FAQ – Preparation

As we are not medically trained we cannot legally give you advise on vaccine matters. You should contact the centre for disease control, travel clinic or your doctor to obtain the latest information on vaccines required when travelling to South Africa.

However, below information can be found on a multitude of travel websites.

Yellow Fever
It is required to get a Yellow Fever vaccine if you visited countries where yellow fever is endemic. Check below website for yellow fever countries. Should you have visited any of these countries, you will need to get a yellow fever vaccine. Yellow fever area.

When participating in a wildlife project whereby you interact with animals we recommend getting a vaccine for Rabies. Rabies can be found in dogs, bats, and other mammals in South Africa, so the following groups are recommended this vaccine:
  • Travelers involved in outdoor and other activities (such as camping, hiking, biking, adventure travel, and caving) that put them at risk for animal bites.
  • People who will be working with or around animals (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, and researchers).
  • People who are taking long trips or moving to South Africa.
  • Children, because they tend to play with animals, might not report bites, and are more likely to have animal bites on their head and neck.
Hepatitis A
CDC recommends this vaccine because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in South Africa, regardless of where you are eating or staying.

You can get typhoid through contaminated food or water in South Africa. This vaccine is recommended for most travelers, especially if you are staying with friends or relatives, visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater.

For stays longer than three months vaccinations against hepatitis B and tuberculosis are recommended.

Malaria tablets are recommended if you travel to the eastern part of South Africa. (including Kruger Park) The malaria mosquito is common from October until May.

Please note that most health insurance companies reimburse vaccinations. To be sure if and which amount you will be reimbursed, we recommend you contact your health insurance company.
Irrespective of your national health insurance, it's is required to take out a travel insurance. Not every insurance company covers medical expenses abroad. If they do cover it, it is usually for a limited period or a maximum amount. If the insurance company pays the national rate it means that if the medical expenses abroad are higher than the cost of similar treatment in your own country, you will not be reimbursed for these costs. The difference should be paid by you. With travel insurance you can take out supplementary insurance for medical expenses abroad, so it will cover all costs. The travel insurance covers not only medical costs, but also aspects such as luggage, accidents, liability, legal and extraordinary expenses.

Enquire with us for affordable travel insurance.
From our personal experience we know what it is like to have worried parents. Parents who would like to be kept updated from A to Z. For that reason this informative page has been created. Information which is relevant to your child will be briefly discussed again and you will be provided with an idea of where your child will stay for the duration of the internship or volunteer project.

The time has come for your child to explore his/her field of study through an internship or participate at a volunteer project.. Both will without a doubt be an educational period, which will be a great benefit for your child's development. If that will take place abroad, it will turn out to be an even more valuable experience for your child.

We can imagine that the issue of safety will raise a lot of concerns. As mentioned on this site, the media does blow this out of proportion. We are residing in Johannesburg for 5 years now and visit areas such as Soweto and the center of Johannesburg on a regular basis without experiencing any issues, even though these areas are indicated by the media as 'NO-GO areas'. Of course we take the necessary precautions and although this isn't a guarantee, it minimizes the risk on being affected by crime. The first statement from our own experience; 'The media blows it out of proportion'. Do not get us wrong, our intention is not for you to question the credibility of the media, but to make you aware of certain things being taken out of proportion, resulting in a distorted picture.

It is a fact that South Africa still has a high crime rate. There are several causes that contribute to crime;
  • The high level of inequality, poverty and unemployment.
  • The normalization of violence. It is seen as a necessary and fair method to resolve a conflict.
  • The reliability of the criminal justice system. (including corruption)
Although South Africa remains a country that is familiar with crime, each year the crime progressively declines. This is evident in the annual report of the SAPS (South African Police Services) The SAPS operates stricter with crime and also more manpower is being employed by the SAPS. One of the methods which the SAPS use to appeal to the citizens is the so called 'crime-line'. This crime-line is reachable via phone or SMS to which anonymous tips can be reported.

