Yellow fever/vaccines

Apr 6th, 2004, 10:53 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 35
Yellow fever/vaccines

Thanks for everyone who posted in response to my question about safari companies. The question for today is for those of you who have been to Tanzania or are planning to, did you get the yellow fever vaccine? Is it required? Also, I'm sure I will ask my doc to confirm, but how long do vaccines last? I was innoculated against most everything when I went to India and Egypt in 1999, and wonder if I'm good for at least another 5 years
sanantoniogirl is offline  
Apr 6th, 2004, 11:07 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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We got inoculated prior to 2002 trip. but never got asked about it upon entry into Tanzania. Thought vaccine was good for ten or more years. Plan on taking shot record (yellow card) with us for trip in June. Dick
rsnyder is offline  
Apr 6th, 2004, 11:10 AM
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According to the CDC website, the vaccine is required only if you are arriving from an affected area (this would not be the US).

The vaccine is good for 10 years.

I have travelled to TZ seven times (last time 3 months ago), always bringing along my International Certificate of Vaccination. No one has ever asked to see it.
Queenie is offline  
Apr 6th, 2004, 12:29 PM
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If you are arriving direct into Tanzania at Kilimanjaro, then you'd be arriving from the US via Europe and so not coming from a Yellow Fever area. However, if arriving via Nairobi or anywhere in Kenya, then technically you've been in a possible Yellow Fever area.

However, if you had a Yellow Fever inoculation within the past 10-years, I suggest you bring your Yellow Fever yellow card* with you. They may check it, maybe not - but I'd hate to be caught without, if on the day you arrive they decide to check everyone's papers.

*If you've had the Yellow Fever Inoculation and have the card, you should also have kept a record of all inoculations (HepA and/or B, Tetanus, Thyphoid, Polio booster, etc.) you've had, noted therein, and you should have included (on your own) when/what meds you've taken for Malaria.
Apr 6th, 2004, 12:46 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 35
Interesting. SO it sounds like it may not be required by government officials, but it's advisable to get it. Having to get this vaccination at this time in my life (potential family planning) may result in having to change my travel plans to somewhere where yellow fever isn't a problem!
sanantoniogirl is offline  
Apr 6th, 2004, 01:11 PM
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Whether you have the inoculation or not, you're not likely to contract Yellow Fever. And if you're not pregnant, the inoculation shouldn't have any effect on you. If on the other hand you were pregnant, then I'd ask my doctor whether such an inoculation would be detremental. Or how long after having the inoculation can you try to become pregnant.

It's not a matter of whether the governments in Kenya or Tanzania will ask to see that you've had the inoculation - but it is apparent that you should have it. You'll be traveling in a 3rd-world country, so I certainly can't say what the government officials will do on any given day.

It's not much different then returning home to the States, coming thru Customs and not knowing whether any contraband* you might be carrying will be checked by the officials?

*excess of your allotted amount, or food, meat, whatever!

When we traveled to the Seychelles, the Yellow Fever was "not" a requirements, however, since we were arriving from Kenya, we had to show our yellow card. While Kenya, at that time didn't require a Yellow Fever inoculation, since we were crossing into Tanzania, Tanzania required the card - none of it makes any sense, and the Tanzanian border people barely checked what we had. But if we didn't have the card, we wouldn't have been permitted into the Seychelles.
May 3rd, 2004, 02:48 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 24
My family and i are planning to go to Tanzania for Christmas but already i'm nervous about the shots/vaccines/medication/side-affects etc...How many do you have to take (necessary), how bad are they, and which ones are they? Also does the malaria pills give u bad side affects/werid dreams? I'm only 14 and i can't even take a blood test! I'm really excited about going to Africa but i'm really apprehensive about the shots! Help!
missDIVAstar is offline  
May 3rd, 2004, 04:46 PM
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missDIVAstar -

Along with your parents you should review all the CDC ( information and in conjunction with discussion with your pediatrician and/or a tropical deseases specialist (who knows everyones medical history) determine which inoculations each would need. This all should be done at least a month prior departure.

As a 14-year old I would have your pediatrician determine whether innoculations you've had since birth still cover you for things such as Tetanus and polio - it's possible they still do.

A Yellow Fever Inoculation is required for entry into Tanzania and Kenya, and the CDC does suggest you have this inoculation - it's no big deal and rarely are there any side-effects. And as a traveler, the CDC also advises you consider a Hep-A vaccine (to avoid food borne ailments).

All of this information can be found on the CDC site for travel to East Africa (Kenya and Tanzania specifically). And there is also a requirement for malaria medicine (tablets).

Not being a physician, I can only repeat what is recommended by the CDC, and can only advise what I've done and if any reactions. So, I'm glad to say, that I've had no reactions to any inoculations. As far as the malaria pills, the CDC lists a few kinds - the one with the least, if any, side-effects is the newest, called Malarone, to which I've had no reactions whatsoever.

