Fritz Pölking

Russian Roulette

Aren’t you afraid of lions in Africa ? This is a question I get very often.

I am not, rather of buffalo or Hippos, which kill more people, but not really from them either.

There is a wild animal in Africa that I have much more respect for…..

How many people die on the average through wild animals per year? Well:

6 people are killed on the average through bears per year.

7 people are killed on the average through sharks per year.

20 people are killed on the average through lions or tigers per year.

1 Million people are killed per year through mosquitoes because they contract malaria.

Now there are pills and capsules in many forms and sizes with different contents that you can and should take, but which – just about all of them – do not necessarily provide protection everywhere.

  In the meantime there are regions where any form of prophylaxis does not help in any way because the sweet little mites have become completely resistant to them.

  The best safety or precaution against malaria is not to get bit by mosquitoes. So wear light-colored clothes with long sleeves, use insect repellant, do not be outside during dusk and – hang up a mosquito net over your bed.

  This is something not many seem to take serious. Every time I am in Africa and staying in a lodge or a camp site I look around and seldom do I see mosquito netting in a bedroom or tent. I guess this is taken very lightly.

  I personally have to say that I sleep so much more relaxed under a mosquito net instead of being aware of the buzzing insects all night and the subsequent slight nervousness it brings.

  It seems that a normal mosquito net is a bit problematic since there are limited to no possibilities of fastening a mosquito net on the ceiling of most rooms or tents. That is why I always have a self-supporting mosquito net with me, especially when I travel in regions where I am aware of the situation through prior visits. This way I can assess the situation easier.


  So for this specific type of situation there is a nice and practical travel tent available through a company called Longroad. This travel tent can be ordered through the internet at There are single and double versions available.

  This is, along with the prescribed doctor’s prophylaxis of the region, advisable.

  As I said: the best precaution against malaria is not to get bit by mosquitoes.

  Whereas the chances of being bit are bigger the warmer it is and the higher the humidity is and just how big the areas of stagnant water are in the region, because that is where these little darlings love to develop by the millions.

  So the chances are higher on the coast of Eastern Africa rather then in the relatively high situated Nairobi or the Masai Mara or even the Serengeti. But the chance of being bit is everywhere. That is why one should use every possibility to avoid a mosquito bite unless you are an avid fan of Russian roulette.


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