Visas & vaccinations
Once you’ve chosen the safari regions you’d like to visit, your tour operator can advise on visas. But here’s a quick guide to give you a sense;
South Africa is visa-free for most EU and US passport holders – but make sure your passport has at least 6 months validity and 2 blank pages. And if you’re traveling with kids, check the paperwork required very carefully as it is very specific.
Botswana and Namibia, like South Africa, are visa-free for Americans and most Europeans traveling on holiday.
Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania and Malawi require visas for most visitors from outside Africa, but they can be purchased on arrival – you’ll need to have US$ notes for this, in the correct denominations. For some you can arrange the visa in advance, which is a bit more admin.
Kenya has an online visa system, which must be done in advance.
Check these sites to be extra sure on the latest visa requirements;
- American passports: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country.html
- EU passports: http://wikitravel.org/en/Visa_Summary_for_EU_citizens
- British passports: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
Vaccinations and malaria
Before rushing off to the doctor, do a little homework and ask the advice of your tour operator. Not all of Africa has malaria. There are many misperceptions about Africa – for example, visitors are often surprised to find the tap water is fine to drink in South Africa.
South Africa is the easy destination – there’s no yellow fever, and no malaria in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Madikwe, the Waterberg, the Eastern Cape or Tswalu. Malaria is only in the far northern and eastern parts; these include Kruger and northern KwaZulu Natal.
Namibia is mostly low risk country for malaria, due to being so arid, except for certain wetter areas.
Kenya’s high altitude Laikipia is malaria free, and the Samburu area is low risk.
A Yellow Fever vaccination is required for travel between countries – please ask your doctor to check specifically on this.
I would recommend visiting your doctor at least a month before traveling to get any vaccinations you do need.