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    South Africa

    Travelling is an exciting way to meet people and learn about different cultures. But you have to be careful. Travelling can expose you to disease and poor sanitary conditions. In this document, you will find practical information for safe and healthy travel. In a foreign country, just like at home, a little prevention goes a long way.
    • In short

      • Region
      • Capital
      • Population
      • Currency
        Rand (ZAR)
      • Languages
        Afrikaans, English, local languages (11 official languages)
    • Flag

      Flag of South Africa
    Alternate Text

    Recommended Immunization

    In this section, you will find the list of the immunizations and screenings recommended for Canadians travelling to the above destination (South Africa). Some of them may also be mandatory.

    Diphtheria, tetanus, poliomyelitis, measles
    These vaccines are part of every Canadian's standard immunization regimen. Make sure that you are vaccinated and have received the booster shots when required.
    Cholera is present in certain regions of the country. Consider protection only if anticipating close contact with local residents in unhygienic conditions. Vaccination is recommended for health professionals and aid workers assigned to endemic areas. Also recommended for travellers in whom gastric defenses are weakened.
    Yellow fever
    A certificate is mandatory for all travellers 1 year and older having travelled through an area with risk of transmission or who have been in transit through countries with risk of transmission. A certificate is also required for travellers arriving from: Sao Tome and Principe, Somalia, Tanzania, Zambia and Eritrea.
    Hepatitis A
    Vaccination is recommended for all travellers.
    Hepatitis B
    High prevalence of carriers. Vaccination is recommended travellers staying in the country a few months or more, healthcare professionals or people receiving health care, those in close contact with local residents, parents adopting a child and those engaging in sexual relations with the country's inhabitants.
    Malaria is present in the provinces of Mpumalanga and the Limpopo and in northeastern KwaZulu-Natal as far south as the Tugela River. Also present in the Kruger National Park. The risk is higher from october to the end of may. Mefloquine (Lariam), atovaquone combined with proguanil (Malarone) or doxycycline (Vibramycin) are the drugs of choice.
    Typhoid fever
    Vaccination is recommended for all travellers, except those planning a brief trip in big cities in excellent travelling conditions.

    During your stay

    Once there, you should still be cautious as you could be exposed to other diseases. The presence of diseases that could pose a risk to your health has been reported in the country. The risk is related to the activities you choose to take part in as well as the areas you visit.

    Dengue fever
    Anti-mosquito precautions are essential everywhere in the country.
    Vaccination is recommended only for certain groups of travellers such as veterinarians, animal attendants, spelunkers or other at-risk groups. Vaccination is also recommended for travellers visiting regions where the virus is endemic and where it could be difficult to quickly get a post-exposure treatment and among travellers who will spend lots of time outdoors in rural areas. Vaccination is also recommended to children who will travel frequently or for long stays in a regions with risk, and which are too young to understand the precautions or to mention a bite.
    Schistosomiasis is present in certain areas of the country. Avoiding all contact with fresh water is recommended (swimming, fishing, drinking untreated water).

    The above vaccinations apply to all travellers. For a personalized protection program adapted to your travelling and health needs, visit a travel medicine clinic. Plan ahead: If you need several vaccines, you may need several weeks to complete the immunization schedule.

    Prior to your departure, you may want to consider registering for the Canadians Abroad Service. Registering allows the service to contact and assist you if there is an emergency while you are abroad. Visit the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada website for more information about this service and how to register.

    If you have purchased travel insurance, your policy will likely include a 24/7 emergency assistance service to help you locate care and coordinate payment. Be sure to have their phone number with you at all times.

    The Canadian Government also has several offices abroad that can provide you with numerous services when in a medical emergency. These services include, but are not limited to:

    • Supplying names of local doctors and health facilities
    • Visiting you in the hospital and providing basic translation services
    • Arranging for medical evacuation if your required treatment is not available in the region (note: costs for this service will not be covered by the government, but may be covered by travel insurance)

    If you need help when travelling in South Africa, contact:

    South Africa - DURBAN
    Consulate of Canada
    Address: Suite 9, Tinsley House, 225 Musgrave road (corner of Musgrave and St Thomas), Berea, Durban, 4001, South Africa
    Tel.: 27 (31) 202-3432
    Emergency toll-free to Ottawa: 0800-992-773
    Fax: 27 (31) 202-3431

    South Africa - JOHANNESBURG
    High Commission of Canada Trade Office
    Address: Cradock Place, 1st Floor, 10 Arnold Road, off Cradock Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa
    Postal Address: P.O. Box 1394, Parklands 2121, Johannesburg, South Africa
    Tel.: 27 (11) 442-3130
    Emergency toll-free to Ottawa: 0800-992-773
    Fax: 27 (11) 442-3325

    South Africa - PRETORIA
    High Commission of Canada
    Address: 1103 Arcadia Street, Hatfield, Pretoria, 0083, South Africa
    Postal Address: P.O. Box Private Bag X13, Hatfield, Pretoria, 0028, South Africa
    Tel.: 27 (12) 422-3000
    Emergency toll-free to Ottawa: 0800-992-773
    Fax: 27 (12) 422-3052

    While in South Africa, you will be able to phone to Canada through a Canadian operator by dialing a Canada-direct number: 0-800-99-0014.

    Make sure that your passport is valid for the duration of your stay.
    Many countries require that your passport be valid at least six months after the due date of your return.

    Bon voyage!