5 malaria-free game reserves for the family to visit

Planning a holiday when you have young children can be stressful. From finding a family-friendly hotel to planning activities that the whole family can enjoy, the last thing you want to add to that list is the risk for contracting potentially deadly diseases like malaria.

Yes, there are prophylactic (preventive) medications available, but many experts agree that it is best to avoid to malaria-risk areas completely where you have children under the age of five years.

These are our top five family-friendly, malaria-free destinations in southern Africa can add to your travel list:

1. The Waterberg, Limpopo

If you fancy a getaway in the bush, the Waterberg is a great option. Game drives are a much-loved South African family activity and, what’s more, the bush can be explored on horseback. Though the Big Five are not part of this trip, you will be able to view zebra, rhino (if you are lucky!) giraffe, kudu and wildebeest.

 2. Kwandwe Private Game Reserve

This game reserve is situated in the Eastern Cape close to Port Elizabeth. Khandwe is one of the largest private Big Five game viewing areas in South Africa. There is also black and white rhino, which you may catch a glimpse of if you are lucky. There is a beautiful, diverse landscape due to the location of the Great Fish River in this region. The four properties in the reserve include: Great Fish River Lodge, Ecca Lodge, Uplands Homestead and Melton Manor.

3. Tswalu Kalahari Game Reserve

Located in the heart of the Northern Cape Province in the southern Kalahari, Tswalu Kalahari Game Reserve is close to the Botswana border. Tswalu only allows 30 guests at a time within its borders, so if you are looking for an exclusive and quiet trip, then this is one to consider.

“Not only do these destinations offer beautiful scenery, but without the risk of malaria, they are safe for even your youngest children.”

4. Madikwe Private Game Reserve

This wild and remote paradise is located far north in South Africa close to the Botswana border. It is one of the lesser known destinations and is therefore a quiet getaway. It truly is a hidden gem as the Big Five can be seen on this trip, along with over 300 bird species and a thriving population of wild dog. Luxury lodges are available as well as family-friendly counterparts.

5. Pilanesberg

Pilanesberg is a beautiful, malaria-free game reserve just a few hours from Johannesburg and is home to over 7 000 animals including the Big Five. Your safari options include a self-drive safari, a guided private lodge safari or, wait for it … a hot air balloon flight over the landscape at dawn. As an added bonus, along with designated game lodges, Sun City is situated in the reserve. If you’d like a break from the bush, a trip to the famous Valley of the Waves will go down a treat!

If you are planning a vacation with young kids, plenty of fun can be had. Not only do these destinations offer beautiful scenery, but without the risk of malaria, they are safe for even your youngest children. Enjoy your time away with your family and cherish the priceless memories made in breath-taking destinations.

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