HEALTH SAFETY AND INSURANCE
Health and safety issues that travellers are likely to encounter on a safari are mostly predictable and largely avoidable. Depending on whatever trip you book, it is advisable to get the right insurance. Get your insurance as soon as you book your safari/trip. The travel insurance market is highly competitive and consumers have a range of coverage options, so it is worth shopping around to find cover that suits your individual circumstances and travel plans.
Travel insurance does not have unlimited cover so it’s important to be informed and choose the right level of cover for your circumstances.
Read the Policy Document and Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) carefully to make sure that the risks that are important to you are covered – and how much they are covered for.
When choosing a travel insurance policy you should find out:
· What is included in the policy
· What is excluded, and how this compares with your intended activities
· How to contact your insurer when you are overseas
· What paperwork or information you need to take with you
· The dollar limits for claims on individual items and as a whole
· The proof you might need to make a claim
· The cost of the premium
· The amount of excess you would pay on a claim
You should buy a policy that covers you for the full duration of your trip. If you anticipate you may extend your trip, discuss this with your insurer to see if you will be able to extend your policy.
Daventure Tours will adhere to supply you with ample information relating to local conditions, but we strongly recommend that your insurance includes medical evacuation. However our knowledgeable guides always carry first aid kits and communication equipment to call for help, if necessary.
Health advice must be itinerary- and game park–specific. Immunisations and preventive medications necessary for one park may not be necessary for others.
Generally, proper preparations, common sense precautions, and our experienced guides, make safaris relatively low-risk undertakings for travellers of all ages.
The Smart Traveller website has up-to-date travel advice, news, guidance and important information for Australians travelling overseas.
Food and Water
With Travellers’ diarrhoea appears to be the most common complaint and most cases are placid. Sensible food and water choices may reduce occurrence. Illness may occur even on luxury trips. Carrying medication for self-treatment is generally recommended.
Wild animals are unpredictable. Travellers should follow oral and written instructions provided by our safari guides. Animal-related injuries are extremely rare and are usually as result of disregarding rules, such as approaching animals too closely to feed or taking photographs.
Rabies exists throughout Africa. While most cases result from dog bites, all mammals are prone and could transmit the virus.
Malaria transmission may occur in most game parks. Safari activities often include sleeping in tents and observing animals at dusk or after dark, sometimes near water holes. All these factors increase the risk of being bitten by malaria-carrying mosquitoes. Taking preventive medication and using personal protection techniques—such as wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants, using insect repellents, and sleeping under permethrin-impregnated mosquito netting—are essential.
Yellow fever vaccination is recommended for East Africa. In 2010, the World Health Organization and CDC reclassified a portion of East Africa to "low potential for exposure" to yellow fever virus and consequently downgraded the vaccination recommendation for these areas. But still you will be required to present a yellow fever certificate on arrival
Some countries require a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate as a condition of entry. Travellers must check the requirements of each country on their itinerary, including transit countries. Some countries may require the certificate even if there is no yellow fever in the country where travellers are leaving or entering.
Other Health Risks
African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) is transmitted by day-biting tsetse flies (Glossina). Although it is rarely seen among travellers, it is advisable to take precautions. Wearing light-coloured clothing (and avoiding wearing blue) seems to deter the flies. Insect repellents are only partially effective.
We suggest that when you are planning your trip you search health advice to what types of vaccination and/or medication is needed when travelling to East Africa
WHAT TO PACK
Here's a list of what to pack when going on safari, it is best to pack it in a canvas holdall. It is also useful to take a small rucksack on the vehicle with you for carrying your camera, binoculars, and anything you might need whilst travelling in the vehicle. Most lodges except camp sites supply towels and toiletries.
Feel free to add to the list.
1. Shorts and t-shirts or light trousers for the daytime. Bright colours alert the animals, so stick to neutral tones like beige, khaki, stone, green and brown. Avoid camouflage prints and dark colours. Lots of pockets are helpful; if you find the right item but wrong colour, tie die it.
Note for Ladies: A high-impact rated sports bra (level 3 or 4) is absolutely essential for safari driving! The roads are usually very rough and can cause bouncing. For multi-day safaris, bring two so one can be washed whilst you wear the other.
