vaccinations for South Africa

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Feb 24th, 2005, 07:25 AM
  #1
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vaccinations for South Africa

We are going to be visiting the Capetown area and Kruger during our honeymoon April 24th - May 6th. I previously had Tetanus, Hep A and MMR vaccinations, and just got a prescription for an anti-malarial (Malarone). Do I need any other immunizations? Apparently, the CDC in the US recommends polio and typhoid when visiting South Africa, but that opinion differs amoung doctors (and seems a bit extreme). Any opinions?

Also, what will the weather be like in Capetown and Kruger during this time period?

Thanks!
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Feb 24th, 2005, 08:27 AM
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According to the Weather Underground website, which bases its information on records from 1997 to the present, the average daily high in Cape Town during the dates that you'll be there is 70 deg F. However, highs have ranged from 57 deg F to 86 deg F.

Average daily low is 51 deg F. Lows have been as low as 32 deg F and as high as 60 deg F.

There is a slight chance that you'll encounter rain or fog.

Statistics for Skukuza, Kruger National Park.

April

Average high 29 deg C (84 deg F)

Highest high 40 deg C (104 deg F)

Average low 15 deg C (59 deg F)

Lowest low 6 deg (43 deg F)

Average monthly rainfall 38 mm (1.5")

Average number of precipitation days in the month : 6

May

Average high 28 deg C (82 deg F)

Highest high 38 deg C (100 degF)

Average low 10 deg C (50 deg F)

Lowest low 1 deg C (34 deg F)

Average monthly rainfall 14 mm (0.5")

Average number of precipitation days : 3

That info comes from here:

http://www.weathersa.co.za/Climat/Cl...ukuzaStats.jsp

As to polio and typhoid vaccinations, if you are receiving conflicting information from different doctors, I suggest you heed the advice of one who specializes in tropical diseases and is familiar with adventure destinations.
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Feb 24th, 2005, 08:38 AM
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Oh yes, about the temperatures in the Kruger area, warm clothing (sweater, jacket, woollen cap, gloves, sturdy socks) will be essential if you go on early morning game drives in open (i.e., breezy) 4x4 vehicles.
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Feb 24th, 2005, 09:44 AM
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was in kruger recently and took malarone only - i don't even think we got bit by any skeeters - but they are around and likely seasonal.
everything else they pushed on us we passed on. we were told polio and typhoid were outdated and not a concern. it depends on your itinerary and conditions of where you stay
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Feb 24th, 2005, 11:09 AM
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You do need an anti-malarial med for Kruger. But I can't imagine you'd need polio and typhoid shots, unless you are going to be doing something very unusual indeed.

In all my 25 years of visiting nearly every part of South Africa, I've never taken any medications except anti-malarials.

(Sometimes the CDC recommendations strike me as a bit paranoid.)
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Feb 24th, 2005, 11:29 AM
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Thanks for the advice. I agree that the CDC recommendation seemed slightly paranoid, especially since we are not planning to go anywhere very unusual while in South Africa.
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Feb 24th, 2005, 09:25 PM
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The CDC also says that you shouldn't drink the tap (faucet) water anywhere in Southern Africa! That's not to say that their health info is equally incorrect, but perhaps that even the apparent "gospel" isn't the ultimate authority.
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Feb 25th, 2005, 08:46 AM
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The tap water one always amazed me. South Africa is, after all, the country where the world's first heart transplant was done, so I think they must have at least some rudimentary notions of how to provide clean water.
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Feb 25th, 2005, 11:43 AM
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We found out that you could drink water out of any faucet in SA...a fantastic accomplishment!

Re early morning drives in Kruger...only take the gloves,hat etc. if you get cold VERY easily. They take up a lot of weight and for us at least were definitely not neccesary.

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Feb 25th, 2005, 01:39 PM
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We were in Southern Africa in their summer and while I'm used to cold weather - NYC winters - I must say that a thermal T, hat, gloves, socks and scarf were needed. We had ours, others did not; we saw plenty of blue lips and shivering folks hoping they'd soon be back at the lodge/camp. At one camp with visitors from one of the Scandinavian countries, they actually wore their ski jackets for morning and night game drives... they were more than comfortable.

Regardless the fact that there were blankets in the vehicles this didn't seem to help once the wind hits you in the face as the open vehicles haul out from one place to another. While many traveling to various camps in southern Africa are limited with weight restrictions when it comes to their flights... these few items don't weigh but 1-lb, if that. Better comfortable, then miserable and unable to enjoy the game viewing.
 
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Feb 27th, 2005, 09:18 PM
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To conclude my observation about the CDC advice on drinking tap water. And bring it totally off-topic, I know. . . .

There was a WHO survey a long while back that listed 12 countries where it was safe to drink the tap water, S.A. being one. I've tried unsuccessfully to get the actual reference, but the Rand Water Board did confirm when I asked them, that the stat had come from the WHO. Although they were careful to add that they could only vouch for the quality in the “major metropolitan areas and bigger towns”.

We're fortunate in that the catchment areas are largely in the mountains and away from industry, and that also makes purification a lot easier than for some countries.
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