South Africa has been experiencing an increase in malaria this year and the South African National Parks, Kruger National Park issued an advisory on malaria for visitors.

Anopheles gambiae mosquito Image/CDC
Anopheles gambiae mosquito

Kruger National Park (KNP) Management would like to caution visitors to the Park to take precautionary measures against Malaria before visiting the Park, although classified as a low risk area but is situated in a malaria area. Due to the heavy rain received this year, there are pools of water in abundance everywhere and the Park is experiencing Malaria cases especially in the northern part of the Park.

“Malaria seems to be on the brink of an outbreak lately despite the fact that we almost in winter now with some of the country’s provinces reporting hundreds of people who have been admitted and tested positive for the disease in hospitals. We therefore would like to advise visitors to take the necessary precautions which include the use of prophylaxes and vaccinations in consultation with their doctors to prevent the possibility of contracting Malaria as Kruger National Park is known to be one of the Malaria endemic areas in this country,” said the SANParks Acting Head of Communications, William Mabasa.

By using repellants on the skin, keeping the gauze door and windows close and also ensuring these are not broken as well as spraying the inside of the hut/bungalow with insecticide, the risk of Malaria in the Park can be reduced significantly.

Mabasa also noted that “although Malaria can be contracted at any time of the year the Malaria season in this country is October to April, with March and April the highest risk period; however this year seems to be slightly different. With winter approaching, mosquitoes which are carriers of the parasite causing Malaria, should begin to hibernate and the situation shall possibly improve”.

There are medical doctors permanently based in Skukuza, Kruger National Park’s main camp and the public can also consult them for information and advice prior to their visit to the Park on telephone number +27 13 735 5638.