The UK has many excellent hospitals and clinics which are able to provide vaccinations for those travelling to South Africa. It is advisable to check with your GP or practice nurse which vaccinations they recommend and when is the best time to have them. The National Health Service (NHS) website also has a useful travel health section.
There are no mandatory vaccinations required for entry into South Africa, however, it is recommended that you are up to date with your routine vaccinations such as measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) and diphtheria, tetanus and polio.
There are some vaccinations which are recommended depending on which parts of South Africa you intend to visit and what activities you will be undertaking. These include hepatitis A and B, yellow fever and rabies. If you are planning to visit rural areas or go on safari, it is also recommended that you are vaccinated against meningitis, as there have been outbreaks of this disease in certain parts of the country.
Malaria is present in all parts of South Africa, except for the cities of Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth, and so it is advisable to take precautions against this disease if you are visiting any other areas. This includes using insect repellent, wearing long-sleeved shirts and trousers in the evenings and sleeping under a mosquito net. If you are visiting a high-risk area, you may also need to take antimalarial medication.
If you are travelling with children, it is important to ensure that they are up to date with their routine vaccinations. The MMR vaccine is given in two doses, with the second dose being given before the child starts school. It is also recommended that children have a booster dose of the diphtheria, tetanus and polio vaccine before they travel.
There are a number of travel clinics in the UK which can provide advice on vaccinations and other health matters for those travelling to South Africa. These include the Nomad Travel Clinic and MASTA (Medical Advisory Service for Travellers Abroad).
Yes, you will need to be vaccinated for a number of diseases before travelling to South Africa from the UK. These include yellow fever, hepatitis A and B, and meningococcal disease. You may also need to have vaccinations for rabies and cholera, depending on your itinerary. Make sure you visit your GP or travel clinic at least eight weeks before you travel to ensure you have enough time to get all the necessary vaccinations.