Aid Kit Is An Essential Survival Equipment for Touring in Africa
Some parts of Africa south of the Sahara desert are still unpopulated and vast distances between the often sparsely populated areas necessitates careful preparation when embarking on a tour through the African wilderness. Regardless of the choice of accommodation along the way, a breakdown between towns could lead to spending several nights in the open while waiting for help. The Aid kit essential survival equipment and enough water are a must during the journey.
Always Carry Enough Water While Driving Through Africa
Tourists to most African countries can buy bottled water at the shops along the way. Although the drinking water in the major towns could be safe to drink, tourists should budget and plan to buy purified water whenever they can. The local population is used to the chemical composition of the water and is immune against the bacteria that could lurk inside. Tourists may experience unpleasant side effects like diarrhea, stomach cramps and vomiting when consuming the local water.
Water purification tablets or a water filter will go a long way in ensuring survival of travelers stranded in the veld. The local population uses the available water sources for bathing and doing laundry as well as drinking and thus the streams and rivers are sometimes polluted. Water purifying tablets will kill most of the harmful bacteria in the water and ensure safe drinking water when buying water is not an option.
A First Aid Kit is Essential When Traveling in Africa
Apart from motor vehicle accidents, other dangers lurk in the African bush. Snake bites, scorpion stings, insect bites and general injuries while walking or living in the bush, makes a well-equipped first aid kit essential.
- A first aid kit should at least include the following items:
- Anti-histamine tablets
- Anti-bacterial ointment
- Treatment for diarrhea and nausea
- Pain tablets
- Treatment for burn wounds
Shops like Outdoor warehouse, 4×4 Mega world and Safari Center sell ready-made first aid kits of various sizes. Hikers use the smaller kits usually sealed in plastic while off-road drivers may buy a large first-aid kit that caters for more eventualities. By law, shops may not include medicine in the first-aid kits and tourists must add their own painkillers and other medication to the kit.
Use a Reliable Light Source When Touring Through Africa
Off-road drivers know that light sources using gas is not a good idea when traveling over rugged terrain. The small, delicate bags tear too easily, leaving the tourists stranded in the dark. Battery operated torches are a good alternative, but can be damaged during an accident. For emergencies, visitors to the more remote areas of Africa should use a light source that does not rely on an external power source.
An alternative in light is to use glow-sticks, which use a chemical reaction to provide light and burns for 12 hours or more. A popular choice in South Africa is Coghlan’s Lightstick, sold by Eiger Equipment in Cape Town, but most outdoor shops carry stock of these light sticks. The advantage of using these sticks is that they have a shelf life of approximately four years and they provide enough light to draw attention in rescue situations. The light sticks are not a replacement for traditional light while touring as they are expensive, but it is essential survival equipment needed.
Always Take Matches, Lighters or a Firestone on Tour in Africa
Although the days in Sub-Sahara Africa can be pleasant, the nights tend to cool down significantly. Besides keeping most of the animals at bay during the night and providing heat for warming and cooking, fires assist in drawing attention to the tourist’s position during rescue operations. Travelers through Africa should never rely on just one source to start a fire. It is difficult to start a fire with matches during strong windstorms and with only one pack of matches, a tourist may be stranded without any means to make fire.
Lighters tend to lose their gas during high summer months and may fail when in an emergency. Using a firestone is usually last on the survivors mind, but it may save a life when all other methods fail.
Touring through Africa is a unique experience, but accidents do happen and being prepared for emergencies will make any tour more memorable.