Immunizations before your trip to Tanzania
As you start planning your Tanzania trip, you may be wondering what immunizations are necessary to protect yourself from certain diseases that are common in Africa. In this article, we will cover what immunizations are mandatory and what immunizations are recommended for your Tanzania trip.
What is a mandatory immunization for entering Tanzania? If you are traveling to Tanzania from, or have visited, a country that is considered at-risk for yellow fever, you will be required to get a vaccination for yellow fever. This vaccine has been mandatory for many years and is still the most sought-after vaccine upon entering Tanzania from the US, UK, Europe, and most countries around the world. If you have not travelled to a country where yellow fever is present, then you will not need to provide evidence of this vaccine.
What are mandatory immunizations for entering Tanzania?
If you are vaccinated, you will need to provide a certificate that you are fully immunized against the virus. If you are not vaccinated, you will also need to provide a positive PCR test. In this case, the PCR test should be done no more than 72 hours prior to your arrival in Tanzania
We recommend that you travel vaccinated against COVID-19
If you’re planning a trip to Tanzania and you’re going to some of the most malaria-prone places in the country, you’ll want to make sure you’re taking the right precautions. Malaria prevention medications are often recommended for travelers who plan to travel all over Africa, not just in one country. This is especially true for those who plan to live in Tanzania and work in the country. Some travelers who plan to go on safaris, mountain climbing, or beach holidays in Tanzania may also want to take malaria prevention medications.
There are no vaccines that are mandatory in Tanzania, except for Yellow Fever. However, there are several vaccines that are recommended. Below are some of the important things to consider when planning a trip to Tanzania. Most of these are common precautions for traveling to developing countries, and if you’re an avid traveler, you probably already have all of them.
The standard list of diseases against which tourists are recommended to get vaccinated against includes: tetanus, diphtheria, and Hepatitis A and B.
It’s thought that tetanus is more common in places close to the equator, but according to WHO statistics, Tanzania has one of the lowest rates of tetanus in the world. It’s classified as a rare, very rare case according to WHO’s rating scale. Most countries use the DPT vaccine to prevent tetanus, which is usually given to adults every ten years. So make sure you’re up to date before you go to Tanzania.
Hepatitis A & B
Hepatitis A virus enters the human body through the consumption of contaminated water, while hepatitis B virus enters the body through the use of contaminated personal tools, such as nail salons and spas with poor hygiene standards. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you only drink bottled water during your stay in Tanzania.
Hepatitis B viruses enter the body through the circulation of the infected person’s bodily fluids. In most countries that have a good health care system, both hepatitis types can be vaccinated.
Both diseases pose the same level of risk to tourists in Tanzania as they do in their home countries. In theory, it is possible to sustain an injury and get hepatitis infection during a routine walk in the park or on an excursion in Tanzania. However, dirty water poses a higher risk, which is why we provide all our clients bottled drinking water throughout their stay in Tanzania.
There are a few extra things to keep in mind, like getting vaccinated against diseases like chickenpox, typhoid, and rabies. The CDC recommends getting vaccinated against chickenpox if you’re traveling alone, living in rural areas, or eating out of hotels. You can also get vaccinated against typhoid if you live in an area with poor hygiene. Most of these vaccines are given when you’re a kid.
According to the US Embassy
If you’re an American tourist planning a trip to Tanzania, then you’ve probably browsed the U.S. Embassy’s Tanzania website and noticed some of the country’s most common health threats, including:
- Yellow fever
Tanzania is working to prevent the spread of Covid-19 by requiring all travelers entering the country to provide proof of a Covid-19 vaccine or a recent (within 72-hrs) negative PCR test.
There are currently no effective vaccines against malaria. Only medicines can act as preventive measures to reduce your risk of malaria. In certain cases, you may need to take anti-malaria medications before and during your trip to Tanzania. Talk to your doctor about anti-malaria meds as there are various side effects with these meds.
Malaria is a disease caused by a female mosquito that carries a parasite. It is most common in tropical areas where malaria-carrying mosquitos live in lowland, swamps and forests. The best places for malaria mosquitoes to breed are places with standing water, no wind and a constant temperature over 20 °C. These places are far away from lakes or ponds or places with a constant breeze and are less likely to have malaria mosquitoes.
The risk of malaria for tourists visiting Tanzania for high altitude climbing and safaris is minimal. The highest chance of coming into contact with infected mosquitoes can be found in hotels near swamps. However, no such hotels are available in Shiri adventures safari programs. Mosquito nets are available in all our hotels.
