Travel To Africa

If you are planning a trip to Africa there are a number of health considerations to bear in mind. As soon as you know the full itinerary of your trip, book an appointment with your GP to discuss the specific health risks, precautions and vaccinations. You may also wish to visit a health professional at a specialist travel clinic as there are a wide range of vaccinations to consider, from Tetanus, Hepatitis A and Rabies.

Get Necessary Vaccinations Early

There will be compulsory and recommended vaccinations for your destination, and it is best to learn what the general health advice for your destination is as early as possible. For example, some countries in Africa require you to have a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate before you may enter them.

Furthermore, some vaccinations are in short supply and you may struggle to find a health centre close to you where you can receive the vaccination. You should be able to get many of the recommended vaccinations from your local GP, but not all will be available free of charge.


Malaria has long been the scourge of Africa. There is no absolute protection against malaria, and the disease comes in a variety of strains. Travellers should be conscious that some malaria strains can kill and once you have had it, it can recur. Check what the malaria risks of your specific destination are. For example, in certain areas of central Ethiopia malaria is not endemic during the dry season, however throughout Kenya and Tanzania malaria is considered to be endemic all over.

Travelling Sickness

When travelling to exotic locations it is inevitable that you will encounter bacteria that your body is not used to. Be conscious to wash your hands at every opportunity, but especially before and after every toilet visit and before eating any food. Be aware of all the dirty places your hands have touched, from public transport to shaking hands with people you meet and to try not to put your fingers in your mouth. This will help to protect you against travelling sickness, which manifests as fever, diarrhoea and, in some cases, vomiting. You should also try to avoid any fruits or vegetables that are unwashed or not peeled and ensure any food you do eat is thoroughly heated through.

If you do become sick it is important to keep hydrated and advisable to let your fellow travellers know that you are ill, so they can keep a check on your condition. If you become concerned that you have a more serious illness or have any concerns whatsoever about your health, it is crucial you seek medical advice as soon as possible.

More Information on African diseases, prevention & treatments:

If you would like more information about your destination & travel requirements, contact our London Travel Clinic today on 020 7638 4330.

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