So check the CDC site, discuss with your parents and physicians and "make a family affair" out of taking care of what is necessary. With this behind you, you're all going to have a wonderful time in Africa.
May 3rd, 2004, 07:14 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 171
Hi. I'm currently researching this as well. All the vaccines and malaria pills are recommendation from the US, not requirements. My daughter's doctor contacted an infectious disease specialist and he recommended typhoid shots, hep A, etc. More than I had ever heard of! We are now debating about all, or some. Given that malaria is a real risk and affects children very negatively, we'll definitely do that. I also feel if your going to Tanzania, yellow fever shots might be in order. As posted before, technically, if your coming from Kenya you are coming from an infected area. Has anyone out there been ask to produce proof while crossing into Tanzania from Kenya?
Cronen is offline  
May 4th, 2004, 04:50 AM
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Cronon - as to the yellow Yellow Fever Card provided when you have this inoculation, you can enter all your other inoculations and what pills (malaria specifically) you took. This Yellow booklet should be inside your Passport (though make photo copies, both sides - one to keep with you separate from the original, the other at home). When you cross he broder at Namanga (or arrive at Kili or Dar) they "may" ask to see the Yellow Fever booklet, then they may not.

You do not want to be arriving on the day they ask you to provide/show it, and you don't have it. And if they don't specifically ask to see it, they will see it's inside your passport. Don't take any chances for not having this proof of inoculation.

As far as Thyphoid, yes travel clinics and tropical desease specialist do recommend these - to date, this is the only inoculation I have "not" had. That was my decision (for no particular reason), though I may have in the future.

The one thing you cannot ignore is he Malaria meds, and must be taken as prescribed and for the full term. And do not forget using repellent with Deet, on exposed skin (keep away from face, eyes, nose) from dusk-to-dawn, wearing long pants, shirts, socks - don't forget to wash repellent off body before retiring for the night. Spray your room or tent (sprays are provided).

It's a lot to take in and can run a few bucks most don't initially budget, but once you've had the Tetanus, Hep-A, Polio booster (if needed - adults mostly), Yellow Fever - these last 10-yrs so you won't have to think about it for sometime. Do arrange to have whatever is needed for you and your family at least one month prior travel, just in case someone has a reaction, though unlikely.

When are you all on your way?
May 4th, 2004, 07:50 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 171
Sandi, we are leaving on June 25th staying until July 11th. We are excited! I just also wanted to add that you can wash your clothes in permanon-it stays in for several washings and makes your clothes insect repellent. They also sell "bug off" clothing. I got my daughter a jacket made with this material, as she is sweet and the bugs do like her. We'll all take the malaria pills, but still want to use protection. We also ordered Deet disposable towels. One towel does your entire body, and they are small and easy to travel with, a little larger than regular disposable wipes.
Cronen is offline  
May 4th, 2004, 11:37 AM
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Cronen - Did you ever previously post your day-by-day itinerary? Would love to know where you're going on this family adventure? If you did post, just tell me where to fine it, don't re-enter it here.

Yes, I know of the permanon (or something like that) - its been available for a few years now, but I have never bothered and have been lucky to never have gotten more than a tsetse bite (right between two fingers), go I guess I'm not "sweet" enough.

As to the Deet towels, this is just a heads-up, but did you check to see what the percentage of Deet contained in each? Many have numbers way high at 60% - 80% which is way too high. Often these are made available on golf courses and a friend brought me a stack of them. But when I saw how much Deet they contained, I dumped them. Too much of a good thing is not that good an idea (especially for children)!

Looking forward to seeing the itinerary, and I just know you're all going to have a great time.

May 4th, 2004, 03:23 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 171
Sandi, good point about the Deet towels, they are 30%, which is about as high as I'll go. And yes, I would love to share my final itinerary, thanks for asking:

June 25 - Leave from JFK
1 Nairobi Nairobi Safari Club
2 Aberdare Nat. Park The Ark
3 Congreve Consvncy Mbweha Camp
4 Masai Mara Nat. G.R Siana Intrepids Camp
5 Masai Mara Nat. G.R Siana Intrepids Camp
6 Transfer by air to Nairobi and then drive to Amboseli Nat. Park Ol Tukai
7 Amboseli Nat. Park Ol Tukai
8 Lake Manyara Eunoto Retreat Luxury Lodge
9 Ngorongoro Con.Area Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge
10 Ngorongoro Con.Area Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge
11 Serengeti Nat. Park Serengeti Sopa Lodge
12 Serengeti Nat. Park Serengeti Sopa Lodge
13 -16 Zanzibar Breezes Beach Club and home.

We are still waiting on confirmation of the Serengeti Sopa Lodge and may stay at the Serena instead. Any last minute suggestions? We are trying to reduce very long drives. This is why we are flying on Day 6.
Cronen is offline  
May 5th, 2004, 05:36 AM
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Cronen - At 30% those Deet towels are just fine. I'll have to look for them for myself.

