Malaria pills - Pocket money - Driving distance (for holidays next August)
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Jun 22, 2012 4:24 PM Last Post By: John_in_Brum_UK
Jun 19, 2012 9:26 AM
Malaria pills - Pocket money - Driving distance (for holidays next August)Helllo!
I'm coming up again with 3 questions (hopefully the last ones before our trip to South Africa in August) and would appreciate your feedback guys!
We stay 3 nights in Kruger (1 night Skukuza and 2 nights in Mopani). Do we really need to start taking malaria pills at all? Opinions vary and some say that is not anymore needed to do this. Other areas of visit include Blyde River Canyon, Northern Cape and Cape Town but for these regions seems that it's pretty safe.
Our period of stay in South Africa is 18 days (17 nights). We booked a car to go around and we are 3 persons. Accommodation has already been booked and all places are Bed and Breakfast included. On top of that 3 nights out of 17 have Dinner included in our hotels bookings. Two internal flights have already been paid in advance. If the only things to pay daily is the sharing of car fuel expenses plus one major meal and maybe also an extra snack, how much money we have to consider taking as pocket money per day? We are not into junk food so the dinner every evening consider to be in an average price restaurant. Car distances to get an idea of the fuel consumption include (Johannesburg-Kruger and back and then drive all the way from Upington airport to Springbok, Nieuwoudtville down to Franschoek and finally Cape Town. Not intended to do shopping in any mall except little things like african souvenirs. 50 euro per person is ok per day? We want to be comfortable and not very tight!
Our longest distance seems to be OR Tambo to Hazyview (close to Kruger) and the way back from Kruger to OR Tambo via Blyde River Canyon. Many people seem to do this distance by car (400 to 450 km). Is it really exhausting that we will regret we haven't taken a flight? I've never driven so long distances and i'm just wondering how bad is it.
Thanks for reading our worries and hope that you have a clue or two on the above!
Jun 20, 2012 3:53 AM
Kruger is a malaria area. The time you are there is irrelevant - all it takes is one bite as you step out of your car when you arrive. If there risk any risk of getting bit - take the tablets, cover up and wear repellent - it's not the kind of souviner you want to take home.
I've driven Nelspruit to Joberg - it's a fast good road and can be done easily within a day. Hazyview is a bit further and if you include a visit to the canyon, itmight be a very long day. If you are sharing the driving it might be do-able.
Don't forget to make provision for NP entrance fees
Jun 20, 2012 6:51 AM
2This varies from car to car but most people I know average ZAR 1 per KM; the distances you are driving seem quite far so remember to factor that in. Try www.google.com/maps or http://www.nightjartravel.com/journey-planner (localised version) if you need to quickly get some distances.
Having said that, your budget seems ok though - the average spend for a local traveller is ZAR 400 / day and for an international traveller, ZAR 750 (according to the SA Stats bureau, anyway) so you guys should get by on EU50 / day :)
Jun 20, 2012 11:04 AM
3Thanks guys for your replies!
We'll have for sure mosquito repellent with us but as we get mixed opinions about pills on how necessary really are I wanted to ask you as well. A person who has family there and visits every summer South Africa told me today that we don't need to take pills. We are puzzled on what to do. :-) Maybe sometimes is a matter of luck I guess.
Yes, we are aware of the fees of the parks. In Kruger we stay inside so we'll pay once. The other two parks are Namakwa and Augrabies Falls.
Distances are long but also fuel costs will be divided. For restaurants for sure as I wrote we will not end up eating McDonalds but neither going to the top elite ones. We like good food though. Maybe then 60 euro per day? Or is it much? I have heard that generally food and drinks are very cheap in South Africa.
Jun 20, 2012 12:01 PM
4You can always find somebody who think they are 'bomb-proof' who will tell you to take the risk and not take the pills.
It's your life and health - you take the risk - but it may be your family that gets the grief.
See the following exposing the myths
Jun 20, 2012 1:15 PM
Many people who live in malaria areas are not aware of this. They are the most likely to tell you that "there is no malaria here" or "malaria is no big deal." If your friend grew up there, he/she may not be aware that by leaving, he/she has lost immunity. Or, he/she may be relying on family anecdotes. People going to Africa to visit friends or relatives account for a high percentage of visitors who get malaria. So high, that malaria experts have a special category termed "VFRs."
In any case, your friend's experience may or may not be relative to you. One thing to consider is--do you personally have some medical issue that puts you at high risk of serious complicates if you get malaria? That's something only you & your doctor can figure out.
The US CDC, which tends to be the most conservative about malaria, puts risk for travelers in SA as "low." They say:
Edited by: nutraxfornerves
Jun 21, 2012 11:22 PM
6Our medical advice before we left Australia (from an expat South African doctor) was not to bother with anti malarials for Kruger but instead to make sure we used anti mozzie repellent all the time and particularly at night and to get medical advice as soon as possible if we thought we'd got anything remotely like it. I spoke to one of the rangers at Kruger and he does the same. Worked for us. Personally I would get medical advice from a travel medical specalists and go with that.
Jun 22, 2012 12:58 AM
7Just remember that there can be side-effects for malaria tablets (as with any medication). I have taken different malaria tablets twice and both times I've had very bad side-effects (headaches and nausea). This is NOT to say you will have bad side effects - I'm just saying if you are going to a place with low malaria rates, and its off season, I wouldn't risk potentially feeling ill on your holiday, especially if you've never taken them before and don't know how you'll react.
Whether you decide to take the tablets or not, you should use mosquito repellent (the efficacy rate of the tablets is not 100%, mostly around 90%). There are three types of mosquito repellents - spray, lotion and in a stick. I would recommend the lotion as people have a tendency to miss spots when using the spray or the stick.
Your pocket money estimate sounds about right!
Jun 22, 2012 4:24 PM
(4 star Hotel)
From US$78.16 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$132.70 per night
(5 star Hotel)
From US$289.61 per night