south africa

South Africa Prep

We are now two months out until we leave for our South Africa adventure.  This means the travel prep is now underway!  One of the first things that I did when we were discussing South Africa was to see what medical precautions I would need to do.  I went to the CDC’s website to see if I needed any vaccines, medicine, etc.  Looking at the website I saw that I that the CDC recommends the following:

  • MMRUnknown
  • Tetanus
  • Chickenpox
  • Polio
  • Flu Shot
  • Hep A and B
  • Typhoid
  • Rabies

Looking at this list I thought I could just go to my primary doctor, have a little chat and get the shots that I needed.  Talking to my friend who went to China last year she informed me it would be best to go to a travel doctor.  A travel doctor?  I’ve never heard of such a doctor before, but I trusted her since she has gone through this before.  I contacted my primary inquiring if he wanted met to come into the office or a travel doctor.  He stated he prefers a travel doctor and he gave me a few options of where I could go.  I called the one that was most convenient and found that there was no wait for an appointment and I was able to get in to see the doctor the next day.

I went in to the office and discussed the itinerary with the doctor.  She had a packet all ready with print outs of traveler reports with health concerns and a printout with general traveler advice.  During the discussion she stated that based on my health and history that I would only need to get the tetanus, typhoid, and hep fullsizeoutput_77fA shots.  The hep A is a series of 2 shots that are spaced 6 months apart, but I will be ok with just the one shot for the trip.  She said that based on the current information available regarding malaria, recently there was a reported case of malaria in Limpopo Providence where we will be staying.  As a result she gave me a prescription for malaria that I have to take before entering the providence, while we are there, and for some time after we leave.  She also provided me with a prescription for Cipro as a precaution for possible stomach problems that may be encountered.  She did advise to only eat:

  • Thoroughly cook proteins
  • Fruits with skins that can be washed and removed such as bananas
  • Pasteurized milk/cream (guess it’s a good thing I drink my coffee black 🙂 )

Also to combat any stomach problems that may be incurred it was suggested we travel with powder gatorade.  I thought this was a good suggestion – even when traveling in a location where stomach issues may not be a problem.  Usually I try to drink bottled water when traveling but sometimes you want a little change and this is a great option for that.

I thought I would have to make a separate office visit to get the shots, but I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to get all of the immunizations right then and there!  I was and out of the office within a half hour with 2 immunizations and the needed prescriptions.

Next on my prep list:

  • Get the needed additional items:
    • Bug spray with DEET
    • Over the counter medicines
    • Powder gatorade
  • Figure out what to pack

I think figuring out what to pack is going to be a challenge let alone trying not to overpack!


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