Above: Malaria – Africa’s biggest killer. Photo by: dr_relling
Probably from the moment we (seriously) considered this trip we mulled over the possible dangers we might encounter along the way. There are many things which might spoil the ‘odyssey’ and be potentially deadly, and although we realise that a road accident is most probable it is malaria that scares me the most.
As a child I was struck down with cerebral malaria while we lived in Kruger Park and I guarantee you I never want to cross paths with Africa’s biggest killer again.
From the word go we have been planning around malaria and as you can see from this map, there is just no getting around it.
We can’t run from it and we can’t afford to stay on anti-malarial drugs for the duration of our trip so we made alternate plans.
Obviously we will stick to the usual precautions (long sleeves, repellents, a net for the tent), but, as an extra safety measure we will carry malaria treatment and test kits with us. Our policy is to rather start treatment than wait for diagnosis.
In the end, it is a lucky packet and having done all this, we can only hope our packet is indeed filled with luck.
Lonely Planet’s Healthy Travel: Africa is great if you are planning a similar trip. It is small enough to carry around and not only educates but is also filled with bits of very useful information on malaria and other diseases, help with self diagnoses (if really necessary) and tips.
According to this book there are a number (rather interesting) diseases or bugs we might catch… most of which are apparently quite scarce and not such a bit worry. Instead of just naming them, I will dedicate my next blog to health, and share – or rather scare you with – some of the wonderfully gross bugs we might encounter.