safariBwana newsletter






Hunting in Africa - Hunting in Zambia - Health and Travel



Hunting Basics



Hunting Regions



What to hunt in Zambia



Types of Safari



Insider Tips



Useful contacts



Zambia - Health and Travel tips

Your major health concerns when traveling to and hunting in Zambia are the things that you cannot see or feel. Sure the Black Mamba is your worst nightmare yet most of the time they fear you instead and clear off. A charging Buffalo you can at least shoot or climb a tree BUT with things like Malaria, hepatitis and TB, you cannot be too careful.

Of course you need to be on Malaria preventatives and these days there are better drugs on the market than the most talked about one, Lariam. Seriously, most US clinics and doctors recommend Lariam because it is believed to be the only drug that is effective against all strains of the Malaria virus and it is cheaper. While this may be true it also the one that causes the most adverse reactions in people, especially when out of their comfort zone. People have had to cancel their safaris to Africa sometimes because of the side effects. If you can avoid using Lariam do so it is worth it.

Bilharzia - is prevalent throughout Africa and the general rule is do not expose yourself to untreated water anywhere in the country. Bilharzia is however easily treated and does not pose an immediate threat to personal health. This does not mean you should shy away from all water sources, your PH may think you are really soft when you refuse to wade across the crocodile infested river!


For travel to northern and western Zambia it is said you are required to have a Yellow Fever vaccination however the health desk at the airport arrivals is non existent as is the disease. Save yourself the money and the painful shoulder and have other shots done instead - get immunizations for Hepatitis-A, Tetanus and Typhoid, just plain common sense ones.

It is quite easy to pick up ticks when walking in long grass especially early on in the season. The regular sized cattle ticks are OK, at least you can see them, it is the small 'pepper' sized ticks that could transfer tick bite fever. Make sure you check yourself ALL OVER (!) when you bath each night as they are tiny and very difficult to see. DEET on your clothes and legs usually does the trick.

Nobody likes snakes, they have been symbols of evil and danger throughout history and in Africa it is no different. Most snakes, if found are killed without even considering if they are dangerous or not. Zambia has its fair share of snakes and many people are bitten each year mainly through their own ignorance. Of the 131 snake species which occur in southern Africa, 14 can cause death if they bite you and a further 18 carry venom which can lead to serious complications. HOWEVER it is very rare to ever be confronted by a dangerous snake let alone see one while you are hunting.

Pack these items for your trip: your own regular medication, malaria prophylactics,  tick repellent (DEET), mosquito repellent creams and sprays, sun block and sunburn cream, diahhorea tablets, plaster for blisters and sore feet, general pain killers, antacid, anti-histamines, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic tablets (e.g. Phenergan). Eye-drops are useful in the dry season. If you do carry prescribed medicines, it is advisable to bring a copy of your doctor's prescription for the drug.

Medical facilities in Zambia are very limited, especially out where you will be hunting. Government facilities in rural areas are inadequate at the best of times and safari operators generally cannot handle major medical emergencies. As with any travels to Africa, it is important to check your own medical insurance policies and purchase medical evacuation coverage. Also remember that your insurance coverage will most likely not apply and that you'll need to pay cash for most medical treatment and then claim from your insurer on your return home. MEDICAL EVACUATION COVERAGE IS A MUST FOR ANY OF AFRICA'S HUNTING COUNTRIES!



Leopard Bite

When a Leopard get slightly annoyed this is likely to happen!

Things that bite

You'll see spiders, scorpions, centipedes, snakes and all sorts of crawly mean looking bugs but for the most part they look mean but then that's what they want - to scare you.

Beware of large snakes - that is, longer than 3 feet, especially if they have a hood, are black or look like a rattlesnake!

Take care in your tent / chalet for scorpions and centipedes, they love to creep in where it's protected and warm - like your bed!

Luangwa valley Oxbow lake


Useful Links: Hunting Destinations - African Species guide - Hunting Gear Guide - African Advice and News - Recommended Suppliers

safaribwana llc, suite #16J, 5250 Cherry Creek S. Drv., Denver, CO, 80246 - email - tel: +720-277 1920