Countdown to Africa – Preparation

I knew when we planned a trip to South Africa that additional safety precautions would be required.   We scheduled an appointment with the doctor for whatever inoculations we would need.  Once there, we got Hepatitis A shots and prescriptions for live vaccine for typhus and a prophylaxis for malaria.

I am a mosquito magnet.  No, really.  If there is one mosquito in the county, it zeroes in on me, finds me, and sucks my blood.  So, needless to say, I’m paranoid about malaria.  Plus, the medicine causes sun sensitivity and we’ll be closer to the equator so I have concerns about serious sunburn as well.

After some research on the internet, I bought two products.  The first is Sun Guard, made by Rit, the dye people.  It washes in 30 SPF sun protection to your clothing when added to your laundry.  I couldn’t find it locally so I ordered it online and washed all my clothes in it.  It supposedly lasts through eight washings.  The second product is Permethrin Insect Repellent.  It’s a spray to use on your clothing (it won’t work on your body) and can be used on tents and other outdoor gear to repel mosquitoes.  So, if you’re a big camper, fisherman, or other outdoor enthusiast and a mosquito magnet like me, this might be a product for you.  I found it locally at Walmart.  You must use it liberally to ensure effectiveness but it’s extracted from chrysanthemums so it should be relatively non toxic.

My clothing is now doubly treated and ready to go.  I have, however, packed topical sunscreen and mosquito repellent, too.

Tomorrow I’ll share some information about South Africa.

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2 thoughts on “Countdown to Africa – Preparation

  1. Kathy Nunez

    When Mike went to Africa five years ago, he had to take malaria tablets leading up to the trip and the first days during. Guess that is a thing of the past….
    Have a wonderful time! Love the blog.

    • Kathy, there are several different options for malaria. The one we chose is Doxycycline. We start taking it 2 days before we enter the area, daily the entire time we’re there, and for 4 weeks after we leave. There were pros and cons to each but I’ve taken this drug in the past for acne so it seemed fairly safe.

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