African Safaris, Ecotourism & Accommodation in South and Southern Africa
African Safaris, Ecotourism & Accommodation in
South and Southern Africa


Medical Care

Medical services in the larger centres in South Africa are readily available. Doctors are listed under "Medical", hospitals under "H", in all telephone directories. Visitors are advised to secure medical cover on their medical insurance before arriving in South Africa as there is no established national health and welfare scheme in the country. Major hotels may have contracts with physicians and dentists. Visitors are advised to bring any supplies of specialized medication they may require with them. Medication may be purchased at pharmacies, and emergency pharmacies are open all night in the larger centres. Remote areas are not well served.


No international immunization is needed when entering South Africa. The only inoculation, requirement is a yellow fever vaccination certificate from travelers entering South Africa within six days of leaving an infected Country. Visitors who travel through or disembark in these areas are advised to be inoculated against the disease before visiting South Africa.
Some areas in Zululand are subject to malaria. Before entering these areas persons are advised to consult a doctor or pharmacist to obtain the necessary medication. See 'Malaria' pages.

Health Hazards

Malaria: The disease is largely but not completely under control in South Africa; still risky regions are the Northern and Eastern Transvaal, Northern Natal and Zululand. if you're planning to visit one of these areas, embark on a course of anti-malaria tablets before starting out. Tablets are available without prescription from local pharmacies. Note that some strains of this disease are becoming immune to chloroquine (the most common anti-malarial drug) so rather use a substitute prophylactic.
Warning signs :
The symptoms of Malaria are similar to flu and include ;
headaches - fever - muscular and joint pains - nausea - diarrhoea - fatigue

Precautions :
In addition to taking prophylaxis, visitors to high risk areas should take further precautions including :
avoid being outdoors between dusk and dawn - wear long sleeves, trousers and socks - apply mosquito repellant every three to four hours - keep doors and windows closed unless screened - use insecticide spray, especially in the sleeping area - use mosquito coils and mats and sleep under a mosquito net, preferably impregnated with and insecticide registered for this use


Also known as schistosomiasis, this debilitating waterborne disease is caused by a parasitical worm common in the lower-lying northern and eastern regions. Be circumspect about swimming in rivers and dams unless the assurances are clear that they are Bilharzia free. Bilharzia is not present in swimming pools or the sea.


Although the incidence of full-blown Aids in South Africa remained low during the early 1990s, the disease is likely to reach critical proportions. The risk of contracting Aids, however, is no greater here than in any other country, provided that the standard and well-publicized precautions are taken. Unprotected sex is dangerous and irresponsible. Condoms readily available.

Bites & Stings

South Africa has its fair share of snakes, spiders, scorpions and sundry stinging insects, but surprisingly few travelers, even those on safari, suffer serious attack or even discomfort. However, those holidaying in the bush, or on walking trails, should obviously be more wary, and follow the advice of their ranger or group leader. For protection against ticks (the small red, hard-backed one can transmit tick-bite fever which is easily treated), wear long pants on walks through long grass; apply insect repellant to bare legs, arms and clothing. Bayticol (available at most  bushveld Lodges) or Deet preparations.


The national number for an ambulance is 10177; for the police flying squad, 10111