browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

The Best Insect Repellent for your Safari in Uganda

Posted by on April 20, 2021

Protecting yourself from Insect Bites of both Mosquitoes and Tsetse Flies

The Australian Product RID – The Best Insect Repellent for your Safari in Uganda

Best Insect Repellent for your SafariThe Best Insect Repellent for your Safari in Uganda. Africa is a continent with some of the best wildlife, primates, birds, reptiles, and more. Africa is also home to an abundance of bugs, flies, mosquitoes, and tsetse flies.

Bugs abound in Africa as they do in Uganda and Rwanda. We will give you some of the best ways to protect yourself and make your time on safari a most pleasant one.

You can get bitten by insects anywhere in the world, including on an African Safari. It is as Bert McCoy said, “If you stay long enough in paradise, you’re bound to get bitten by mosquitoes.”

True, unless you use effective preventative measures that work and are beyond homespun legends and myths.

Most going on a safari in Africa use a Deet-based product such as “Off” or “Cutter” insect repellents. Others resort to natural products such as citronella, soybean, rosemary, lavender, lemon, or eucalyptus-based.   Others claim that Nivea Plain Blue body lotion works wonders against biting insects.

The Insects that will bother you most on Safaris are flies, mosquitoes, and tsetse flies. Deet-based products work reasonably well on flies and mosquitoes but not on tsetse flies. 

Suppose you are looking for the right insect repellent for your time on Safari. Here you find what we think is the Best Insect Repellent for your Safari.

Making yourself less of a Target for Insects

Before we get into which insect repellent we have found to work best on a safari, we want to touch on two preventative Measures that you can take briefly. The clothing and less sugar intake make you a less desirable target for insects.

The right Clothing Protects you against Insect Bites:The Best Insect Repellent for your Safari in Uganda

On safari, especially walking and hiking safaris in savannah parks, avoid the color blue, black. They attract tsetse flies (they can bite through the thin fabric). Jeans are okay. It is the blue tops that attract tsetse flies.

At night while having dinner outside, avoid bright clothing, which attracts mosquitoes. The first line of defense against bugs is long trousers and long-sleeved shirts or tops in neutral colors.

Yes, you are in equatorial Africa, yes the sun shines, and it is summer-like in Uganda. 

Our suggestion is to look at what the Uganda Wildlife Authority Rangers who are leading you on treks and hikes are wearing. They are not wearing shorts or short-sleeved shirts. They are wearing long trousers and long-sleeved shirts to protect themselves against insects, even defense against nettles, thorny bushes, and bothersome branches.

Avoiding Sugary Drinks and Sweets makes you a less desirable target for Insects:

Insects, like most humans, love sweet things when you indulge in sweets such as soft drinks, passion fruit juice where a lot of sugar has been added, sugary coffee and teas, and of course candies of all kinds.

Be aware that most local beers have added sugar to them. Ugandans have an extraordinary taste for sweet things, and the Brewers offer what their customers want.

Which Insect Repellent do we recommend?

The Best Insect Repellent for your Safari in UgandaWe noticed our clients from Australia and New Zealand using insect repellent that seemed to be quite effective in preventing insect bites. Not only did it prevent mosquito bites but attacks from tsetse flies, gnats horseflies, ants, and other insects.

That is how we found out the Australian produced insect repellent, “RID.” It has protected Australian families from “Mozzies” since 1956. RID products have consistently come out number one in tests against other insect repellents. There is one problem if you live in Europe or North America, it is not available in stores or on Amazon.

Do not be disappointed; we do have good news. You can obtain it online from Safari Store in the UK in person or online. Besides, you can purchase it online from “Top Brands for Less” (Australia). Both stores will ship the product worldwide. (Find the online links below)

A variety of RID repellent products come in the form of sprays or creams are available and can be purchased online from the Australian online Store or the one in the UK.

RID’s Medicated Plus Antiseptic range of products seems to be top of the class. They offer the most effective insect repellent with Chamomile and Vitamin E to soothe the skin if you get stung. 

The anti-inflammatory agents of Chamomile & Vitamin E will relieve stinging, itching, and swelling caused by insect bites, nettles, and prickles. This means that if an insect does bite, RID soothes the itching and swelling, reducing the temptation to scratch the Bite. If the itch is scratched and the skin is broken, RID assists in preventing bacterial infection. There are RID Repellents for children and a Tropical Strength product that you can buy.

The reason we write about RID is that it repels both Mosquitoes and Tsetse flies. That makes it stand out above the rest if you are on a Safari. Additionally, it repels other insects that you might encounter on a safari, such as flies, gnats, ants, and even lice.

RID contains less Deet than other insect repellents. More Deet does not make it better. RID Tropical strength contains 19.5% DEET and will effectively repel insects for six hours.
Please Note: When packing any deet-based insect repellent, place it into a Ziploc bag to prevent leakage onto other items in your luggage. 

Why do we recommend RID Insect Repellent?The Best Insect Repellent for your Safari in Uganda

The answer is straightforward; it works for our clients. It has been the most effective product against insect bites for our clients. That is the bottom line.

We have no connection with the manufacturers of Rid, the Safari store, or Top Brands for less. The above was an unsolicited endorsement of the product based on its effectiveness and not on any arrangement that might financially benefit Kabiza Wilderness Safaris.

We have sent an email to RID wanting to buy a few cases for our clients. Sadly, we never heard back from them. That, however, does not take away from the effectiveness of the product.

Links to both the Safari Store and Top Brands for less can be found at the end of this article, along with further helpful articles on fighting the bite on Safari.

 Using RID Insect Repellent on SafariThe Best Insect Repellent for your Safari in Uganda

  •  How much RID Insect Repellent do I need to bring on Safari?  Up to 4-day safari: 1 x bottle per person; Up to 8-day safari: 2 x bottles per person; Up to 12-day safari: 3 x bottles per person.
  • Applying RID Insect Repellent:  Apply insect to both your skin and clothing. For your face, spray the repellent into your hands and then apply it to your skin. Please do not get it into your eyes, and follow the instructions on the bottle. For your clothing, apply it all over your trousers, shirt, hat, and shoes. Please do not use it on undergarments.
  • When should I re-apply Rid Insect Repellent? Always re-apply insect repellent after physical activities, sweating, swimming, or toweling yourself down.
  • Apply Insect Repellent Outdoors:  It is best not to spray in enclosed areas.
  • Please do not apply on open wounds or scratches:  It is safest not to apply insect repellent on open wounds.

The Best Insect Repellent for your Safari in Uganda“Everything in Africa bites, but the safari bug is worst of all.” Brian Jackman

RID Insect Repellent is effective with most insects. There is, however, one bug whose Bite it cannot and does not prevent. That is none other than the famous Safari Bug. 

The Bite of the Safari is what brings Travelers back to Africa again and again. Karen Blixen, the author of “Out of Africa,” exclaimed late in life; “If there were one more thing I could do, it would be to go on safari once again.”

Ernest Hemingway was bitten by the safari bug. “All I wanted to do was get back to Africa. We had not left it yet, but when I would wake in the night, I would lie, listening, homesick for it already.” 

We hope that you get bitten by the safari bug while in Uganda. 

Where to buy RID – the Best Insect Repellent for your Safari

The UK online Safari Store

Top Brands for less – delivers in USA – Canada and most anywhere:

Readily available in Stores in New Zealand and Australia:

Further Helpful Reading Material

The Tsetse – the creator of Uganda’s Savannah Parks

Fighting in the Bite -8-Steps in Preventing Insect bites

Avoiding Malaria:

 Staying Healthy on Safari:

Preventing Wasp Attacks on Safari: