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kittykat23uk

Do you drink the local water?

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Just wondering,

 

Who here drinks the local water when on safari? Coming from the uk we are usually advised against drinking the local water/ice in drinks, and eating salad. So would be interested when you are outside your home country, where do you feel it is safe to drink the local water, where would you not do this? :)

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Not in Zanzibar!!

 

But the water in the delta couldn't be cleaner if you tried.

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Namibia is usually safe as well. Certainly in all the main camps.

 

Don't drink it in Tanzania or Kenya. Agree about Zanzibar. I think Zambia is out as well. Not been to Botswana yet. Uganda I wouldn't when I get to go.

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Not in Zanzibar!!

 

But the water in the delta couldn't be cleaner if you tried.

@ I had a wash in the Khwai river not so long ago. :P

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Posted (edited)

Water in Bots and Zim should be fine ,not sure for European and USA tourists though.I don't do water so never bothers me.

 

I never get thirsty even on very hot days,except when the sun goes down. :lol:

Edited by A&M

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Generally in safari camps, I'll drink whatever water they give me- it may be purified water from their borehole or bottled water. I don't worry about ice or salads. I think those sorts of places don't want sick guests on their hands, so they're not going to give you anything bad.

 

If elsewhere, eg in cities, I'm more careful. I'd drink tapwater in South Africa, and I think I've had tap water in Maun. I usually drink beer or wine so ice isn't an issue, but I don't panic and fish the ice cubes out if someone gives me ice in a soft drink.

 

I've never been overly paranoid in Africa and the one and only time I've been violently ill from anything food/water related was on my first trip ever, in 1994, and I think that was down to some poor refridgeration of food on the overland truck.

 

This is sub saharan Africa- I think I'd be careful in Egypt, for example.

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Safari camps - I see more and more treated water being given and thats fine (preferable) with me

 

mobiles & drives - is still bottled water as a default and only choice usually

 

cities- I usually ask for tap water at restaurants but if its not treated, my concern is not diaorrhoea, cholera, typhoid or any other water borne diseases as much as lead and other metals presence in the water through the storage tank, so if I can ask if the tap water is treated, then its fine.

 

You have to know that with the world changing, its not the same old issues with water, but probably newer issues in the form of toxic metals etc. Over the course of a 2-3 week holiday, it should not matter much. I have a very strong stomach to most things and need/drink very little water so not very picky about things.

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PS- In HK, when the guys come to fix the water treatment unit, they run an experiment in front of you, comparing two glasses of water- one treated and one straight from the tank and the coloration change due to ionisation of metal present in untreated water, has quite a dramatic effect.

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PS: In India - the water is very dodgy (Sad state of affairs) .......

 

In Bots, SA I think the water is as pure as you can get anywhere in the world? Kenya/Tanzania I would drink the bottled water and would have no problems eating salads while on safari.

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Generally in safari camps, I'll drink whatever water they give me- it may be purified water from their borehole or bottled water. I don't worry about ice or salads. I think those sorts of places don't want sick guests on their hands, so they're not going to give you anything bad.

 

If elsewhere, eg in cities, I'm more careful. I'd drink tapwater in South Africa, and I think I've had tap water in Maun. I usually drink beer or wine so ice isn't an issue, but I don't panic and fish the ice cubes out if someone gives me ice in a soft drink.

 

I've never been overly paranoid in Africa and the one and only time I've been violently ill from anything food/water related was on my first trip ever, in 1994, and I think that was down to some poor refridgeration of food on the overland truck.

 

This is sub saharan Africa- I think I'd be careful in Egypt, for example.

 

I was in Egypt for work many years ago - very brief trip ......... the pomegranates were amazing. Food (don't think I ate anything memorable as I don't have any memory right now).

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Posted (edited)

PS: New studies of bottled water (in plastic) left in a hot vehicle is meant to be extremely toxic........... stay safe while on safari!!!!

Edited by madaboutcheetah

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I take advice from where I am staying, normally the water is ok it comes from treated bores, I have used it and have no problems

 

I have been told that you might find it salty , well I did not . Perhaps people who used salt with their food would do so , but I did not and have not used salt since 1987.

