Vaccinations for South Africa

There are no compulsory vaccinations for South Africa required for travellers from Western Europe to gain entry. However, a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate could be required for travellers coming from some endemic zones in Africa and the Americas. Travellers on scheduled airlines whose flights have originated outside the areas regarded as infected (or who are only in transit through these areas) are not required to possess a certificate. If the flight originated from within a Yellow fever endemic area a certificate may then be required.

Furthermore, for the short-term traveller the recommended vaccinations for South Africa usually consist of cover against Tetanus and Diphtheria, Hepatitis A and Typhoid. For trekking holidays or extended visits Rabies and Hepatitis B may need to be considered. Most travellers to South Africa should start their vaccines at least 4 to 6 weeks before departure.

Mosquitoes are most often associated with Malaria, however it is not the only disease which the insect may carry. Insect repellents which contain more than 30% DEET are effective for keeping mosquitoes away but remember to cover your arms and legs when they are biting. This is mainly in the hours between dusk and dawn. The risk of malaria can be reduced by taking malarial prophylaxis on a regular basis if you are planning to visit the risk areas. Therefore, malaria prophylaxis may need to be considered depending on your itinerary.

There is generally a moderate climate in South Africa with sunny days and cool nights. The Cape Town region has a mean yearly temperature of 17°C while Johannesburg has an annual mean temperature of 16°C. This is mainly because Johannesburg is at 1,740 metres altitude. Throughout South Africa, summer extends between October and March and winter is between June and September. In Johannesburg the winter months tend to be dry and cool while the rainy season tends to occur during the warmer summer months.

Vaccination List Required/ Recommended All Travellers Trekking Rural
Yellow Fever
Tetanus Tetanus
Hepatitis A Hepatitis A
Typhoid Typhoid
Hepatitis B Hepatitis B
Rabies Rabies
Meningococcal Meningitis Meningococcal Meningitis
Tuberculosis Tuberculosis
Tick Borne Encephalitis
Japanese B Encephalitis
Malaria W.H.O. report malaria transmission in this country in certain areas. Prophylaxis may be recommended in some circumstances. Please consult your Doctor or Travel Clinic.

Country Profile

Find out more about the health risks you should be aware of when travelling in South Africa by reading the DFA South Africa country information page
or the WHO South Africa country information page.