Yellow fever certificate

Your site and other info found on Google advises that a yellow fever certificate is no longer required to re enter South Africa after a visit to the Falls. Can you confirm this as our tour operator and drs surgery in th UK are telling us we require it. We are traveling to SA in Febrary and are totally confused!

Comments for Yellow fever certificate

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Dec 21, 2017
Information correct
by: Tony

The information on our site is correct, we live here and we know. No certificate is required unless you have been to another country which is considered a high risk yellow fever zone previoulsy. Those countries can be seen on our webiste. Zimbabwe and Zambia are not considered High risk zone and therefore no certificate is required. If your tour operator is suggesting that, then I suggest you get another one because what other false information are they giving you...Book with someone local. Hope that clears it up for you.

Jul 24, 2018
Yellow Fever
by: Anonymous

Hi Tony,

I would be very grateful for information/clarity. We are travelling to South Africa in a couple of weeks and will be travelling to Victoria Falls on the Zambia side before coming home to Toronto. Do we require Yellow Fever Vaccination to enter Zambia? From what I can see we do not. According to the CDC we do not, but I am hearing we can be denied entry on the whim of the officer we encounter.
To make matters more complicated, we have a shortage of yellow fever vaccine here in Toronto and it is almost impossible to get. They are giving micro doses (splitting the vial into 5 doses) which only protect for 1 year.
Any clarity you can give, would be most appreciated!
Thank you.

Jul 25, 2018
Yellow fever zones
by: Tony

Zimbabwe and Zambia are NOT considered yellow fever risk zones. You do NOT need a yellow fever vaccination to travel to either of them or to enter South African and no you will not be refused entry.
However if you have been to a yellow fever country, for example Angola recently that is only when the issue might arise, but it doesn't sound like you have.
The criteria is the country you are coming from not the country you are going to. You can see a list of the countries that are considered yellow fever zones here https://www.victoriafalls-guide.net/yellow-fever-certificate.html

Aug 21, 2018
From Victoria Falls to South Africa
by: Yossi Shargal

I will be travelling soon to Zimbabwe Victoria Falls, cross into Zambia and fly to South Africa.
To be on the safe side, I went today to a vaccination clinic for international travelers.
After checking official sites the doctor confirmed the yellow fever vaccination will not be required.
Furthermore, this vaccination has a contraindication for people above 60.
Just to be on the safe side I insisted and he gave me an exemption certificate.

May 15, 2019
Yellow Fever Vaccine
by: JO


We'll be traveling from India to South Africa and Victoria Falls this June. Our Travel service provider insists that the Yellow Fever vaccine is mandatory for us and we will be asked to show the certificate at Indian Immigration once we return.

Our flight schedule:
New Delhi-Cape Town-Johannesburg- Zambia-India

Would we require the vaccine?


May 24, 2019
Not Required
by: Tony

Hi Jo

Well I cannot know for sure what your Indian immigration will do or say on the day. But Neither Zambia or South Africa are listed as Yellow Fever zones, so according to WHO regulations you do NOT need a certificate.

About 3 years ago Zambia was removed from the countries listed so maybe your travel provider is out of date on their information.

As long as you can show your authorities that neither country is listed then they cannot ask you for the certificate.

Mar 10, 2020
Do we need the Yellow Fever Vaccination if we are in transit at Nairobi Airport
by: Jo

Hi we are travelling from London to Victoria Falls for three days stopping in transit at Nairobi Airport, then continuing directly from Victoria Falls to Cape Town next month, but we are unsure as to whether we need the yellow fever vaccination. The travel nurse seemed to think that because we land in Nairobi, Kenya that we would need the vaccination, despite not leaving the airport, but I was under the impression she wasn’t 100% sure. Can anyone help with clarification on this, as we don’t want to arrive and not be let in because we don’t have the certification of having the YF vaccination.
Many thanks

Mar 11, 2020
No Yellow fever if in transit for less than 12 hours
by: Tony

Hi Jo

My understanding is that you do not need the certificate if you are in transit for less than 12 hours and you are not exiting the airport.
More details are on our website Yellow Fever

Feb 07, 2023
YF Certificate for over 60s
by: Anonymous

Hi. I'm taking my mum to Vic Falls in May. We are going via Kenya, so will need to a YF certificate according to Zimb rules. I have one, my mum doesn't. She's 75 and the advice is that the YF vaccine side effects could be harmful to peopel over 60. Does Zimb recognise that and is an exception letter from GP acceptable?

