Waterberg Travel Answers

change location
darrmont's Profile Photo

Safaris in Malaria free areas

by darrmont Online Now Mar 26, 2008 at 10:58 AM

I am planning a Safari trip to South Africa but wish to go a Malaria free area convenient to Johannesburg and some research has indicated that the Waterberg area may be a good choice.

I would like to hear from anyone who has had a Safari in this area, I am concerned to establish if the area is actually malaria free and if the wildlife is good in the area and if there are particular issues in going to the area.

Also what is the best way to get from Johannesburg airport to the Waterberg area.

Thanks

Quote & Answer
7 Answers
  • DAO's Profile Photo

    THE WISDOM OF DAO

    by DAO Online Now Mar 26, 2008 at 1:02 PM

    Malaria can be curable if detected at an early date. Do you know the symptoms? Or your doctor? Would you have ready access to a doctor when you have the onset? It can incubate for years. Malaria is nasty, deadly (kills abaout 990,000 people a year!) diease that can cause lasting damage even if you are 'cured'. Anti-malarial medication is not fatal. It would not be approved for use and sell if it was not. I had a bar man in Zanzibar who had it 3 times before the age of 25.

    My point? It's preventable! Nets, screes, air/con and proper repellant should be very safe for short term travellers. Kruger has Malaria, but lodges have all the precautions except the repellant. Sensible precautions will make a trip to Kruger a rewarding expeirnce, not some place to be avoided. One member on VT died of Malaria. Had some decisions been made differently we would not have mourned her loss.

    There are some more facts here:

    http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/facts.htm

    Here is a map of the relatively small area in South Africa where there is Malaria:

    http://www.malaria.org.za/riskmap.htm

    And some stats:

    malaria.org.za/Malaria_Risk/...
    (Waterburg is in Limpopo, but there are lodges/game reserves not in a risk area.)

    It is safe to travel in Malaria areas as it is to drive - be careful and enjoy.
    I hope you will consider Kruger. Its fantastic.

    As for transport, I would contact the game park/lodge and ask for transport costs, they can arrange. Also, you can ask the local town you could get picked up in and take a bus there. There are some good bus lines in RSA.

    Have a great time.

    All the best,

    DAO

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • ricky52's Profile Photo

    Re: Safaris in Malaria free areas

    by ricky52 Online Now Mar 26, 2008 at 3:35 PM

    DAO is right, don't mess about with malaria.

    Mosquitoes, Malaria and Dengue Fever.

    This is a question that appears quite a lot here on VT.
    You will hear from people who never take any kind of medication.
    You will hear from those who do.

    May I suggest that you contact your own doctor, practice nurse or travel clinic and ask for their advice?
    If they recommend that you use some form of medication, get them to recommend the treatment.
    You may find that some treatments you make you ill, if so, ask the doctor for an alternative.

    Different anti malaria medication effects different people in different ways, what is good for one person is not always good for another. You won't know this until you have tried a particular medicine.

    “I will only be there 3 or 4 days, do I really need to take the medicine”

    It does not matter, if it is an infected area, 3 or 4 minutes is all it takes to get Malaria.

    Either way, you can return from your holiday with some great photographs, a sun tan and good memories or in a body bag.
    The choice is yours.

    True fact: - Malaria has killed more than half the people who have EVER lived.

    This reply may appear to be a little melodramatic and over the top.
    IT IS MEANT TO BE.
    Too much irresponsible and bad information is given out over forums regarding malaria.

    VT member kinga_freespirit died through malaria, she did not survive her trip to Africa.

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • carteki's Profile Photo

    Re: Safaris in Malaria free areas

    by carteki Online Now Mar 27, 2008 at 1:47 AM

    When are you going to Kruger? The risk of malaria is highest during the rainy summer months (Nov - Feb/Mar) and lower in winter. The Pilansberg is a couple hours from JHB and is in a malaria free area. Sun City resort borders the Pilansberg and there will be transport from the airport there.

    Malaria is an emotional subject on VT ;) My advice is speak to your travel health specialists and get as much information as possible. But even if you do take the tablets, you need to be wary of a) being bitten and b) any flu-like symptoms that you get afterwards. If you do, TELL YOUR DOCTOR YOU'VE BEEN TO A MALARIA AREA. People in the UK have died because their doctors thought that they had flu (as malaria is not common there) and were treated for that and not malaria.

    happy travels

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • ricky52's Profile Photo

    Re: Safaris in Malaria free areas

    by ricky52 Online Now Mar 27, 2008 at 4:58 AM

    I knew a local market trader, she had returned from a trip to The Gambia, 2 weeks later she was dead.
    She had received just one mosquito bite; they might have saved her had she told them she had just returned from Africa.
    It was not until the post mortem was carried out did they find what the caused her death.

    Remember!
    Ebola is still in Africa, they are not 100% sure where it is from, although they suspect that monkies carry the virus and they are pretty sure that the mosquito is the transmitter.
    Some scientists are thinking that in the long term, the mosquito could end up carrying the aids virus as well.

    The mosquito in Africa is a nasty little bugger and should be given all the respect it deserves.
    Do seek medical advice, if the medication does not agree with you, go back and get it changed.

    You can lead a horse to the water but you cannot make him drink.

    The choice is yours, choose wisely.

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • DAO's Profile Photo

    Re: Safaris in Malaria free areas

    by DAO Online Now Mar 27, 2008 at 11:15 AM

    news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/62...

    By the way, we are not trying to scare you at all. I have travlled safetly in Malarial areas for months. Because of ccorrect use of repellants I have never even been bitten.

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • ricky52's Profile Photo

    Re: Safaris in Malaria free areas

    by ricky52 Online Now Mar 27, 2008 at 11:39 AM

    I think this is an issue that will probably never be solved.
    There are those who have travelled throughout the world and have not taken any medication for malaria.
    Then there are those who do.
    I wonder sometimes, those who don’t, are they playing Russian roulette?

    Another thought, could the lack of taking anything, also have something to do with the cost of anti malaria medication?

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
  • Gili_S's Profile Photo

    Re: Safaris in Malaria free areas

    by Gili_S Online Now Mar 29, 2008 at 9:38 AM

    A traveller to Malaria zone should always have malaria pills because without it he is just risking his life for nothing, there is no risk what’s so ever by using the malaria pills for limited time. What you might hear from the locals is true, when you live permanent in such zone you can’t use those pills unlimited and that is a fact.
    Good advice is also travelling to such places during the dry season and your risk is down to the minimum. Anyhow it is nicer to visit those places when it is dry and not muddy roads or floods, and if you are into safari and animal watching it is also easier to spot the animals.
    Then having a good strong replant like from Life System can help keeping mosquitoes and other insects away, it kept me bites free even in the scary mosquitoes land swamps of Lapland.

    Be the first to rate this answer!

    Was this helpful? Quote & Answer
Your Answer
Advanced Editor View Guidelines