Frequently Asked QuestionsAre there any health risks I should be aware of?
South Africa boasts high hygiene standards with safe drinking water (South African tap water is rated as one of the best in the world) available in most tourist areas and whilst Aids is a problem throughout Africa, you will only put yourself at risk of contracting HIV if you partake in unprotected sex or intravenous drug taking.
There is a risk of contracting malaria if you are visiting Kruger National Park, parts of Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, Northwest and Northern provinces. The decision whether or not to take precautions against malaria is a personal one, especially as the drugs prescribed for this are unsuitable for long term use. Local inhabitants of malarial areas cover up arms and legs during early mornings and the evenings, often using a mosquito repellant spray for any other areas of exposed skin. To date, we have had no instances of volunteers contracting malaria on any project. Please note that Cape Town is malaria free.
The most serious health risk you are likely to face is from the South African sun which can be unforgiving at any time of the year so please do come prepared with adequate sunscreen, UV filter sunglasses and a hat (or purchase them soon after you arrive). If you are particularly fair of skin be careful not to overdo the sunbathing, even 10 minutes under the summer sun is long enough to burn if you are not used to it!
Although there are no compulsory inoculations if you arrive from the West, it would be wise to ensure your polio and tetanus vaccinations are up to date.