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FAQ about Trips, Expeditions & Safari

Below are the Frequently Asked Questions about the Kilimanjaro and Safari trips

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Kilimanjaro Trips FAQ:

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Q: Vaccinations: what shots and pills should I get for Tanzania & Kenya and why? What else can I do to stay healthy? Is the water safe to drink?


For complete and up to date recommendations, please check your medic about the latest requirements and read this page from MD travelhealth about Tanzania with backgrounds on all diseases.

For the US: Information on vaccinations and other health precautions may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's international traveler's hotline at telephone: 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax: 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299).

The vaccinations you need are also dependent on recent (up to 10 years ago) shots you already received.

In general the following is recommended and sufficient:
- mostly a recent DTP shot (once per 10 years)will do (Diphtheria, Pertusis and Tetanus).
- Gamma globulin against Hepatitis A is recommended.
- There is also a great malaria hazard in eastern Africa (not on the mountain and highlands) so you must decide whether to take pills for that too...
- Yellow fever and cholera; not that there is any known yellow fever or epidemic cholera in Tanzania, but they won't let anyone in that can't prove they are vaccinated against it, that's all. (The Cholera is normally not asked anymore. Mostly your vaccination center would just give you a free cholera stamp in your vaccination passport if you asked them friendly; some might still do it, other's won't, but it is not a requirement anyore) Don't forget to bring your vaccination passport!

The water in Tanzania is generally not safe to drink, at least not in the cities. Always filter your water in the hotel (for example a SteriPen etc), or buy bottled water (make sure the trash is disposed of properly).

On the mountain the water is clear and clean and can be drunk, but the cooks and guides will still boil and/or purify/filter the water as well. Please wash your hands carefully and take care of hygiene, this is normally a bigger problem starter than the water or food.

Also, do I need a meningitis/rabies shot? It's not
on the webpage, but the CDC webpage suggests it (I think).

If they advise it, take it, the advises differ per country of origin (and per doctor).

The most important are the yellow fever (and before also cholera) shots to be let into the country and malaria tablets: the real health threat is Malaria, although the risk near Moshi is not that big (most risky are the coastal areas) and the risk on Kili and the highlands is almost absent. Many travellers do not take any malaria pills when only clibing Kili itself has no Malaria, and you will only be at (very slight) risk in the hotels in the lowlands. Also the pills can have nasty side effects, if you are planning on taking them, please try them out ahead of time, as some types can ruin your trip. In the end you need to make your own decision about the risk vs reward.

Malaria and other mosquito diseases must be prevented as much as possible:

Here is some useful advice from on how to stay healthy, as preventing is always better than curing:

To Stay Healthy, Do:
- Wash hands often with soap and water.
- Drink only bottled or boiled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles. Avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes. If this is not possible, make water safer by BOTH filtering through an "absolute 1-micron or less" filter AND adding iodine tablets to the filtered water. "Absolute 1-micron filter" are found in camping/outdoor supply stores.
- Eat only thoroughly cooked food or fruits and vegetables you have peeled yourself. Remember: boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it.
- If you travel to an area where there is risk for malaria, take your malaria prevention medication before, during, and after travel, as directed. (See your doctor for a prescription.)
- Protect yourself from insects by remaining in well-screened areas, using repellents (applied sparingly at 4-hour intervals) and permethrin-impregnated mosquito nets, and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants from dusk through dawn.
- To prevent fungal and parasitic infections, keep feet clean and dry, and do not go barefoot.
- Always use latex condoms to reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

To Avoid Getting Sick, Don't:
- eat food purchased from street vendors.
- drink beverages with ice.
- eat dairy products unless you know they have been pasteurized.
- share needles with anyone.
- handle animals (especially monkeys, dogs, and cats), to avoid bites and serious diseases (including rabies and plague).
- swim in fresh water, including Lake Malawi. Salt water is usually safer.

What You Need To Bring with You:

- Long-sleeved shirt and long pants to wear while outside whenever possible, to prevent illnesses carried by insects (e.g., malaria, dengue, filariasis, leishmaniasis, and onchocerciasis).
- Insect repellent containing DEET (diethylmethyltoluamide), in 30percent-35percent strength for adults and 6percent-10percent for children.
- Over-the-counter antidiarrheal medicine to take if you have diarrhea.
- Iodine tablets and water filters to purify water if bottled water is not available. See Do's above for more detailed information about water filters.
- Sunblock, sunglasses, hat.
- Prescription medications: make sure you have enough to last during your trip, as well as a copy of the prescription(s).

After You Return Home:
- If you have visited an area where there is risk for malaria, continue taking your malaria medication weekly for 4 weeks after you leave the area.
- If you become ill after your trip-even as long as a year after you return-tell your doctor where you have traveled and what medications you took.


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