Feb 08, 2023
by: Tony

Hi there

yes they will recognize that if she has the exemption letter

Aug 17, 2023
Yellow fever bax or certificate
by: Anonymous

If one has traveled to Panama over 11 yrs ago and now going to South Africa and Victoria Falls- is a certificate or vaccination for yellow fever required?

Aug 18, 2023
I doubt it
by: Tony

I wouldn't like to stick my neck out on this one as I am not part of any authority that makes the decision.
But from experience both SA and Zimbabwe look at your passport to see where you have recently travelled and come from. i.e a direct flight coming in from a yellow fever zone like Kenya or Panama, and in those instances they will ask for a VF certificate.
They are unlikely to look back at travel history from 11 years ago.

Nov 01, 2023
Yellow Fever Advice - please help!
by: Rebekah

We are on a tour in February 2024 - travelling from South Africa to Victoria Falls, Livingstone and then back into South Africa for a cruise up the West Coast. I am struggling to find information on whether we need a yellow fever vaccination. There is quite a lot of conflicting information - do we need to be vaccinated to re-enter South Africa?

Nov 01, 2023
Yellow fever requirement
by: Tony

You only need a yellow fever vaccination, if you are coming from a high risk yellow fever zone. It's where you are coming from not where you are going to.

Nov 02, 2023
Continued Help
by: Rebekah

I would be travelling from South Africa into Zambia and then back to South Africa

Nov 02, 2023
No Yellow fever
by: Tony

Then you don't need one

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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.

Comments for Notice - Yellow fever is no longer required

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Feb 16, 2015
good news
by: Anonymous


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,

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?


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.


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!

May 27, 2015
Zambia to Zimbabwe
by: Tom

Hello, I called the embassy of Zimbabwe and they said if I enter from Zambia I will need a proof of yellow fever vaccination, is this true?

May 30, 2015
Not True
by: Tony

That's is 110% NOT true. It was never a requirement by Zimbabwe, it was only ever the South Africans who required the yellow fever when you re-entered SA from Zambia. The WHO has delisted Zambia as a yellow fever risk so the South Africans have sunsequently dropped this requirement also. I can assure you that you will not be asked for it. Sad that our embassies around the world are so misinformed.

Jun 10, 2015
Do I need a yellow fever certificate
by: Tony

I have been to Tanzania sometime in April, and Zambia sometime in May, i will be going to South Africa, do I need Yellow fever certificate

Jun 15, 2015
No Yellow fever required
by: Tony

None of these 3 countries are considered a Yellow fever risk zones, so the answer is No you should not be required to prodocue a YF certificate - See more info here Understanding yellow fever

Jun 24, 2015
from southafrica to zimbabwe
by: Anonymous

hie there,im travelling from sa to zim this comming
and i booked a bus ticket from intercape bt they are keeping insisting to have a yellow fever vaccination of which i can't afford it its about r600 at the private clinic.is it neccesary to have it.please help im confused.

Jun 25, 2015
Absolutely NOT
by: Tony

This is absolutely 100% NOT a requirement. Intercape must be feeding off the wrong and old information. No-one apart from intercape will ask you for your yellow fever - so you will just have to tell them that they don't know what they are talking about and that it time that they learnt the correct information for travellers.

To travel from SA to Zimbabwe yellow fever vaccinations have never been a requirement. It was only ever a requiremnt for Travellers returning to SA after having been to Zambia.