 

sometimes there is bottled water in the rooms for a good reason and in some of those places you can give them a water bottle to fill with ok to drink water, to avoid the environmental impact of bottled water.

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I have not had problems eating salads either.

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I drank tap water in S Africa, Namibia and Botswana with no problems. My guide advised me to stay away from it in Zambia though.

 

I strongly object to the bottled water industry in countries like Britain and Australia. Tap water is perfectly safe to drink yet we're pumping out billions of plastic bottles every year.

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Posted (edited)

@@Csaba I likewise object to the bottled water industry on environmental grounds, it is also very expensive. I wonder how much people end up spending when you look at how much of it is in their supermarket trolly. the local water is ok on health grounds, and when very occasional if have had bottled water it tastes just the same.

Edited by COSMIC RHINO

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Some perspective:

I was born in and grew up in Zambia, while living there I drank tap water all the time ... as well as river water when I had occasion to fall in them. I didn't get sick and I even survived.

My family immigrated to Australia where I continue to drink tap water and continue to survive.

On a trip back to Zambia in 2004 I ate from the buffet breakfast in the overnight hotel in Joburg and had the runs for the next 5 days.

In 2010 I had a mildly upset stomach in a camp in South Luangwa.

In 2011 I had no issues what so ever in Zambia.

In every country there are micro-organisms in food and water, the only issue is whether YOUR body has built up a resistance to them at the time.

I have had bad reactions to food/water in Italy, Mauritius the US and even in Australia...

... Shit happens... just some times a lot more frequently than we would like :wacko:

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... imodium... never leave home without it.

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... imodium... never leave home without it.

 

 

Hallelujah

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that medication is available on prescription now in australia in pharmacies and supermarkets.

 

when I went to get some the pharmacy offered me a generic brand with exactly the same amount of the active component, at a substantial discount.

 

some people migrate awy from Hong Kong and their attitude to water goes with them. I work with someone from HK , and asked her what is this only drinking hot water about ? well HK water is not the best.

 

someone from Shangahi does the same drinks hit water only

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Yep, before being offered bottle water I had always drunk the local water and never had a health issue from it. Admittedly that has nearly always been at remote camps, concessions and National Parks far away from human populace. But after reading the Bilharzia post maybe I shouldn't have....

 

As with many things in life it is all about risk. I remember one client at a Sth Luangwa camp that would not drink anything other than Coke. I considered that more of a health risk than drinking the local water.

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I live in Nairobi and only drink bottled water. I do the same on all my safaris no matter where they are to. I've only drunk tap water in South Africa.

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For me, bottled water all the way for drinking.

 

I once did an analysis of water stored in a tank, supplied from a borehole, at Archer's Post, Samburu and found it contained e.Coli and Fecal coliforms. :huh: The locals have built up such a resistance to all manner of bacteria that we can't compete with!

 

 

In Nairobi I always used a potable water supplier for my home drinking water, the dispenser comes as part of the deal. I do brush my teeth in tap water though, eat salads - Kachumbari - how can I resist, and take the occasional bit of ice.

 

I've had terrible food poisoning in Mombasa but never on safari up country funnily enough. Just remember to wash your hands 'every time' before you handle food and especially after you handle money!!! It's hidden in the most peculiar places by people to deter thieves from finding it.

 

Although on occasions I do think that the water supply get's the blame when the cause is something else entirely, why take the risk when you can remove it entirely for not a lot of extra cost. ;)

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Yep.

 

Out of the Zambezi, a few hours in the sun and then boiled.

 

Much to my astonishment no obvious after-effects to date.

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@@Whyone?

 

Why ' a few hours in the sun' before boiling it? - Does this not increase the numbers of bacteria or does the light have a positive impact on the water? or is it just about allowing any sediment to settle?

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No particular reason other than, as you say Linda, it lets the majority of the sediment settle to the bottom of the collection drums.

 

To be fair, the majority of the water we collect from the river gets used for washing & showering, cooking and tea / coffee.

 

Zambezi water is jolly 'soft' and its quite a job washing soap off because of this.

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