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Staying healthy in South Africa

IIf you’re heading to South Africa you can rest assured that the country has a very well structured healthcare system with a number of public and private hospitals throughout the country. However, it always pays to be cautious. Like in many countries around the world, you’ll probably receive quicker care at a private hospital than a public one. As a precaution, make sure your medical insurance payment is always up to date before you travel. Qualified doctors, dentists, and other specialists can be found in main centres but you’ll have to schedule an appointment prior, unless it’s an emergency.

Malaria

While most of South Africa is malaria-free, this mosquito-borne disease is prevalent throughout the year in the Kruger National Park and the low-lying areas of northern KwaZulu-Natal.

If you’re heading to the above-mentioned areas then you should consult a healthcare professional about the ideal prophylactic. The type of prophylactic will be determined by your personal health, how long you are visiting the malarial area and the time of year.

Like they always say “prevention is the best cure” so you should try by all means to prevent being bitten by a mosquito. Use a repellent lotion and then cover up with clothes. Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks to ensure that you give them no chance at all.

There are many malaria-free game reserves like Madikwe or Pilanesberg in the North West province, the Waterberg in Limpopo, or private reserves in the Eastern, Western and Northern Cape, where you can also experience the untouched wild of South Africa risk-free. These are worth considering, particularly if you’re travelling with children aged six and under, or if you are pregnant.

Always remember, if you develop a bad headache, have aching joints, and recurring fevers and chills after your trip, advise your doctor that you have been to a malarial area. Malaria symptoms can sometimes be confused with flu symptoms, which can lead to fatal consequences.

HIV/Aids

While Southern Africa has a high prevalence of HIV/Aids, your only real risk of contracting it is if you have unprotected sex with an infected individual. There should be no reason for unprotected sex as condoms are freely available in pharmacies and convenience stores everywhere you go.

Antiretrovirals are issued free to rape victims at South African hospitals. Should you be the victim of a sexual assault, it’s essential that you get prophylactic treatment for HIV/Aids within 72 hours.

Personal medication

There are pharmacies throughout South Africa, and many everyday medications, such as painkillers, are available over the counter. Some large chain stores also have in-store pharmacies that offer good value for money.

If you have a specific medical condition, it’s wise to carry the relevant doctor’s prescription with you. In the event of you losing your medication, a qualified pharmacist should be able to source a replacement, even if the trade name differs in South Africa.

South Africa on social media

God’s Window is a sunshine break destination along the Panorama Route in Mpumalanga that offers more than a brochure, travel website can explain or prepare you for on your #ShotLeft adventure. It is one of the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve’s most spectacular viewpoints, with astonishing views over South Africa’s Lowveld. On a clear day over the famous Kruger National Park towards the Lebombo Mountains on South Africa’s border Mozambique. Pitstops around the area: Be sure to stop at some of the region's beautiful waterfalls: Lone Creek Falls, Mac Mac Falls, Berlin & Lisbon Falls. Things to pack: A pair of awesome shades, sunscreen, hat, camera & binoculars. Thanks for the stunning image @pulengmotswafrika. #ShotLeft #Adventure #GodsWindow #Mpumalanga #PanoramaRoute #exploresouthafrica #Travelgram #Wonderlustsouthafrica #travelsouthafrica #mycountry #Travel

Take a #ShotLeft to the Drakensberg in Kwa Zulu Natal for a back-to-nature experience as you see the sun go down from the edge of a cave. Witness its stunning scenery while hiking and, often, superb examples of the world-famous San rock paintings – arguably the finest in the country. If you're prepared to rough it for a night then a unique way to get really close to nature and to experience the mountains at first-hand is to overnight in a cave. Amazing image from @graeholliday. #ShotLeft #adventure #Travelgram #Traveller #SouthAfrica #Drakensberg #KWAZULUNATAL

Why not take a #ShotLeft to Knynsa in the Western Cape & spend your weekend in this leafy wonderland. This destination is located along the famous Garden Route in the Western Cape & is home to lush forests which attract all nature & outdoor enthusiasts like @tlou_meriam_ntsewa. In the forest of Knysna you'll discover rivers, waterfalls and a mass of flora amid the giant trees. Keep an eye open for various antelope species that roam the forests during the day. Thank you @tlou__meriam_ntsewa_ for love snap. #ShotLeft #adventure #Travelgram #Traveller #Knysna #WesternCape #thisissouthafrica #exploresouthafrica #Travelgram #wanderlust #travelsouthafrica

If you’re in love with elephants then taking a #ShotLeft to the Addo Elephant National Park is a must! This spot is situated just a few minutes from Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape & rated as one of the best places on the continent to see these gentle giants up close. This wildlife paradise is home to the legendary BIG FIVE as well as a range of animals and natural vegetation. Brace yourself for an authentic wildlife experience at Addo as it’s a pleasure to visit throughout the year although spring & autumn are just about perfect. Thanks for the awesome image @that_boy_from_africa #ShotLeft #Adventure #addoelephantnationalpark #wonderlustsouthafrica #Exploresouthafrica #mycountry #portelizabeth

Have you added the Storms River Mouth Rest Camp to your holiday’s buckelist? If not, take a look at a few reasons why this spot is worth a #Shotleft adventure. 1. The adventurous list of activities it offers such hiking along the mouth of Storms River and the suspension bridge. 2. An exhilarating tube ride on Storms River that you’d want to do again. 3. A chance to see the shy & elusive Cape Clawless Otter as it comes to the coastline to hunt crabs. 4. Go on a guided tour with friends of the Tsitsikamma Woodcutters Journey to experience the indigenous forest. Incredible image from @thenjie_ct #ShotLeft #Adventure #Travelgram #Traveller #StormsRiver #tsitsikamma #Exploresouthafrica #mycountry #Wonderlustsouthafrica

Calling all nature – lovers, solo wanderers, beach goers, “the I love to travel friend” & adventurers at heart to take a #ShotLeft to Plettensburg Bay to explore this pristine stretch of coast. Whether you’re after a seaside holiday, a wilderness experience in natural surroundings or adrenaline-packed adventure, you’ll find all these and more in 'Plett'. A day well spent in this coastal city is anything from canoeing its waterways, dolphin or whale spotting with friends to bungy jumping from the top of Bloukrans River bridge. The perfect time to visit is between May & November to catch whales as they come out to play. Thanks for the stunning image @simplycyn #ShotLeft #Adventure #PlettenbergBay #exploresouthafrica #mycountry #Travelgram #Traveller #Wonderlustsouthafrica #WesternCape

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