by AdminSoa
November 21, 2013

When it comes time to plan your trip to Africa, the question of health is often one that gets people a little nervous.

Unlike comparatively developed destinations Europe and North America, Africa still has a sense of wild mystery about it.

In some cases - and in some countries - this is entirely deserved. Africa tends to lag behind the rest of the world in the treatment and management of infectious diseases, but you shouldn't let that take away from your enjoyment of your holiday.

With the right preparation, a trip to Africa can be no more hazardous to your health than a trip anywhere else in the world.

Basic Medical Advice

As with travelling to any new destination, it is a good idea to consult your doctor ahead of your trip and get an idea as to what vaccinations you might need renewed or administered.

As a rule, the following vaccinations are recommended:

  • Typhoid;
  • Diptheria;
  • Cholera;
  • Meningitis;
  • Polio;
  • Tetanus;
  • Hepatitis B

If you're planning on an extended stay in Tanzania, a rabies vaccination might also be advisable.

Don't let the above list daunt you! Many of the above vaccinations are ones you have as part of routine medical check-ups in the developed world.

Yellow Fever

In recent years, Yellow Fever outbreaks in various regions of Africa have heightened the need for a yellow fever vaccination ahead of travel within Africa.

With yellow fever vaccinations lasting a lifetime, it is a simple one-off immunisation that can be done at authorised clinics.

While many countries (such as Tanzania and Kenya) do not have yellow fever themselves, they often request that those entering from other African countries present their proof of yellow fever vaccination before entering.

If you are traveling from a country without yellow fever, you do not require the immunisation.


Malaria is common all over Tanzania. In high altitude areas (over 1800 m), such as Kilimanjaro and Ngorongoro, malaria is relatively rare; however, the disease is present in areas you’ll pass on your way to these destinations.

africa safari malaria

Please state clearly that you’re travelling to Tanzania when consulting your personal physician. It is not enough to say that you’re going to Africa, since it is very important that you get the right medications for malaria in that specific area of the continent.

You should begin taking your malaria medications a few days prior to your trip, continue taking them while in Tanzania and also for a short period of time when you get back home.

Sleeping Sickness

Sleeping sickness is a potentially fatal sickness that can be transmitted by the bites of tsetse flies.

While there is no vaccination or cure for this disease, steps can be taken to minimize contact with tsetse flies such as wearing insect repellent, not wearing blue or black clothing, and being vigilant.

Your odds of contracting African sleeping sickness are incredibly low.


The risk of exposure or transmission of AIDS is no greater in East Africa than anywhere else.

While it is true that HIV is more common in less developed countries, the methods of transmission do not change.

You can not contract HIV from mosquito bites, food, or regular physical contact with people.

Sick on Safari

If the worst does happen and you do fall ill while travelling, you're perfectly safe.

All Shadows of Africa safaris come with complimentary Flying Doctors Insurance, so you'll be safely air-lifted to Dar Es Salaam, Arusha, Nairobi, or the nearest large city for medical attention should the need arise.

These cities employ highly qualified doctors, surgeons, and nurses and are maintained to international standards.

It is important that all visitors to Africa have travel insurance.

While medical care can be cheaper than in some developed countries, it pays to have a comprehensive travel insurance plan in place ahead of your travels.

Are you interested in an African safari?

Contact one of our safari experts and we will tailor-make a safari for you!