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Preventing Malaria in Uganda

Avoiding Mosquito Bites and Malaria on Safari in Uganda

Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa filled with incredible tourist destination with abundant wildlife and different primate species among other attractions. Many travelers visit the country to take gorilla tours to Bwindi Forest as well s wildlife safaris to Murchison falls, Queen elizabeth and Kidepo Valley National Park. Mosquitoes are in many parts of East African countries and below are some of the preventive measures on how to avoid mosquito bites and also preventing malaria infections.

  • Anti-malaria Tablets: While on your trip, your advised to carry anti malaria drugs and its better if you see your doctor at home so that he may advise on the best malarial drugs to carry while on your trip. Malarone, Mefloquine or Lariam are some of the anti-malarial drugs however Malarone is very expensive but more effective and Mefloquine is the best to those who may have side effects.
  • Use Mosquito Repellants: you’re also recommended to come along with some excellent mosquito repellants such as Cutter, remember to check the label, its expiry date and also make sure it contains at least 20% DEET. RID is one of the best repellent from Australia because it works on both tsetse flies and mosquitoes, Remember, you should apply the spray in the evening or at night.
  • Use of mosquito Nets: Most of the accommodations in and outside national parks provide mosquito nets, therefore no need of carrying a mosquito net while on the trip. However, you may bring mosquito sprays such as Doom that may assist in repelling the mosquitoes. In most luxury accommodations, sprays such as doom are provided and its best to apply them before going for dinner. You may also use Citronella Candle, available in most supermarkets in Uganda
  • Wear Trousers and Long Sleeved Shirts in the evening and in the dark: It is well known that mosquitoes are mostly active in the night so we advise you to put on long sleeved shirts and trousers in the evening and at night along with the application of sprays and insect repellents.
  • Avoid taking Much sugar: Mosquitoes prefer people with high sugar content in their blood and they are able to smell the sweat of someone with high sugar content in blood. While on a safari, your advised to take little sugar or foods with little sugar so as to avoid mosquito bites.
  • Turn off Unnecessary lights: Most insects are attracted by light of which mosquitoes are inclusive, therefore you’re advised to switch off the unnecessary lights rather than staying on and attract more insects.
  • Avoid Using perfumes and Deodorants: One way of avoiding insects/ mosquitoes is by avoiding the use of deodorants, perfumes and after shave products because their smells attract mosquitoes. This will ensure a safe stay and also have an enjoyable adventurous safari.

300-500 million malarial cases are registered in the world per year of which it is a serious menace in Uganda. A few Ugandan residents can afford malarial preventive measures such as sleeping under mosquito nets. It is only the female mosquito (Anopheles mosquito) that sucks blood from humans and therefore transmitting malaria in Humans. Most people usually say that mosquitoes transmit HIV which is a myth because HIV cannot survive in a mosquito body.

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Driving in Uganda

Uganda has excellent large vehicle hire fleets run by local Ugandan car rental agency, great weather and plenty of stunning scenery – which combines to make self-driving a viable and enjoyable option. If you’re thinking of taking the long way round, here are a few tips to enhance your trip.

Car hire

Most car rental is represented at Uganda’s main airports and in most city centres. Vehicles may generally be picked up at one centre and dropped off at a branch in another centre, subject to a fee.

It is advisable to take out the insured car offered by the Uganda self drive, unless you have specific cover in place. All visa credit cards are accepted.

Driver’s Licenses

Any valid international driver’s licence is accepted in Uganda, provided it bears the photograph and signature of the holder and is printed or authenticated in English.

However, Uganda self drive vehicle hire may also require an international driver’s licence. It is worth confirming requirements with your travel agent or the vehicle hire company when making your booking.

This holds for additional drivers as well, who must be identified when you hire your vehicle. Remember to carry all your documentation with you when you travel as traffic officers will expect to see it if they stop you for any reason.

Keep left, belt up, think kilometres

Keep left, pass right. Uganda self drive on the left-hand side of the road, and our cars – rental cars included – are therefore right-hand drive vehicles, the gear shift being operated with the left hand). All distances, speed limits (and speedometers) are marked in kilometres.

Wearing of seat belts is compulsory. Using hand-held phones while driving is against the law – use a vehicle phone attachment or hands-free kit if you want to speak on your mobile phone.

Drinking and driving is prohibited, with a maximum allowable alcohol blood content of 0.05%. That’s roughly about one glass of wine for the average woman and perhaps one-and-a-half or two for the average or bigger man.

Speed limit

The general speed limit on Uganda’s national highways, urban freeways and other major routes is 120km/h (75mph). On secondary (rural) roads it is 100km/h (60mph). In built-up areas it is usually 60km/h (35mph), unless otherwise indicated. View the road signs. If you’re in a hire car and get a speeding fine, the Uganda self drive company will not pay the fine.

