Malaria & Safety – Okavango Delta

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 is minimal crime in Botswana, and violent crime is very rare. Therefore, the country and the Okavango Delta are safe to visit, in our opinion. However, theft from a room can happen, but locking away your valuables in a safe or a suitcase should be sufficient.

Chartered flights from lodge to lodge are the safest, quickest and most efficient way of doing a safari. Guided mobile safaris are also a very safe option, as you will be looked after by the tour company and your guide.

Although Botswana is a popular self-drive destination, it is necessary to use common sense in urban areas, as you would anywhere in the world. Some of the parks, including the Okavango Delta, are very remote and it is essential to bring a lot of water, food and fuel for emergency situations. It’s also a good idea to inquire about the road conditions before heading off to the delta.

Malaria & Vaccinations

Several vaccinations are required before coming to Botswana in general and your travel clinic or local doctor will advise on your specific needs. The Okavango Delta lies in a high-risk malaria zone, which is at its riskiest in the Wet season, and it is advisable to take antimalarial medication. Extra safety measures include applying insect repellent and wearing long sleeves and trousers in the evening to cover up any exposed skin.

Wildlife Viewing

Wild animals are unpredictable, and although it’s rare for visitors to be involved in an incident, you should always be extremely cautious.

When on an organized safari, always follow the instructions of your guide. When on a self-drive safari, it is essential to stay in your car, with the exception of clearly marked areas where it is okay to get out of your vehicle.

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

Further advice on limiting dangers and annoyances when traveling:

Want to Visit Okavango Delta?