Africa is the continent from which humanity originated. The land is rich with more reptiles, birds, primates, and wildlife than nearly anywhere else in the world. In addition to its wonderful and intriguing animals, Africa is also home to a number of different insects. Some of these insects are harmless, but biting flies, tsetse flies, and mosquitoes can all spread disease.
The most common products that safari goers use are ones with a DEET base, especially when the individuals are from Europe or North America. DEET is a chemical that has been approved by the FDA for repelling insects on everyone over two months of age. However, there has been a growing body of research indicating that DEET exposure might have poor effects on health.
Some individuals opt for natural deterrents instead. Most of these have essential oil bases. They lack the same strong smell that DEET products have, but they might also not be as effective. When you go on safari, the most important thing is to wear the right clothing and protection.
Best Mosquito Repellents for African Safari
|Product||Number in Pack||Weight||Length of Protection|
Our Best Pick
|2 pack||6 ounces||8 hours|
|#2. Sawyer Products|
|2 pack||4 ounces||8 hours|
|#3. Greenerways Organic|
|3 pack||2 ounces||8 hours|
|1 pack||4 ounces||10 hours|
#1. Natrapel 12 Hour Insect Repellent
This is a two-pack of six-ounce spray cans, so you get twelve total ounces of spray for your purchase. The spray has been tested and proven to provide up to eight hours of continuous protection, with the potential to last up to twelve in low-populated buggy areas. The formula integrates a 20 percent Picaridin solution. Picaridin is an active ingredient that has been approved by the CDC as an insect repellent.
In addition to repelling mosquitoes, Picaridin can repel the ticks that carry lyme disease. You can carry the repellent on your safari and during your other travels. It’s great to use in all circumstances that may attract mosquitoes. Since each dose lasts for eight hours, you don’t need to worry about constant reapplication. Other insects repelled by the formula include black flies, gnats, chiggers, and other flies that bite.
The Eco-Spray bottle is specifically formulated to be environmentally-friendly. It’s easy to use, and the nozzle releases a light and continuous mist to allow for consistent body coverage. You can also use the spray if you’re planning to go hiking or fishing either while traveling or at home. Natrapel is ideal for use with all clothing, since it doesn’t have a potentially negative effect on synthetic fabrics.
#2. Sawyer Products Insect Repellent with 20 Percent Picaridin
Sawyer Products offers this two-pack of insect repelling lotion in four ounce bottles. The lotion is effective at repelling mosquitoes that can transmit the Zika virus and other diseases. Multiple publications have certified this insect repellent as both safe and effective.
The formula is fragrance-free and uses a 20 percent concentration of Picaridin, which has been proven better at repelling black flies and other biting flies than DEET formulas. It repels the ticks and mosquitoes that carry disease, chiggers, and other nuisance insects.
The lotion offers effective protection against ticks and mosquitoes for a maximum of fourteen hours. Meanwhile, it can repel gnats, chiggers, sand flies, and biting flies for a maximum of eight hours. It’s safe to use for every member of the family. The formula doesn’t harm the synthetic fabrics or materials that make up clothing, fishing line, backpacks, the finishes on firearms, sunglasses, or watches.
This is a good option to bring along with you when you’re traveling, especially if you’re traveling with other family members.
#3. Greenerways Organic Insect Repellent Travel Size
This insect repellent from Greenerways Organic is specifically designed to meet the majority of airline travel requirements. You can pack it with your luggage and easily bring it with you on your safari. If you’re looking for an alternative to harsh chemicals like DEET and Picaridin, this is one of the best options. It’s USDA certified organic and uses natural ingredients.
Each pack comes with three bottles that contain just two ounces of spray. The spray is helpful for pest control no matter where in the world you are. It kills insects, repels all types of mosquitoes, and can also repel black flies, ticks, chiggers, sand flies, mites, and gnats.
The organic and natural spray uses non-GMO ingredients. It has been designated safe to use on children and around pets. Unlike DEET, this spray should be safe to use for children under two months old. It doesn’t damage synthetic or organic materials including insect repellent clothing, camping gear, hunting gear, fishing rods, backpacks, or normal clothes.
The manufacturer offers no-risk free shipping and a free return policy if you aren’t satisfied.
#4. Repel Insect Repellent Sportsmen Max
This is a powerful insect repelling formula that uses DEET, which is a tried-and-true chemical repellent for mosquitoes. The concentration of the lotion is 40 percent DEET. Each bottle contains four total ounces.
Repel has long been one of the top brands in the insect repellent industry. The Sportsmen Max formula is designed for people who are going to be outdoors in very buggy conditions, making it great for your safari trip. The lotion can be easily applied and stored in your backpack.
The lotion offers a maximum of ten hours of continuing protection. You don’t have to constantly reapply it to keep insects away. The formula has been tested and proven to repel mosquitoes that carry the Zika and West Nile viruses.
Despite some health concerns regarding very young people and potential health issues due to long term exposure, DEET has been certified as a safe chemical for use for over 50 years. The CDC most highly recommends DEET-based products when repelling mosquitoes. The Repel formula can be used on children as long as they’re older than two months of age.
The Natrapel pack comes with 12 total ounces of spray, so you get more for your money than with some of the others. It can provide a maximum of eight hours of protection at once, and it’s been formulated with Picaridin. The spray is safe to use on your gear without worrying about damaging it.
If you want a bug repellent that’s sized to fit airline travel requirements, the Greenerways Organic repellent has just two ounces of fluid in every bottle. It also has organic, natural ingredients that work well as a substitute for harsh chemicals.
If you want the most tried-and-true active ingredient on the market, the Repel spray uses DEET. It may have more health risks than the organic and DEET-free options, though, and you shouldn’t use it around infants younger than two months of age.