Notice - Yellow fever is no longer required

by Tony
(Victoria Falls 3rd Feb 2015)

The information below supercedes all other questions regarding Yellow Fever vaccinations.

Yellow fever vaccinations are no longer required for travel between Zambia and South Africa, the South African Department of Health has announced.

The requirement was lifted on Saturday January 31st 2015 with immediate effect. The decision was made at the World Health Assembly on Friday in Geneva.

The decision by SA’s health department comes after the World Health Organisation confirmed in December 2014 that Zambia had low yellow fever potential exposure status, which means travellers should not be required to carry a yellow fever vaccination certificate.

The requirement was bemoaned by the tourism industry, which suggested that it was putting travellers off the destination, especially because they could visit the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe without having a vaccination.
From SA Tourism Update

The lifting of the Yellow Fever requirement by South Africa is very much welcomed by travellers and tour companies alike. What this means is that visitors who wish to include Zambia in their travel itinerary can do so freely without the concern or hassle of having to obtain and carry a Yellow Fever certificate.

Botswana, however, have not released any information as to whether or not they will also lift their Yellow Fever requirement for visitors coming from Zambia. We will keep you posted on any new developments.

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Feb 16, 2015
good news
by: Anonymous

Thanks

Feb 26, 2015
how about traveling from Zambia to Zimbabwe
by: Martina

Thanks for the good news Tony!
What's the current status on Zimbabwe's regulations? Is a yellow fever certificate still required when traveling from Zambia to Zimbabwe? Many thanks and kind regards,
Martina

Feb 26, 2015
No yellow fever required for Zimbabwe
by: Tony

Hi Martina

The short answer is No - yellow fever is not required.
Long answer: It never has been a Zimbabwean or Zambian regulation, it only ever was a South African regulation. They would not let people back into SA who had been to where they deemed was a yellow fever Zone. Thankfully SA have now dropped this also.

Mar 04, 2015
Botswana Yellow Fever requirements
by: Mark

I seen on a website that tourists going through Livingstone into Botswana are not asked for a certificate. After visiting the Falls and staying at Tongabezi Lodge we will be crossing the Zambezi river and entering Botswana at Kasane Immigration. Is it possible to establish whether a yellow fever certificate is required. World Health Organisation suggest that it is not required but information is very confusing.

Mar 06, 2015
No yellow fever required
by: Tony

Hello Mark

You definately do NOT need to have a yellow fever certificate. I know there is confusing information out there regarding this, but I can assure you that you don't need it.

Mar 06, 2015
Yellow fever is no longer required
by: Martina

Thanks a lot for the clarification Tony!
Unfortunately, the internet is full of conflicting, i.e.wrong information about yellow fever and travels to Zimbabwe.

Apr 17, 2015
Yellow Fever certificate required to travel back in Botswana from Zambia?
by: Rebecca

I found your article helpful as I have been searching for up to date information on this topic.
Do you happen to know if Botswana still require a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate if crossing over from Zambia?

Cheers!

Apr 20, 2015
Botswana yellow fever requirement
by: Tony

Hi Rebecca

Botswana only introduced this requirement for a very short time, but now as Zambia has been declared a yellow fever free zone Botswana have also dropped this requirement, you do NOT need one.

Apr 21, 2015
Botswana yellow fever requirement
by: Rebecca

Thank you so much for this information. I had come to this understanding myself, but the agent I am booking a trip with keeps telling me I must have a Yellow Fever Certificate and I am confused as to why, if Zambia has been declared Yellow Fever free, and Botswana and South Africa don't need one, and they are the only countries I am visiting!
I know myself the answer is no, and it would be ridiculous if it wasn't, but can I double check that it is not 'law' for all people entering and leaving Zambia to have a Yellow Fever Vaccination certificate? As this is what the agent just emailed me. I realise you have already written this above somewhere, but things change quickly and I just want to be extra sure before I arrive.

Cheers!

Apr 22, 2015
Yellow Fever Vaccination for Botswana
by: Rebecca

Hi again,

Please ignore my last message. The agent has finally come back, after a week of me emailing saying I don't think I need a Yellow Fever Vaccination, confirming that I do not need one.

Thanks for your help!

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Victoria Falls Travel Planning

by Vaishali
(India )

Hi !

We are planning a short trip - 2 nights , to see the falls in February & are going to be staying on the Zambian side.. Our international flight gets into Johannesburg in the evening & we plan to stay overnight at a hotel near the airport & take the flight to Livingstone in the morning.
If we get our yellow fever shots in India, can we then re- enter South Africa from Zambia or do we have to take the shots again before re- entering ?

