How To Avoid Insect Bites On An African Safari : Mosquitoes and other biting insects in African Safari tour can be very annoying and demoralizing, as you likely already know from personal experience. But when you encounter them while on your African safari, the danger is multiplied tenfold. The insects that live in this area of the world are a major source of malaria, one of the deadliest diseases on the planet. Therefore, before embarking on such an expedition, be sure to take some potent anti-malarial medications. However, there are a ton of additional steps you can take to safeguard yourself and your loved ones from insect bites while enjoying the outdoors. Here are some of them:
Use a good insect repellent.
When it comes to defending yourself and those closest to you from mosquitoes and other biting insects, wearing a good bug repellent is essential if you frequently go camping, hiking, fishing, or enjoying any other type of outdoor activity. Mosquitoes are attracted to the smell, heat, and chemicals that human bodies release, so creating a barrier between your body’s exposed skin and the insects is a surefire way to keep them away when you’re outside.
DEET is the active ingredient in the strongest and most potent insect repellents. If you don’t want to be exposed to this synthetic chemical, however, since some authorities claim that it is toxic to both people and the environment, you can choose from the many “natural” repellent alternatives that are currently available. The best mosquito repellents for both adults and babies contain active ingredients such as citronella, eucalyptus oil, rosemary essential oil, pyrethrins, and more. However, keep in mind that despite being environmentally friendly, they might not be as effective at repelling insects as DEET formulas, so it is up to you to decide whether the trade-off is worthwhile.
Wear the right clothes.
Putting on the appropriate clothing and covering as much of your skin as you can with it will help protect you from insect bites. Put on thick, long-sleeved clothing, tuck your pants into your (equally thick, woolen) socks, and wear long-sleeved shirts. Put on top-notch, tightly sealed shoes as well.
Watch what you eat!
Mosquitoes and other biting insects have a major sweet tooth, which you may not be aware of. Therefore, the likelihood of being stung by insects while on African safari increases as your sugar intake increases. As a result, while you are out viewing the local wildlife, try to cut back on your intake of sugary drinks and snacks. As yeast has a strong attraction to mosquitoes, limit your consumption of wheat products. Similarly, the sweet scent of deodorants, perfumes, and after-shave lotions attracts mosquitoes and other biting insects, so try to limit your use of these while on your African safari adventure.
Mosquitoes are most active between dawn and dusk, which is also when you are most vulnerable. Put a good mosquito net over your tent or hammock for protection. For added protection, you can even mist the mosquito net canopy with insect repellent.
Avoid light and flame.
Light and flame are additional factors that attract biting insects to you, so when night falls, make an effort to reduce the amount of lighting you use in and around your campsite. This is one instance where spending time outside won’t be improved by a roaring campfire!
KEY FEATURES TO LOOK FOR IN AN INSECT REPELLENT
Active ingredients: The active ingredients matter if you’re trying to find a mosquito repellent that works the best. The most effective insect repellents contain DEET, or citriodiol. They provide you with all-around protection by working to repel a variety of other insects. For safety and effectiveness, choose DEET with a DEET content of 50% or less.
Get the best brands: Top Australian insect repellent manufacturers combine all the best features for effectiveness, which is most important, with properties for safety, wearer comfort, and longevity for dependable daily wear in response to their daily realities regarding bugs. Bushman is a well-known Australian brand when it comes to DEET insect repellent, and it is our pick for DEET-type bug spray. We use Mosi-Guard Extra Natural Bug Spray, a citriodiol-based repellent, to get natural mosquito protection that works just as well as DEET.
Long-lasting protection: While it’s best to apply and reapply mosquito repellent frequently to avoid bites, you should also look for products that promise long-lasting protection and slow-release active ingredients. For instance, Bushman Ultra Insect Repellent has Time Release Technology, a feature that contributes to the product’s long-lasting high performance against mosquitoes and a variety of other biting insects. Mosi-Guard Extra Natural Mosquito Repellent offers protection for up to 10 hours.
Wearer characteristics: Insect repellents with properties tailored to outdoor environments work best. Choose a bug repellent that feels light on the skin and has a neutral or pleasant scent. The need to reapply when the going gets tough during outdoor activities is also reduced by brands that are water, sweat, and rub-resistant.
THE BEST MOSQUITO REPELLENTS FOR AFRICA
Here are the four different mosquito repellents we’ve tried and advice everyone to have them when visiting Africa:
Repel 100 Insect Repellent
Repel 100, which contains 98.11% DEET and was created especially for conditions resembling those on a safari, offers protection for up to ten hours without the need for reapplication. You will have plenty of time to enjoy your day without worrying about having to constantly reapply because of this. The bottle has an easy pump spray applicator and is compact enough to fit in travel bags and small backpacks.
Coleman 100 Max
The Coleman 100 Max insect repellent comes in a 4-ounce can and contains 100% DEET. This repellent aids in warding off ticks, mosquitoes, chiggers, gnats, and fleas, among other types of insects. Even though it contains 100% DEET, it has a relatively low odor, making it a great option for children or people with sensitive noses.
