Do I need Malaria pills for Serengeti?

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Do I need Malaria pills for Serengeti?

As you plan your upcoming trip to Tanzania and the Serengeti National Park, you may be wondering if you need to take malaria pills. Malaria is a common and potentially serious disease that is transmitted through mosquito bites. It is important to take precautions in regions where malaria is present to protect yourself from the disease. In this article, we will discuss whether or not you need to take malaria pills for your trip to the Serengeti, and what other measures you can take to prevent malaria.

What is Malaria?

Malaria is a disease caused by a parasite that is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected mosquitoes. The parasite enters the human body and multiplies in the liver, then infecting and damaging red blood cells. Symptoms of malaria include fever, chills, headache, and fatigue. In severe cases, it can lead to kidney failure, seizures, and even death. Malaria is present in many tropical and subtropical regions, including Tanzania and the Serengeti National Park.

Do I Need Malaria Pills for Serengeti?

The short answer is yes, you will need to take malaria pills for your trip to the Serengeti. The park is located in a high-risk malaria zone, and it is recommended that all travelers take preventative measures to avoid getting the disease. The risk of malaria is higher during the rainy season, which lasts from March to May and October to December. However, malaria-carrying mosquitoes can also be present year-round. This means that even if you are visiting during the dry season, you should still take the necessary precautions.

What Type of Malaria Pills Should I Take?

There are several different types of malaria pills available, and the choice will depend on your personal medical history and preferences. The most commonly recommended pills are Malarone, Doxycycline, and Lariam. Malarone is generally considered to be the most effective and has the fewest side effects, but it is also the most expensive. Doxycycline is often the cheapest option, but it can cause sensitivity to the sun, making it less suitable for a safari trip. Lariam is another option, but it can cause serious side effects in some individuals, so it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking it.

Other Measures to Prevent Malaria

In addition to taking malaria pills, there are other steps you can take to prevent contracting malaria during your trip. These include:

1. Covering your skin: Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, especially during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active. Use insect repellent on any exposed skin.

2. Using mosquito nets: Make sure your accommodation has mosquito nets over the beds, and use them properly by tucking them in under the mattress.

3. Avoiding stagnant water: Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, so try to avoid areas with standing water, such as puddles or small ponds.

4. Taking precautions at night: Mosquitoes are most active at night, so make sure your room is properly sealed and use a fan to keep them away.

How common is malaria in Serengeti? 

According to the World Health Organization, the risk of contracting malaria in the Serengeti region is low. However, it is still present, and taking preventative measures is the best way to protect yourself.

Are there a lot of mosquitos Serengeti?

Much larger population of Mosquitoes are commonly found in the Serengeti, particularly in the woodland areas of the Seronera region and the northern Serengeti. These areas have a higher concentration of trees, bushes, and standing water, providing ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes. The warm and moist climate also encourages their population growth.

In contrast, the plains of the southern Serengeti have a lower population of mosquitoes. This is due to the drier climate and fewer areas of standing water, making it less suitable for their breeding. However, it is still essential to take precautions in this area, as mosquitoes are still present.

What to Do if You Get Malaria Symptoms

If you develop symptoms of malaria during or after your trip, seek medical attention immediately. Malaria is treatable if caught early, and delaying treatment can lead to serious complications. Inform your healthcare provider that you have recently been in a malaria-prone area, as this will help with diagnosis and treatment. 


In conclusion, it is highly recommended that you take malaria pills for your trip to the Serengeti National Park. The risk of contracting malaria is present year-round in the region, and taking preventative measures is essential to protect your health. Consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best type of malaria pills for you, and also take other precautions such as covering your skin, using insect repellent, and staying in accommodations with mosquito nets. With the proper precautions, you can enjoy your Serengeti adventure without worrying about the risk of malaria.

Serengeti National Park

Serengeti National Park