Traveling to jungle destinations can be very exciting. Jungles contain a degree of biodiversity that can found nowhere else on earth, making the lure of the jungle almost impossible for many hardcore travelers to resist. The unique plant and animal species contained within jungles, along with the warm and moist conditions found in jungles can present some potential dangers however. But by adhering to some of the recommendations below you can help to ensure that you enjoy a happy and healthy jungle travel adventure that will be the envy of all of your friends.
1 – Before traveling to a jungle region consult with your doctor to find out what vaccinations may be recommended or required before entering the country you will be traveling to. Many times it will be recommended or required that you have your Hepatitis A and B, Rabies, Typhoid and Yellow Fever vaccinations. The MMR (Mumps/Measles/Rubella) vaccine may also be required in some countries.
2 – Don’t touch the animals. While many people travel to jungle regions to see unique animals that they cannot enjoy anywhere else in the world, it is important to remember that many of these animals have Rabies and that they can transmit Rabies to you if they bite you.
3 – Wear appropriate clothing. The jungle is full of plants and insects that can cause you hard if they come into direct contact with your skin. So consider wearing long sleeve shirts and long pants to protect your skin from these plants and insects.
4 – Wear sturdy boots and leech socks when hiking in the jungle. Most jungles have a generous compliment of blood sucking leeches that would love nothing more than to attach themselves to the warm moist exposed skin of your legs and feet.
- If you find that a leech has attached itself to you DO NOT pull the leech off. Just wait for the leech to get full at which time it will just fall off of you or you can pour salt on the leech which will cause the leech to fall off of you immediately. Pouring salt on a leech may cause it to regurgitate its stomach contents before it releases its bite. These stomach contents may contaminate the bite site causing a possible skin infection.
5 – Use a strong effective insect repellant. Insect repellants used in combination with the wearing of long pants and long sleeve shirts can protect against the insect bites that can transmit Malaria and Dengue fever.
- There currently are no vaccinations to protect against the transmission of Malaria and Dengue Fever.
- Insect repellants that contain DEET tend to be the most effective at warding off bug bites.
6 – Do not swim in water in or around jungles. Jungle water can contain a number of germs that can cause a great many diseases.