Jul 29, 2015
Entering SA from Zimbabwe
by: Sebastien

I will be in South Africa next week. From there, i have planned to fly from Jo'burg to Victoria Falls where I will stay 2 days (Zimbabwe only). Then back to South Africa (flight between Victoria Falls and Cape Town via Jo'Burg). My understanding is that I don't need to carry a yellow fever certificate when re-entering SA. Am I correct?

Jul 29, 2015
100% correct
by: Tony

100% correct - You do NOT need to carry a yellow fever certificate.

Jul 29, 2015
Thanks Tony!
by: Sebastien

thanks Tony!

Oct 13, 2015
yellow fever?
by: Chris

Traveling from US thru Johannesburg to Victoria Fall, Then back home the same way. Any need for yellow fever vaccine?

Oct 15, 2015
No Need
by: Tony

Hi Chris

Absolutely no need for the yellow fever, the requirement has been dropped.

Have a good trip

Oct 22, 2015
do i or don't i get a booster dose Y F
by: sylvia

Hi ,I will be in mainly Botswanna and possibly Zambia on safari 9 days over xmas having spent 2 days in Zimbabwe at Victoria Falls (having flown from Heathrow to J'burg .) Iwas told I might need Y Fever vacc . Is it 100% not necessary ?.
Also is a 12 year old past vaccinationI have now valid? for other visits at a later date as I read from June16 revaccination may not be required

Oct 28, 2015
You don't need it
by: Tony

Hello Sylvia

Whoever is telling you that is giving you the wrong information.

If you have travelled to any of the countries listed below in the last 10 years, then they could ask you for yellow fever certificate, because the below countries are considered YF risk countries. If you have not travelled to any of these countries and are just going to SA, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana - You do definately not need to have the vaccination.

Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, DRC, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Togo, Uganda
Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guyana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, Venezuela

Oct 29, 2015
Malawi to Zambia
by: Jeremy

Hi Tony,

I'm travelling from Singapore to Lilongwe via Doha and Jo'burg, and back the same way. During my stay in Lilongwe I intend to take a 3-day safari in Zambia, entering Zambia from Malawi by car. My understanding is I do not require a YF certificate. Is this correct?

Nov 09, 2015
Yellow fever vaccination
by: Ansu

I am travelling from India on tourist visa in December 2015, for 15 days to south africa - cape town, hermanus, johannesburg. Then to victoria falls on Zambia side livingstone for a day and then to zimbabawe hwange national park. We will again travel back to India from Johannesburg.
Please clarify whether we have to take yellow fever vaccination and polio vaccinations. Whether the authorities in Johannesburg and India will insist on these certificates on return.
If not required what are the papers to be carried with us regarding the same to show to the officials in the airport .
Please reply as soon as possible.

Dec 01, 2015
ZImbabwe to South Africa
by: Max Chilinda

Hi Tony,
Just for purposes of emphasis, are you saying that if am travelling to South Africa from the Republic of Zimbabwe, I do not need a yellow fever vaccination Certificate ?

Thank you for the good work !

Dec 02, 2015
Yellow Fever ?
by: peter

Hi, I'm really confused with this yellow Fever requirement. So many say different things.
I'm from the UK, flying into Joburg for one day, then heading to Victoria Falls, (Zimbabwe) with trips to both Botswana and Zambia while there.
Do I need the vaccine ?

Dec 09, 2015
Malawi to Zambia
by: Anthony

Hi Jeremy,

You are correct. You will not be needing a Yellow Fever certificate.

Dec 09, 2015
Yellow Fever Vaccination
by: Anthony

Hi Ansu,

As far as this part of the world is concerned, you won't be needing a Yellow Fever certificate. However, I cannot speak for the Indian authorities, so please make sure that you confirm with them before your trip.

Dec 09, 2015
ZImbabwe to South Africa
by: Tony

Hi Max,

That is correct, unless if you have travelled to a Yellow Fever country: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, DRC, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Togo, Uganda, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guyana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, Venezuela

Dec 09, 2015
Yellow Fever ?
by: Tony

Hi Peter,

You will not be needing a Yellow Fever vaccine.

