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There is no better place in the world to have a holiday than South Africa. For independent information, advice and facts about going on holiday to South Africa visit southafricaholiday.org.uk

South Africa Holiday:  Immunisations & vaccinations

Confirm with your doctor or nurse that your primary courses and boosters are up to date - including vaccines given to special groups because of risk exposure or complications (e.g. hepatitis B for health care workers, flu for the elderly).


Recommended vaccinations

Courses or boosters usually advised for South Africa include diphtheria; tetanus; poliomyelitis; hepatitis A, particularly if you intend to go out into the bush or on safari.
Vaccines are sometimes advised for tuberculosis or hepatitis B.
You would not normally require vaccinations for rabies, cholera, or typhoid.
There is no Yellow fever in South Africa, but if you are entering South Africa from a Yellow fever endemic area you will need a doctor's certificate.

Tetanus & Poliomyelitis

Tetanus is contracted through dirty cuts and scratches and poliomyelitis spread through contaminated food and water. They are serious infections of the nervous system.

Typhoid & Hepatitis A

These are spread through contaminated food and water. Typhoid causes septicaemia and Hepatitis A causes liver inflammation and jaundice. If you are going to a high risk area and good hygiene is impossible, you should be immunised.


This is spread through contaminated water and food. There are periodic outbreaks of cholera in the poor communities of rural northern KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, and Limpopo. Cholera is a highly contagious disease and you are advised to maintain a high level of personal hygiene and drink only bottled water if travelling in these areas.

Tuberculosis (TB)

TB is most commonly transmitted via droplet infection. The risk to you of catching TB is not high. However, if you are in a public area near someone with a very bad cough, it is advisable to move away just in case.
If you develop a bad cough several weeks or months after visiting South Africa, you should get a chest X-ray done by your doctor.


This is also spread by droplet infection through close personal contact. Vaccination is advised if close contact with locals in risk areas is likely.

Hepatitis B

This is spread through infected blood, contaminated needles and sexual intercourse, It affects the liver, causes jaundice and occasionally liver failure. Those visiting high risk areas for long periods or at social or occupational risk should be immunised.


Rabies is rare in South Africa, but is present in some wild animals. It is spread through bites or licks on broken skin from an infected animal and is always fatal.
Vaccination is only advised if you are going to high risk areas that will be remote from a reliable source of vaccine. Even if you are vaccinated, urgent medical advice should always be sought after any animal bite.


There is no vaccination for malaria (more...)
Immunisations & Vaccinations | Diarrhoea | DVT | Earache | Malaria
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