Crime occurs in each district of Johannesburg, although it is mainly the slums and the old town which suffer the most. They are known for violence, robbery and hijacking. Avoiding these neighborhoods, will decrease the risk.

The citizens of Johannesburg are already taking some precautions when it comes to their neighborhood. Almost every house is supplied with a fence or a high wall and each window is boarded up with so called bars. Some houses/complexes even have 24 hour security. All these measures are taken to fight crime and decrease the risk. Let it not deter you from going to Johannesburg, It's just better to be safe then to be sorry.

Below some tips and measures which can be taken to reduce the risk even more; Do not wear expensive jewelry or watches in public, do not "show off" with what you got.
  • Watch your backpack / bag continuously.
  • It is not recommended to walk in the streets, especially when it's at night.
  • While driving make sure doors and windows are closed.
  • Do not leave valuables behind in the car.
  • Do not stop for people lying along or possibly on the road (call the emergency service), this might be a hijack trick.
South Africa, the country which was the center of attention in 2010; Worldcup Fifa Soccer. The preceding years a lot was accomplished to make the country fascinating and safe as possible. And with success, the country attracts nowadays more tourism than before and safety has improved considerably. The country leaves it's 'third world' image behind, to make way for an economically strong country.

South Africa is a country of many extremes and will leave a memorable impression on one who visits the country or resides there temporarily. On the one hand there is enormous wealth for a small proportion of the population, while on the other side there is great poverty for the majority of the black population. The tracks of the Apartheid haven't been erased yet.

The Apartheid was a government policy that took effect in 1948. According to a legally established racially classification system the skin color would determine where people were allowed to live and work. It was the black population who had to suffer and were penalized on each level.

Apart from the traces of apartheid, the country has a lot of beauty to offer. The flora and fauna, the landscapes, the different cultures and the many attractions mold the contemporary South Africa.

South Africa has with over more than 20,000 different plant species a high biodiversity. The well-known African baobab trees are located in the Kruger Park, where many rare plants and trees can be found. picture Regardless of the flora, the country is also very rich in fauna. The well known 'Big Five' is the name for the five largest animals where people gladly like to make a photo of. The elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard and rhino can also be visited in the Kruger Park. The Kruger Park is a 5 hour drive from Johannesburg, making a perfect excuse to plan a weekend to Kruger.

The landscape of South Africa is unique and can not be categorized. Due tot the different climates in the different area's, each region has a unique landscape. From spectacular lunar landscapes in the Northwest to the rugged Drakensberg in the east, the country accommodates it all.

South Africa is multi-ethnic and has diverse cultures, it is also known as 'Rainbow Nation' which consists of 49 million people. 77% is indigenous, 10% is white, 9% is colored and 3% is Asian. The white population is usually wealthier than the black population. Millions of black people are living in townships or shanty towns, which usually is located on the borders of the major cities. They live in slums and there is often a shortage of real houses. This poverty results also in crime. The crime is decreasing each year, but in relation to other international countries the crime rate is still quite high.

Aside from the landscape and different cultures, South Africa also has a lot of entertainment and sights to offer such as;
  • Krugerpark; the BIG Five
  • Graskop, Panorama Route
  • Garden Route
  • Sun City
  • Pretoria
  • Townships, Soweto
  • Cape Town, Cape of Good Hope, Robben Island

