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I traveled to Eastern Europe 4 times with a J pouch and had no major problems.  Unless you have significant ongoing issues, you should be OK in Africa.  I found ways to deal with primitive restroom conditions, such as uncleaned ones, lack of TP, and lack of plumbing fixtures (i.e. Turkish toilets).  Enjoy your trip!

I do recall reading about somebody going to the bathroom in the African wild and getting attacked and killed by a lion. I don’t know if that person had inflammatory bowel disease or just had to go to the bathroom really bad.  The bottom line is that it’s not really like walking around in the woods in most places in the USA. 

Apart from GI diseases there is also malaria, Ebola and other diseases that are dangerous wihether you have IBD or not. 

Africa is a big, complicated place. Planning a trip to a city is different from trekking the savanna. Some trips would have plenty of access to toilets and clean water, and other styles of travel would be...rougher. We are at no greater risk of GI diseases than folks with colons. We do have to be more careful to stay hydrated, but I’d expect bottled water to be plentiful. People need toilets of some sort everywhere people live, though there are a wide variety of approaches to public toilets. Just do a little research.

I have traveled  all over the world, a lot of 2nd and 3rd world countries,   and have never had an issue with finding a bathroom.  Africa is a very well traveled country for tourism, I am confident this will not be an issue.  You will have a wonderful trip, don't let this get in the way, nor a fear of Ebola. 🤣


Last edited by suebear

I have done a lot of travel internationally with my J pouch and have not had problems, although I do worry about catching a GI bug and getting really dehydrated. I would talk to your GI doctor or a travel medicine specialist to plan for your trip: make sure you have some antibiotics to treat a GI bug. Consider chewing a pepto-bismol before each meal. I have been told the "bismuth" actually protects against some germs we may eat. If you are really concerned, avoid ice, salads, and fruits with skins. If you are worried about not having a bathroom, try to plan ahead and tell a tour guide, if you have one, that you will need to have some bathroom services (even if it is a pit latrine). I think you should not limit your exploration of the world because of your J-pouch. Safe travels!

First off, it doesn't matter where we go or how far we travel, we all have specific issues that worry us...Bathrooms, cleanliness, hydration, disease, medications...

Some of us are more susceptible than others to diseases and dehydration. Others are just as if not more resistant than the coloned people out there. 

It just depends on your physical condition before you leave and where you are headed.

I have traveled a lot and all around, with my k pouch (a whole extra set of complications...irrigation, intubation, being able to sit down...) and have a pre-prepared kit with me at all times. 

I carry a mini pharmacy with me including hand sanitizer, wipes, sterile wipes (they aren't all sterile!), antibiotics and antibiotic creams, neomedrol, various strengths of pain meds and NSAIDS, sometimes a few stronger meds like tramadol, antihistamines for allergic reactions, different sorts of bandages, ACE bandages for mild sprains, steri-strips and disinfectants for cuts, blister bandages etc

I usually only use the really unexpected stuff. 

Like breaking a tooth or popping out a filling while away. 

Or getting an abscess where I really don't want one (use the blister bandages over those, they work miracles!)

The only time that I caught a  really nasty virus that had me throwing up my guts on a 20hr flight home was in San Francisco! It lasted for 35 days. I was so dehydrated by the time that I landed in Paris that I couldn't walk off of the plane on my own.

So if you have the chance to go to Africa, Go! Just take the necessary precautions. 

And do not forget to have fun and take pictures!


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