FAQ | South Africa Health Requirements
How is emergency medical cover and travel insurance arranged?
South Africa boasts top quality medical facilities but visitors are required to pay cash for services rendered. It is advised to visit a private hospital in case of an emergency as they are of world class quality and offer better facilities than public hospitals, which are often over crowded.
Check your existing insurance policies and credit card coverage before buying travel insurance. Your current insurance may already cover you for lost luggage, medical expenses and the like.
The cost of travel insurance varies and depends on the cost and length of your trip, your age, health and the type of trip you are taking. A reasonable cost is about 5-8 percent of the trip itself.
Do I need to take malaria precautions?
The north-eastern areas of the country, including the Kruger National Park, St. Lucia and surrounds are seasonal malaria areas, occurring between November and May. The peak danger times occurs just after the wet season from March to May. Consult your doctor before embarking on a trip to South Africa.
Ways to prevent malaria include:
1) Using a DEET based mosquito repellent
2) Covering your skin with long sleeved clothing, especially at dusk
3) Using mosquito nets when you sleep
What are the health and medical facilities like?
South Africa is home to first class medical facilities, including Groote Schuur Hospital, where the first heart transplant in the world was performed.
Is the water safe to drink?
Tap water is safe to drink in South Africa. In the Western Cape it is also safe to drink mountain water, even if it has been stained brown due to vegetation. Please be aware that there is a strong risk of bilharzias in still standing water.
Do you have any advice pertaining to health in South Africa?
Many activities in South Africa require you to spend time in the sun. Protect yourself by applying a strong sun screen and sun protection, especially during 10:00am and 15:00pm.
HIV and AIDS:
South Africa has one of the highest HIV infection rates in the world. As always, do not have unprotected sex.
Smoking is banned in all enclosed public spaces, except restaurants, pubs and clubs with designated smoking areas. Travellers are therefore not allowed to smoke in buildings, offices, airports, shopping malls and theatres.