I took two trips to the local hospital on my trip to Tanzania, learning the “how to stay healthy in Africa” lesson the hard way…
Visiting Africa is life-changing and one of the most incredible travel experiences I have been lucky enough to experience. However, as with any destination, it's important to be mindful of health, particularly when it comes to food and water.
Here are some of my top tips to help you avoid getting sick and ensure your African adventure is memorable for all the right reasons…
1. Drink Bottled or Purified Water
In most parts of Africa, tap water isn't safe for drinking. Always opt for bottled water and check that the seal is unbroken. This rule applies to brushing your teeth and avoiding ice in drinks too.
2. Eat Cooked Foods
Consuming well-cooked food is one of the safest ways to avoid foodborne illnesses. Avoid raw or undercooked meats and seafood, as they can contain harmful bacteria.
3. Wash Fruits and Vegetables
If you're eating fresh fruits or vegetables, wash them thoroughly in purified water, or better yet, peel them yourself. Avoid salads and cut fruits sold by street vendors as you cannot ascertain the water used for washing them.
4. Wash Hands Frequently
Frequent handwashing with soap and clean water is crucial. Carry hand sanitizer for times when water isn't readily available. Also, be mindful of the cleanliness of the places where you eat.
5. Listen to Local Advice
Locals can be your best resource. They know which restaurants are safe and which water sources are reliable. Don’t hesitate to ask for advice, and if locals avoid a particular food stall or water source, you should too.
Experiencing the culinary world in Africa can be a highlight of your trip. By following these simple tips, you can enjoy the local cuisine without the worry of getting sick. Remember, taking precautions with food and water is key to ensuring a healthy and enjoyable travel experience in Africa.