Africa is a big, mysterious continent and people often get overwhelmed by what they’ve read in the media when it comes time to plan for their big African trip.

“They have ebola in Africa, don’t they?” a well-intentioned friend might ask, not realizing is a continent more than 2,000,000 square miles larger than North America and that it is made up of 54 countries.

The vaccinations you need for a trip to Tanzania, a trip to South Africa, or a trip to Egypt are all likely to be different and there is so much conflicting information out there.

To allay your fears and make things easier, we’ve put together the following simple guide to what vaccinations you need when traveling to Ktanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, and Tanzania.

Routine Vaccines

When we discuss which vaccines are needed for travel to Africa, we assume that most common vaccinations are up to date.

Your measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, polio, and chickenpox vaccines should all be up to date.

You may also want to have your yearly flu shot. You don’t want a bad cold ruining your vacation!

Avoid Mosquitoes!

A number of diseases such as malaria, sleeping sickness, and the Zika Virus can be transmitted by blood-feeding insects such as mosquitoes and tsetse flies.

When on safari in low altitude areas, we always advise that travelers make use of insect repellent to reduce the chances of being bitten.

Most hotels will provide mosquito nets to protect against bites while sleeping, and hotels in areas with tsetse flies take precautions to draw the insects away from camps and rooms.

Vaccinations for Tanzania

The undisputed home of the Wildebeest Migration and one of the world’s premier safari destinations, Tanzania is perfectly safe provided you take a few pre-trip precautions.

Yellow Fever is not an issue in Tanzania, however, a Yellow Fever Vaccination Card is required if you are traveling to Tanzania from a country that does have the virus. You may be stopped at the border if you do not have one.

The following countries are presently listed as having Yellow Fever. If you have traveled to any of the below countries ahead of arriving in Tanzania, you’ll need your vaccination papers.