Besides anti-malarial drugs, travelers can take simple precautions to reduce their risk: use of nets and canopies at night, wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts in the evening and morning hours, and spray mosquito repellant.
Tanzania’s malaria control campaign is underway
Malaria is one of the top causes of death in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Many of these deaths occur among the most impoverished communities and are mostly among children. Most of these unfortunate deaths are caused by financial reasons, such as delayed access to medical care, insufficient funds to purchase drugs, or pre-existing immunocompromise.
Dengue fever is a virus that is transmitted by certain types of mosquitoes. In Tanzania, several foreign embassies have advised travelers to be aware of seasonal dengue fevers on the islands and on the mainland of Tanzania. The disease is dangerous as it can sometimes lead to a complication known as ‘severe’ dengue. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that the majority of cases of severe Dengue are found in countries in Asia, Latin America, and there have been cases of common Dengue in Europe as well.
Dengue Fever is transmitted by the bite of a mosquito. The type of mosquito that can carry Dengue Fever is the species of mosquito that breeds in reservoirs of water. These reservoirs are stored for a long time, for emergency supplies, and Shiri Adventures doesn’t see any of these water supplies in our partner hotels that our guests stay at.
Individual prevention for Dengue fever is the same as for malaria. This means wearing long-sleeve clothing, wearing repellent in the early and late hours, and having mosquito nets on your windows Andover beds in your accommodations.
No member of the Shiri Adventures team has ever encountered dengue fever. In this case, our job is simply to inform you about the possible risks and give you the best advice to protect your health.
Although the tsetse disease (African trypanosomiasis) is not specifically mentioned by any organization, we would like to mention it, as well. The tsetse disease, otherwise known as sleeping dropsy, is the result of encountering parasites called trypanosomes which most commonly infect a human through the host – tsetse flies.
These flies live in warm, humid places, such as river banks or spots near undrained water bodies. The risk group includes dwellers of villages and those employed in such professions as loggers, road builders, fishermen, etc. Transmission of parasites can also occur through exchanging contaminated body fluids with another person.
It is important to remember that there are two subspecies of the pathogen dangerous to humans in Africa: Trypanosoma brucei gambiense in West and Central Africa and Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense in South and East Africa (the latter region is where Tanzania is located).
According to WHO, the West and Central African version causes 97% of cases, while the latter, which is found in Tanzania and other nations in East Africa, causes the remaining 3%. Furthermore, the WHO counts Tanzania among the countries that have detected only 1 to 10 new cases per year in recent years.
Remarkably, Tanzania’s preventive control of tsetse flies in Zanzibar was so successful that it was adopted by other countries.
Although there is no vaccine against sleeping dropsy, travelers should not fear it, based on the information we have about the disease, it is not relevant to Tanzania.
Yellow Fever is the disease our clients ask about the most. It is another disease, a virus, which is spread by an infected mosquito.
This disease is not common in Tanzania because of the government’s strict prevention measures, including vaccination certificates from at-risk travelers before entering the country. If you arrive from the United States, or any European country, you do not have to be vaccinated, unless you’ve traveled to a Yellow-Fever endemic country, prior. Cases of yellow fever have been reported in some countries neighboring Tanzania.
If your trip includes one of the countries endemic to yellow fever, you will be asked for a certificate of vaccination upon entry to Tanzania. Tanzania is surrounded to the north and west by countries where yellow fever cases are common, such as neighboring Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo – so keep it in mind when planning your trip. For a complete list of endemic countries, consult the link here.
The only exception allowing you to skip yellow fever vaccination is if you are transiting through these countries for less than 12 hours.
Is vaccination against yellow fever efficient for added safety? Well, it is not recommended by the CDC for those traveling to Tanzania from non-endemic countries. However, if you travel frequently and plan to visit other countries in Africa or Central and South America, it makes sense to get vaccinated.
Moreover, a single vaccination against yellow fever gives you lifelong protection.
There are no mandatory vaccinations to enter Tanzania for travelers from the European Union or the United States, as well as many other countries. Each traveler can choose what vaccinations they consider relevant based on the recommendations of their Ministry of Health, personal consultations with trusted physicians, and their own opinions about their health.
To anyone coming to Tanzania for a short time to climb Kilimanjaro, go on a safari tour to the national parks, or relax on Zanzibar’s beaches, we advise you to avoid complicating matters with worries about the dangerous in Africa. Instead, please take sensible measures and enjoy your vacation in one of the safest countries on the continent – our beautiful Tanzania!