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Menu DO I NEED TO WORRY ABOUT MALARIA ON SAFARI?
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DO I NEED TO WORRY ABOUT MALARIA ON SAFARI?

 
Planning your first family safari? We understand that you might be wondering about malaria. Our safari experts are here to reassure you that your family can enjoy a safari without concern.

Many of Africa’s best safari regions are low to very low risk of malaria, particularly if you travel during the summer holidays. If you would prefer to visit malaria-free safari reserves, then South Africa has many malaria-free regions that offer excellent Big Five safaris.
Simple, preventative action is the best way to rest assured on safari. Before you travel, visit your GP or Travel Clinic, who will be able to prescribe suitable malarial prophylactics for the whole family. Then while you are away add to that protection by taking other small steps; use insect repellent and cover your arms and legs in the evenings.

When you travel plays its part too. Generally speaking, the risk is lowest during Africa’s dry winter months—June to September. This is because mosquitoes live around still water, which is diminished during the dry season, and the lower night time temperatures.

In parts of Africa, population density is key. Botswana is low risk for malaria because people are widely spread. Mosquitoes can only spread the disease from person to person, so where there are fewer humans, there is less transmission. In Namibia, low population density combined with the arid landscape means that many regions are malaria-free.

In other countries, such as Kenya and Tanzania, the altitude and climate lower the risk. Mosquitoes thrive in hot, humid conditions. The anopheles marsh mosquito cannot transmit malaria above 2,000-2,500 feet above sea level. When you combine the altitude of many safari regions with cooler night air, the risk is greatly reduced.

However, we understand that this may not be an option for everyone. Some of our favourite safari regions in South Africa are malaria-free. Madikwe and the private game reserves of the eastern Cape are all Big Five and combine well with other parts of the country for a diverse trip. You’ll spend a week or so on safari before we whisk you off to Cape Town, the Winelands and the beach.
Elephants in Madikwe
Guest reading a book at the Tarkuni sala
cycling near rhino in waterberg
Kid-friendly walking safari in Shamwari
Game drive near cheetah with cubs in Kwandwe
Camel trekking in Laikipia
Hot air balloon shadow over great migration
Parents and child stargazing in Makgadikgadi
Wildlife around waterhole in Etosha
Kids making sand angels in dunes of Sossusvlei
Fur seal colony on the Skeleton Coast
Little Madikwe private plunge pool and deck South Africa
Kid and father with guides on walking safari near giraffe Tswalu Kalahari
Pool and sun loungers at Ant's Nest safari lodge in Waterberg Private Reserve
Leobo Lodge Waterberg South Africa exterior
South Africa safari game drive with kids Kwandwe Ecca Lodge
Guest tent exterior at sunrise with view
Family walking across the lawn at Lewa House
Family on safari by lake at Ol Malo lodge in Laikipia Kenya
Classic canvas safari tent and outdoor dining at Saruni Wild Masai Mara
Kid friendly walking safari in Masai Mara Kenya
Children and father with binoculars in bush
family horseride
Elephants in Madikwe
 
Madikwe is South Africa’s fifth largest safari region and is the best malaria-free reserve in Africa. It borders Botswana in the country’s North West Province and offers an incredible diversity of species, including the Big Five. This is a perfect reserve for families, not only because it’s malaria-free, but because many of the properties welcome children of all ages and abilities.
Guest reading a book at the Tarkuni sala
 
This is the largest private reserve in South Africa, nestled in the heart of the Northern Cape. Tswalu is dedicated to conservation and here you can see endangered species in abundance, including pangolin, cheetah, and caracal. The Tarkuni House is a lavish, exclusive-use property, perfect for a larger group of family or friends seeking an exciting safari adventure.
cycling near rhino in waterberg
 
The Waterberg district is only a few convenient hours from Johannesburg, so we can have you off the plane and on safari on the same day. Here you’ll find some excellent private safari reserves, all malaria-free. Ant’s Collection is perfect for equine enthusiasts and Leobo is a wilderness playground without limits.
Kid-friendly walking safari in Shamwari
 
The accommodation on the Shamwari Private Game Reserve is top notch, with options for every family. It’s in a prime location on the Garden Route, close to Cape Town and with stunning coastal views. Add to that diverse and abundant wildlife, including the Big Five—elephant, rhino, leopard, lion and buffalo—and you’ve got a perfect malaria-free family safari destination.
Game drive near cheetah with cubs in Kwandwe
 
Located in the eastern Cape, Kwandwe is one of our favourite Garden Route safari destinations. Here you’ll enjoy one of the highest guide-to-guest ratios and spectacular, child-friendly accommodation. Among the pristine, riverine landscapes your expert guide will teach you all about the diverse flora and fauna in ways that both parents and children will love.
Camel trekking in Laikipia
 
Our favourite safari properties in Laikipia are on vast, private reserves with very few people. Coupled with higher altitudes and a semi-arid climate, the risk of malaria is low. The places we will take you are teeming with wildlife, including the highest numbers of black rhino in Kenya.
Hot air balloon shadow over great migration
 
The Serengeti and Masai Mara share the same ecosystem, with the border of Kenya and Tanzania down the middle. Night temperatures on the undulating, short-grass plains can be brisk—not ideal if you’re a mosquito! Regardless of which side of the border you stay, we wholly recommend everyone visit at least once in their lifetime. The area has a higher concentration of animals than anywhere else in Africa.
Parents and child stargazing in Makgadikgadi
 
For much of the year, Makgadikgadi is lunar-esque, with very little water. Since mosquitoes breed in standing water, there is very little chance for malaria to spread. At other parts of the year, the salt pans are transformed into a shallow, glittering oasis. As long as you’re happy to take anti-malarial tablets, there’s no reason to worry about travelling during the green season! We can time your trip to see Botswana’s zebra migration, where vast herds leave the Okavango in search of Makgadikgadi’s fresh, rain-fed grass.
Wildlife around waterhole in Etosha
 
Namibia as a whole has generally low malaria rates, barring the lush Caprivi Strip. Here you can travel miles upon miles without seeing much water or many other people. Etosha is Namibia’s best safari region. Here animals of all species gather around precious waterholes to share a splash and a drink.
Kids making sand angels in dunes of Sossusvlei
 
Damaraland is where the great, windswept dunes of the Namib tower hundreds of metres high. The apricot desertscapes are a hostile environment to the humble mosquito, so there’s little worry of malaria here. On safari in Sossusvlei, your guides will use their eagle eyes to help you spot spear-horned oryx and rare brown hyena.
Fur seal colony on the Skeleton Coast
 
One of our favourite parts of Namibia is the Skeleton Coast. Mosquitoes are no match for this forbidding, desert coastline and the area is so sparsely populated that it's virtually malaria-free. We’ll fly you in on a private plane for a spectacular aerial view of the shipwreck-strewn beaches before taking you on exciting adventures on the ground. Dune-boarding and quad biking are particular favourites for our clients of all ages.
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