Jan 20, 2016
Panama 2 years ago?
by: Krys

So, I traveled in Panama 2 years ago for a 10 day trip... and never got a Yellow Fever Vaccine (and of course, did not contract Yellow Fever either). Will this cause problems for entry into Zambia, Zimbabwe or South Africa? Or is it only when you are coming directly from one of those countries you listed?

Thanks for your help!

Jan 21, 2016
It could cause you problems
by: Tony

I can't say for sure, but this is likely to cause you problems if they see the stamp in your passport. Panama is a high risk area and therefore anyone who has travelled there before should be carrying a certificate.

Apr 06, 2016
update please
by: Anonymous

My son is travelling to Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Zambia later this year - is yellow fever required for any of these countries ?

Apr 21, 2016
Vaccinations & Must Do activities in Vic Falls
by: Africa Traveller

Hi Tony,

I'll be travelling from US to JNB for few days then onto safari to following countries

1) JNB (SA) to Vic Fall (Zimbabwe) by Air -- spend 3 days in Vic Falls
2) Vic Falls (Zimbabwe) to Kasane (Botswana) by road -- 3 days in Chobe Natl Park
3) Kasane (Botswana) to JNB (SA) by Air -- 2 day in JoBurg before flying back to US

Note: I've had Yellow Fever vaccination in the past (over 10yrs ago) but have recently not visited any countries in the last 5yrs that has Yellow Fever risk.

a) Do I need to renew my Yellow Fever vaccination for the planned trip mentioned above?
b) Can you pls suggest a list of "MUST DO" activities in Vic falls for the 3 days that I plan in Vic Falls.

I've tried contacting Botswana & Zimbabwe High Commission in US but have not heard back on the vaccination question. The Tour operators have provided conflicting information... hope you can provide definitive answer.

Thank You

May 04, 2016

by: Tony

If you have not recently been or are coming from a country which is designated as a Yellow fever zone then you do absolutely NOT need to renew your yellow fever. None of the 3 countries you are now visiting are considered yellow fever risk countries and they will only require a certificate if you have come from a country that does have yellow fever.

Please have a look at our activties page for details on all that is available, always difficult to say what is must do's as this varies from person to person and what their interests are.
victoria Falls activities Once you have seen what you like the look of then contact us and we can make suggestions and put it all together nicely.

May 14, 2016
traveled to Peru in 2013
by: Gina

So if I traveled to Peru in 2013, did NOT get a YF vaccination, did NOT get YF I still need to get the vaccination now because I was IN Peru?

This is the South African immigration checking the passport? Or Zimbabwe? Or All?

I will be traveling via South Africa to Victoria Falls in June 2016.

May 16, 2016
Yellow fever
by: Tony

Well in theory that is the case. If you have visited a yellow fever zone then you should be carrying a valid certificate, when you enter either SA or Zimbabwe.

But in reality they are unlikely to hassle you seeing as though you are not coming directly from the yellow fever country which is more what they are looking for. i.e if you were flying in from Peru you would definately need it.

You travelled 3 years ago and therefore they would have to carefully check every stamp in your passport which they are unlikely to do.

So I can't stick my neck out and say you wont have a problem but my feeling is that you should be fine.

Jun 27, 2016
Yellow fever
by: Joe


Just want to ensure a yellow fever certificate is not required for the following.

Travelling from Australia to Krueger National Park (5 nights), then 3 nights in Zimbabwe (victoria falls), returning for 2 nights in Johannesburg then 3 nights in Mauritius before returning to Australia.

A lot of confusing information out there

Jul 04, 2016
No Certificate required
by: Tony

Hi Joe

You definately don't need a yellow fever certificate for your stated route.


Aug 05, 2016
Yellow fever
by: Trevjen

Does the no need for yellow fever jabs or certificate still stand in 2016 We are travelling in September this year 2016 do we need anything ? Tanks.

