South Africa

South Africa has not always been facing a bright future. Torn by racial segregation and facing increasing violence during Apartheid, the Southernmost African nation managed miraculously to become the democratic multi-ethnic society it is today. South Africa’s natural beauty is stunning. Endless steppes, vast savannas, splendid mountains, arid deserts, white sand beaches… The country displays an incredible array of gorgeous landscapes. From giraffes to lions, hippopotamuses and even penguins, South Africa is renowned for its rich fauna. Whether you wish to visit timeless Zulu villages or vibrant modern cities, traveling is everywhere easy in South Africa, making it an extremely pleasant country to visit.

INFORMATIONS ABOUT HEALTH

We make every effort to ensure that the information posted on our website is up to date and accurate according to the latest public health recommendations; however, it is impossible for us to make changes on a daily basis.

For the most current travel health recommendations, please call our clinic as make an appointment with one of our travel health professionals.

SOUTH AFRICA – RECOMMENDED VACCINES

Hepatitis A Recommended for all travelers.
Hepatitis B Recommended for all travelers.
Causes, Symptoms & Treatment – Typhoid fever Recommended for all travelers.
Tetanus – Diphteria – Pertussis Vaccine Tetanus: In exceptional circumstances (eg, stay in a region where access to health care is limited), for a person aged 18 years or older, 1 dose of DT may be given if 5 years or more has elapsed since the last dose. Otherwise, one booster dose at the age of 50*. Pertussis (Whooping Cough):  1 dose is recommended for pregnant women, for every pregnancy, regardless of immunization history and the interval since the last dose (betwen week 26 and 32). *Only applicable for Quebec.
Measles – Rubella – Mumps Two doses recommended for all travelers born after 1970, if not previously given.
Flu – Influenza Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing or by touching infected surfaces. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine yearly. Vaccine is recommended 14 days prior to departure.
Routine vaccines (dCaT, Polio, Meningococcal, Shingles, Pneumococcal, Hepatitis B, HPV, MMR & Varicella) Recommended for all travelers
African Tick Bite Fever Presence. All travellers should protect themselves against tick bites.
Transmission, Symptoms and Prevention – Rabies For travelers at high risk of animal bites or being involved in activities with bats, dogs and other mammals. Clients who plan to visit remote areas may consider receiving this vaccine. Important to note the pre-exposure rabies vaccine is administered in 2 doses with one week interval between doses. Post-exposure vaccination is always recommended, even for those previously vaccinated.
Cholera Vaccine recommended for persons traveling to an area of active transmission. Most people do not travel to areas of active cholera transmission.
Schistosomiasis Avoid swimming in fresh water.
Turista – Traveler’s Diarrhea (ETEC) Talk to your health care professional about the risks and precautionary measures to take, as well as the Dukoral® vaccine. Important to note that the Dukoral vaccine is an oral vaccine given in 2 doses, recommended at least 2 weeks prior to departure.
Malaria Malaria is present in this country. The risk may be region specific. Prophylaxis measures to be discussed with the health care professional.
Dengue Fever, Chikungunya and/or Zika There are many illnesses that are transmitted via mosquito bites and unfortunately we do not have vaccines to protect us against most of them. It is important to inquire with your healthcare professional regarding the specific risks and the different illnesses presently in circulation.
The Yellow Fever Vaccine A proof of vaccination against yellow fever may be required upon entry in to this country. Some travellers may not be eligible to receive this vaccine. Please enquire with your health care professional regarding your specific details. It is important to note that the vaccine should be administered at least 10 days prior to your departure. For further information, please consult with the World Health Organization (WHO) website: https://www.who.int/ith/ith-country-list.pdf

RECOMMENDED MEDICATIONS

Antimalarials Recommended Malarone, Doxycycline or Mefloquine
Acetazolamide/Dexaméthasone Recommended to prevent Acute mountain sickness (AMS).
Antibiotics Traveler’s Diarrhea Azithromycin or Suprax

MEDICAL CARES

Compared to other countries in Africa, the quality level of the health care provided by South African hospitals is very good, and medical services in the country are usually reliable. But there are huge disparities between people living in big cities and rural areas regarding access to health care. Most of the hospital facilities in South Africa are located in large urban areas, as well as in tourist frequented areas. In rural places, health care facilities are almost non existent. Most of the hospitals in South Africa are private and offer very good medical care. But they are also very expensive. Public hospitals lack adequate equipment and are usually overcrowded. Note that medical fees usually have to be paid immediately in cash, even if you are covered by a travel health insurance. In case of emergency in South Africa, call 10177. But be aware that the response time can be long. Most of the pharmaceutical establishments in South Africa are well supplied. Access to medicines of high quality is easy, and basic drugs as well as specific treatments can be found in the country. But it is always safer to bring your own first aid kit when traveling to South Africa.

SECURITY ABROAD

South Africa has a very high level of crime. Crime is the primary security threat to travellers.

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CANADIAN AMBASSY

Emergency services

In case of emergency, dial:

  • police: 10111 or 10112 from a cellular telephone
  • medical assistance: 10177
  • firefighters: 10111 or 10112 from a cellular telephone

ALERTS FOR THIS COUNTRY

New high risk malaria region in South Africa – March 2017

Areas with malaria: Present along the border with Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Specifically in Vembe and Mopane district municipalities of Limpopo Province; Ehlanzeni district municipality in Mpumalanga Province; and Umknanyakude in Kwazulu-Natal Province. Present in Kruger National Park. Note: As of March 2017, new recommendations are in place for parts of Gauteng, Limpopo, and North West Provinces. See travel notice and map at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/alert/malaria-south-africa.

Estimated relative risk of malaria for US travelers: Low.

Drug resistance: Chloroquine.

Malaria species: P. falciparum 90%, P. vivax 5%, P. ovale 5%.

Recommended chemoprophylaxis: Atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine.