Will be on this trip in September 2019. Does anyone have 2019 experience on mandatory vaccinations? I've read that Botswana might require proof of yellow fever vaccine, but the CDC website is indicating it's not required when entering from Zambia. Looks like Hep A, typhoid and malaria are recommended by the CDC, but not mandatory. Really don't want to have unnecessary inoculations, but sure don't want to have an issue on arrival. Many thanks.


  • We entered Botswana from Zambia and were asked for proof of Yellowfever vaccinations.
    If you are traveling out of the US, it’s a good idea to get Hep A as well. If you don’t want to take meds for Malaria, that’s fine, you are not going to be prevented from entering any countries if you are not taking Malaria meds. But when we were in Zambia at the same time of year as you were going, there were lots of mosquitoes even in our room, we got bitten.
  • Thank you. Really appreciate it.
  • Bluesky wrote:
    Thank you. Really appreciate it.

    We have beaten up this subject quite a bit. We have done Africa three times, and asked for proof of yellow fever vaccination once ... it was listed as not required. It is not an easy vaccination to acquire. You will not get it on short notice at your local drug store. There are organizations that will recommend much more, but we got hep A and B, typhoid, yellow fever, and malaria pills. Those were in addition to our ‘normal’ regimen for the U.S. As always, the disclaimer ... talk to your doctor, and don’t rely on this website to make your decisions.
  • edited February 2019
    We got the identical vaccines as Sealord did for Africa. Also keep in mind that both Hep A and Hep B include the basic vaccine and a booster some weeks/months later for the best protection. Timing is critical for these. As Sealord says it's best to check with your doc on all the vaccines.
  • Has anyone experienced the use of a yellow fever vaccine exemption certificate when entering South Africa from Kenya or going from Tanzania to Kenya?

  • We were on the Classic Safari last September. We entered Kenya from Tanzania. We had a yellow fever exemption letter, but we weren't asked for it. There were at least 10 of us who didn't have the yellow fever vaccine. No one had any issues getting into Kenya.

  • edited June 2019

    We were not asked about immunizations anywhere. Our Dr suggested, but we passed on, rabies shots, despite getting up close and personal with a few toothy critters. Also, this time we both took Malarone for malaria. Both had very minor issues, my wife in the stomach, me further south. We neither saw nor heard skeeters and the guides said it is too cold for them so we stopped taking the pills part way through Botswana portion.

    My dog is faster than your dog!

    It may have only been a yawn, but they all had BIG teeth! (It almost looks like a "green screen" photo, but it was not. All 8 of us were together.)

  • edited June 2019

    When researching rabies I learned the typical medical response to a bite from an animal with unknown status, regardless of your prior immunizations, is to give you the shot series (again)- better safe than sorry and it won't hurt (except for the needle and local soreness :) ).

    Google "Mikuni Big 5" look for their combo. They are a class act and really did a superb job. They also took some great photos with our cameras and a video with their own videocam (there was an extra fee for that.) I don't know if they made an extra effort shooting stills with our cameras because two of us ordered the video (order must be made before the start of the experience.)

  • I have not heard of anyone on the forums having YF shot side-effects other than a temporary soreness at the site of the injection.

    I took Malarone last time too, but was already having GI issues so I wouldn't couldn't have noticed anything like the minor side effects I experienced this time. I had to borrow some CIPRO because I didn't have a limited emergency supply.

  • Despite people’s fears of having the Yellow Fever shot, the side affects are very rare and over exaggerated in the general public. If you read proper research you can learn all about it. I read all this kind of stuff because I’m an ex nurse and midwife. It has been very difficult to get hold of for the past couple of years. You will also read in ‘up to date’ info, that only one shot is required for lifetime protection, it used to only last ten years. All countries now accept this.
    Malaria meds. Please be sure you are taking the correct medicine for the country you are visiting. Most places we have been, we have taken Malerone. It’s important to take with a meal, we usually take it at dinner time or as soon as we get back to the room. If a meal is not available, milk is the next best thing. We have never had any problems.

  • My travel doctor told me that the YF shot is really not necessary for travel from Zambia to Botswana. I had to push a bit to get her to give the Yellow Fever vaccine. I told her that we plan to visit East Africa in the future and that convinced her to give the shot.

    My husband and I were both given the Yellow Fever vaccine manufactured in France. There is a severe shortage of the vaccine made in the US. The one from France is considered an investigative new drug by the US. We did both experience side effects. My husband ran a low grade fever for a few days and I only had a fever for one day. We both had headaches and soreness at the injection site. Definitely worth it, though.

  • As I have previously mentioned, we were asked for proof of YF vaccine crossing from Zambia into Botswana.
    Cathy, glad to hear you are getting the shot, I guarantee you will go to Africa again or other countries that require it. There is always a possibility of a breakout of Yellow Fever in a country that might change vaccinations requirements for visitors at last minute. I see you mention second Hep B shot, if I remember correctly, there is a series of three for Hep B. I think the spacing is one month, two month, six month, but I have not looked that up, it’s just from memory.
    I’m waiting for people to start canceling trips to Africa with the new Ebola outbreaks in Congo and Uganda, that’s what happened last time it happened.

  • We intended to do one trip to Africa. We have now done three, and will probably do a fourth.

  • edited June 2019

    The one thing you don’t want to become is ‘game’. (;-) So please keep your head and appendages inside the vehicle. Our driver guide went rather nuts explaining to a Doctor and his daughter how few milliseconds it could have taken for the lion we were observing to take them off the top of the vehicle where they had climbed. This was on a K&T. ![] The picture is actually in Botswana, and it is as close as it looks. My wife was using my camera with zoom, and had zoomed all the way back, so she had no idea the lion had approached to only a few feet.

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