Looking for malaria-free game reserves in South Africa? We've got you.
South Africa is one of the only countries on the African continent with areas where travellers can experience an authentic malaria-free safari. The malaria-free game reserves in parts of the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Limpopo and the Northern Cape are the ideal locations for those intending on making it a family affair.
Wild Safari Guide highlights some of the best malaria-free game reserves in South Africa.
Eastern Cape: Kariega Game Reserve
Kariega Game Reserve is in a prime position to offer safari-goers an excellent bush and sea holiday. It stretches over 10,000 hectares with the valleys of the Kariega and Bushmans Rivers acting as borders in the west and the east. Visitors to the reserve will be able to marvel at a variety of fauna and flora species in a malaria-free environment. All five members of the Big Five are present, and more than 600 bird species roam the immediate skies.
Apart from magnificent game drives during dawn and dusk, guided bush walks will get visitors to Kariega better acquainted with the intricacies of the natural world. For a different vantage point, boat cruises on the Kariega and Bushmans Rivers are available.
Kariega is less than 100 kilometres from Port Elizabeth, where the nearest airport, with car rental facilities, is located.
Northern Cape: Tswalu Kalahari Reserve
Travellers to Tswalu Kalahari Reserve will be transported into another world where the vastness of the landscape is overwhelming. It is South Africa’s largest private game reserve at 111,000 hectares.
With a dedicated private game viewing vehicle and guide, wildlife spotting is a memorable experience. Safari-goers can expect to encounter rare and diverse wildlife, including lions, leopards, rhinos, wild dogs and cheetahs. Not to mention the hundreds of bird species that will keep bird lovers busy scanning the skies. Guests at Tswalu can choose from a handful of safari activities. These include private guided game drives, helicopter safaris, horse riding, walking safaris and a night out under the stars.
There are daily flights from Johannesburg and Cape Town on a privately chartered plane.
Limpopo: Welgevonden Game Reserve
Welgevonden Game Reserve falls within the UNESCO Waterberg Biosphere Reserve, occupying more than 38,000 hectares of wilderness in Limpopo. The more than 50 mammal species and over 300 types of birds that have made Welgevonden their home make for a superb safari experience. These include predators like lions, leopards and cheetahs, as well as antelope like eland and duiker. Apart from game drives, the reserve also offers stellar safari options like guided walking excursions, stargazing during a night out, as well as horseback trails. For a unique safari experience, guests can explore Bushman rock paintings where they will get a glimpse into the San culture. The malaria-free Welgevonden is less than three hours north of Johannesburg. Travellers can also opt for a 45-minute flight to a few airstrips located close to the reserve.
Western Cape: Gondwana Game Reserve
Gondwana Game Reserve is the ideal location for travellers making their way down South Africa’s Garden Route and looking for a safari experience. The Outeniqua and Langeberg Mountain Ranges tower over the reserve’s 11,000 hectares. It is the only private reserve in this part of South Africa where visitors have the opportunity to observe the Big Five: the leopard, lion, elephant, buffalo, and black and white rhinos. At least 17 different carnivores, like the grey mongoose, small-spotted genet, caracal and bat-eared fox can also be spotted.
Game drives and guided nature walks bring visitors up close and personal with inhabitants of the natural world. The Junior Ranger programme gives kids the opportunity to learn more about the local wildlife.
The reserve is a mere four-hour drive from Cape Town. For those flying into George Airport, it is just 45 minutes by road.