​Malaria & Safety – Central Kalahari GR

Anthony Ham
By Anthony Ham

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the Botswana & Namibia guide.

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Botswana & Namibia Lonely Planet guide.

Anthony is the author of the Botswana & Namibia Lonely Planet guide.


Botswana has very few crime issues. The country as a whole is safe to visit, in our opinion, and Central Kalahari Game Reserve is no exception.

Flying around from lodge to lodge is obviously the safest way to travel, but a self-drive safari is also a very safe option in Botswana. Central Kalahari is, however, extremely remote and exploring the park independently is only recommended for people with some 4x4 bush experience.

To obtain the most up-to-date information about traveling in Central Kalahari and Botswana in general, it is worth checking the travel advisories (see the ‘Safety & Security – Botswana’ link below).

Malaria & Vaccinations

Your travel clinic will give you advice on which vaccinations are recommended for visiting Botswana. Central Kalahari lies in a no-risk malaria zone, but if you are visiting other parts of the country, particularly in the north, it is advisable to take antimalarials. Extra safety measures include using insect repellent (containing at least 30% DEET) and covering up in the evening. The malaria risk is highest in the rainy season.

Wildlife Viewing

Wildlife viewing is generally very safe as long as you follow the park regulations. Every lodge will give a safety briefing at check-in, and it is essential to take any warnings seriously and listen to the advice provided.

When on an organized safari, you should always follow the instructions of the guide. When on a self-drive safari it is essential to stay in your car inside the park, unless in an area designated for alighting from the vehicle.

For more information, please read the ‘Wildlife Viewing Safety Precautions’ below.

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