Health and first aid
The quality of the health service in Kenya is no consistent. In Nairobi the medical facilities are good. We advice you to contact your local health service to get advised about the precautions you will have to take before your journey. In general it is advisable to have the following vaccinations:
At least 10 days before your departure you should get a yellow fever vaccination, it will give you 10 years of protection.
Polio Tetanus Diphtheria
If you had this vaccination earlier (f.e. as a child) one vaccination every 15 years should be enough. For the details we advice you to contact your local health services.
A Vaccination for Hepatitus A gives you one year of protection. After a second vaccination you are protected against Hepatitus A for 10 years
Malaria is spreading more and more over the world and is getting more resistant against medicines. It is important that you have the last up-to-date information about malaria. Beside taking medication against malaria you can wear clothes covering your body around and after sunset. It is also good to use a mosquito bed net. Uncovered body parts can be protected by using repellents that contains DEET (diethyltoluamide). This provides you from getting stung by mosquito’s. Taking an emergency treatment with you against malaria is only necessary if you plan on staying in a risk area for longer than a month. In that case ask your local health service for advice. If you get a fever during or after your stay please consult a physician.
Besides the above it is important that you know about these facts:
Bilharzia is a human disease caused by parasitic worms called Schistosomes. Bilharzia is common in the tropics where ponds, streams and irrigation canals harbour bilharzia-transmitting snails. Avoid swimming or bathing in these waters.
In most cases diarriah dissapears by eating light food like white rice, toast and biscuits with tea without sugar and bouillon. Do not forget to drink against dehydration! If the diarriah continues, use an imodium or contact a physician.
The risk of getting cholera is close to zero. Besides that a vaccination is not very effective.
In every country you should be careful for diseases that can be transmitted by sex and blood, like hepatitus B and AIDS. Please use a condom, and do not get a piercing or tattoo.
Insects & snakes
Nothing to worry about too much, but the bites from the female flee can be annoying. Using repellents with DEET usually also protect you against flee bites. If you are bitten, use a sterile needle to remove the dark spot and treat the bite with jodium. If you are unsure if the flee was removed or the wound gets infected you are advised to visit your doctor when you get home.
If you should encounter snakes near your hotel, they mostly are harmless house snakes. Do not try to catch them and do not make any sudden movements. If you get bitten please contact a local doctor.
It is advised to take a first aid kit with you. Women should take tampons with them since they are difficult to get in some areas.
During the safari it is common to wear casual clothing, preferable cotton and in safari colours. During the day shorts are ideal, and after sunset we advice you to wear long trousers, because of musquito’s. Take a sweater or jacket with you for the early mornings and cool evenings. Besides that comfortable shoes are recommended. Women are advised to wear a supporting bra. The roads are not that good everywhere so this will give you better comfort. Almost every lodge has a swimming pool, so do not forget your swimming wear. Since Kenya is close to the equator, the sun is very strong. Take a hat or a cap with you as well as a protective sun lotion and sunglasses.
It is common to give your guide a tip at the end of the safari, mostly around USD 3,- per person per day.
There is little room for luggage in the vehicles when travelling in groups; to avoid overload the maximum weight per person is 15 kilos, your foto equipment not included. If possible, put your belongings in a soft bag, these are easier to manage, especially on inland flights. Take some plastic bags to protect your clothes from dust and moisture.
Food and water
You can not always rely on the quality of food and water in Kenya. Use these guidelines to prevent yourself from getting infected:
– Always wash your hands with water and soap before your meal and after visiting a toilet.
– Avoid drinking water from the water tap and be careful using ice cubes. You can drink boiled water and water that is sold in sealed water bottles.
– Drink enough water in dry and hot areas.
– It is not always safe to eat fruit and vegetables that are already peeled, not boiled milk, ice and cheese.
– Fish and meat must be well cooked or grilled. Food that has be standing for a longer time can be infected by bacteria
Photo and video
By travelling through Africa you will meet other cultures and people. Off course you would like to get this on photo or video. Sometimes the local population finds this disturbing. Showing respect and asking if a picture can be taken creates goodwill, contact with the locals is more than just taking pictures.
The hotels in Kenya have a voltage of 220-240 volt. You will need a type G plug. Please take an adapter and/or transformer with you.
You will notice that many children, but also merchants, will ask for ballpoints, magazines and more. For us a ballpoint is not worth much but for them it means a lot. Off course we can not forbid you anything on this matter, but we ask you not to answer the begging. If the begging is successful, the local population will never learn to take care for themselves. This is especially important for the begging children.
What you need to take with you
Besides your usual travel equipment we advise you to take the following with you:
- A copy of you passport
- A money belt for your money and documents
- Vaccination book
- Warm sweater and trousers
- Spare batteries for your camera
- Enough film or videotape
- Rain clothing
- Rubber sandals for bathing and showering
- A hat or cap
- Sun lotion
- Insect repellent
- First aid kit
- A torch with spare bulb and batteries
- Plastic bags for your laundry
- Alarm clock