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Health requirements

Ipswich, United...
4 posts
1 review
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Health requirements

Hello,

We are spending two weeks in South Africa this April. Our tour begins in Cape Town then the Garden Route to Port Elizabeth and finally 3 nights at Shamwari Game Reserve. Has anyone travelling this route had the Rabies vaccine? The nurse in our local practise says this is a 'high risk' area.

Please could we have your thoughts on this?

Thank you.

Pickering, United...
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1. Re: Health requirements

your nurse needs to define high risk for her statement to make any sense. you will not be interacting with wild animals (unless you are a vet?) so there is little, if any, point in having the rabies vaccine. Added to that the main purpose of this vaccine is not to confer absolute immunity but to give you more time to get treatment. Presumably you will have travel insurance which would whisk you off for treatment.

South Africa
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1,424 posts
92 reviews
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2. Re: Health requirements

Rabiës is not needed at all,

SA
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54 posts
96 reviews
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3. Re: Health requirements

You do not have to worry about Rabies.

Ipswich, United...
4 posts
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4. Re: Health requirements

Hi all, thank you for your replies.

Alexandria, Virginia
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48 posts
7 reviews
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5. Re: Health requirements

I think you have to have a bite by an actual rabid animal to get rabies. I wouldn't worry about it.

Baltimore, Maryland
Destination Expert
for Washington DC
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2,270 posts
250 reviews
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6. Re: Health requirements

Rabies is definitely not needed, given that in South Africa you will have access to hospitals with the Ig in the very small chance that you would ever get bitten

Cape Town Central...
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7. Re: Health requirements

Absolutely agree, with the prior posts. Listen to the guides when you are traveling.within Shamwari. Don't feed any wild animals and you should be fine. Also would recommend, if you have the time a visit to the Addo Elephant Park, you will not regret taking the time to see such amazing animals. Arrive early and enjoy a safari with the rangers. And more importantly pack sun cream and a hat!

Ipswich, United...
4 posts
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8. Re: Health requirements

Hi,

Thanks again for further replies. You have reassured us. Yes we have a day trip to Addo Elephant Park. Sounds amazing. Looking forward to the whole trip from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth. Hat and sun cream ready to pack!

Cambridge, United...
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18 posts
75 reviews
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9. Re: Health requirements

I'm shortly off on a very similar itinerary. My GP confirmed I was up to date for all the essential vaccines (had them prior to visiting North Africa a couple of years back) but was ambivalent about whether or not I should get rabies. I won't ever be out of reach of a hospital. However I've decided to go ahead with the pre vaccine. I really don't handle medical treatment well, though cope ok with basic jabs. If you get pre-vaccinated and are bitten, you just need 2 more shots (yes you need to get them asap but its slightly less urgent than if you have no immunity), and as far as I understand they are just ordinary jabs. If you haven't been pre-vaccinated you need 5 injections, including immunoglobin, which is more unpleasant and obviously will cause greater disruption to your travel plans. Yes they are expensive in the UK (£55 per shot) but health isn't something I want to scrimp on.

I booked the trip some time back and wasn't going to have the rabies shots. My travel buddy isn't going to and I completely understand his choice...but after thinking and researching I changed my mind. Hopefully I won't need it, but have decided its worth the peace of mind.

Washington DC...
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4,110 posts
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10. Re: Health requirements

Sorry, but unless you intend to be handling animals or be at risk of being bitten in a close encounter, I think getting the rabies shot is overkill. Going on game drives doesn't count as handling or a close encounter.