HOW CAN I AVOID TICKS AND BITING INSECTS ON MY WALKING SAFARI?

YOU ASKED

I am afraid of getting bites from ticks and other insects on my walking safari in Africa in summer. How can i avoid ticks?


ANNE HUYSMAN REPLIES

Ticks are common in the African savannas - the very place that feature prominently in most African walking safaris.

Ticks transmitting diseases e.g. the Lyme disease which affect people who spend a lot of time out doors.

Ticks can't fly or jump, their mode of movement is by crawling. When on walking safaris, you will be exposed to ticks as most safaris take place in game ranches or national parks where the ticks have plenty of hosts in the wildlife animals but they will attach themselves to human being or livestock animals passing in the fields.

The best protection against ticks is: If possible avoid long grass and walk on the trekked trail. Dress in long pants, have ankle length walking boots, long socks and double it all up by tucking your trousers in your socks or boots. The idea is to leave no entry points for the ticks.

Avoid sitting on bare grass during picnic lunches - spreading out a blanket is a safer bet as you reduce the contact points with ticks.

While you may use insect repellent, the ticks have a high tolerance on most available repellents so precaution remains the best method.

Every day at the end of your walking safari, go over your clothes and body checking out for any tick/s that are are already trying to embed themselves your body. That scratchy itch could be the red flag that despite your best precautions you have ticks.

Finally make sure that the set of clothing, boots, socks that you used on the walking safari does not mix up with your fresh clothes and above all do not lay on your bed in the clothes you have been walking out in.

Anne Huysman
Ontdek Kenya Safaris