Overland Info:Health & Safety

Below is a rough guideline to the health risks that occur in Africa. Please note that this is a guideline and if you are in doubt about anything, please contact the local authorities or tourism office in that specific country.

Malaria and Yellow Fever Vaccinations

Malaria and Yellow Fever are the two most common health risks that travellers are faced with when travelling throughout Africa. The seasons during which these health hazards are prominent may vary. It would be best to check with local tourism offices when the high risk seasons are.

To prevent against Malaria travellers should seek medical advice before travelling about what dosage of anti-malaria tablets to take and also the required vaccinations. To prevent against Yellow Fever you will need a vaccination before travelling. Make sure that you have adequate health insurance and vaccination certificates upon arrival in countries that require them.

Malaria is a serious disease, prevalent in most African countries. The most effective medication is avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Cover up (wear long sleeved shirts and trousers) at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are at their most active. Make sure you put plenty of insect repellent, which contains a relatively high percentage of DEET, on any uncovered areas (ankles!).

Your travel centre/Doctor will be able to tell you which malaria medication to take and for how long.

Regional Health Risks

The information below has been extracted from the World Health Organisation website.

BOTSWANA

  • Malaria: Exists from November to May/June in the northern parts of the country: Boteti, Chobe, Ngamiland, Okavango, Tutume districts/subdistricts.
  • Recommended medication: Mefloquine

KENYA

  • Yellow fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers over 1 year of age coming from infected areas.
  • Malaria: Malaria risk - predominantly due to P. falciparum - exists throughout the year in the whole country. There is normally little risk in the city of Nairobi and in the highlands (above 2500 m) of Central, Eastern, Nyanza, Rift Valley and Western provinces.
  • Recommended medication: Mefloquine

MALAWI

  • Yellow fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers coming from infected areas.
  • Malaria: Malaria risk - predominantly due to P. falciparum - exists throughout the year in the whole country.
  • Recommended medication: Mefloquine

MOZAMBIQUE

  • Yellow fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers over 1 year of age coming from infected areas.
  • Malaria: Malaria risk - predominantly due to P. falciparum - exists throughout the year in the whole country.
  • Recommended medication: Mefloquine

NAMIBIA

  • Yellow fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers coming from infected areas - or who were in transit through infected areas (unless they remained on board or at the airport).
  • Malaria: From November to May/June in the northern regions and in Omaheke and Otjozondjupa. Also throughout the year along the Kavango and Kunene rivers.
  • Recommended medication: Chloroquine plus Proguanil

SOUTH AFRICA

  • Yellow fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers over 1 year of age coming from infected areas
  • Malaria: Exists in northern Mpumalanga (including the Kruger National Park), Northern Province and north-eastern KwaZulu-Natal as far south as the Tugela river.
  • Recommended medication: Mefloquine

TANZANIA

  • Yellow fever: A vaccination certificate is required when travelling to Tanzania. Yellow Fever is common in the more remote areas of Tanzania.
  • Malaria: Occurs year round in all parts of Tanzania and it is recommended befre you travel to get the required dosage of malaria medication.
  • Recommended medication: Mefloquine

UGANDA

  • Yellow fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers over 1 year of age coming from endemic areas.
  • Malaria: Malaria risk - predominantly due to P. falciparum - exists throughout the year in the whole country including the main towns of Fort Portal, Jinja, Kampala, Mbale and parts of Kigezi. Resistance to chloroquine and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine reported.
  • Recommended medication: Mefloquine

ZAMBIA

  • Yellow fever: No vaccination requirements for any international traveller.
  • Malaria: Malaria risk - predominantly due to P. falciparum - exists throughout the year in the whole country. Resistance to chloroquine and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine reported.
  • Recommended medication: Mefloquine

ZIMBABWE

  • Yellow fever: A vaccination certificate is required from travellers coming from infected areas.
  • Malaria: Exists from November through June in areas below 1200m and throughout the year in the Zambezi valley.
  • Recommended medication: Mefloquine

OTHER HEALTH RISKS IN AFRICA:

  • Typhoid: A vaccination against it is advisable if staying in Africa for more than a few weeks.
  • Rabies: Injection is advisable for those who are travelling Africa for more than 3 months and who are cycling, hiking and handling animals. Pre-travel rabies injection involves having 3 injections over 28 days before arriving in the country.
  • Malaria: Occurs in most African countries, but see above for a more detailed description about where it occurs and the seasons in which it is rife. One would take anti malaria tablets before travelling to the infected areas.
  • Hepatitis A and B: Travellers who are considering long term travel should consider obtaining the series of hepatitis b injections.
  • Meningococcal meningitis: Zambia and Malawi are areas that are affected by this, if extending your stay in these areas it is advisable to have the innoculation which protects against many forms of it.
  • Diptheria and Tetnus: Vaccinations for this are recommended as a preventative measure for everyone.