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35 Malaria-free Safari Lodges in South Africa to Visit

Marataba malaria free South Africa
Written by Teresa Mwangi

Malaria is certainly endemic in some African countries and this is a turn off for international tourists and South Africa is no exception. However, the good news is that there are adventurous places designated as malaria-free areas South Africa.

The northeastern parts of South Africa that encompass Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo have high rates of malaria infection. Climatic conditions in the northeast support mosquito breeding. Scientifically, mosquitoes spread and transmit malaria through bites from infected mosquitoes.

Nevertheless, you still enjoy a wonderful safari in the land of the Zulu people without the fear of getting infected with malaria.

Which Parts Of South Africa Are Malaria Free?

The Eastern Cape, Kalahari Desert, Waterberg and Madikwe are the four main malaria-free areas South Africa has. It is important to find out if your lodge of choice is within a zone declared free from this mosquito transmitted disease. What’s comforting is the each of the following 10 game reserves spread out through the mosquito-free areas have gorgeous malaria-free lodges.

Below are the reserves and lodges in them.

Kwandwe Private Game Reserve (Eastern Cape)

malaria-free areas south Africa

Kwandwe Game Reserve in South Africa. Photo/Accommodation South Africa

  • Great Fish River Lodge
  • Ecca Lodge
  • Melton Manor
  • Fort House

Amakhala Game Reserve (Eastern Cape)

  • Woodbury Tented Camp
  • Leeuwenbosch Country House
  • HillsNek Safari Camp
  • Bukela Game Lodge
  • Safari Lodge
  • Bush Lodge

Phinda Private Game Reserve (KwaZulu-Natal)

  • Phinda Forest Lodge
  • Phinda Rock Lodge
  • Phinda Vlei Lodge
  • Phinda Mountain Lodge
  • Phinda Homestead

Samara Private Game Reserve (Eastern Cape)

  • Manor House
  • Karoo Lodge

Shamwari Private Game Reserve (Eastern Cape)

  • Long Lee Manor
  • Bayethe Tented Lodge
  • Lobengula Lodge
  • Sarili Lodge
  • Eagles Crag Lodge

Marataba Contractual National Park (Waterberg)

South Africa malaria free

Marataba Conservation camps. Photo/True Travel

  • Marataba Mountain Lodge
  • Marataba Trails Lodge
  • Marataba Safari Lodge

Tswalu Kalahari Game Reserve (Kalahari Desert)

  • The Motse

Kariega Game Reserve (Eastern Cape)

  • The Homestead
  • Ukhozi Lodge
  • Settlers Drift
  • Main Lodge

Madikwe Game Reserve (Madikwe)

  • Madikwe Safari Lodge

Waterberg Region (Waterberg Region)

  • Clifftop Exclusive Safari Hideaway
  • Mhondoro Safari Lodge & Villa
  • Marataba Safari Lodge
  • Ant’s Nest & Ant’s Hill

Is Johannesburg Malaria Free?

Johannesburg is among the mapped out malaria-free areas South Africa has. This South African capital together with, Cape Town and Durban cities have a zero malaria risk. A common denominator across the three South African cities is that they have a high altitude that discourages the breeding of mosquitos.

Johannesburg, for example, is 1753 meters above sea level, which is pretty high for mosquitos to survive. Thus, travelers visiting the capital, Durban and Cape Town shouldn’t worry about having an anti-malarial vaccination or drugs.

Inversely, if you’re planning on visiting the northeastern regions of South Africa, consider taking anti-malaria tablets or a vaccine shot for the same. The low-lying topographic nature lowers the altitude thereby encouraging mosquitos to breed profusely.

Is South Africa Malaria Free?

It is a fact that malaria-free areas South Africa exist. However, South Africa is not malaria-free because there are a few areas where the prevalence rate of the disease is high but manageable.

Ideally, malaria is endemic in Mpumalanga, and Limpopo but the South African government have all health measures to contain it. At least 4.9 million South Africans stand the risk of contracting malaria. They represent 10% of South Africa’s total population.

Can You Get Malaria In Cape Town?

It is highly unlikely to get infected with malaria when in Cape Town due to its high altitude that suppresses mosquito survival. Moreover, it’s among the malaria-free areas South Africa boasts of. Feel safe whenever you’re in this geographically scenic city in the Eastern Cape and also in Durban and Johannesburg.

Some of the most popular places in Cape Town include the following:

  1. Table Mountain
  2. Camps Bay Beach
  3. Cape Point
  4. Bo-Kaap
  5. V&A Waterfront:
  6. Robben Island
  7. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

Where In South Africa Do You Need Malaria Tablets?

When planning a visit to the following seven places, remember to take anti-malarial tablets or shots because they do not exist in malaria-free areas South Africa has.

  1. Mpumalanga
  2. Limpopo
  3. Kruger National Park
  4. Thohoyandou
  5. Musina
  6. Vhembe
  7. Mopani
  8. Mosquitos are a menace here and the high temperatures not only support their breeding but their survival too.


Some of the best lodges and game reserves in South Africa carry zero malaria risk which is fantastic news to all prospective. However, for areas heavily infested by mosquitos like the Kruger National Park, you still can visit as long as you take malaria tablets or a malaria vaccine and sleep under treated mosquito nets.

About the author

Teresa Mwangi

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, loves travelling and telling stories about tour and travel in Africa by every angle.

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