It is advisable to consult a travel health practitioner at least two weeks before
visiting any country.
The Department of Health of the Government of South Africa abides by World Health Organization (WHO) International Health
Apart from yellow fever vaccination, there are NO other
compulsory vaccines for travelers to South Africa.
is a microscopic organism found in rivers,
streams, pools and dams (both stagnant and flowing) in the northern and
eastern areas of the country.
Visitors are advised not to swim in
unchlorinated pools, dams or rivers in these areas. Any water for
consumption other than from a tap should be boiled beforehand. There is
no immunization against Bilharzia and symptoms may only present months
or years after exposure
Medical services are readily available in South Africa and are sophisticated
and safe for visitors to use. Blood is carefully screened before use.
Doctors are listed by their surnames, under Medical, in the telephone
Major hotels have an arrangement with doctors and dentists to
treat guests when needed.
Hospitals are listed under “H” in all telephone directories and indicated with“H” on maps.
There is a high incidence of HIV/AIDS in South Africa. It is mainly
transmitted through sexual intercourse and every precaution needs to be
taken to have safe sex.
Condoms are readily available from pharmacies,
hospitals, clinics and supermarkets. Medical facilities, including injections
and blood transfusions are sophisticated and safe; blood is carefully
screened before use.
Tick Bite Fever
African tick bite fever is a febrile disease transmitted by ticks that have fed
on infected dogs, cattle or game.
The same measures to avoid mosquito
bites need to be taken to avoid or minimise the risk of tick bites in rural and
game watching areas.
The disease masquerades as a severe flu but is
often accompanied by an eschar (tick bite with a scab/necrotic skin), skin
rash and or enlarged lymphnodes.
It is very rarely fatal, but is very
dangerous to the very young, very old and debilitated persons. It is
effectively treated with specific antibiotics. There is no vaccine available
Vaccination is not a
statutory requirement in South Africa.
South African tap water is safe to
drink, except where indicated otherwise.
Yellow Fever - Endemic Countries
A valid Yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from ALL travellers
over one year of age entering South Africa within six days of leaving a
country listed as “Yellow Fever- Endemic” by the WHO.
Visitors who come
from, travel through, or disembark in these areas, are advised to be
inoculated against yellow fever at least ten days before visiting South Africa.
Yellow fever does not occur in South Africa and the above measures are
intended to protect the South African community from the disease being
Yellow fever is a viral disease that is transmitted from infected to
susceptible people by a mosquito. Yellow fever is endemic to West, Central
and East Africa, as well as South America.
Most medicines are obtainable at pharmacies, and emergency pharmacies
are open at night. Visitors are, however, advised to bring any supplies of
specialised medicines they may need, with them.
Should visitors carry any
prescription medicine on them, it would be best to bring along a letter of
authorisation from a doctor, since some medicines might be
mistaken for illegal drugs.
There is no national health scheme and visitors are advised to take out
medical travel insurance for the duration of their stay.
Malaria Symptoms - The incubation period for malaria can be as short as seven days or as long
as several months.
The majority of P. falciparum-malaria patients develop symptoms and signs
within two weeks from being bitten by an infected mosquito.
Any flu-like illness: Headache, fever, rigors, malaise, muscle or joint pain
and even diarrhoea. SHOULD BE CONSIDERED TO BE MALARIA UNTIL
Diagnosis & Treatment
Any person returning from a malaria area, who develops the abovementioned symptoms, should consult a doctor preferably familiar with
tropical diseases immediately.
Blood tests MUST be done to determine whether the parasite is present.
Treatment must start immediately, and a blood smear must be carried out,
but please remember: One negative smear does not exclude malaria.
Smears must be repeated until malaria or another disease is diagnosed.
Malaria attacks can occur up to six months after leaving a malaria area.
* In all the risk areas, visitors should take precautionary measures to
prevent mosquito bites at all times
* Remain indoors between dusk and dawn, if possible
* Wear long-sleeved clothing, long trousers and socks when outside at
* use a DEET containing insect repellent on exposed skin and reapply
every four hours
*Sleep in a room / tent with mosquito screening in good condition and /or
* Burn mosquito coils / mats in the bedroom
* Sleep under an insect-repellent mosquito net
Cape Town Day trips
Johannesburg Day Trips
Durban Day Trips
Malaria is transmitted to humans by the bite of
an infected mosquito. Once inside humans, the parasites move to the liver
where they develop. After maturing, they move back into the bloodstream
where they invade and multiply inside the red blood cells. The infected red
blood cells burst, releasing the parasites back into the bloodstream where
the whole process starts again.
A malaria risk, predominantly in the malignant form caused by P.
falciparum, exists in certain low-veld regions of the country, namely parts of
Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the Maputoland coast part of KwaZulu-Natal.
Certain areas in the neighbouring countries of Zimbabwe, Mozambique,
Swaziland and Botswana are also malaria areas.
The warmer months from
October to May are the highest risk periods.
SA has an extensive antimalaria programme that has reduced the incidence of malaria by some 81
percent in two years.
Chloroquine resistance occurs and chloroquine on its own is no longer
considered effective. Please consult a travel health consultant, doctor or a
pharmacist regarding the recommended preventative medication and
adhere to the instructions for taking the medication, otherwise it will not be
effective. Malaria prophylaxis should be commenced prior to entering the
area, for the duration of your stay and for up to four weeks afterwards