Not perhaps the most attention-getting news in the run up to the journey (certainly less attention getting than, say, typhoid), but perhaps useful to readers considering a similar trip themselves. Or anyone who cares that I feel as if I have been punched in my arm.Yup – today’s topic is vaccinations.

I managed to finally get to the travel clinic with my little yellow vaccination certificate/book thing yesterday. Twice I had gone to the travel clinic and forgotten it at home. Once more I arrived, book in hand (and so very, very proud of myself) only to discover that the nurse had left for the day. It broke my heart, that did.

I think I am going to go for the weird dreams. The sunburn thing bit me badly in Cambodia

On the fourth occasion, however, I arrived early yesterday morning, book in hand and managed to get my missing shots. I had only intended to get the Hepatitis A jab, as most of the other vaccines have been inserted into various points in my arm over previous trips, but the nurse suggested getting vaccinated against Meningitis as well when I mentioned Sudan and Ethiopia. Apparently there is a prevalence there. I also discovered that you can spread it just by coughing. Who knew? Not I.

Having collected those two immunities and added them to the pile (sort of like Pokemon, but with needles), I am now the proud owner of a body vaccinated against:

  • Cholera
  • Typhoid
  • Tetanus
  • Hepatitis A
  • Meningitis
  • and Yellow Fever

Other than a first aid kit, the only other major medical to-do will be sorting out antimalarials, since mosquitoes appear to love pretty much everywhere between northern South Africa and Egypt. Given a choice between Doxycycline which gives you sun-sensitivity and Mefliam, which is the progenitor of bizarre and space out dreams (sometimes), I think I am going to go for the weird dreams. The sunburn thing bit me badly in Cambodia, and I haven’t touched Doxy since. That said, I am a thorough idiot when it comes to sun avoidance, so for the other (more attentive to burning) 99% of travelling humanity, Doxy would be fine.

Categories: Africa, Cape to Cairo, Travel
  • Richard, You are clearly in the minority. Most travelers abroad who need vaccinations don’t get them. Our company is trying to change that. (link provided). Yeah, doxy can bring on sunburn, but it sure is cheap!

  • Interesting. I was offered Septrin to travel to the Amazon, which I took. I’m not a good candidate for Lariam, and malarone (proguanil plus something) is not availabe in Chile. But it’s different malaria where you’re going, and I’m sure your doc will have you covered.

    Hey, I think I have all of those vax as well, except meningitis. You’re so lucky that I’m joking when I tell you that I was trying to figure out which part of your trip I’d want to join you on! very much looking forward to updates from this side of the monitor!

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