Malaria in South Africa

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Malaria is still a risk in South Africa so if you are planning to travel to this part of the continent, you need to visit your doctor two months before departure. You can then get the necessary vaccinations and malaria tablets that you will need in order to be safe during your trip.

Malaria is not prominent in all areas of South Africa so you need to tell your doctor exactly whereabouts you are going. It is present in the north-eastern province of Kwazulu-natal and cases are found as far south as the Tugela River, Mpumalanga and Limpopo. It is also present in one of the biggest attractions of South Africa- The Kruger Park. The risk of malaria varies throughout the year and you are most at risk if you visit the area between October and May. 

It is important that you take the correct malaria tablets for the area you are visiting because there are some parts of Africa where Chloroquine will not work. The parasites have developed a resistance to the drug and it will not be effective in protecting you against malaria. Malarone, Mefloquine and Doxycycline will all be effective in South Africa and can offer you protection from malaria as long as you complete the full course of tablets. You must also follow insect prevention measures so sleep in an air-conditioned room but if this is not possible, you will need a mosquito net. You are also advised to wear loose, long-sleeved clothing at night and stay somewhere that has been sprayed with insecticide.

Is there a risk in Johannesburg?

Johannesburg is one of the largest cities in South Africa and a popular destination for many travellers. If you are visiting Johannesburg and are not planning to visit any other areas of South Africa, you will not need to take malaria tablets, as there is no risk of malaria in the city. However, if you are planning to venture out to other areas, you will need to take malaria tablets.

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