Re: Itinerary - do you arrive early enough Day 1 to do some sightseeing in NBO? If so, you should get out to the Giraffe Center, the Karen Blixen ("Out of Africa") home, and maybe do dinner at The Carnivore Restaurant - it's lots of fun. The Safari Club is a good choice as they only have suites in this hotel - enough room for a family.
Day 2 - The Ark - children especially like this.
Day 3 - Congreve Consvncy Mbweha Camp - I'm not familiar exactly where this is located? Is it north of Aberdares or in the Lakes Areas? But this will be camping and should be your first true Africa "under canvas" experience.
Day 4 & 5 - Masai Mara Nat. Siana Intrepids Camp - this camp located outside the Mara on road to the Sekenani Gate, so night drives and game walks are likely provided; something you might want to consider. Also right before arriving here there is a Masai Manyatta (community) that you might want to stop to visit. Interesting to see how the Masai live, their houses, etc.
Day 6 & 7- Transfer by air to Nairobi and then drive to Amboseli, Ol Tukai - the flight back to NBO is good, and the road from NBO to Namanga is paved, and yes the road to Amboseli has been graded and a tremendous improvement over its' previous condition.
Day 8 - Lake Manyara Eunoto Retreat Luxury Lodge - not familiar with the Eunoto Retreat, and this drive will be kind of long, in that you have to drive from Amboseli to Namanga where you change vehicles and from there drive via Arusha and onto Lake Manyara - but an interesting adventure.
Day 9 & 10 - Ngorongoro Con.Area Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge - this is a normal drive and you'll find the next day in the Crater quite interesting.
Day 11 & 12 - Serengeti Nat. Park Serengeti Sopa Lodge (located in SW Serengeti - whether you stay here or the Serena (more in center of Serengeti) both are lovely*, but I would recommend you "fly" from the Serengeti back to Arusha/Kili (otherwise it's a long drive) to connect for your flight to Zanzibar. The fare from Seronera (which is closer to the Serena Serengeti) departs about 11:15am, cost is about $90 o/w adult and half that for a child under 12. This flight arrives into Arusha about 12:20pm What time does flight to Zanzibar depart?
Days 13 to 16 Zanzibar Breezes Beach Club and home. - so lovely to relax before returning home.

*Since end-June/beg-July the wildebeest and zebra should be on the move north to the Masai Mara, it might be better to be at the Serena as it is closer to the route that the animals travel.

Otherwise, it looks good to me. You're all going to have a great time. And don't forget that you must write a trip report so we can all enjoy your holiday

May 5th, 2004, 07:17 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 171
Sandi, thanks again. It really does help having advice and additional info. with such a big trip.

To answer your questions: We will not have much time in Nairobi, as we arrive late on June 26th.

The Mbweha Camp is a new lodge just outside the southern boundaries of Lake Nakuru National Park, only a few minutes drive from the Park's Nderit Gate. I have heard nothing about it and did an earlier post hoping to find someone that has stayed there. It looks nice.

We are taking a flight from Seronera to Arusha and then onto Zanzibar. I booked through Vintage Africa. I will definitely post a trip report.
Cronen is offline  
May 5th, 2004, 10:32 AM
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Sandi: You may recognize Cronen's "Siana Intrepids" camp as Siana Springs, just outside the reserve beyond the Mara Sarova Camp. FYI.
SusanLynne is offline  
May 5th, 2004, 12:48 PM
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SusanLynne - yess, thanks for the heads-up - Siana Intrepids, formerly the Siana Springs, once owned by A&K, now under the auspices of Heritage Hotels. Heritage also has the Samburu Intrepids, the Mara Explorer and a few Voyager properties on the coast.

Cronen - glad to hear you're flying out of Seronera - good move. I tried doing a search for Mbweba Camp and came up with nothing, though there is a press release for the new E Unoto Lodge which looks interesting. You'll have to tell us about these two properties.
May 5th, 2004, 03:38 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 171
Sandi,I will definitely do a detailed report, because I've found others so valuable in organizing this trip. I hate to have dominated the yellow fever thread, but I'm now on to travel insurance. I've read some of the threads and couldn't get the same deal as Roccco through AMEX Access America insurance. I believe you have recommended It looks good, but difficult to figure out which to take. I'm doing the fly in doctor insurance, which is quite reasonable. I assumed my medical would kick in at the hospital, but will call on that now. I really just want trip cancellation, either because of illness, terrorism, or the tour operator going bottom up.
Cronen is offline  
May 5th, 2004, 05:59 PM
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Cronen: We were advised by our medical insurance company that any medical expenses incurred on our trip would be covered. However, we were told that our BC/BS cards would get us nowhere over there, so to bring a credit card in case needed and then we would be reimbursed by the insurance company. We also got the Flying Doctors Society membership, which, in the grand scheme of things, is nominal - and if not used the money goes to a good cause.
SusanLynne is offline  
May 5th, 2004, 06:07 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,536
SusanLynne - my medical insurance said the same thing with one little additional piece of info - any claims would be "out of network" and paid at 60% after a $2000 deductible!
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