3 malaria-free alternatives to the Kruger National Park

The world famous Kruger National Park is South Africa’s flagship game park. Covering almost 2 million hectares, it offers an unrivalled wildlife experience where visitors can spot an impressive number of species: 34 amphibians, 49 fish, 114 reptiles, 147 mammals, 336 trees, and 507 birds. But if you visit the Kruger during the summer months (September to May), you will need to take precautions against malaria. While the risk of malaria is usually low, it can be a big deterrent for tourists, especially for families with young children.

If you want an authentic Big 5 South African safari without the risk of malaria, consider these 3 alternatives to the Kruger National Park:

Addo Elephant National Park

The Eastern Cape is a malaria-free region with many Big 5 game reserves to choose from. Addo Elephant National Park tops our list, because it is the only reserve that is home to the Big 7 – the lion, elephant, rhino, leopard, and buffalo, along with the southern right whale and great white shark that can often be spotted in the protected marine waters. As its name suggests, the park is famous for its elephant herds and you’ll find plenty of up-close elephant encounters on offer.

Camp Figtree

Stay

Camp Figtree is a remote private game reserve encircled by the lush folds of the Zuurberg Mountains, only 8km from Addo Elephant National Park. The 1000 hectare property spans 3 different biomes – Afro-montane forests, valley bushveld, and Cape fynbos – thereby supporting a diverse range of wildlife. Designed around the original 1920s colonial-style building with corrugated iron roofing and sweeping verandas, the luxury lodge offers the finest in comfort, style, and service with an authentic African safari experience. Facilities include a swimming pool, restaurant, bar, airport transfers, and more.

Camp Figtree

Camp Figtree

Madikwe Game Reserve

Despite being one of the largest game parks in South Africa, Madikwe Game Reserve’s remote setting in the North West, along the Botswana border, makes it a lesser-visited gem. The reserve is considered to be one of the best conservation areas in Africa with the second largest population of elephants in South Africa as well as a thriving population of endangered African wild dogs.

Tau Game Lodge waterhole

Stay

Tau Game Lodge is a family-friendly 5-star lodge overlooking a natural waterhole within Madikwe Game Reserve. Each of the luxury chalets has a private deck with views over the waterhole, allowing guests to spot game and enjoy the bush in privacy. Facilities include a swimming pool, restaurant, bar, spa treatments, conferencing, airport transfers, and more.

Tau Game Lodge

Welgevonden Private Game Reserve

The Waterberg region of Limpopo offers an array of conservation areas, from the larger parks of Marakele and Mokolo Dam, to the smaller private reserves of Mabula and Madikela. Our top choice for Big 5 expeditions is Welgevonden Private Game Reserve, home to over 50 different mammals and one of the largest populations of white rhino on a private reserve anywhere in Africa. Only a limited number of guests are permitted access to the reserve at any one time, ensuring an intimate bush experience with minimal human impact. You’ll also be able to sight ancient Khoi-San rock art.

Jamila Game Lodge boma

Stay

The 4-star Jamila Game Lodge offers elegant African-inspired accommodation in the pristine wilderness on the northern side of the Welgevonden Private Game Reserve. Surrounded by the looming Waterberg Mountains, abundant wildlife, and unspoiled African bush, guests at Jamila can indulge in a relaxing bush adventure – with two daily guided game drives included in the package. Lodge facilities include a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, restaurant, bar, games room, massage and beauty therapies, airport transfers, and more.

Jamila Game Lodge

Jamila Game Lodge deck

Which malaria-free South African game reserve sounds most appealing to you?

Marcel Van de Ghinste is a Director at TravelGround.

If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Comments (3)

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  1. Anne Reilly says:

    When my sister and I went on a safari at Sabi Sands, staying at Kirkman’s Kamp, we took the malaria meds with us. However, there was not a mosquito in sight since the weather turned out to be quite chilly, windy and rainy so we decided not take the medication.
    While we were in Africa, we saw flyers describing “Malaria-free honeymoons”. That’s a great idea, having one less thing to worry about on your honeymoon. One never really knows what side effects you will get from medication in general, but some of the malaria meds can cause nightmares and who needs that on their honeymoon???

  2. Graham Page says:

    There are also many luxury game reserves in the Northern Cape which is also a malaria free zone.
    Amongst these is Twalu and of course the luxury camps in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

  3. Lizzie Tough says:

    I would love any advice, please, on value for money safaris in Kenya and all inclusive resorts in/near Watamu for myself and my 2 teenage sons (18 & 15) for this July/August. Thank you!

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