While malaria is easily preventable when travelling these days, some prefer to stick to malaria-free safaris in Africa. For example, it’s perfect for a babymoon or families travelling with young children and the elderly who might not want to take anti-malaria medication.
Luckily, there are plenty of malaria-free destinations in Africa to choose from! And it also does not mean you have to sacrifice luxury and incredible Big 5 safari experiences. Most of the malaria-free safari lodges are also very easy to reach. We share some of our favourite destinations we like to suggest to our guests for a malaria-free safari.
You might be wondering where in Africa you can go for a malaria-free safari. Well, it could surprise you how many options you have to choose from! Here are our top ones.
Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa: Located in the North West province, it’s famous for its African wild dogs and excellent Big 5 sightings.
Tswalu Private Game Reserve, South Africa: Home to rare species and a Michelin star chef-led restaurant in the southern Kalahari.
Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia: Largest protected area in Namibia and home to the world’s oldest desert, the Namib.
Addo Elephant Park, South Africa: Best known for its massive herds of elephants, conveniently located close to the Garden Route in the Eastern Cape.
Etosha National Park, Namibia: Malaria-free during the dry winter months and a wildlife paradise.
Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, South Africa: Big 5 safaris in a unique setting next to the Great Fish River in the Eastern Cape.
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Botswana/South Africa: One of only a few malaria-free options in Botswana.
Gondwana Game Reserve, South Africa: Family-friendly Big 5 safaris on the Garden Route.
Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, South Africa: Closest safari destination to Cape Town and home to free-roaming white lions.
Pilanesberg National Park, South Africa: Found in the North West province, it’s the fourth-largest national park in the country.
South Africa is well-known for its many excellent malaria-free destinations. And they’re also very accessible. Here’s where to go if you want an exciting malaria-free safari in South Africa without compromising on the wildlife sightings or luxury.
One of the best-known places for a malaria-free safari in South Africa, Madikwe Game Reserve, is located in the North West province of the country. It’s also one of the largest game reserves in South Africa and offers fantastic Big 5 safaris and endangered African wild dog sightings. This is one of the best family-friendly reserves out there, and it’s easy to reach whether you choose the five-hour drive or one-hour flight from Johannesburg.
As the largest private game reserve in South Africa, the next one on our list is a truly special place for many reasons. Tswalu Private Game Reserve is located in southern Kalahari and is easy to reach by road or air. It's home to a unique ecosystem and diverse wildlife, including rare and endangered species like the pangolin, aardvark, desert-adapted black rhino, black-maned lions, and more. Another reason why this is a favourite for malaria-free safaris in South Africa is the flexibility and access to your own safari vehicle, tracker, and guide. The activities are also endless, from horseback safaris, bush walks to visit the meerkat, picnics in the bush, or dining at the Michelin star chef restaurant, Klein Jan.
When looking for malaria-free safaris in South Africa, look no further than Pilanesberg National Park. A Big 5 safari destination, you can also look forward to seeing sable antelope, brown hyenas, and the endangered African wild dog. Birders will also be delighted as it's home to over 350 bird species! For those history buffs, the Stone and Iron Age sites throughout the national park will offer intriguing insights into early humans' lives. There's plenty to do, from bush walks, game drives, and even hot air balloon rides. It's also accessible, located about a two-and-a-half-hour drive from O.R Tambo Airport in Johannesburg.
Located in the Eastern Cape, Kwandwe Private Game Reserve offers Big 5 malaria-free safaris in South Africa. The name means “the place of the blue crane” in the Xhosa language, which is also South Africa's national bird. As the name suggests, you can marvel at the blue crane here, as well as enjoy exhilarating Big 5 safaris. You can also see other endangered species like the Knysna woodpecker, Cape grysbok, crowned eagle and black-footed cat. It's also one of the best safari destinations for families, with exclusive-use villas where families are entirely in control of their safari timetables. Furthermore, there's no minimum age restriction for children. When parents need a bit of a breather, childminders can also be arranged. It's very easy to reach Kwandwe, and the nearest airport is Port Elizabeth Airport, which is only about a two-hour drive from the reserve.
Addo Elephant National Park is best known for its large population of elephants. However, this park has even more to offer! Not only is it South Africa's third-largest national park, but it's also the only national park in the world where you can see the Big 7. Yes, you read that right! The Big 7 is the Big 5 you know, with the addition of the great white shark and southern right whale. There are plenty of activities to entertain the whole family, including horseback riding, 4x4 rides, guided walks, game drives, and more. It's easy to reach Addo Elephant National Park, as Port Elizabeth Airport is only about a one-hour drive from the main gate.
Gondwana Game Reserve is very easy to reach as it's a four-hour drive from Cape Town, located on the scenic Garden Route. It's also a very family-friendly, malaria-free destination for a South African safari holiday. Home to the Big 5, as well as hippo, giraffe, zebra, cheetah, and many more, safaris are always exciting! You might even be able to see the endangered black rhino. Gondwana has plenty of nearby attractions to explore too, including seaside towns like Knysna and Mossel Bay, and there are many golf courses nearby.
Sanbona Wildlife Reserve offers a unique safari experience at the foot of the Warmwaterberg Mountains in the Little Karoo. The closest safari destination to Cape Town, it's perfect for an add-on destination to your Southern African holiday. What truly makes Sanbona different is its wide variety of indigenous flora and fauna, San rock art, and applaudable conservation initiatives. You can look forward to seeing wildlife such as giraffes, leopards, rhinos, and elephants. Plus, it's home to free-roaming white lions! They also have family-friendly accommodation options and activities for the perfect family safari holiday in South Africa.
Our Travel Experts have scoured the continent for the very best malaria-free safaris in Africa. And as the World’s Best Safari Company, we know exactly where, when and how to have the best time on our continent. Contact us today, and let’s start planning your dream African safari!