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Health in South Africa

As mentioned in the 'Travel Tips' section, South Africa doesn't require you to arrive with a book full of immunisations. However, it is suggested that you consult your doctor with all of your health risk concerns as he or she may feel a few standard vaccinations or inoculations are in order. Some medical practitioners will suggest hepatitis A and tetanus inoculations if they feel it's in your best interest to do so.

With regard to any malaria concerns specifically, the Peebles Valley is not situated in a high-risk malaria area due to our relatively high altitude; it is set amidst rolling hills and is considered to be a very low-risk malarial destination. This essentially means that it is highly unlikely that you will contract malaria when staying with us. There are mosquitoes around though, but they are not malaria carrying mosquitoes. The local people don't take anti-malaria drugs known as malaria prophylactics unless they're staying over-night in the Kruger Park or surrounding private concessions. That said, umSisi House cannot take responsibility for anyone who contracts malaria, so please consult your doctor or travel clinic prior to departure and discuss the option of malaria prevention medication with them.


Here are some health tips for travelling in South Africa to help prevent malaria exposure:

  • apply insect repellent to exposed skin as sunset approaches
  • wear long-sleeved clothing, trousers and socks
  • close windows at night
  • turn off lights in bedrooms and turn on ceiling fans or sleep under a mosquito net
  • burn mosquito coils in the bedroom areas

In high-risk areas the use of anti-malaria drugs is recommended from October to May. People at particular risk and requiring extra precautions are:

  • children under 5
  • adults over 65
  • pregnant women
  • people on long term steroids
  • people receiving chemotherapy
  • people with Aids / HIV, porphyria or epilepsy
  • people who have had their spleens removed
  • people suffering from terminal illnesses

Taking Malaria Prophylaxis

If you do decide to take malaria prophylaxis, it is essential to take the drugs according to the directions on the package insert. You must start and end when they tell you to as this reflects the incubation period of the disease. Otherwise you have wasted your time and money! It is always advisable to take the drugs with food to avoid any stomach upsets and you must make yourself aware of all of the side-effects the different drugs have.

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