One of the questions we’re often asked by guests travelling to our houseboats, is how to protect themselves from mosquito and bug bites. It’s essential to know that before you travel, the Chobe River is in a malaria area.
Here’s our top bug bite tips to protect yourself and your family:
- Visit your healthcare provider before you travel
The best time to see a travel medicine specialist or a doctor is at least 4 – 6 weeks before your trip. We suggest you ask for recommendations about malaria prevention medication to avoid contracting the disease. Recommendations depend on many factors that are specific to each person which is why it’s important to provide your doctor with as much information as possible regarding where, when and how long you’ll be travelling.
- Wear insect repellent
As a guest of the Zambezi Queen Collection, we’ll provide you with mosquito repellent which must be reapplied every few hours. Whether you’re game viewing, fishing or birding, you’ll need to wear sunscreen if you’re exploring the Chobe River. It’s important to know that you must apply sunscreen first and insect repellent second directly to the skin. Do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing.
- Cover up!
Cover up exposed areas by wearing long sleeves, long pants and skirts. Just remember that the Chobe area can reach high temperatures so make sure that your clothes are comfortable and breathable. Look for features like fast-drying, mesh and zips for ventilation, and SPF protection. Treating clothes with repellents containing permethrin or DEET will give extra protection, since mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing.
- Travelling with children
We suggest you always follow instructions when applying insect repellent to children. If your baby is younger than 2 months, do not use insect repellent. Rather dress them in clothing that covers their arms and legs or cover their crib, stroller and baby carrier with mosquito netting. Insect repellents may irritate the eyes and mouth, so avoid applying repellent to your children’s hands.
- After you’ve returned from your travels
If you develop a fever, headache, muscle or joint pain you must visit your healthcare provider immediately. Always tell your doctor about any international travel you have done, even if it’s several months after returning from your travels.