South Africa is very much like any other Western country. All the amenities that you are used to, like wifi, luxury hotels, 5-star restaurants, highways, malls, etc are all available across the country. However, it is a developing country and you would therefore be well advised to get the recommended vaccinations for travel to South Africa.
Fortunately, if you are an average US citizen, you probably already have most, if not all these recommended vaccinations for travel to South Africa.
Everyone 12 years and older should get fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before travel.
These are usually administered during well-visits. This includes: Chickenpox (Varicella), Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis, Flu (influenza), Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR), Polio
While the Typhoid vaccination is recommended for most travelers, it is particularly important for those visiting smaller cities or rural areas.
The CDC recommends that you consider getting the rabies vaccination (before your trip) if you will be around dogs or wildlife.
You may encounter rabid animals if you are:
- a camper
- an adventure traveler
- a cave explorer
- a field biologist
- an animal handler
- a veterinarian
- a laboratory worker handling animal specimens
- visiting rural areas.
Children are more likely than adults to be scratched or bitten by a dog or other animals. Therefore, the CDC recommends that children traveling to South Africa should get the rabies vaccination.
The CDC recommends that travelers going to the following areas of South Africa take prescription medicine to prevent malaria:
- Kruger National Park (Safari)
- South Africa’s border with Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
- The Limpopo district municipalities of Waterberg, Vhembe, and Mopani.
- The Mpumalanga district municipality of Ehlanzeni;
- Umknanyakude in the Kwazulu-Natal Province.
Do keep in mind that you may need to start taking malaria medicine multiple days before your trip, during, and after your trip. This will depend on the medicine your doctor prescribes.