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sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
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Old 17 Nov 2005
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Mosquitoes and locusts?

It seems that roads in Africa (especially the sub saharan part) are awful, so I am considering to buy a motorbike to travel there.
I want to ask you, what do you do about locusts, mosquitoes and tse-tse flies when riding a motorbike?
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Old 17 Nov 2005
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Keep the visir closed ;-) and watch out for larger swarms of locusts. Pretty smudgy business.
Took occasinally anti malaria stuff and lots of bug repellants. Never thought about the tse-tse fly yet. Hmmm, guess I was either lucky or there aren't as many.
Only when we pause to wonder
do we go beyond the limits of our little lives.
(Rod McKuen)
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Old 17 Nov 2005
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Thank you.
Of course will I keep the visir closed, but I am concerned about if those nasty insects bite through the clothes?
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Old 15 Dec 2005
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Mosquitos will be your main concern, as they carry Malaria.
Malarone though it is expensive is a must in my mind, skip Larium and Chloroquine.
30% deet bug reppelent is a must especially at dawn and dusk.
You can get bit through your clothes.
But if there wasnt any risk involved we would just all stay home.
I recently met a german doctor in Cameroon and he explained that the Tse Tse fly is not a major concern and counts for very few casualities.
As far as locusts,I dont know anything except there big and creepy.
Good luck
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Old 16 Dec 2005
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Thank you slim161,
so mosquitoes can bite through the motorbike's special clothes?
I hope I would be able to afford taking Lariam, because a friend of mine after taking it only 1 time didn't wanted to see it again! (He felt terribly after taking it) Malarone here in Spain is 56 euros for 12 tablets (days) and you can buy it (unoficially) without prescription (still).
Do you know how does Lariam affect the driving skills on one's? Does he start driving with 250km/h (150mi/h) ?

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Old 16 Dec 2005
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Larium affects a very small percentage of people badly. Basically it can have an adverse psychological reaction-depression etc etc. If this happens just stop taking it. Malerone has fewer side effects plus you don't (from memory) have to take it before your trip and after you get back but is far more expensive than any of the other anti-malerials.

Regards Q
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Old 20 Dec 2005
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Back to tsetse flies ... they're bad biters and they carry sleeping sickness so their bites are bad news, too. I'm told they bite like a big horsefly and that they can bite through jeans, but that may be folklore. that said, they bite cows and cows wear one-piece leathers.

the only tsetse areas that I found were in western Zimbabwe in 2003. there, they have/had road blocks where they check you/your vehicle and catch the suckers in nets.

I heard lots of stories of them chasing moving stuff and "distractor" flags at the side of the road etc, but I couldn't figure what to believe so I just covered up and kept glancing down at my arms and legs to see if anything was settling in for dinner.
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Old 21 Dec 2005
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Yes, according to what I have read on the net, tsetse flies are a big trouble in east and central Africa (Congo, Uganda), but are they a problem in western Africa? Have you heard the people there mention them?
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Old 27 Dec 2005
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Tse-Tse is not a problem in West Africa - and even in Central Africa it's not that big a problem. I live now alreay quite a while here in Congo-Brazzaville and I can tell you that tse-tse flies have not been a problem... there's other problems ;-)

As to malaria, that's another story - after all it still is the biggest killer. On the other hand, I have had it now 5 times during the past 12 months and I'm still alive - most important is try not to get bitten (not always easy), take prophylaxis (although nothing works 100%), but most important, if you feel you are developing a fever, IMMEDIATELY try to see a doctor or take anti-malaria drugs (not the same as your prophylaxis though) to prevent it getting bad. If you treat it quickly it will probably be limited to feeling a couple of days really bad (sort of like being run over by a bus).

But no matter what, don't let that scare you away...

happy travelling

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