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Last updated : Nov 2009
South Africa Health
South Africa Health - TravelPuppy.com
  Special Precautions Certificate Required
Yellow Fever No A
Cholera B No
Typhoid and Polio C Not applicable
Malaria D Not applicable

A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers over 1 year of age arriving from infected areas. The South African authorities decide which African countries and the Americas are formerly classified as infected areas and endemic zones. The yellow fever vaccination certificate only becomes legitimate 10 days after immunisation.


Visitors may wish to contemplate precautions against Cholera, depending on the area in South Africa being visited, there was an outbreak in the Nkomazi area, Mpumalanga Province, which borders Mozambique in February 2004.


Vaccination against typhoid is recommended. An outbreak of typhoid arised in the town of Delmas, Mpumulanga in September 2005.


Malaria risk, mainly in the malignant falciparum form, exists throughout the year in the low altitude areas of Mpumalanga Province (including the Kruger National Park), Limpopo, and northeastern KwaZulu / Natal as far south as the Tugela River. The risk is maximum from October to May. Resistance to chloroquine and sulfadoxine - pyrimethamine has been reported.

It is strongly advised that visitors to these zones take anti - malaria tablets before entering these areas (the tablets are available from pharmacies without prescription). The suggested prophylaxis is mefloquine (World Health Organization) or chloroquine plus pyrimethamine (South African High Commission).

Food and Drink

Mains water is considered safe to drink in urban areas however may be contaminated elsewhere and sterilisation is advisable. Milk is pasteurised and dairyproducts are safe for consumption. Local meat, seafood, poultry, fruit and vegetables are generally considered safe to eat.

Health care

Medical facilities are good in urban areas, however limited elsewhere. Doctors and hospitals often necessitate immediate cash payment. Comprehensive health insurance is advised. A leaflet on health precautions is available from the South African High Commission (please see Passport / Visa Information).

Other risks

Measels has been present in the KwaZulu - Natal and Gauteng provinces. Bilharzia (schistosomiasis) is widespread in the east and north and may be present elsewhere. Please avoid swimming and paddling in fresh water, swimming pools that are well chlorinated and maintained are safe.

Hepatitis A arises and hepatitis B is hyperendemic. Dengue fever, trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), onchocerciasis (river blindness) and filariasis are present.

Rabies may also be present. For those at high risk, vaccination before arrival is recommended. If you are bitten, please seek medical advice without delay.
Useful travel links
CDC Official site of the US Centers for Disease Control
MASTA The Medical Advisory Services for Travellers
No jet lag All about jet lag. What is it and who gets it
SOS International SOS
WHO The official site of the World Health Organization