Jabbing My Way Through Africa: A Traveller’s Guide to Vaccinations

17th January 2024   •  By James Bailey

As I sit here, sipping my morning cuppa, I can’t help but reminisce about my adventures across the vast and diverse continent of Africa. From the breathtaking wildlife of South Africa to the stunning landscapes of Botswana, each journey was a unique experience. I even had the chance to walk across the river for a beer in Zimbabwe! But before I could embark on these adventures, there was one crucial step I had to take – getting the right vaccinations.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Vaccinations aren’t exactly the most exciting topic, but trust me, they’re as essential as your passport when it comes to travelling. So, let’s dive into the world of travel vaccine advice, shall we?

First off, let’s talk about South Africa, a country that’s as famous for its wildlife as it is for its wines. When I was planning my trip there, I found out that I needed to get vaccinated for a variety of diseases, including COVID-19, cholera, hepatitis A and B, malaria, measles, and rabies. I also learned that it’s important to avoid bug bites and contaminated water, as they can lead to diseases like African Tick-Bite Fever and leptospirosis.

Next on my list was Botswana. Here, I had to ensure that my routine vaccinations, like flu, MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), polio, and DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus), were up to date. I also had to get vaccinated for Hepatitis A and B.

Now, if you’re planning to visit other parts of Africa, like Kenya or Zimbabwe, there are a few more vaccinations you might need to consider. These include Hepatitis A and B, Meningitis ACWY, and Rabies.

Remember, it’s always best to visit your doctor or a travel health clinic at least 8-12 weeks before your trip to discuss your vaccination needs. You can check the travel disease risks for your destination on the UK Government web page www.travelhealthpro.org.uk and find a local provider of travel vaccinations and compare travel vaccination prices at https://www.odycy.com/subcategories/book-travel-vaccinations. And don’t forget to pack a first aid kit with essentials like spare contact lenses, asthma pumps, diabetes monitors, and any over-the-counter medication you use regularly.

So, there you have it, my dear readers. Getting the right vaccinations might not be the most thrilling part of planning your African adventure, but it’s certainly one of the most important. After all, as the old saying goes, “prevention is better than cure”.

Now, I’d love to hear from you. What are your top tips for staying healthy while travelling? Have you ever had to travel to cholera-affected areas or travel to malaria-endemic countries? What were your experiences with travel vaccine side effects and travel vaccine availability? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Safe travels, everyone!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is intended to be general in nature, offering an overview of common travel vaccinations and health advice for travelling to Africa. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or vaccine. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog. The advice is based on sources believed to be reliable, but the author makes no representation as to its accuracy or completeness. Health information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date.