South Africa is a true haven for safari aficionados; with destinations like the Kruger National Park at its helm, it attracts safari goers from around the world each year. However, like any wildlife destination, there are some things to take into consideration.
Most parks and reserves in Southern Africa come with a malaria warning, particularly during the warmer summer months. A visit to your travel clinic before departure to a malaria-area is well advised, to ensure you have taken the appropriate precautions.
However, many travellers – whether travelling with young children or elder grandparents or who merely wish to avoid taking prophylactics – prefer to visit malaria-free areas. The good news is that South Africa offers many fantastic Big 5 safari destinations that fit the bill. Here are our Top 3 destinations for a malaria-free safari in South Africa:
The Eastern Cape
Ideally combined with a Cape Town holiday and a Garden Route meander, the Eastern Cape is perfectly suited to family safaris, with a number of accessible national parks and private reserves.
Many of the private reserves offer sumptuous luxury lodge-style accommodation, with twice-daily game drives and other activities like safari walks, while the main national parks – Addo Elephant National Park, Mountain Zebra National Park and the Karoo National Park offer a variety of comfortable accommodation and superb wildlife and nature experiences.
The Eastern Cape reserves and parks are best suited to families with younger children and ideal as part of a self-drive itinerary. They are easily accessible from Port Elizabeth, just a 1-hour flight from Cape Town too.
Madikwe Private Game Reserve
Deep in the heart of the North West Province of South Africa and set against the border of Botswana, Madikwe Private Game Reserve is a malaria-free destination boasting a variety of unusual game, as well as the much sought-after Big 5 and other well-known species.
There are many luxury lodges situated within the reserve, including some rather beautiful exclusive accommodation – ideal for larger families or small groups wanting a more private experience.
The scenic landscapes, incredible community focus and conservation efforts see visitors return time and again to Madikwe.
Madikwe is just a short shuttle flight from Johannesburg and can also be accessed via a simple road transfer or self-drive (about 4 hours).
Pilanesberg National Park
Set against the backdrop of the Pilanesberg mountain range and within the ecologically rich transition zone between the Kalahari and the Lowveld, is Pilanesberg National Park, a malaria-free safari destination most often frequented by guests who’ve holidayed at nearby Sun City Resort.
Ideal for those wanting a safari experience, but not wanting to travel too far from the major hubs, Pilanesberg also offers a variety of experiences, including hot-air balloon safaris, game drives and walking safaris
Whether you’re looking for a Big 5 safari experience, a leisurely family safari or a short-stay safari getaway, South Africa’s top malaria-free reserves offer thrilling wildlife encounters.