Enough possibilities to spend your free time pleasant and useful. For more information in regards to sightseeing go to things-to-do.
Passport At least 3 months valid upon return in home country
Visa Intern Africa will provide you with contact details of the South African embassy in your home country to find out whether the rules have changed regarding entering the country. Most volunteers enter the country on a free visitor visa which is valid for 90 days. Please make sure to present your return flight ticket when going through passport control in South Africa. Your passport must be valid for at least 30 days after date of departure from South Africa. It is strongly advised to have at least two fully blank passport visa pages upon arrival in South Africa. Travelers without the requisite blank visa pages in their passports may be refused entry into South Africa, fined, and returned to their point of origin at their own expense
Flight If you purchase your flight, we recommend you take out flight ticket insurance. Should the airline become bankrupt you will be refunded. Also note that if you book your flight with a credit card the credit card holder must be present at the counter with you to show the credit card used for the payment. (Valid identification card of credit card holder is also required). If you book a non-direct flight and you have a stop in a yellow fever country you need to get a yellow fever vaccine and bring the yellow fever “passport” with you. Also check if you can take out an airline ticket insurance in case the airline goes bankrupt.
Travel/medical insuranceWhatever standard health insurance you have will pay only claims for medical care in your country of residence. Also, even if your medical care is usually paid for by your government, this usually won't extend to medical costs incurred in other countries. Some countries with universal healthcare (such as Canada, UK, Australia) might have reciprocal agreements with other countries with similar health care systems. However, even if a country extends its subsidized medical care to tourists, what's provided may not be up to your standards or needs. That is why we advise you to take out a travel health insurance.
Driving license If you wish to drive in South Africa the below documents are required: An official driving license & you need to apply for an international driving license at the AA office and take that with as well & credit card
Vaccines Intern Africa will provide you with information on the vaccines & possible malaria tablets which are required. In order to be up to date regarding the latest developments in terms of vaccinations, you will need to contact your GP or local travel clinic. They will be able to administer the right vaccines. Some health providers reimburse you with the fees of the vaccines; please make sure you contact them as it can save you quite some money! If you require a yellow fever vaccine, please make sure to bring the document that states you have the vaccine to South Africa.
Travel money There are several options when it comes to getting travel money. You can use your Debit and/or Credit card to withdraw money from the ATM. Please make sure it is either a Visa or Master Card (American Express is not advisable). Please contact your bank to make sure your card can be used in South Africa. It may be wise to authorize one of your family members. You will then be able to withdraw money from ATM’s at any of our South African banks as long as you have a valid PIN number. Exchanging money is possible at the airport, however due to the high commission fees this is not recommended.
Dietary requirements If you have any dietary requirement or illnesses we should know about, please highlight this in an email to us.
Telephone You can buy a South African Simcard upon arrival in South Africa should you prefer to contact your family telephonically and stay in contact with them via Whatsapp/Facebook all the time. MTN and VODACOM are the most stable providers, both of them are situated at the airports in South Africa. Please consult with your service provider to ensure that your phone will work in SA. You are able to purchase a cell phone in South Africa if you need to. We do not recommend you using your mobile number from home in South Africa, as this can result in extremely high phone bills.
Clothes South Africa can be funny in terms of weather as the country lies in different climatic zones, thus the weather conditions in the seasons vary according to the regions and the layout of the land. In the high veld region which is the high plateau in the centre, north and west of the country, the winters are usually dry with cold nights, where as the winters along the coast are usually humid with plenty of rain especially at the Western Cape. The summers will get very hot in the desert region and hot and humid in the north eastern and eastern parts of the country where a subtropical climate prevails. The rainy season in most of the regions in South Africa is in summer. The Western Cape however is a winter-rainfall area. Please have a look at the website of Accuweather (http://www.accuweather.co.za) for weather predictions in order to find out which clothes to bring.
Copies travel documents Make sure you have copies of your passport, travel insurance, immunizations, flight confirmation, accommodation confirmation and shuttle confirmation in case you lose the originals
Electricity Do not bring appliances such as hair dryers or radios if you reside in a country that uses 110-volt electricity. South Africa uses a 220-volt power supply. Be sure to check that your cell phone or camera can be charged using 220-volt electricity – most will work fine. You can purchase inexpensive adapters in South Africa to enable you to use various 220-volt plugs in electrical sockets.
Electricity Do not bring appliances such as hair dryers or radios if you reside in a country that uses 110-volt electricity. South Africa uses a 220-volt power supply. Be sure to check that your cell phone or camera can be charged using 220-volt electricity – most will work fine. You can purchase inexpensive adapters in South Africa to enable you to use various 220-volt plugs in electrical sockets.
WIFISouth Africa cruises with 3.6 Mbps in the 81st place of the world internet rankings. Do keep this in mind when you want to make use of WIFI or internet. Patience is key!-