Aug 10, 2016
Yes is does
by: Tony

Yes this inofrmation is up to date as of 2016. you do not need any Yellow fever Jabs unless you have previously visited a yellow fever risk country.

Aug 15, 2016
transit through Kenya
by: Jenny


A friend and I will be travelling to Lusaka from London but we have a 3-hour layover in Nairobi. I have been told that I do not need proof of yellow fever vaccine if I am not in Kenya for over 12 hours (and do not leave the airport.)

Could anyone confirm this?

Thank you!

Sep 06, 2016
Livingstone to Botswanna (via 5 hour in Nairobi airport)
by: AnonyTommous


Am visiting Zambia in 3 weeks from the UK. Our final leg transfers inside Nairobi airport before we fly on to Ndola and end up in Livingstone.

We are only in Nairobi airport for 5 hours. I do not know if we have to go through immigration or not.

When we go to Cholbe Botswana from Livingstone, is there a requirement to show a yellow fever cert as we were in Kenya airport Nairobi for 5 hours?

We have not had the vaccines and were not planning to?



Sep 07, 2016
Transit time in a Yellow Fever risk zone
by: Tony

The regulation states that if you are in transit for 12 hours or more then you will be required to produce a YF certificate at your onward destination. That's the regulation so you should be fine, but one cannot guarantee against an awkward immigration official.

Sep 15, 2016


You only need to have yellow fever certificate if you have travelled recently to one of the countries list on this page yellow fever information If you have not been to one of these countries and you live in India then you don't need the certificate.

Oct 03, 2016
YF 2016 South Africa
by: Lindsey

Like others, very confused about travel to South Africa needing a YF vaccination or not. Our plans are to fly into Zimbabwe from J'burg, pop over to Zambia for a microlight flight for a few hours, then back to Zimbabwe side to stay the night. From there, on to Botswana, eventually flying from Maun back to J'burg. According to the CDC's website, "An exception is South Africa, which requires yellow fever vaccination for people traveling from or transiting through any of the 5 countries with low potential for exposure, in addition to those with risk of YFV transmission."

So I guess this mean even if you simply pop into Zambia for a hot minute, SA still wants you to have YF vaccine?

Oct 04, 2016
You do not need a Yellow Fever
by: Tony

Zambia, Botswana and Zimbabwe are not on the list as being Yellow fever risk zones and therefore you do NOT need to have a yellow fever vaccination certificate when re-entering South Africa.
That is the correct and up to date information as of Oct 2016, if you are reading something else on the internet then it is old information, incorrect and outdated.
To see which countries are considered yellow fever area please see the map on this pageYellow fever map If you are travelling to one of the countries coloured in red, then when returning to south africa you would be required to produce a YF certificate. As you will see the 3 countries you have mentioned are not in red.
North Zambia was a previously considered a low risk zone but was delisted from the WHO recommendations a couple of years ago, hence the reason as to why you don't need the certificate.

Oct 17, 2016
Yellow fever again!
by: Anonymous

We are travelling to Zimbabwe, on to Botswana then Cape Town. Just spoken o our practice nurse who thinks we need yellow fever vaccination and certificates. However the information here contradicts that .

Oct 18, 2016
The nurse is wrong
by: Tony

The information here is correct. You do not need a yellow fever vaccination or certificate if you are doing the tour as you have described.

Oct 18, 2016
Thank you
by: Lindsey

Tony -
Thank you for your help! After doing some more reading, I realize the CDC's website is out of date - which is more than frustrating. A good source I found for travel in/out of South Africa is http://www.santhnet.co.za/index.php/about-santhnet.html. One of their partners is The South African National Department of Health which gives me confidence their information is up to date and correct. They too report the WHO's latest recommendations regarding Yellow Fever vaccination and it matches what you've stated thus far.

Nov 02, 2016
by: M

want to find out if one needs a yf card wen travelling from Zambia to Namibia.u only mentioned 3 countries.


