Medical Concerns | African Safari

Health Requirements and Information for Southern Africa

Because requirements change from time to time, it is strongly suggested that you check with your local immunization clinic, public health facility or personal physician to find out what immunizations are required and/or suggested for your overseas journey. In addition to your physician, a good source of health information for travelers is the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (the “CDC”) in Atlanta, which operates a 24-hour recorded “International Travelers’ Hotline.” You can access the “Hotline” by phoning toll-free to 888-232-3228. Information can be mailed or faxed to you. You can also access the same information on the CDC website at

There are no specific vaccination requirements for North American visitors. Malaria prophylaxis is strongly recommended when visiting Mpumalanga and Northern KwaZulu Natal.

If you are arriving in (or planning to re-enter) South Africa from an area infected with yellow fever or a country where yellow fever is endemic (such as Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, or Zaire), you are required to have a yellow fever vaccination. This vaccination must be administered at least (10) days before your arrival (or re-entry) into South Africa. If your travel itinerary requires you to have a yellow fever vaccination, you must ask your doctor to provide you with an “International Certificate of Vaccination,” which should be carried with you at all times while traveling to serve as proof that you have fulfilled the vaccination requirement. If proof of vaccination is required and you do not carry it with you, you may be denied entry into South Africa.

Visitors should bring their own prescription drugs for personal conditions. South Africa is one of the few countries in Africa where you can drink the water in major cities and eat salads or unpeeled fresh fruits and assume Western sanitation standards are followed.

Do not swim in any lake or river in South Africa. Many are infested with a parasite called bilharzia, which if left untreated, can eventually lead to death. There are also crocodiles in certain areas.

It is suggested that you bring insect repellent (preferably containing 100% DEET). For the fierce sun, a good sun screen is recommended, as well as a wide-brim hat.