Medical requirements for South Africa


Malaria is absent from most parts of South Africa, and it is nowhere as prevalent as it is in much of equatorial Africa. Exceptions are the eastern lowveld of Mpumalanga and Limpopo, which is classified as a moderate-risk malarial area, and coastal KwaZulu-Natal north of Richard’s Bay, which is regarded to be low risk. Transmission is more-or-less confined to the rainy summer months. For this reason, travellers who intend to visit the Kruger National Park and/or adjacent private reserves from September to May are advised to take antimalarial drugs, and visitors to iSimangaliso Wetland Park and Hluhluwe-Imfolozi might also consider it. Several such drugs are available and it is best to seek advice from a doctor or travel clinic a few weeks before.

It is also advisable to take all reasonable precautions against being bitten by the nocturnal Anopheles mosquitoes that transmit the disease. Wear a long-sleeved shirt, trousers and socks in the evening, apply a DEET-based insect repellent to any exposed flesh, and sleep under a net, in an air-conditioned room, under a fan, or with a mosquito coil burning.

Travellers with young children or who prefer not to take medication could consider visiting one of several malaria-free safari destinations, for instance Madikwe, Pilanesberg or Addo, in preference to the Kruger National Park.