Travel Advisories

Travel advisories – South Africa 

Whilst South Africa is a tourist haven, there are some things visitors should be aware of. Firstly, the dangers of malaria have been mentioned in Things do to in Southern Africa. It’s important to note that most of South Africa - certainly all the major cities, and of course the conference venue in Stellenbosch and the surrounding area - is malaria-free!  Indeed, Cape Town/Stellenbosch is at least 1500km from the closest malarial areas.

However, many of the game parks mentioned in Things do to in Southern Africa are NOT, and precautions are strongly advised if visiting these. More details may be found at Anti-malaria tablets are available; note that these must sometimes be taken a week or more prior to the visit to the malarial area so should be obtained before leaving for South Africa (although of course they are widely available at pharmacies locally). The latest malaria prophylaxis on the market is the Malarone anti-malaria tablet (sold in South Africa as Malanil); although the most expensive, it is recommended as the prophylaxis of first choice by local doctors. Older, but still effective, anti-malaria tablets are Mefloquine (sold in South Africa as Lariam or Mefliam); note however that Mefloquine may present serious side-effects.

Tap water in South Africa is of generally high quality and perfectly safe to drink (although it can have a rather brackish taste in some off-the-beaten track areas); however, many streams and rivers harbour the bilharzia parasite and one should be very cautious of drinking or bathing in these without enquiring locally first. The Western Cape (Cape Town, Stellenbosch and environs) and the Southern Cape (the Garden Route) are fortunately free of bilharzia.

See also Travel Information on the conference website for more details about air travel, rental cars, using cell (mobile) phone etc.

Travel advisories – Neighbouring states

Namibia, Botswana and Zambia are stable multi-party democracies and are very safe for locals and visitors – natural hazards such as malaria and wildlife aside. There are two tiny land-locked kingdoms within South Africa, namely Swaziland and Lesotho, which also have something to offer visitors. Mozambique has made great strides in terms of attracting visitors, although its infrastructure is still far from well developed. Again, malaria is an endemic risk. Zimbabwe is in a state of some internal political turmoil at present; to the best of our knowledge visitors should be safe but it would probably be better to route via Zambia rather then Zimbabwe if going to the Victoria Falls, for instance.  Angola is still recovering from a devastating civil war and is best avoided at present; there are still large areas of the country which have not been properly de-mined.