The continent of Africa covers a vast area, with all kinds of different terrains and cultures. From the deserts of North African countries like Morocco, to the bustling cities of Ghana and Nigeria in the West, to the natural wonders of South Africa and Botswana in the South, there is so much to experience across the continent.
Recommended Travel Vaccines for Africa
|ALL TRAVELLERS||SOME TRAVELLERS||COURSE*|
|Diphtheria||Anytime before travel|
|Hepatitis A||2 weeks before travel|
|Polio||2 weeks before travel|
|Cholera||6 weeks before travel|
|Hepatitis B||3 weeks before travel|
|Meningitis ACWY||2 weeks before travel|
|MMR||1 month before travel|
|Rabies||4 weeks before travel|
|Tetanus||Anytime before travel|
|Yellow Fever||10 days before travel|
*Vaccination schedules are approximate and are calculated based on the first dose. Schedules are subject to change depending on your individual needs and will be discussed in your appointment. These are the minimum times required to complete courses or for vaccines to become fully effective. You can always start your course of vaccinations earlier than stated, as vaccines work best when your body has time to process them. Your Travel Nurse will discuss any health implications in your appointment
Yellow Fever in Africa
There is a high risk of Yellow Fever in many African countries.
Some countries require arriving travellers to have certification of immunisation for Yellow Fever.
For country specific information on Yellow Fever risks choose your destination from the list below
Malaria Risk in Africa
Malaria is present in many countries in Africa.
There is no vaccination for Malaria, we recommend you have a consultation with our expert Travel Nurses to talk through your Antimalarial medication options for specific countries.
For country specific information on Malaria choose your destination from the list below
Other Health Risks
Chikungunya in Africa
There is a risk of Chikungunya virus in this country. Spread by mosquitos, Chikungunya virus is widespread across Africa, South-East Asia, the Indian sub-continent and the Philippines. Occasionally, the virus can be found in other countries where the mosquito that spreads Chikungunya can also be found. There is no vaccination against Chikungunya, it is important to protect yourself with bite avoidance products like DEET. For more information – click here.
High Altitude in Africa
There are some high altitude areas. Travellers should take care to avoid Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) by taking time to acclimatise properly. AMS can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, level of fitness or training. At high altitude, extra precautions should be taken against the harsh conditions, which can cause damaging ultraviolet and cold exposure. All Nomad Travel Health Nurses are trained to advise on AMS, and it may be appropriate for you to take certain medications that may help with acclimatisation. Book an appointment to discuss health issues related to altitude, based on your specific itinerary. For more information – click here.
Leptospirosis in Africa
There is a risk of Leptospirosis. Leptospirosis infection is widespread throughout the world, but cases are most common in tropical climates, areas where the standard of hygiene is poor and in areas subject to flooding. The infection occurs when cuts or abrasions of the skin and mucous membrane (eyes, mouth) come into contact with flood water, moist soil, vegetation (particularly bamboo) and fresh water infected by animal urine and other secretions. Prevention is dependent on covering cuts, scratches and open skin lesions with waterproof plasters, avoiding swallowing or drinking potentially infected water and, where risk is high, protective clothing should be worn.
Dengue Fever in Africa
There is a risk of Dengue Fever. It is spread by a species of mosquito called Aedes aegypti, otherwise known as the ‘tiger mosquito’ which mainly bites during the day. The illness is widespread throughout the tropics and subtropics, affecting over 100 countries with approximately 50 million cases globally a year. Currently most infections occur in SE Asia, South and Central America, Mexico, Africa, Indian sub-continent, Hawaii and the Pacific. There is currently no vaccination against Dengue Fever, it is therefore important to protect yourself during the day with bite avoidance products like DEET. For more information – click here.
Schistosomiasis in Africa
There is a risk of Schistosomiasis. A parasitic infection (also known as bilharzia), Schistosomiasis is transmitted to humans through contact with fresh water, when the parasitic worm enters through the skin. Usually, no symptoms are felt until 2-4 weeks after exposure, when fever, diarrhoea, cough or a rash can occur as the parasites move around the body. Long term disease can lead to damage of the bladder, kidneys, bowel, liver and genital tract. Prevention is dependent on avoidance of swimming, bathing or paddling in fresh water lakes and streams. For more information – click here.
Zika Virus in Africa
Zika is a viral infection transmitted by daytime biting mosquitoes. These mosquitoes bite an infected person and then spread the infection to others when they bite again. Pregnant women are advised not to travel into Zika regions, and male partners must use condoms for 6 months after travel into affected areas to prevent sexual transmission of the disease to a pregnant partner. If planning pregnancy, female travellers should avoid getting pregnant for at least 8 weeks after being in a Zika region. Whereas men must avoid getting a woman pregnant for at least 6 months following travel into a Zika region as the virus can survive in sperm for much longer and can be sexually transmitted. For more information – click here.