Southern Africa Travel Advice:
Malaria within Southern Africa is prevalent in a number of areas.
In South Africa it
is encountered on the eastern side mainly in northern and eastern Mpumalanga, northern
Kwa-Zulu Natal, and the border areas of the Limpopo
Malaria is also common in the lower lying areas of Swaziland. It can
also be found throughout Mozambique and Zimbabwe, and much of
Botswana. Northern Namibia is also a malarious area.
Should you be visiting these areas malaria precautions are advised.
Malaria transmission is at its highest during the warmer and wetter
months of November through to April. From May through to October the
risks of acquiring malaria are reduced.
Both chloroquine-resistant and normal strains of malaria are
prevalent in Africa. Malaria is transmitted by a very small
percentage of female Anopheles mosquitoes. They are only active in
the early evening and throughout the night, at the times when one is
usually sleeping or sitting around the campfire.
The best insurance is to avoid being bitten by using mosquito
repellents liberally. Wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers/slacks
in the evenings. If staying in a bungalow or tent, spray with an
insecticide like Doom to kill any mosquitoes that may have flown
into your room. Mosquito coils are effective.
Expert opinion differs regarding the best approach to malaria
prophylaxis - please consult your doctor or chemist. The
anti-malarial drugs must be taken exactly on schedule without
It is important to bear in mind that malaria may be contracted
despite chemoprophylaxis, especially in areas where chloroquine
resistance has been reported.
If you become ill on your return, while still on prophylaxis or even
once you have stopped taking them, ensure that your doctor does
everything to establish that your illness is not malaria.
Malaria is not a serious problem if you are sensible and take basic
Symptoms of malaria include fever and flu-like illness, including
shaking chills, headache, muscle aches, and tiredness. Nausea,
vomiting, and diarrhea may also occur. Malaria may cause anemia and
jaundice (yellow coloring of the skin and eyes) because of the loss
of red blood cells.
For most people, symptoms begin 10 days to 4 weeks after infection,
although a person may feel ill as early as 8 days or up to 1 year
Malaria can be cured with prescription drugs. The type of drugs and
length of treatment depend on which kind of malaria is diagnosed,
where the patient was infected, the age of the patient, and how
severely ill the patient was at start of treatment.