We also plan on seeing the falls from the Zimbabwean side - is that possible in such a limited time ? Is crossing the border a hassle ( we plan on getting the Zimbabwe visa from home ) & is it better to do it on foot or get a taxi ?
Thanks !

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Dec 02, 2014
Answers to your questions
by: Tony

Hi Vaishali

Yellow fever shots are valid for 10 years, so once you have had them done in India you do not need to have them done again. Just make sure that you carry your vaccination certificate as proof. These should be done at least 10 days before travel as that is when the vaccination becomes effective.

Re your 2nd question - It depends on what else you want to do while you are here, but you can certainly see both sides of the Falls in one day and I would recommend doing this. You would then have your first afternoon free to do a sunset cruise or a helicopter flight and then also your last morning do to something else if you wish, all depends on what you like. But seeing the Falls if you are coming all the way from India is certainly the most important. The entrance gates to the Falls in both Zimbabwe and Zambia are very close to the border posts so not worth taking a taxi, but the walk across the bridge between the two border posts is about 1.8kms and is quite tyring, you might want to catch taxi between these two for at least one way of the journey, because it is also quite nice to walk across the bridge and see what is happening.
You must get your visa in India you cannot get it here.

Dec 02, 2014
More Qs ?
by: Vaishali

Thanks Tony for your help.

We are staying at the Zambezi Sun so we have free access to the Falls. On the Zimbabwean side we have to pay the park entrance fees of 30USD pp - Correct ?

How much would a taxi ride cost across the bridge ?
With our visas in hand will the border crossing take long ?

We are planning to do the sunset cruise on the first afternoon. Will a microlight / helicopter ride be possible on the last morning before our BA flight in the afternoon ? We can do only one ride - in your opinion which has the WOW factor ?

What would be the best time for seeing the falls from the Zimbabwean side ?

I know that Devils Pool will be closed in Feb. However is it still worth going to Livingstone island & viewing the falls from there ?
Thanks once again, really appreciate. Your website is very informative & helpful !

Dec 02, 2014
More answers
by: Tony

1) Yes $30pp entrance fee Zimbabwean side
2) Taxi fare max $5
3) Borders are obviously tricky as a sudden bus load of people can suddenly create a long queue, but ordinarily it should be less than 20 minutes per side and is often a lot less than this.
4) Yes you can do a flight in the morning, for me the Microlight flight has the WOW factor.
5) Absolute best time for seeing the Falls I guess is August September, but it is special at all times of the year.
5) Yes the Livingstone island tour is definately worth it has a great vantage point to see the falls unlike any other.

Good luck and let us know if you need any help with making bookings for any of these activities via this Booking enquiry form

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Yellow Fever vaccination

by Tanya Highnote
(Tampa, FL, USA)

If you fly in and out of Zimbabwe but want to visit the Zambia side of the falls for a day will you need a yellow fever vaccination to re-enter South Africa?

Answer:
By Tony

Hi Tanya

Technically the answer is YES. South African regulations state than any person who has travelled to what they deem Yellow Fever zones has to produce a yellow fever certificate, and Zambia is one of these zones.

If you fly directly out of Zambia, they wont let you on the plane without one, but of you fly out of Zimbabwe, it is of no concern to the Zimbabweans and you can board the plane.

Now when you get to the South Africa airport it depends on whether the immigration official goes through all the stamps in your passport.

I personally have a yellow fever certicate but have never been asked to produce it when flying out of Zim into South Africa or indeed when I travel through any of the border posts to into South Africa.

To be safe you should have one but if you are dead against it and want to take the chance then it's up to you.


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Yellow Fever

by Steve
(Valencia, CA, USA)

Do you need a vaccine to visit either Zambia or Zimbabwe?

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May 03, 2012
Yellow Fever
by: Greg Whyte

If you are going to go through Johanesburg even for a one hour transit you MUST have yellow fever if you have gone into Zambia. If you only go to Zimbabwe then you don't need one.

Dec 03, 2012
Yellow Fever
by: Anonymous

How much does it cost to obtain yellow fever certificate?

Dec 04, 2012
Cost of Yellow Fever
by: Tony

The cost of the yellow fever vaccination will depend on where you get it from. In South Africa I know it is in the region of R450 from the travel clinics. I have heard that in UK it can be as much as £80

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Yellow Fever Vacine

by Beverley
(Jhannesburg)

We will be visiting Ilala Lodge Zimbabwe / Zambia in Feb 2012. Is it absolutely essential to have this vacine.

