Outdoors Information

Malaria Prevention - Five Ways to Avoid Catching It on Safari


Malaria is endemic to most of the areas in Africa where safari trips are still possible which means you will need to take malaria prevention precautions to protect yourself against catching the disease when you travel there.

There are five things you can do to avoid catching malaria on a safari holiday.

1. Malaria Tablets

It's important to consult your GP when deciding on the brand of malaria tablets for your trip because they affect everyone differently and your medical history might play a role in the choice.

There are three types of tablets that are still considered to provide adequate malaria prevention (up to 98%) even though there is no drug that is 100% effective and some of them may have mild side effects - Malarone, Larium and Doxycycline.

Paludrine and Chloroquine are less than 60% effective because the disease has built up a resistance to these drugs over the years.

2. Safari Clothing

Mosquito's become much more active at dusk and during the night and early morning so you need to make sure that you cover up any exposed skin with the right clothing when you are outside.

It is often still very warm during the evenings but resist the temptation to stay in t-shirt and short trousers and rather cover up with long trousers, a long sleeve shirt and socks to protect your ankles against bites. They can't bite you through material.

Remember that malaria prevention is much better than cure.

3. Mosquito repellent

make sure that you apply mosquito repellent to any areas that your clothing doesn't cover particularly your hands and your neck.

Repellents that contain DEET are very good for keeping the mosquito's away but remember to re-apply periodically because the effect diminishes over time.

4. Mosquito Nets

Most safari companies do have mosquito nets installed in the accommodation they provide for their guests so make sure you check with them first if you are planning on buying one for your trip.

But not all accommodation in Africa has them and if you are going to be spending time before or after your safari it might be a good idea to have one handy.

Make sure that you purchase Permethrin treated nets as that stop the mosquitoes from biting through the material, protects against damaged or poorly erected netting and decreases the amount of insects in the room.

5. Malaria Free Safaris

The most effective way to avoid catching malaria is of course to stay away from the areas in which it occurs and there are some safari areas in South Africa which are malaria free and still provide an authentic safari experience with the big five animals available for viewing.

Madikwe, Shamwari, Pilansberg and Addo Elephant Park are examples of some fantastic game reserves that are completely malaria free making all the other malaria prevention measures unnecessary.

These are the malaria tablets including their dosage and side effects that are available to prevent malaria on a safari trip.

Mosquito netting tips and advice to make sure you choose the most effective one to protect you from malaria in Africa.


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