The following immunization suggestions should be used as a guideline. This information has been prepared for adult travelers with journeys of up to 3 – 4 weeks. Arrange a schedule of injections, beginning at least two months prior to departure, so that they can be adequately spaced. All injections should be entered on your International Certificate Of Vaccination provided by the facility giving the injections, and kept with your passport while traveling. This also provides an important personal record for you to refer to when making future travel plans. Injections may cause swelling near injected site, and sometimes headache, fever or chills, lasting up to 72 hours. Warm, moist compresses or cold packs to the area, or aspirin or Tylenol may relieve symptoms. Injections do not guarantee 100 percent immunity and should not be taken as carte blanche to sample anything you wish once you’ve been immunized. Continue all precautions against contact with contaminated or suspect sources.
The following injections are either recommended or required for entry:
(Please check with your doctor and the CDC website for all of this information)
- CHOLERA: Cholera does occur in Malawi and Zambia, but medical opinions differ as to the effectiveness of the vaccine. The injection may be required for entry to Zambia, Malawi and Botswana if you are coming from an infected African country, such as Kenya. Please consult with your physician about the vaccination.
- POLIO: An oral booster, if you had the original 3 doses. Polio is not uncommon in remote parts of Africa.
- GAMMA GLOBULIN: For partial protection against hepatitis A. Should be taken as close to departure as possible, as the protection subsides after a few weeks. Strongly recommended for travel to any developing countries.
- TETANUS BOOSTER: It is easy to get a small cut, and cleanliness may be a problem. A booster is strongly recommended (effective 10 years).
- TYPHOID: The initial series of injections is 2 injections spaced 1 month apart. A single-dose booster is good for 3 years. Outbreaks of typhoid are quite rare in Southern Africa.
- YELLOW FEVER: Required for entry into Zambia, Malawi and Botswana if you are coming from other African countries such as Kenya. Single injection is good for 10 years. More In-depth information you are advised to read the Health Notices on the CDC website.
- MALARIA: All travelers to Southern Africa must take anti-malarial precautions, unless contra-indicated by your doctor. Consult your doctor as to the best form of prophylactic to take, or contact the nearest tropical disease center (CDC is excellent). If you have a persistent fever, muscle ache and headache after returning from your trip, report to your doctor the possibility of exposure to malaria. Further precautions against malaria: wear long sleeves, long pants and high-necked shirts, especially in the evenings. Thin clothing should be sprayed with repellent, especially around the elbows and ankles. Repellents can be found locally, but we recommend taking your own. Always carry cream or repellent in a zip-lock plastic sack. When sprayed or spilled, the ingredients damage many plastics such as eyeglasses or watch crystals. Wipe repellents off your hands, as they make binocular coatings and other surfaces sticky.
YOU ARE STRONGLY ADVISED TO READ MORE ABOUT MALARIA AND ALL OF THE ABOVE ON THE CDC WEBSITE. CDC IS AN EXCELLENT SOURCE OF INFORMATION BEFORE ANY TRIP.
Fitness: Although none of our Southern African trips are particularly rigorous or strenuous, they do involve some game walks and drives over rough roads. You should have a personal supply of any special medications; a small first aid kit is a good idea. Make an effort to get into good physical condition for the trip by extending your normal exercise routine.
It is important that you let your travel agent know of any medical problems, allergies etc. you may have. You should have a personal supply of any special medications, which they may need; a small first aid kit is a good idea.
Food and water: Change of diet, climate, and a number of other factors make some stomach upsets almost inevitable on most trips. As you are a seasoned traveler, you will know it is all part of the experience. While you are on safari, food is hygienically prepared to minimize gastro-intestinal problems. Your guide will give you local guidelines on what is safe to drink and eat.