Staying Healthy While Travelling to Africa

Travelling in Senegal: Top 10 Sights in Dakar

Staying Healthy While Travelling to Africa

Africa is the hottest continent and the second largest in terms of size and population in the world. Around 60% land in the continent is desert, which is why the northern half of the continent has hot and arid weather conditions.

Jonny Blair playing football with kids in Africa

Playing football with kids near Banana Lodge, The Gambia

The continent is also known for its tropical diseases such as malaria, cholera etc., and there are several kinds of infections that a traveler might be at risk to. Therefore, it is essential that you keep yourself from harm’s way by avoiding unhygienic food, drinking contaminated water and carrying medicines with you when you travel to African.

Touring Swaziland

Here’s how you can stay healthy in Africa:

Get Vaccinated Before You Leave For Africa

Africa has a severe water problem. Around 80% of diseases that spread in Africa are due to drinking contaminated water which contains many bacteria and viruses. The most common types of diseases that you can get in Africa are typhoid, cholera, malaria etc. Therefore, getting vaccinations for the following diseases is a must:

  • Yellow Fever
  • Cholera
  • Polio
  • Tetanus
  • Hepatitis A and B.
  • Mumps
  • Rabies
yellow fever certificate - travel essential

My Yellow Fever Certificate – also known as International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis Against Yellow Fever

Other than this, make sure to get insurance as well, and in case you have trouble with it check out here for tips.

Put On Mosquito Repellent When You Go Out

Diseases like malaria and dengue are common in Africa. You never know when a single bite by a mosquito can take the fun out of your trip and put you in bed for a lot of days. Applying mosquito repelled can help keep the mosquitoes away. Use your bed nets too.

Mosquito Net

Only Drink Bottled Water

Tap water in Africa is not drinkable, and even contains viruses. When you are travelling to Africa make sure that you purchase and drink bottled water of a reputed water company only and drink plenty of it due to severe heat.

The hotter a place, the faster you’ll lose water from your body via sweating and perspiration. Therefore, make sure that you do not compromise on water or else you’ll catch various diseases related to stomach etc.


Be Careful About Your Diet

Food is the best part when you’re travelling. However, while you’re in Africa, you need to be extra careful about it. Always choose a restaurant that prepares fresh food and in a hygienic environment.

Avoid foods that are heavy and hard to digest such as meat etc. Eat light foods, especially fruits and vegetables.

Bathe Everyday

Bathing everyday will keep you clean and tidy and also eliminate risks of getting any skin diseases. But, make sure to use clean water for these purposes. Some parts of Africa do not have clean water for bathing, so make sure to be careful about this aspect.

waras hut shower

Shower and wash everyday


These are some of the most basic tips that can help you keep healthy and running during your travels to Africa. It is beautiful countries that is famous for its safaris, but when you go on one you open yourself to several risks. Keep these tips in mind and have fun.


Join 15,017 Monthly Readers! If you enjoyed this article and LOVE travel and SAVING money, get e-mail updates from Don’t Stop Living – a lifestyle of travel! (It’s Free) 😉 Jonny

6 thoughts on “Staying Healthy While Travelling to Africa

  • Wow, those are some really amazing pictures. Africa is a great land – it’s a shame, that it’s so poor and the war is constantly there. I hope they will get the support as soon as possible. I was voluntering in Ethiopia when I was in college, unfortunately now I can’t really go there, but I would love to if I had some free time to spend in my life soon. Cheers and keep doing what you doing!

  • Hi Carla thanks for your comment. Yes Ethiopia was a great country to visit and I always enjoy my time in Africa. I hope to go back again soon. Safe travels. Jonny

  • Hey Dr. Dawn, the question is fucking ridiculous so the answer is YES, in certain parts of Africa it is safe to drink bottled water. However the answer is also no. If you are standing next to a bomb about to explode. Safe travels. Jonny

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

CommentLuv badge