With all the research and planning you are bound to be doing before heading off on a Kruger Park safari, mosquitoes are likely to be a topic you bump into ever so often.
These pesky little creatures are all over the Kruger, even more so during the humid summer months, and if you are not careful, you could fall victim to the very unpleasant illness they leave with their bite: Malaria.
Although the number of Malaria cases varies from year to year, you should never take a chance when in the Kruger. Most Kruger Park safaris are conducted from open air safari vehicles. While this is the best way to see the park, it’s also an open invitation for mosquitoes looking for their next meal.
Did you know that there are more mosquitoes on the planet than there are people?
This means that when on a Kruger Park safari, you can be sure that you will leave with at least one bite, even if you never see or hear them. They can be particularly bothersome at night. The distinct buzzing sound of their wings is enough to keep you up at night, especially since the sound seems so loud when the rest of the world is dead quiet.
What is Malaria?
Africa still struggles greatly with this illness, and many local people will catch the illness from mosquitoes every year. Malaria is caused by a protozoan parasite which infects the red blood cells. It can be transmitted by just one bite from a carrier mosquito.
The good news is that Malaria is completely treatable when caught in time. If you are an international visitor, and you start feeling ill when you arrive back home, it is very important to talk to your doctor and tell them that you have recently been to a Malaria area.
There are different types of Malaria, so it can take anything from a few days to a few weeks to overcome the illness.
But we always say prevention is better than cure, and the best way to prevent an infection is by taking the right medication and taking it properly. Medication can be prescribed by your doctor and you can, and should, start taking it before you arrive.
Knowing the symptoms of Malaria is very important. This will help you to determine whether or not you have it and it will help guide your doctor to the right diagnosis. If you develop any of these symptoms in the first weeks back home, get to your doctor as soon as possible:
Feeling cold and shivering (even when it is a hot day)
Intense headaches, a fever and nausea/vomiting.
One tell-tale sign of Malaria is that the symptoms follow a pattern: you’ll feel cold, then hot and you’ll be sweating continuously.
In severe cases, symptoms can include impaired consciousness, convulsions, deep troubled breathing, signs of anaemia and jaundice.
Malaria is not a common cold or flu, even if it might feel that way. If left untreated, it can be fatal.
We want all of our guests to stay safe when on a Kruger Park safari. Not only should you take preventative medication but you should also use insect sprays when on safari and mosquito nets when at your accommodation.
Don’t let one little insect ruin your holiday! Make sure you are well prepared before your Kruger Park safari!