Mombasa info pleasee :)
Replies: 15 - Last Post: Feb 1, 2013 11:26 AM Last Post By: murrayad
Dec 20, 2012 1:50 PM
Mombasa info pleasee :)Okay, so ive signed up to do 6 months volunteering in june 2014 in mombasa and to be honest i could do with a little more info from anybody that has been before. My main concern is the high risk of malaria, did anybody have any issues with this and if so is the help thats available adequate? Also , how much do malaria tablets cost from the UK? Since im going for 6 months i reckon this is going to be quite pricy :/. Right weather! What weather will i expect from the beginning of july until the middle of december? Just so i know how to pack! .. Any info will be much appreciated ! Thank you :)
Dec 20, 2012 4:18 PM
1Yes; it will be pricey - due to the greedy middlemen who take advantage of the generous and the vulnerable, with no real benefit to the intended recipient on the ground. May I politely suggest you think about splitting your goals into two distinct ones: (1) Take a proper holiday and (2) Make a donation to a reputable charity.
Dec 20, 2012 8:42 PM
2And by the way, malarone is not cheaper in country. Thecost is outrageos in Kenya, over $1 .50 per pill, and in short supply.
Dec 20, 2012 9:42 PM
3You call that outrageous, but that's the cheapest price I've ever seen quoted anywhere for Malarone. Are you sure?
Just so that I'm adding something of potential value here, let me point out that there are several cheaper anti-malarials. You need to consult a travel specialist anyway, since there are health considerations besides malaria. Ask about the alternatives to Malarone, for example, and ask about trying whichever one you choose in advance of leaving just in case you don't like the side effects. One (doxycycline) is quite cheap.
Hope that's helpful.
Dec 21, 2012 12:01 AM
Dec 21, 2012 10:19 AM
5As a rough idea of UK prices, for our 6 week trip a year ago we paid £5 for doxycycline (no prescription required) and £31.80, including a £10 private prescription charge, for lariam.
Malarone will set you back about £2.50 per pill.
But don't just buy the cheapest, as it may not agree with you - you do need the advice of your doctor or travel clinic. My bloke can't use doxy, he gets a bad skin reaction with it.
As for clothing, pack for hot and humid.
Dec 21, 2012 10:54 AM
Dec 22, 2012 3:36 AM
You should talk to your doctor or a travel nurse to see whether the available, effective prophylactics are compatible with your medical history. There are three that are effective in sub-saharan Africa:
Malarone is not approved for extended use by the UK authorities, it is only approved for use up to one month although US authorities have approved it for extended use. It is expensive, it is available in Kenya in Pharmacies in tourist areas,(For example the Nyali Nakumatt one referred to above has it but it is actually one of the most expensive pharmacies around, it costs just over 2,000/- for 12 there, around £1.25 tablet)
Doxycycline, you can take doxycycline for long periods and it is cheap, you can get it from 5/- a tablet at local chemists in Kenya. It has the added advantage that it is an antibiotic that helps treat and prevent stomach bugs (it is a treatment for cholera among other things).
Lariam, the third effective prophylactic is Lariam (Mefloquine) many doctors are reluctant to prescribe it these days because it can have mental health side-effects, so it is never prescribed to anyone with a medical history of depression or even a tendency to melancholy. It is readily available in Kenya, as it is also used to treat the symptoms of malaria, and is cheap.
If you want to know more about anti-malarials have a read of the UK Health Protection Agencies Guidelines on Malaria Prevention here
As for the weather because it is close to the equator the weather doesn't vary greatly throughout the year, sunrise and sunset only vary by about half an hour through the year, and the temperature only varies by a few degrees. It very rarely dips below 22º at any time and it is rare for the temperature indoors to ever go below 25º. Kenya has two rainy seasons the Long Rains usually late March / early April to late May / early June, and the Short Rains in October, November and early December. The weather at the Coast is dominated by two monsoons. In March and April the South East Monsoon winds start blowing which bring in streams of air from the Indian Ocean which can bring heavy rains. During May, June, July and August, the SE Monsoon is dominant and the weather is more stable with a bit more cloud and comparatively cooler temperatures. Around October / November, the North East Monsoon which is comparatively dry gradually re-establishes itself and by December it is dominant once again. It then gradually gets hotter through to March ready for the next switch. At the coast we get the rainy seasons when the Monsoons are switching. Even in rainy season it doesn't rain every day, or all day, it tends to be very localised torrential showers, many of which are overnight.
