South Africa - Health

The Great Karoo area is malaria free. If you plan to visit other regions, however, please read the following.

The Malaria risk in the northeastern parts of Limpopo Province, eastern Mpumalanga and northern Kwazulu Natal is high ( F. Falciparum strain).

Consult any chemist (drugstore) for details of prophylactic medication.

For a more comprehensive discussion of health requirements, the following website is recommended:

http://www.cdc.gov/travel/safrica.htm. In summer the malaria risk is higher but visitors to the northern areas of the country are recommended to take preventative measures throughout the year.

The Mpumalanga Lowveld, Kruger National Park and Zululand in Natal, are all malarial areas. If you should go into these areas, it is probably best to leave as little as possible of the body exposed when the mosquitoes are active after sunset. You are advised to use mosquito nets and vapour repellents too.

Rabies is present, although not common, and if you are bitten by an animal you must seek medical assistance immediately. Vaccination against rabies is unnecessary for most visitors, but would be wise for those who travel for extended periods, or stay in rural areas.

Unless you are specifically told by authorities that the water is safe to drink, bilharzia can still be found in most of the malaria invested areas where there are lakes, lagoons, dams and stagnant water. Don't drink just any water and be careful about swimming in such places.

In towns and cities the tap water is safe to drink but it is best to drink bottled water in rural areas. The Cape Provinces are generally safer.

An emergency kit is a must if you're going to stay and spend some time on foot in rural areas. There are scorpions, snakes and spiders, but if you leave them undisturbed, they usually shy away from you. Don't turn over rocks. It is best to wear long pants and boots to prevent possible bites, when out in the veld.

Check yourself for ticks at the end of an outing.

No immunization is needed when entering the country except when entering it within six days after leaving a yellow-fever infected area.

Visit the SATOUR, or British Airways sites to ensure the most up to date information on health requirements.