Latest update: - Authors: Mieke Croughs, Ula Maniewski-Kelner

Animals usually avoid people, but can attack if they feel threatened or are ill or injured. Animals will also approach you if they are used to human contact or if they want something, for example food or drinks.

Animal bites can cause severe skin infections or rabies infection. Touching animals can also cause severe diseases.


Keep your distance

Stay away from unknown animals

  • Don't touch them.
  • Don't feed them.
  • Don't pet them.
  • Make sure they can't lick you.
  • Make sure their saliva doesn't get into your eyes or mouth.
  • If animals want your food or drink, give it to them.
  • Do not touch dead animals.


Avoid areas, such as caves, where bats may be present.

Camels and dromedaries

Avoid contact with (products of) camels and dromedaries in countries where MERS  is present.


Avoid markets and other places with poultry in countries with a risk of bird flu.


Avoid places that are contaminated with animal or rodent faeces or urine, to prevent infection with hantavirus or leptospirosis.

Your pet

Ensure that any pets travelling with you do not come into contact with local animals.

Also refer to: scorpions and snakes.


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