Is Zanzibar safe?

As with any travel, particularly that outside Europe, special medical precautions are advised. For travel to Zanzibar you should consider:

1. Yellow Fever.
2. Cholera.
3. Typhoid and Polio.
4. Malaria.

  1. A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for all travellers over 1 year of age travelling from infected areas and travellers coming from countries considered to be endemic by the Tanzanian authorities. The risk of yellow fever is highest in northwestern forest areas.

  3. According to 1973 WHO guidelines, a cholera vaccination is no longer required for entry into Tanzania. However, cholera is a risk throughout the country and precautions are essential. Up-to-date advice should be sought before deciding whether these precautions should include vaccination as medical opinion is divided over its effectiveness.

  5. Vaccination against typhoid is advised.

  7. Malaria risk, predominantly in the malignant falciparum form, exists all year throughout the country below 1800m (5906ft). The strain is reported to be highly resistant to chloroquine and sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine.


Food & drink:
All water should be regarded as being potentially contaminated. Travellers should use bottled water for drinking, brushing teeth, washing vegetables and reconstituting powdered milk. Other food hygiene precautions should be strictly observed.

Other risks:
Bilharzia (schistosomiasis) is present. Avoid swimming and paddling in fresh water; swimming pools which are well chlorinated and maintained are safe. Sleeping sickness (trypanosomiasis) occurs. Hepatitis A and E also occur; hepatitis B is endemic. There has been a recent outbreak of meningococcal meningitis. Immunisation against diphtheria and tuberculosis is sometimes recommended. Plague is present in the Tanga region.

Rabies is present. For those at high risk, vaccination before arrival should be considered. If you are bitten, seek medical advice without delay. For more information, see the Health appendix.

Health care:
Private health insurance is recommended. There are over 2000 hospitals and clinics and some Christian missions also provide medical treatment; however, facilities are limited and medicines are often unavailable. All treatment must be paid for.


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