Filling up

Various types of petrol (gas) are available in Uganda. Hire cars are more likely to require unleaded petrol, but check before you set off. Fuel is sold per liter.

Uganda petrol stations are not self-help: an attendant will fill the car, ask if you’d like your oil and water and tire pressure checked, and offer to clean your windscreen – a service for which they are generally tipped around $$ 5 dollars as appreciation.

Fuel stations – or garages, as Uganda call them – are found on both the main and country roads, most of them open 24 hours a day, although some keep shorter hours. However, distances between towns (and therefore between petrol stations) are considerable in some parts of the country, so remember to check the fuel gauge before passing up the opportunity to fill up.

When it comes to paying for fuel, you can pay cash. Historically, filling stations used to be cash-only operations so petrol stations do not accept cards. Check with the attendant what payment method they accept before filling up. Petrol stations do not have on-site ATM machines.

Driving around the country

Our road infrastructure is excellent, so driving between cities and towns is a viable option – and, given the stunning scenery in many parts of the country, a highly enjoyable one.

However, Uganda is a huge country not easily traversed in a day, so plan your journeys carefully. If you’re not used to driving long distances, rather break the journey, as fatigue is a major contributing factor in motor vehicle accidents. While most national roads are tarred and in good condition, the more rural the road, the more likely it is to be pot-holed and poorly surfaced.

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Safari Planning Tips For Busy Moms Touring Uganda

Ahhh, celebrating or partying during your holidays!…… The Thanksgiving turkey comes out of the oven golden brown, with an enticing aroma that fills the entire house. All the party members are in their best moods,  relaxing in pristine condition and not a single piece in the set is missing on your Uganda Safari! The family is gathered for holiday pictures, the children are poised perfectly; hands to themselves, not a hair out of place and their smiles are shining brightly for the camera. Then just as the photographer is about to capture the shot… you wake up!

Let’s be realistic ladies

Without proper planning, the holidays are anything but a holiday. Just look at the list of things that need to be done: Shopping, cooking, cleaning, decorating, sending holiday mail, the list goes on and on.

Let me clue you all in on a few key questions that you should ask yourself in order to have a holiday season free of stress and worry, and instead filled with fun and laughter:

What types of holiday celebrations do you want?

For example: Do you want to have an immediate family vacation only holiday affair or an extravaganza including immediate and extended family plus a few friends? Once you’ve thought everything through and decided on the type of holiday gathering you would like, you can then start making your plans.

In Uganda, there are various holiday types that include gorilla safaris, game viewing trips – best adventures for young children, cultural tours, chimpanzee watching and zoo tours at the Uganda Wildlife Education Center in Entebbe, one of the best towns to stay in Uganda duding your holiday!

If you are ready to get a head start on organizing yourself, your family and your holiday check lists, then keep reading:

Holiday Cards:

Start early! I use a holiday card list that I derive from saving names and addresses from holiday cards my family has received in past years. I created a simple, computerized list that is easy to edit and print onto address labels. Be sure to stock up on stamps so that when you have your cards signed, stuffed and addressed you can affix a stamp to them and make one, simple trip to the Post Office.

Holiday Gifts:

There’s nothing like getting a HUGE credit card bill in the mail at the start of the New Year. Many of us tend to want to be generous when shopping for holiday gifts. While your generosity will be appreciated at gift giving time, keep in mind that it is very easy to succumb to “impulse buying” and go all out on your holiday shopping. While your intentions may be good, your pocketbook may be singing a different song. Set a budget and stick to it – your bank account will thank you for it after the start of the New Year.

Wrap it up:

Wrap your gifts and place nametags on them immediately after you bring them home, then store the gifts in a secure spot. This will cut down on those late night wrapping sessions that I am sure we ALL have experienced a few times, if not every year.

Baking & cooking:

If you will be cooking during the holidays, it is important to plan your meals ahead of time. Be sure to stock up ahead of time on all the necessary non-perishable baking ingredients such as flour, sugar and spices. Create a list of your holiday menus and a list of the ingredients you will need to prepare each of those meals. Also, try to think of a few dishes that can be prepared ahead of time and then frozen as an extra timesaving measure

Delegate:

This is one of my favorite tips. Be sure to enlist the help of your family or friends. Sit down and discuss what needs to be done then ask for volunteers. If no hands are raised, simply assign small tasks to each of them. Whether it is arranging for a babysitter so that you can escape for a child free day of shopping, passing the shopping list onto another family member or friend so that they can pick up the items for you, or letting the children decorate your home. Be sure to get the whole family involved in the holiday preparations so that you will not be overwhelmed.

Enjoy:

Whatever you decide to do, remember to relax and enjoy yourself. You and your family will have much fonder memories of this holiday season if you are not spending it pulling your hair out.