Your Health in Africa

Don’t believe the scaremongering. Africa is safe to visit and much healthier than people give it credit. The media doesn’t think so and they love to bad-mouth Africa when opportunity arises.

For example, remember Ebola? The outbreak was confined to three small West African countries, which are closer to Spain and Brazil than they are to Tanzania and South Africa.

This is the world’s second largest continent and you shouldn’t be put off by the bad news that Western media like to report.

Like any trip away from home it is important to consider a few basics. As always, consult with your physician or doctor for more personal advice.

Medication for existing conditions – There’s a good chance that medication found in pharmacies will be different from home. So stock up on all your prescribed medication before traveling.

Malaria – Most visitors to Africa may want to take anti-malarial medication (NB: Beware of side effects, especially with Lariam or Malarone). Malaria is a risk across East Africa, including Zambia and Malawi.

It’s mostly been wiped off Southern Africa although some risk persists in wilderness areas, notably the far north of Kruger and parts of Botswana. This excellent website has an up to date malaria map for every country in Africa.

Yellow Fever – There’s very little chance you will catch yellow fever. However, if you visit any country where yellow fever is prevalent you must have a vaccination.

That means you must be vaccinated for yellow fever when traveling to Kenya, Uganda or Ethiopia. In the last five years Tanzania and Zambia have become completely free of yellow fever.

Vaccinations – Always check with your own physician or doctor before traveling. However, for a trip anywhere in Africa it’s typically recommended to have inoculations for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, tetanus, typhoid and diphtheria.

Use the NHS fit for travel website for a more detailed overview based on the countries you are visiting.

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