1. Visit your doctor
Visit your local doctor one month prior to your intended trip departure date. To discuss your travel plans, accommodation and potential health concerns or risks at your destination country.
2. Get your immunizations up to date
Discuss with your doctor or a Travellers Medical and Vaccination Centre (TMVC) about the current immunization recommendations for South Africa. Currently these include consideration for immunization against the following diseases: Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR Vaccine), Diphtheria/Pertussis/Tetanus (DPT, Bostrix), Polio, Hepatitis A & B and Typhoid may be advisable. Malaria is also present in Mpumalanga Province, Limpopo (Northern) Province, and northeastern KwaZulu-Natal as far south as the Tugela River and is present in Kruger National Park; if you are traveling to these areas you may wish to consider obtaining anti-malarial medication from your doctor or International Travel Vaccination Centre.
3. Consider a Flu Vaccination
Consider having your seasonal flu & H1N1 immunization prior to your travel. Discuss this with your Healthcare provider. There will be people coming from around the world to South Africa; it may no longer be the flu season in your home country but other travelers could carry the flu virus. Take a small bottle of an alcohol-based hand rub or hand hygiene on the go and regularly wash your hands with soap and fresh water. Remember cough etiquette – use a tissue and dispose of it appropriately.
4. Pack insect repellent
Take DEET insect repellent to keep away the flying insects which may carry dengue fever and malaria. Ensure you wear long-sleeved shirts and pants. Avoid being outside at dusk and dawn, which is the time most flying insects are out and about.
5. Carry your medications in your hand luggage
Carry enough of your medications for the duration of your trip and another two-weeks supply in case of unexpected circumstances. Keep your medication in the original packaging. Be sure to follow security guidelines at all airports. Always take a letter from your local doctor listing the medication you are carrying and that they have been prescribed for your use. Some medications may be prohibited in some countries, so it is recommended that you contact the South African consulate or embassy for further information.
6. If you get sick, see a health care professional
If you develop a fever and diarrhea you should see a health care professional as soon as possible. Cholera does occur inSouth Africa, usually in rural areas; however, there have been periodical outbreaks in other locations.
7. Drink bottled water
Take care with your food and water; always wash your hands before eating. Drink only bottled or boiled water. Don’t drink from fountains or tap water and avoid ice cubes. Remember, it is safe to eat if you can cook it, peel it or boil the food before you eat it.
Important Phone Numbers for South Africa
10111 – Nationwide Emergency Response
011 37 55 911 – City of Johannesburg Emergency Connect
086001-0111 – Report a crime
080011-2040 – Report unfair conduct by a government official
080060-0933 – Report corruption in or out of government
(012) 320-0431 – Report unfair conduct by police
080001-2322 – HIV/AIDS support
0800 002587 (toll-free) – Joburg Anti-Corruption Unit
Read more stories from WorldNomads.com to help keep you traveling safely.