Ben’s Insect Repellent
One application of Ben’s insect repellent provides protection for up to 10 hours and contains 100% DEET. This insect repellent is also fragrance-free, making it a great choice for children or people with sensitive skin. Ben’s insect repellent is also available in a tiny bottle that is ideal for storing in a backpack while traveling.
Jungle Formula Maximum Repellent
Insect repellent Jungle Formula contains 50% DEET and 1% geraniol and offers up to 9 hours of protection. This brand, which sells the most insect repellent in the UK, offers insect repellent in roll-on, spray, and aerosol form factors.
FAQs: HOW TO AVOID INSECT BITES ON AN AFRICAN SAFARI
To help you learn more about these annoying, itchy, and infectious insects, we address some frequently asked questions about insects on African safari.
What attracts mosquitoes?
Carbon dioxide is the main attraction for mosquitoes. Sweat from physical activity or high temperatures may make a person more appealing to mosquitoes as a source of blood once they are within striking distance of a target. You may also be more or less likely to get bitten depending on other circumstances, such as where you are and what you are wearing. The likelihood of being bitten increases with the size of the mosquito populations, especially if you are near water (where mosquitoes breed) or in locations with favorable conditions for increased heat and perspiration. In these conditions, having exposed skin also makes you more vulnerable to bites while on African Safaris
What colors do mosquitoes hate?
According to some studies, mosquitoes prefer certain colors over others, particularly darker hues like black and blue. The best way to dress to avoid mosquito bites is to wear lighter hues like beige, khaki, and tan. This makes safari-themed clothing a wise choice.
What is the most effective mosquito repellent?
Either DEET-based products or the right natural bug repellent brands are the best at keeping mosquitoes away. The most effective mosquito repellent for mosquitoes and other biting insects is DEET. Since the 1940s, DEET has been used, studied, and relied upon as the most effective insect repellent. There are variations among DEET repellents, though. Look for DEET formulations that are at least 50% effective, long-lasting, and comfortable to wear. Citriodiol-based repellent, which works against mosquitoes and a variety of flying and biting insects, is the only option we have for natural bug spray.
Is DEET mosquito repellent safe?
DEET was initially created in the 1940s for use by the American Army. Since then, millions of applications have been made all over the world. Numerous studies and tests have been conducted on it, and prestigious international organizations and regulators recommend and support it as one of the best methods for protecting against insects. You get the perfect balance of a safe and efficient insect repellent in formulations containing 50% DEET or less.
What is the best natural mosquito repellent?
In Africa, during the summer and whenever we are outside, we rely on natural mosquito repellent with citriodiol as the active component. Citriodiol is a relatively new ingredient, but a number of authorities and regulatory bodies around the world have given it their seal of approval for safety and efficacy, making it a top choice for anyone looking for chemical-free and environmentally friendly bug spray alternatives.
How do I stop getting bitten by mosquitoes?
Using a reliable citriodiol-based natural mosquito repellent or a mosquito repellent with DEET is the best way to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes. Increase your defenses by donning long-sleeved insect-resistant shirts, pants, and closed-toed shoes. Using accessories like gaiters can help protect typically exposed ankles. For additional protection at night, using mosquito repellents and sleeping under a mosquito net are both excellent ideas. One of our personal strategies for preventing mosquito bites is to keep the air (and carbon dioxide) moving by using a ceiling or standing fan. Both during the day and while we sleep, we do this. We take care to regularly apply and reapply insect repellent, paying particular attention to exposed skin, feet, and ankles. In areas where mosquitoes are prevalent, having mosquito-free areas to retreat to is a huge relief. Early mosquito net removal and closed, ungauzed doors and windows are recommended.
Where can I buy insect repellent?
In most of Africa’s major cities and towns, you can find a pharmacy or travel clinic with bug-repellent products on hand. Even so, especially if you’re looking for a specific brand, we still advise buying a bottle (or two, depending on how long you’re traveling) in advance.
When to Apply Insect Repellant
As mosquitoes and other insects are most active at dawn and dusk, we advise using insect repellent every morning before going outside. If in doubt, read the directions on the product label. Nevertheless, depending on the insect repellent you buy (and how long you plan to spend outside exploring), you might wish to reapply the repellent again in the afternoon. Before going to bed, you can use an insect repellent to help shield yourself from mosquito bites.
How to Apply Insect Repellant
It’s crucial to adhere to the directions on the product label when applying insect repellent because different insect repellent products may require different application procedures. That being said, use this procedure to apply the majority of insect repellents:
Before using the repellent, wash your hands with soap and water first. Holding the can or bottle about 6 inches from your skin or clothing, spray evenly to cover all exposed skin if you’re using a spray repellent. Applying insect repellent directly to some fabrics can cause damage, so use caution when doing so on clothing.
Apply a thin layer of lotion or cream repellent to your skin, just enough to cover it without being overly thick or greasy. Try to avoid applying insect repellent to any cuts, wounds, or irritated skin, as well as anywhere near your eyes, nose, or mouth.