Luangwa Valley Zambia

Common Medical Concerns

Health

Whilst we are in no way qualified to give medical advice, what follows here are a few tips and guidelines.

Medical insurance and preferably insurance that includes air evacuation should be regarded as a prerequisite for any safari holiday.

You are strongly advised to consult your doctor prior to travel and get accurate and up-to-date advice on inoculation requirements and anti-malarial precautions.

Innoculations

Inoculations generally advised for Zambia include diphtheria, tetanus, polio, hepatitis A and typhoid. Inoculations sometimes advised include tuberculosis, hepatitis B, rabies, meningococcal meningitis and cholera. If you've travelled from another country where yellow fever occurs then you may be asked to produce an International Certificate of Vaccination when entering Zambia. This however is not usually enforced.

All Norman Carr Safaris camps have basic first aid facilities and staff on hand who have some form of training but it should be stressed that our camp staff are not trained or equipped to deal with serious medical situations.

Malaria

Caused by a mosquito borne parasite and endemic in Zambia.  There are many myths about malaria and most people you speak to will have an opinion.  One can contract malaria at any time of the year and in virtually any area of Zambia.  The best precautions are physical barriers in the early evenings and at night.  Long trousers and sleeves with a liberal application of repellent will usually do the trick but we strongly urge malaria prophylactic.

The incubation period for the malarial parasite is 12 - 14 days so the time to watch for symptoms is often after you return home.  It is important to get treatment very quickly if you've contracted malaria so if you develop flu-like symptoms you should have a quick and simple blood test without delay.

It is important to consult your doctor prior to your safari; they will prescribe a course of prophylactics. Currently the most popular and effective are Malarone or Doxycycline. Larium also works well but can cause side effects. It is not uncommon to have a slightly upset tummy when taking prophylactics. Tell your doctor that Zambia is chloroquin resistant.

Tsetse Flies

Occur in parts of Zambia where NCS operate its camps. In the South Luangwa they are seen as more of an irritant than a serious threat to health (they have a sharp sting when they bite and can be quite itchy).

Sunburn

The African sun can be very strong and sunburn can occur through clouds and even a light T-shirt. A bad sunburn can spoil your safari so be sensible, use cream and wear a hat.

Doctor – there is a doctor in the valley available for call out in emergency. The call out fee is $180. This fee goes towards funding a full time doctor at the local clinic.

Medical Conditions

Please notify us of any medical condition you may have prior to your arrival. This includes any allergies e.g. bee stings, nuts, shell fish etc.

Dietry Requirements

If you have specific dietary requirements please let us know before you arrive as we can then accommodate most reasonable requests for alternate dietary needs.

Dehydration

In a mild form can be fairly common in the hotter months, it is not dangerous so long as you recognize the symptoms and react accordingly – symptoms are headache, upset tummy and fatigue.  The key is to keep body fluids up by drinking plenty of water and keep your salt and sugar intake up.  If nausea or vomiting result then medical attention should be sought.  All Norman Carr Safaris camps carry supplies of rehydration salts. It’s advisable to drink AT LEAST 2 LITRES OF FLUIDS PER DAY.

Diarrhoea

A common problem when travelling anywhere in Africa. You will find that standards of hygiene in all Norman Carr Safaris camps are very high but it is not uncommon for individuals to react to a change in diet or water.  The best bet is to be sensible about what you eat and drink and bring suitable medication just in case.