No you don't. Neither countries are considered yellow fever risks

Nov 05, 2016
yellow fever innoculation.requirement,travelling from austr.to vict falls,thru botswana and knp
by: Marina

In 1966 I was living in Port Moresby,PNG,&,Iwas going to South Africa for 4 weeks in the March of '66,on the recommendation of the GP I had to have a yellow fever innoculation,which I had,with horrendous after effects a week later.(Not ananphylatic shock)hospitalised for 2 weeks.
I now live in Queensland,Australia,& planning on going to Victoia Falls,passing thru Botswana,and staying in the KNP in Jan 2017.for a period of 12 days.
I've had conflicting advise from travel agents as to what the correct medical procedure is.
Could you please assisit
With thanks

Nov 09, 2016
You do not need a Yellow Fever
by: Tony

I am not sure how many times I have to say this, I have repeated it in countless replies to posts below.
You Categorically do NOT need to have a yellow fever vaccination to travel through Botswana Zambia, Zimbabwe or South Africa.
All these countries are not listed as yellow fever risk Zones.
If you have been to another country apart from these 4 that is considered a Yellow fever zone see map then and only then could one of the 4 countries ask you for a certificate.
Does that make sense - Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa are not yellow fever zones but if you have come from another yellow fever zone then they are interested and want your certificate.
This post will be updated if there is a change in regulation.

Dec 13, 2016
Do i need yellow fever vaccine travelling from Botswana to Mozambique
by: anonymous

My friendsand i will be travelling from Botswana to Mozambique and back to Botswana after 5 days...
Do we need to get yellow fever vaccine?

Dec 14, 2016
by: Tony


Dec 20, 2017
Yellow Fever certificate
by: Anonymous

Is the certificate still not required for travel from Livingstone Back into South Africa as I keep getting conflicting information? We are travelling February 2018 to SA and visiting the Falls before flying home from Johannesburg.

Dec 20, 2017
No yellow fever required
by: Tony

Nothing has changed you do not need to have a yellow fever certificate unless you have previously travelled to a high risk yellow fever country, names of which you can see detailed via links on this thread and on our website. Zambia is not a high risk country and that is why you don't need a certificate if you have only been to Zambia.

Jul 10, 2018
Yellow fever vaccination certification
by: Anonymous

My wife and myself travelled to Ecuador Andes region in May 2018. There was no risk of yellow fever in this area and we were advised against yellow fever vaccination due to age (over 60) and other health considerations. Do we now need Yellow fever vaccination,or alternatively can we use an exemption certificate?.

Jul 11, 2018
My Opinion
by: Tony


I am not the authorities and I do not make the final decision, I can only offer my opinion of what the authorities might do. So please you must make your own decision on what to do. Ecuador is categorized as a High risk yellow fever country, even if the area you went to was not the country as a whole is. May is also recent and so if they do look at your past passport stamps they could quite easily query it, but the chances are they wont. In cases where flights are coming directly from a country of high risk it is then obvious that they would check all certificates. If you can get an exemption certificate because of your age and other health issues, then in my opinion you would be fine.

Apr 26, 2019
by: Anonymous

we are us citizen and going to Kenya-Masai mara than Zimbabwe (Victoria falls) and someone told me we need yellow fever vaccine..i am over 65 yrs old.

Apr 30, 2019
Kenya is a Yellow fever
by: Tony

Hi There.

Kenya is considered a yellow fever high risk area. So yes you do need to get a Yellow fever vaccination and certificate before entering Zimbabwe. That is unless you can get an exception from your doctor for any reason.

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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?

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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Jul 24, 2015
Yellow Fever
by: Anonymous

I am a senior and so been sent to travel consultant who was going to charge £75 plua £15 cons fee. I am so relieved the travel insurance is so costly, but no one seemed sure even on internet. So pleased I persisted today and found this website. Thank 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

Nov 04, 2016
zam to nam?
by: m

hello Mr tony what about Zambia to Namibia do one need a yellow fever card? thanks


Hi there. Neither country are considered Yellow fever risk countries. So if you are going through these two countries you do not need a vaccination or certificate

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Yellow Fever Vacine

by Beverley

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

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.