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Jan 19, 2012
Yellow fever Vaccine
by: Tony

Hi Beverley

Yes it is absolutely essential. If you travel into Zambia and then back to South Africa you need it. They will ask you at the Zambian airport for your certificate and if you don't have it they wont let you on the plane. If you are driving they will also check your passports to see where you have been and ask for your certificate.

You do not need it for Zimbabwe at all.

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Avoiding yellow fever shots!

We are US citizens traveling to Victoria Falls as a side trip from South Africa, and would like to avoid the required yellow fever shots if possible. We are thinking of doing several activities but wondering if there are any that we won't be able to do or won't be as good if we do them from the Zimbabwe side. Are most activities similar from both sides of the river and will we have to worry about accidentally crossing over thus requiring the shots.

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Oct 24, 2011
Yellow fever
by: Tony

Hi
Just to clarify, and from your question it sounds like you are aware of it, but Yellow fever only required for those flying in and out of Zambia.

Most activities are available from both sides but activities specific to Zambia are Microlight flights and the Livingstone island tour which includes the devils swim. Otherwise all activities available in Zimbabwe and with regard to game viewing activities and river cruises, these are superior in Zimbabwe.
Rafting almost exactly same stretch of river but in Zambia they have a cable car to take you out of the gorge instead of walking.
Highwire activities are better in Zimbabwe.

If you send us an enquiry regarding what sort of things you want to do we can advise you more precisely

Jun 10, 2014
Infant travelling
by: Anonymous

We will have a 3 month old baby when we travel to South Africa. We want to go to victoria falls but our dr has advised that it would be too risky. Is this the case?

Jul 21, 2014
Zim-SA trip
by: humphrey

i have travelled from Zim to Zambia and back but was never asked to produce the certificate (i didn't know about it though). Now i need to fly to Johannesburg, will i need to produce the certificate because my passport shows that i've been to a yellow fever Zone early this year.

Aug 01, 2014
Its a grey area
by: Tony

In theory yes you do need to produce a yellow fever certificate when you arrive in South Africa as this is only a requiremnet by the SA authorities. However they very rarely check for this certificate from planes that have arrived from Zimbabwe.

Oct 07, 2014
Passengers not able to have yellow fever shots
by: Travel Group

I am a travel Agent traveling on the last 2 days of trip to Victoria Falls, three clients in a group of 10 couldn't take the yellow fever shots due to medical history and medications currently taking.
We are traveling from the Us. Should these travelers not tour Zambia and Zimbawe due to the fear of not being allowed back into Jburg to board flight back to the US.
Please assist.
Email-bonjourtravel967@gmail.com

Oct 08, 2014
Letter from their Doctors
by: Tony

Hi There

If your fellow travellers are able to get letters from their doctors stating that they were not able to get the yellow fever shots due medical reasons then that is sufficient, they will still be able to travel.
If they are unable to get these medical letters then they should not travel to Zambia.
Zimbabwe is not listed as a yellow fever risk so there is no problem with travelling to Zimbabwe.

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Yellow Fever

by Fahmeedah Nadat
(Johannesburg, South Africa)

Hi there,

We would like to do the Bridge Slide when we come to Vic Falls and I know we have to cross over to the Zambian side to do it. We will not be visiting Zambia, we are only crossing over to do the bridge swing. I have found out that if you are entering Zambia then you have to take a Yellow Fever vaccine, I just wanted to know if this still applies for us?
Also do our passports get stamped when doing the swing?(As this might affect re-entry into our countries without the vaccine.)

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Sep 23, 2011
Yellow fever vaccination not required
by: Tony

Hi Fahmeedah

You will NOT need to get a yellow fever vaccination. The bridge slide is situated on the Victoria Falls bridge which is in what's known as no mans land between the two countries.
You will pass through the Zimbabwe customs, but they will not stamp your passport, they will give you a pass. If you are only going onto the bridge you will not go through Zambian customs and therefore your passport wont get stamped and you wont need the vaccine.

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Yellow Fever certificate required?

by Terry
(San Diego, CA, USA)

US to Johannesburg to Nelspruit to Livingstone to Zimbabwe(for lodging), back to Livingstone to US. Is Yellow Fever vaccine required?

Two nights in Victoria Falls in late Nov. 2015, suggested lodging and transportation from Livingstone airport to lodging and back to airport. Restaurants? Thanks, Terry & Terrie

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Feb 12, 2015
No yellow fever required
by: Tony

Hi Terry

Good news is that the yellow fever regulation has just been dropped so there is no need for yellow fever certificate any more.
Lodging available in all budgets so would need to know what kind of place you want to stay, low, medium or high. Transfers are easy to organise, we can book them for you, just send us an email, we can also help to book your accommodation if needs be info[at]victoriafalls-guide.net

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