malaria medication that you need to discuss with your doctor.
  3. Yellow fever vaccines. “Yellow fever is endemic (always present) in many of the tropical areas of Africa and South America, and this means that any areas populated with the mosquito could harbour the disease.  You will not be able to get a visa or permit to travel to some countries unless you have been vaccinated at least 10 days prior to your departure date and can show a yellow fever certificate”. (
  4. Medication for stomach issues, like vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps. A dehydration packet might also come in handy.
  5. Mosquito repellent and anti-itch cream. You can also take an antihistamine for more serious insect bites and stings, like bees.
  6. An assortment of plasters and a bandage or two. Butterfly suture plasters can also be helpful.
  7. Eye drops
  8. Ibuprofen or something for pain relief or fever.
  9. Vitamin C and other vitamins to give you a boost if you think that you are coming down with something.
  10. Water purification tablets
  11. A tweezer might come in handy for an unexpected thorn or two.
  12. Lip Ice and Vaseline – never underestimate the African sun.
  13. Sunburn ointment – You don’t want to spoil your African safari with sunburn on your first day.

In some cases, you might have to seek professional medical help.  Depending on your destination, the quality and services of state hospitals may vary.  You, therefore, need to make sure that you have comprehensive travel insurance.


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