Malaria & Safety – Mashatu 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.


There are few crime issues in Botswana and virtually none at all in the wildlife-rich areas that tourists visit. The country overall is safe to visit in our opinion, and this includes the Mashatu Game Reserve.

The Mashatu Game Reserve is usually visited on a fly-in safari or a self-drive basis. Flying around from lodge to lodge is a safe way to travel. Just remember to lock up your valuables in a safe or suitcase, as you would anywhere else.

Most people fly from Johannesburg in South Africa. There is a lot of crime in Johannesburg (but the airport is a long way out of the city). As long as you just get in and out of the airport, possibly with an overnight stay in a hotel, you’ll be fine.

Self-drive visitors coming from Gaborone or Johannesburg must make sure they have plenty of fuel and water, but the road is quite good.

Malaria & Vaccinations

Your travel clinic will give you advice on which vaccinations are necessary for visiting Botswana. If you are visiting other areas in southern Africa, where malaria may be a concern, you should take antimalarial medication. Extra safety measures that can be taken include using insect repellent with at least 30% DEET and covering up in the evening. Mashatu Game Reserve itself lies in a no-risk malaria zone.

Wildlife Viewing

Incidents don’t happen very often, but wild animals are unpredictable, so visitors should always show caution when wildlife watching. Every lodge will have a safety briefing at check-in, and it is essential to take any warnings seriously. If you are on an organized safari, your guide will be your best source of information, especially regarding safety precautions relevant to activities such as game drives and walks.

For more information, please read the 'wildlife viewing safety precautions' below.

Further advice on limiting dangers and annoyances when traveling:

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