Wearing insect repellent, no matter how unpleasant it may be, is a good idea all round. Any game viewing experience in Southern Africa is likely to bring you into close contact with another of Africa’s little pests..... ticks.
By my count ticks are far worse than mosquitoes.
Their bites are more itchy than mosquito bites and can last for weeks.
They can be extremely small (the famous pepper tick is no larger than a pin prick), and therefore are difficult to remove.
They can give you a not life threatening but unpleasant infection know as tick bite fever. They are just as crafty as mosquitoes at tracking you down, and can crawl into your most sweaty crevices (don’t ask) within seconds of clinging on to you.
They lurk about on not only clumps of tall grass but even tree branches, waiting to jump onto any passing mammal. So common sense can certainly keep you safe from these little nasties. The above information is designed to give you a better understanding of the whole malaria problem and not to make you blasé about the reality of the risks involved.
Malaria paranoia is no reason not to visit these amazing areas. One must remember that the fact that these areas are historically malaria zones, means that man has made little impact on the natural state that exists even to today. Tonga Land for example is a natural wonderland of rivers, dunes, fresh and salt water lakes and Coastal Forest as well as Mangrove and Sand Forests, all teaming with indigenous plant and animal life. Myself and my friends and the occasional lucky traveller have spent many wonderful days here with the Tonga people, despite the high malaria risk. It is certainly most fortunate that malaria has aided such beauty in surviving to be experienced by visitors in this present day.
If you require more specific information on the risks of malaria in areas you wish to visit, please do approach us on the contact details provided in this web site.