As far as packing is concerned just pack summer gear, I spend the whole year in sandals, shorts, tee / polo shirt, there's no point in catering for the rain, its too hot and humid when its raining to wear wet weather gear and the showers are so torrential that you just take cover, You can buy big umbrellas cheap here if you do need to go out in the rain. If you are volunteering in a rural area where it might get muddy in rainy times some boots might be a good idea
Edited by: Doffcocker
Dec 22, 2012 4:50 AM
Dec 22, 2012 6:55 AM
Jan 30, 2013 7:35 PM
10Hey, volunteered in Kenya and been three times. Diani Beach is close to Mombasa and is the touristy spot, very beautiful. Mombasa itself is a very interesting city. It can be very humid but there is a big muslim population so don't bring all revealing clothes (short shorts and tiny tanktops), better to bring tshirts and knee length shorts and skirts!
Malaria wise, I took pills my first trip and they are expensive! After that trip, I never took them again. If you did come down with malaria, treatment is very cheap and it is basically the worst flu you can imagine for 3-5 days if treated properly. If money is a big issue, don't worry about the pills. Take a mos. net, and some bug spray and you should be good. Funny note, I did come down with malaria once and it was during the trip I took malaria pills. The pills can also give you upset stomach, awful nightmares, crazy sleeping patterns. So you have to outway the pros and cons!
Remember to get the vaccines, especially yellow fever.
Like I said, pack some conservative clothes but also it can be insanely hot/humid in the day so light fabric! Bring a light rain jacket and maybe one light sweater but other then that all hot weather clothing!
Jan 30, 2013 10:51 PM
11Sorry murrayad, that is not good advice you recommend getting a vaccine for yellow fever when there is virtually no chance of contracting it, even the ultra cautious WHO no longer recommends the vaccination for the coastal area, it now says
"There is a low potential for exposure to yellow fever in the North Eastern province, the states of Kilifi, Kwale, Lamu, Malindi, and Tana river in Coastal province, and the cities of Nairobi and Mombasa."
Vaccination is now not normally recommended if you are only visiting these areas.'
And you do not recommend malarial prophylactics when there is a very real risk of contracting the disease, "If you did come down with malaria, treatment is very cheap and it is basically the worst flu you can imagine for 3-5 days if treated properly' It can kill you or effect you for the rest of your life, at least 6 people I have known have died of it in my 6 years involvement with Mombasa. Prophylactics do not have to be expensive, you can buy doxycycline locally for 5/- a tablet, it can be taken for long periods of time and it is also helps with stomach bugs as it also kills many potential stomach bugs.
Jan 30, 2013 11:06 PM
12Yellow fever vaccination is heavy stuff. Small parts of the inner sides of my eyes turned yellow after a yellow fever vaccination. I needed 15 years that the yellow disappears again.
I didn't expect the yellow at the inner sides of the eyes ever to disappear again.
My body is in pretty good shape. And I live healty. Good sleep, good food, sports etc. So my immune system does work. And got the Charles Atlas seal of Approval. Otherwise I would never have gotten rid of the yellow party in the eyes again.
Yellow fever vaccination = heavy stuff for the body.
Jan 31, 2013 3:30 PM
13Yes but yellow fever vaccine is needed to enter Kenya. No matter how little of a chance there is of contracting it, you still need the vaccine to enter Kenya!!
Yes, there is a very real risk of coming down with malaria, I have known dozens of other travellers who have gotten it in Kenya too. All of which were awfully sick but feeling better by the end of the week, including myself. I was giving my honest opinion, whenever I return to Kenya I do not take malaria tabs.
Jan 31, 2013 10:24 PM
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