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.

Nov 09, 2015
by: Katherine

Hi Tony!

Your article is very helpful - are you aware if I will need Yellow Fever vaccination to travel from Malawi to Zambia and back into Malawi?

Looking forward to your response, thanks!

Dec 09, 2015
by: Tony

Hi Katherine,

Neither Malawi nor Zambia are considered to be high risk yellow fever zones. So you won't be needing a certificate to travel between the two countries.

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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.

Feb 08, 2017
Yellow fever certificate
by: Anonymous


May i know if i need a yellow fever certificate
for visiting Zimbabwe?

Feb 09, 2017
Yellow fever explained
by: Tony

Zimbabwe is not considered a yellow fever risk zone so no vaccination is required for being in the country but please understand that yellow fever certificate requirements are determined by where you have come from, not the destination. If where you have come from is a yellow fever risk country then the country that you are entering whether it be Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe or South Africa will ask you for a yellow fever certificate because they don't want you bringing the disease into their country.
So for example if you are entering Zimbabwe from the UK then no certificate is required but if you are enterng from the Ivory coast (which is a yellow fever risk) then you will be required to have a certificate. I hope that makes sense. For a list of all the high risk yellow fever countries please click here

Feb 26, 2019
Yelliw fever areas
by: Anonymous

I'm going to be going to Nairobi and then down to South Africa Botswana coming from the US through the UK. I'm wondering during my intertrips do I need a yellow fever shot going or coming from Nairobi to Botswana and Cape Town and those are the flights will I be required to have a yellow fever shot? Is Nairobi and Botswana and Cape Town yellow fever free areas

Mar 11, 2019
Kenya is a Yellow fever area
by: Tony

Kenya is considered a Yellow fever area . So Yes you would need a vaccination and certificate to enter both SA and Botswana. Please confirm details on our Yellow fever Page

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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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yellow fever zambia

by Hannelie
(South Africa)

Goodday can you tell me if I must get yellow fever vaccine to go to Zambia?

Thank you


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Jun 01, 2015
No Longer required
by: Tony

No you do not need a vaccination - this requirement was dropped at the beginning of this year.

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Botswana Yellow fever

by Lou

Hi Tony
Do you need a yellow fever certificate travelling from Botswana to Zambia

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Mar 19, 2015
No yellow fever required
by: Tony

Hello Lou

No you definately do Not.

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Yellow Fever Certificate

by Jackie

You mention that a yellow fever certificate is required if visiting South American countries previously. What is the timescale for this eg. Is certificate required if we have visited in the last 1 year, 3 years or 5 years or ever? Please send link to official page if possible. Thank you.

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Oct 07, 2022
Recent Travel
by: Tony

Hi Jackie
Thanks for your question. Unfortunately, I can't point you to any official page, because I don't know of one either. But my understanding and experience of this, is that it is if you are coming directly from one of the countries listed as a yellow fever zone.
Immigration officials don't scour your passport pages back years to see where you have been but if you are arriving on a Kenyan airways flight from Kenya, then they are going to be interested in how long you have been in that country and if you have a vaccination.
If you were there a year ago then you would have contracted the disease and got better from it.
So in short, I think it is if you have been to one of those countries very recently.

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Yellow Fever Vaccine

by Lin
(United States)

I am flying to Cape Town from the United States and will then fly to Victoria Falls. Do I need a yellow fever vaccine?

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Jan 31, 2023
No you don't
by: Tony

No you don't need a yellow fever vaccine if you are coming directly from the USA via Cape Town to Victoria Falls. You only need one if you are recently coming from a country that has yellow fever.
You can see those countries here Yellow fever countries

Jun 16, 2023
YF vaccine
by: Anonymous

Hi, in general it depends how often you travel and where. YF vaccine (one dose) is valid for a life, and may be covered by some insurance in the US. For any 'world traveler', it's worth to get it.

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