Well the good news is that you don’t have to succumb to a course of Malaria tablets in order to see the Big 5 in South Africa unless of course you are hell-bent on going to Kruger National Park where I am afraid you absolutely must. You might ask why should I even bother to consider a Malaria-free safari but for any of you who are pregnant, unable to take malaria tablets, or perhaps travelling with elderly relatives or children it’s a real life-saver.
Spread out across South Africa are numerous top-rated safari parks which are Malaria-free. Here are some suggestions of where to stay on your trip of a lifetime to see the magnificent Big 5.
Prescription medicine is required to protect yourself from Malaria and usually has to be taken before, during and after your trip. You should always consult with your doctor for protection against Malaria as it will depend upon the duration of your trip, any previous adverse reactions to antimalarial tablets, allergies and medical history. If you are travelling to a high-risk area such as Kruger National Park always adhere to the advice given to you at your accommodation as insect nets and screens are normally provided but are only a deterrent against mosquitos.
Eastern Cape (Malaria Free Safaris)
There is an excellent choice of Malaria-Free Game Reserves in the Eastern Cape that have become very popular due to their easy accessibility via airports at Port Elizabeth or East London or visitors driving up from Cape Town.
Shamwari Game Reserve – is just 75km or about an hours drive outside of Port Elizabeth and has consistently been voted one of the leading safaris in the World. The very high standard of accommodation with plunge pools coupled with the experienced game rangers ensures visitors the trip of a lifetime. The reserve is 20,000 hectares in size and home to the Big 5 and Cheetah as well.(www.shamwari.com)
Pumba Private Game Reserve – is about 105km from Port Elizabeth near Alicedale in the Eastern Cape. Choose from a variety of luxurious lodges some of which overlook the water dam while others overlook straight out onto the bush and plains. If you are in a group of 4 they have family lodges that offer parents their own privacy whilst still being close enough to keep an eye on the teenagers. On our last trip there our ranger (Gladman) was super helpful and he even managed to locate a Leopard that had been on our ‘must-see’ list for a couple of years. Don’t forget to look out for the family of White Lions that they have there – amazing. (www.pumbagamereserve.co.za)