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Malaria in Zambia, please help me decide.

Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
31 posts
35 reviews
32 helpful votes
Malaria in Zambia, please help me decide.

My husband and I, in our early seventies, are traveling to Southern Africa for the first time in June.

We will be in Chobe Elephant Camp, Chobe River Front in Namibia, Meno A Kwena in Makgadikgadi, Mokolwane, Duke's East in Okavango, Johannesburg and Cape Town.

We also will be in Livingstone for three nights.

From what I understand the problem area is Livingstone. This is a long trip and we rather not take any medication.

I have read many posts. I am very concerned and I just want your opinion.

If we will be super careful and cover our bodies, do we still have to take medications?

Has anyone traveled to Livingstone and did not take meds? Or not taking meds is pure stupidity?

Thanks.

16 replies to this topic
Los Altos Hills, CA
Level Contributor
1 914 posts
155 reviews
159 helpful votes
1. Re: Malaria in Zambia, please help me decide.

Most of the area you mention in Botswana and Zambia are malaria zones. And there have been many reports that due to the climate warming, malaria is worse/more common than ever. It is a terrible diseases and can have lasting impact.

I would 100% not chance it. June is not as bad as later in the summer but still quite buggy and bites are nearly unavoidable. Please take the medication. I've taken Malarone on many trips and never had any side effects, but of course every person is different. If you're concerned about side effects, I would suggest that you take it for 2-3 days at home just to put your mind at ease. As for long term effects, I think it is considered quite safe, and certainly less of a hazard than risking malaria.

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Zambia, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park
Level Contributor
8 918 posts
2. Re: Malaria in Zambia, please help me decide.

Don't risk it, it's just not worth it. Many people take malarone with no issues.

Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
31 posts
35 reviews
32 helpful votes
3. Re: Malaria in Zambia, please help me decide.

We will take it.

I needed someone to tell me what you told me.

Thank you.

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
282 posts
5 reviews
1 helpful vote
4. Re: Malaria in Zambia, please help me decide.

As Judy points out, a great deal of your trip is in Botswana. Malarone is what you will likely be prescribed, and it is usually tolerated better than alternatives. The latest malaria maps (2023) show MOST of Botswana. (certainly ALL of the areas you are travelling to, even in the Magkadigkadi). and ALL of Zambia to be malaria zones (not just Livingstone). So you have much more of your time than just 3 days being of concern.

I have taken Malarone many times, on many trips, and have never had any issues.

I would absolutely consult a travel doctor, and heed advice given.

Morro Bay...
Level Contributor
329 posts
48 reviews
39 helpful votes
5. Re: Malaria in Zambia, please help me decide.

I have had stomach issues with Malarone when I take it with breakfast. I now take it with dinner and an upset stomach is no longer an issue.

Wiltshire, United...
Level Contributor
4 041 posts
123 reviews
119 helpful votes
6. Re: Malaria in Zambia, please help me decide.

This is map is from the UK NHS site that is used by medical professionals over here: https://www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk/destinations/africa/zambia/zambia-malaria-map. High risk throughout the country. Malaria is no joke, do not risk it. As said above Malarone is free of side effects for the vast majority of people. It is expensive, but you can get non-branded equivalents much cheaper (we got ours online with no fuss). Need to be taken 2 days before, and 7 days after. Do NOT forget to take the full 7 days afterwards!

Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
31 posts
35 reviews
32 helpful votes
7. Re: Malaria in Zambia, please help me decide.

Good advice.

thank you.

Hertford, United...
Level Contributor
5 216 posts
600 reviews
265 helpful votes
8. Re: Malaria in Zambia, please help me decide.

I have taken malarone twice in the last 6 years with no issues. Luckily.

I'd never visit Zambia without anti malaria.

Edited: 04 January 2024, 17:10
Hertford, United...
Level Contributor
5 216 posts
600 reviews
265 helpful votes
9. Re: Malaria in Zambia, please help me decide.

What is the advice from your doctor?

Base your decision on a health professional's advice.

Auckland Central...
Level Contributor
20 posts
35 reviews
33 helpful votes
10. Re: Malaria in Zambia, please help me decide.

Locally, you can get anti malaria too. 3 tablets and no problem for 6 months. I was recommended that.

Also, think about chokers vaccinations- there is outbreak here of cholera at the moment

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