While packing for a great safari adventure in Africa, the biggest hindrance to your enjoyment can often be the pesky bug bites.
There is so much to see and do while on a once in a lifetime African Safari exploration, and you don’t want to waste any time miserably scratching away at insect bites. Worse, throughout Africa, a big concern can be malaria that can be easily given to you by what you might think is a harmless mosquito bite.
No matter where you are on your adventure, you want to be sure that you’re as protected as you can be with repellants and other bug-bite protection methods.
Where To Buy Insect Repellant?
Though most pharmacies and travel clinics stock many highly recommended bug repellent products, there aren’t travel clinics in every city, and if you’re looking for a specific repellent, you may not find them at your local clinic.
Thankfully, there are other easy methods to quickly get the repellant you need before leaving for your trip. One of these ways is through Amazon, which often has better or 2-in-1 pricing and faster delivery than other companies.
Hypothetically, upon landing in Africa, you could also find some repellant there. However, to avoid spending hours of your trip searching through shops and pharmacies before your Safari, buying online is often easier.
Additionally, ordering from home can help with the potential problem of unfamiliar brands or trouble locating the repellent in a new and unfamiliar place.
What Is DEET?
Deet is a true repellent and is used by applying to skin or clothing.
It’s strongly recommended that when you are going on a Safari, that you get a repellent that is 100% or as close to 100% DEET as you can get. Any “non-DEET” product isn’t even worth considering when travelling to a Safari.
However, when using a DEET product, you need to be careful as it is a very aggressive product that loves to eat through plastic and ruin every human-made fibre. Additionally, you shouldn’t use a DEET repellent when you’re wearing perfume or cologne.
You should really only need to apply something as strong as 100% DEET once in a day, but if you’re staying out in high insect times like dusk or dawn, you should jump down to 50% formulas.
DEET protects you without killing the insect, despite how aggressive it is. Testing does insist that DEET-based products are safe and effective, so long as you use them exactly as the instructions say.
When To Apply Insect Repellant
I’ve personally found it’s best to apply insect repellant on a morning, afternoon and evening. The frequency however is likely to depend on the exact repellant you’re using as some are longer lasting than others.
Especially when on Safari I try and ensure I’m always covered with insect repellant as we’re often sleeping in treetops or on the plains. Even if you’re staying in a nearby hotel there is going to be some insects, and while it’s unlikely to be as many as when out in the open on safari it’s still enough that you’ll want to ensure you’re protected.
How To Apply Insect Repellant
Depending on the insect repellant you purchase you’ll want to apply it in different ways. I’ve personally found a spray to be the easiest to apply as you can simply spray the can to the areas of your body and work all over your body until you’ve applied the repellant everywhere.
Alternatively, you could opt for a cream although I’ve found these can be a hassle to apply especially when you’re reapplying when out on Safari or having lunch etc. Just be sure with a cream you allow it enough time to dry before then applying suncream.
The two most important things to remember when applying insect repellant is that you apply it thoroughly to all areas of the body and reapply as and when required to ensure you’re constantly protected.
Best Products For Insect Repellant
I’ve tried and tested a number of different insect repellants that I’ve found online or in pharmacies both at home and abroad when travelling. Here are some of my favourites.
Repel 100 Insect Repellent
Though Repel isn’t 100% DEET, it comes pretty close with 98.11%. This high percentage ensures you’ll be well protected when out on your safari adventure.
One of the major benefits of Repel 100 is that it’s specifically formulated for Safari like conditions providing protection for up to ten hours without the need for re-application.
This gives you plenty of time to enjoy your day without having to worry about needing to consistently reapply.
It comes in a compact size perfect to fit in travel bags and lightweight backpacks, with an easy pump spray applicator. You can find Repel on Amazon.
Coleman 100 Max
Coleman Max can leave you worry-free for ten hours with 100% DEET in a 4oz can. Coleman Max works to help repel all kinds of bugs from ticks, mosquitoes, chiggers, gnats, fleas, and anything else you could be worried about.
Despite being 100% DEET I’ve found that the Coleman 100 Max insect repellant is relatively low- odour, so it’s ideal for taking on your Safari adventure.
Much like some of the other insect repellant sprays on this list the Coleman 100 Max comes in a spray.
I’ve found that the spray canister makes applying the insect repellant really easy – especially on kids!
Though you may be able to find it at your nearest clinic, the Coleman 100 Max can also be found easily on Amazon here.
Ben’s Insect Repellent
Another 100% DEET product that lasts for 10 to 12 hours with one application. It is made with no fillers so that it can give you the maximum protection.
Additionally, Ben’s knows that when you’re travelling, you don’t want to be smelling the harsh chemicals of bug repellent when you could be smelling the natural smells of nature.
This desire is why Ben’s made their bug repellent fragrance free and promises to let you enjoy the great outdoors without fear.
It comes in a small bottle perfect for travelling and can be found easily on Amazon.
If you need an extra bug spray or are worrying that your 100% DEET is going to wear off, it’s never advised to respray 100% DEET twice.
Care Plus is 30% DEET and can fill in any gaps if you really need a second application in the day. It’s also an environmentally friendly insect repellant, easy to apply and non-scented.
Though it won’t be as effective as 100% DEET insect repellants, it is still powerful and long-lasting and can fill in any gaps when you’re out on Safari.
It comes in a small 100ml pump spray and can be purchased from Amazon individually or in a 2-pack.