Malaria Areas and Malaria Prevention
Malaria is a concern for many visitors travelling to Africa. However, the risk of malaria should not stop you from going on safari. Malaria can be prevented and treated.
If you are pregnant or travelling with young children, you may want to avoid malaria areas altogether. The good news is that there are some excellent safari areas in South Africa that are malaria free. For a malaria-free safari, you can head to Madikwe Game Reserve, Welgevonden Game Reserve in the Waterberg region, or any of the game reserves in the Eastern Cape, including Addo Elephant National Park. We would recommend the Madikwe Game Reserve for a great safari experience without the risk of malaria.
In the Kruger National Park, the risk is low and cases of malaria seldom occur, particularly among tourists. The accommodation at most camps and lodges offers mosquito nets above the bed, or mosquito screens on the windows and doors. Electric fans and air conditioning also help to keep mosquitos away. Most camps and lodges in Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe have mosquito nets and electric fans and some also have air conditioning.
The summer months (November to April) are the higher risk time for malaria, due to it being the rainy season. During the dry months, from May to October, the risk of malaria is low.
Your best defence against malaria is effective malaria prevention. [Read our blog on how to prevent being bitten.] Avoid mosquito bites by sleeping under a mosquito net, wearing long-sleeved clothing in the evenings and using insect repellant on exposed skin. It is also advisable to take anti-malarial medication before and during your trip, as prescribed by your travel clinic or GP. With these measures in place, the chances of getting malaria are very low. And if you do get bitten by a mosquito while on safari, don't panic. Less than one in 10,000 mosquitos carry the disease.
However, if you should develop any flu-like symptoms or a fever within six weeks after your safari, consult your doctor immediately and inform him that you have been to a malaria area, so they can test for malaria and treat you correctly.
New Malaria App
The University of Pretoria Institute for Sustainable Malaria Control is an excellent source for up-to-date information on malaria. They've also recently developed an Android App called Malaria Buddy which is an excellent resource, providing detailed information and advice on malaria.
This map shows the malaria areas in Southern Africa.
Related FAQ's “ Which game lodges are family friendly? ”
How will you know which lodges to choose when you're travelling as a family? Which are the best options for children?
Some lodges give specials for children sharing. Others charge children at adult rates. Still others do not accommodate children under a certain age. However, there are many child-friendly lodges where the staff go out of their way to include, entertain and educate the little ones - and provide excellent activities and child-minding services so that you can simply relax and enjoy your safari to the fullest.
There are also some very good safari destinations that are malaria-free, which make them a popular choice for families as there's no need for anti-malaria medication - such as Madikwe Game Reserve and Pilanesberg Game Reserve, for example.
Please talk to us about your wishes and concerns and we'll gladly advise you. Our suggestions are backed by personal experience as we aim to visit the lodges and destinations we recommend, so that we can provide you with honest, unbiased advice. We always ask our clients for feedback and constantly monitor reviews on trusted internet sites to make sure we stay informed and up-to-date about the various lodges and safari camps we have to offer you.
More on the Frequently Asked Questions page
Related FAQ's “ Will there be mosquito nets? ”
Yes, most safari lodges have mosquito nets hanging over the bed. There are some that don't, but they usually will have mosquito screens on the windows and doors. This is also the case in the standard bungalows in South Africa's national parks, like the Kruger Park. Electric ceiling fans are also great for keeping mosquitos away, and most lodges and camps have these. Most safari lodges in mosquito affected areas throughout southern and East Africa do supply mosquito nets, as well as other mosquito sprays and repellents. The tented camps also have mosquito screens on the sides and doors.
More on the Frequently Asked Questions page
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Cape Town is South Africa's oldest and most beautiful city, and the top travel destination in Africa. Built on the slopes of Table Mountain, the city offers something for everyone, from beautiful views and beaches, to world-class cuisine and inspiring culture. Cape Town is a must-see destination for anyone travelling to South Africa.
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