How To Stay Healthy On Holiday
Whether you are travelling to Africa as a backpacker, a volunteer or just going on holiday, it is important to ensure you are protected against the diseases that are common on the continent. Many of the treatments you will need, including anti-malaria tablets or pills and a basic first aid kit, are easily available from chemists like Lloyds Pharmacy – however, some treatments need to be started well in advance of your trip, so it pays to plan ahead and do your research before setting off.
Africa has a somewhat notorious reputation for diseases, but in reality, it is no more risky than travelling to any other exotic location – you just need to take sensible precautions, and see through some of the myths that surround the continent. Courtesy of About.com, here are some of the preconceived notions about Africa that travellers will soon find are false:
Africa Is A Country
Africa is in fact 54 different countries, all of which have their own unique identities, cuisine, musical heritage and culture. The continent of Africa is home to more than a billion people and 2,000 different languages.
Africa Is Unstable
There are enormous regions of Africa where the vast majority of countries are peaceful, friendly and very welcoming to tourists.
Africa Has More Than Its Share of Illness
Nobody would recommend heading to Africa without the proper vaccinations and antibiotics, but the same is true of any tropical region. Doctors and hospitals can be hard to get to in rural locations, however, so it is always advisable to keep a first aid kit nearby.
African Politicians Are Not Reliable
Again, this is a case of what makes the news being considered the universal truth! Zambia recently held free elections that resulted in a change of leadership, and the recent Tunisian revolution demonstrated that the tide is turning against corrupt leaders.
What Remains Of African History?
The pyramids of Egypt, the great mosques of Tunisia and the rock churches of Ethiopia attest to Africa’s long and fascinating history. Travellers can visit the medinas that were central to the Islamic Golden Age, or go even further back with caving expeditions that show evidence of 20,000-year-old cultures.
Africa Has Dangerous Animals
There are certainly more beasts to be wary of in Africa than there are in the UK, but the majority of them live in reservations and national parks – some of which are bigger than European countries.
Africa Has Not Developed
In fact, having fewer resources means many Africans are more technologically-savvy than the average European. Cars assembled entirely from scrap, by people without engineering degrees, are a common sight in cities and villages.
It’s Too Hot!
While West Africa usually has sweltering heat all year round, the rest of the continent regularly experiences frost and snowfall depending on the time of year.
Africa Needs Help
Western charities have certainly done a lot of good in Africa, but its people have made the biggest changes themselves. More fair trade agreements would make a more positive difference than aid money, which can end up in the wrong hands.
Africans Can Dance
You only have to visit Africa to witness the huge part music and dancing plays in everyday life! It’s true – dance and rhythm are part of life.