City view in South Africa

Travel health advice for South Africa

South Africa is a marvellously diverse country with a rich cultural heritage and wonderful wildlife. It’s also a country which is home to a number of diseases which we wouldn’t ordinarily encounter here in the UK.

If you’re travelling to South Africa you’re bound to be excited about the adventure of a lifetime and you should seek advice about vaccinations you can consider to help you stay healthy on your trip.

Getting vaccinated can help prevent you from becoming ill. Our pharmacists will help you understand the factors that increase your risk and can help you work out which vaccinations to get depending on things like:

  • Which regions you are visiting
  • What activities you are doing
  • Your age and general health 

Book an appointment

We recommend booking an appointment with a Boots pharmacist six to eight weeks before you travel. However, even if time is short, we can still help you with options to consider.

Book an appointment

Diseases in South Africa

Below are some of the diseases you could consider to help protect you against certain diseases when you’re in South Africa. 

You can use our quick check tool to get a list of diseases that may be present in the country and vaccinations to consider for your destination.


There is a risk of malaria in the low altitude parts of Mpumalanga and Limpopo between September and May, including Kruger National Park. There is a low risk in northeast KwaZulu-Natal and its surrounding areas.

Malaria is a blood infection which can be fatal. It’s transmitted by mosquitoes, so it’s best to avoid being bitten by taking steps like using insect repellent and mosquito nets. 

Anti-malarial tablets may be recommended to you depending on your travel plans. Our pharmacist will help you work out if you need anti-malarial tablets and which ones are suitable for you.

Yellow Fever

Yellow fever is a viral infection transmitted by mosquitoes and can be fatal in some people, but there is no risk in South Africa.

However, you’ll need a certificate proving you’ve had a vaccination if you are travelling to South Africa from a country where yellow fever exists or you have spent over 12 hours at an airport located in a country with a risk of yellow fever. 

Your pharmacist will give you the latest advice for your trip.