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How To Stay Safe and Healthy When Visiting South Africa This Summer

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The idea of visiting African countries can feel heavenly. There is the heat, the creatures, the culture, and much more to enjoy. But it’s important that you are preparing for all eventualities when entering a world so different from the western world. There are the creatures to think about, the crime, and the diseases you could catch or spread. Make sure you know what you are doing by reading our guide.

Get your vaccines

Even above and beyond the Covid shot, you’re going to need a few jabs to safely enter and exit African countries, including South Africa. A lot of African countries, South Africa included, need a yellow fever certification as proof that you’ve had the shot to enter the country, but it’s also important that you look into vaccines for Hepatitis B, rabies, tetanus, and typhoid are covered. If you’re unsure, ask your GP. You might need a visit to the GP anyway since it’s important that your flu and MMR vaccines are up to date before you go.

And while we’re on the subject, you should look up what is required in terms of Covid pass to get into Africa. As of writing, the UK Government website says that the regulations are up to the airlines, who might well change their mind at short notice, so prepare for change with tests and masks and vaccine passports.

Get your travel insurance

Speaking of Covid, in the year of 2022, in a post-Covid world, getting your travel insurance sorted is more important than ever. A basic policy will cover all manner of issues that could arise while travelling, such as your baggage going missing, your purse getting stolen, and you can get travel insurance to cover medical conditions and expenses should you get yourself into trouble. But a lot of policies today also cover cancellation of your trip due to Covid, and considering how common that is nowadays, it’s a good thing to have in your back pocket.

Get your visas in order

If you are travelling across various African countries, you’re going to come across a lot of Border Control situations, so it’s important that you have your visas in order.

Before you leave, contact your local embassy to ensure you have everything in order, so that you don’t have to deal with the hassle of gaining your visas at the border. And a good tip is to keep some USD on hand wherever you go in case you need it.

Get your insect repellent

The insects in Africa could rival Australia in reputation. Most aren’t nearly as deadly, but there are some nasty bugs out there. That means it is important for you to have some DEET nearby at all times, or another insect repellent.

Also, keep some antihistamines handy in case you take an allergic reaction to something that would otherwise be a nasty bite.

Get rid of your flashy threads

African countries are no stranger to petty crime, including a lot of theft, so leave the designer labels or the glittering jewellery at home. Before you even consider who could be in for the want or chance to steal the literal clothes off your back, it’s worth remembering that it’s also not very practical in such a hot country to wear your finest labels and heaviest jewels. Beyond that, they’re likely to make you a target.

It’s also worth mentioning there are a lot of pickpockets in African cities, so keep handy only what you need for the day in terms of cash and perhaps invest in a bum bag to avoid anyone dipping their hand into your bag.