2. A pair of good walking boots if planning any walking safaris
3. A wide brimmed hat to shade you from the sun
4. 50+ or higher sun cream is recommended
5. A good pair of binoculars -- or skip it if you're bringing a zoom lens.
6. Long trousers and long sleeved shirt for the evening as protection from mosquitoes for the men and similar for the ladies, and mosquito repellent for areas of bare skin (Mosiguard (natural) or Jungle Formula (containing DEET) are good products).
7. A fleece for the early morning and evening game drives as it tends to get a bit chilly especially in the highlands
8. Plenty of film or memory for your camera and a battery charger.
9. A small first aid kit – camps and lodges have but not necessary.
10. A light weight waterproof jacket in case of a sudden shower
11. Swimming costumes if you intend to visit sea side
12. A book on East African Birds and Wild life to allow you to identify what you see on safari although our authorised well trained guides will completely inform you
13. Good pair of sun glasses as you are on the equator where the sun is very powerful.
14. A pair of trainers and/or hiking boots if you intend to do any hiking.
15. A pack of wet wipes.
16. A small maglight or torch.(flashlight)
17. A small blow-up cushion or borrow a pillow from the hotel.
18. A small supply of pens, pencils and exercise or notebooks are handy for children or staff. The gesture is always appreciated. Don't take sweets as these are bad for children's teeth - most people do not have/cannot afford toothbrushes. DO NOT give money.
19. Toilet roll and plastic bag to put the non-organic stuff in.
20. Bring small gloves and a scarf for the early morning and evening game drives, it's dang cold.
INSURANCE POLICY TIPS
Your credit card accident cover, home insurance, European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or private health cover is not always sufficient. An emergency abroad can be extremely expensive. If you need to be returned home it could cost you too much money, unless you are adequately insured: So before your trip make sure you have the appropriate insurance cover.
What your travel insurance policy should cover:
· Medical and health cover for an injury or sudden illness abroad
· 24-hour emergency service and assistance
· Personal liability covers in case you're sued for causing injury or damaging property
· Lost and stolen possessions cover
· Cancellation and curtailment (cutting short your trip) cover
Extra cover for activities that are commonly excluded from standard policies, such as jet skiing, hiking, big game hunting etc (if you intend to do any).
The policy should cover the whole time that you're away. Multi-trip policies may specify a maximum number of days' travel.
Your policy may also have:
· personal accident cover
· legal expenses cover
· financial protection if your airline goes bankrupt before or during your trip
Common travel insurance policy exclusions:
Most policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents
60% of travel insurance policies now cover terrorism. Where possible, ensure that your policy does not exclude terrorism
You must take reasonable care of your possessions or your policy will not cover you
Travel insurance buying tips
Shop around to find a great offer and the right product rather than opting to travel without cover.
Cheaper policies will usually have less cover – for some the price seems most important, but is it worth the initial saving?
Consider annual multi-trip insurance if you make several trips a year – you'll save time and money.
Holiday cancellation and abandonment.
A good insurance policy will cover you for cancelling or cutting a trip short under certain circumstances. Check carefully to see exactly what you're covered for:
· family bereavement
· pregnancy (unknown when you buy the policy)
· jury service or witness summons
· home emergency: fire, storm or flood, burglary
· bad weather – affects the departure of flights and ships
Types of foreign travel insurance
Personal liability insurance: If you accidentally cause an injury to someone or damage their property they may sue you. Good travel insurance will cover you for personal liability.
Personal accident cover – disability and death: Travel insurance can cover a personal accident payment made for permanent disability or death.
Cover for stolen, lost or damaged possessions: Limits for single items such as cameras and jewellery can vary from as little as US$300 up to US$1500 or more. Check these limits are adequate and realistic. You should report a loss to the Police within 24 hours. Proof of notification will be required when you make your claim. All insurance policies say that you must take care of your belongings at all times. If you don't, the policy may not pay out. Take as much care of your property as if it were uninsured.
Lost baggage on flights: Do not rely on compensation from an airline if it loses your luggage. By law, airlines only have to pay a specified minimum value per kilo of lost luggage. This is unlikely to cover the full value of your things.