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Yellow Fever Quandary - South Africa entry requirements

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East Yellow Fever Quandary - South Africa entry requirements

Last Post This thread is marked as being about South Africa
1. Posted by jen_f (First Time Poster 1 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Hello all,

I am travelling to Malawi in October and to get there am changing planes in Ethiopia (transit only).
After a couple of weeks in Malawi I am heading overland to South Africa.

I have recently read that S.A. have changed their yellow fever vax requirements since the world cup. Apparently anyone travelling to S.A. via a yellow fever zone (even in transit) need to have a YF vax certificate.

As Ehtiopia is a Yellow Fever zone, I am wondering whether this means I will need to get the jab. I am reluctant to do so as it costs £100 and I've heard nasty things about it!

Does anyone have any experience of travelling to S.A. since the world cup? Do you know how strict they are? How much do they check to see which countries you have travelled through?

Any help/ advice much appreciated!


2. Posted by mgregory (Budding Member 25 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!


You will need to have a yellow fever Vaccination to enter most african countries. Some will even turn you around

Get the Yellow fever one at least 10 days before you travel or it is deemed invalid

Go to a decent travel clinic and get ALL your shots up to date - VERY good advice and remember MALARIA - get the tablets and TAKE them

ALL people coming from a YF zone HAVE to have certificates - even citizens like me who travel in Africa regularly - Immigration will demand it


3. Posted by Overlandin (Budding Member 82 posts) 7y Star this if you like it!

Hi Jen,

The rules haven't changed recently they are just now being more rigidly enforced.

In theory, (according to the rules) anyone travelling from an area designated as a Yellow Fever zone is required to produce a Yellow Fever Certificate as proof of vaccination upon entry into South Africa. This was never really enforced (certainly not in the 10 years I have been coming and going from South Africa) and now it really depends on who you get in front of you at the Immigration desk. We send 100's of travellers a month in and out of South Africa and very few have been asked for their certificate (that we have heard) - Murphy's Law says that the person who chances it will be the one who gets their entry refused. :(

This article is on the South African Airways site and might help:

and this one we wrote a while back is directly taken from the WHO (World Health Organisation) website:

I know 100 quid seems like a lot but it is valid for 10 years and if it prevents you getting a disease that will afflict you for life (there is no cure) it seems like a pretty good deal I think. :)

Good luck!
Cheers, Tania