Working With Animals in Africa - The Essential Kit

So, you've decided you want to enjoy an extended holiday or gap year working with animals in Africa. Great idea! Not only will you have the time of your life, but you'll also be helping some of the most endangered animals on the continent. But before you jet off to your destination to begin your experience working with animals, you must prepare properly. Here is an essential kit to pack before you go.

Medical Jabs & Pills

Africa is a beautiful continent, but you will be exposed to a whole range of diseases that you would not be at risk from back home. For that reason you need to take precautions and get the appropriate vaccines and medications before you go. Each area of Africa will vary in the exact vaccinations that you will require, so be sure to visit your doctor before your trip to find out what you need. Some of the most common vaccinations are yellow fever, rabies (which is especially important if you are working with animals), hepatitis A and B and typhoid. Also make sure you are up to date with your polio, tetanus and diphtheria jabs. Most of Sub-Saharan Africa is affected by malaria, so if you are heading to any country in this region then make sure you take the pills recommended by your doctor to stay protected.

Appropriate Clothing

If you're going to be working with animals you should really take appropriate clothing. That means nothing that is too delicate; although some nicer clothes to relax in during the evening will be a good idea. Light green and brown colours reflect the powerful sun and also help you to get closer to the animals without being seen, so try to make sure your travel wardrobe consists of lots of these colours. To protect yourself from mosquitoes, it's a good idea to take a few long-sleeved t-shirts that won't be too hot but will help you to avoid getting bitten in the evenings.

In addition to appropriate clothing, also include:

• Comfy Shoes or Boots - you'll be walking around all day so you want to ensure your feet don't get tired. Also, if you are using boots then remember to break them in before you start working with animals in Africa.
• Sunglasses - the sun will be very bright out on the African plains so protect your eyes.
• Sunhat - take a wide-brimmed hat to keep your face protected.
• Sun Cream - absolutely essential if you want to avoid sunburn.
• Insect repellent - protect yourself from mosquitoes and other nasty bugs with insect repellent, especially at dusk.

Travel insurance

The most important thing that you will need to take if you are working with animals in Africa is appropriate travel insurance. You should check whether your travel insurance covers you for everything you plan to do whilst you are away, especially if you are planning on taking part in any unusual activities because standard travel insurance may not be enough.

Enjoy Your Adventure

Working with animals in Africa will provide you with a real adventure and memories that will last a lifetime. Make sure you pack all the right equipment and you are sure to have a fantastic time.

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