Good evening Kallis.
Officially, the whole of Kruger is considered to be relatively low-risk during the winter months of June, July, and August, and indeed during September as well, as these months are considered to be dry. The recommendations from the South African Department of Health and the World Health Organisation for low-risk areas is generally to use sufficient non-drug measures - including plug-in mats, antimalarial sprays/roll-ons, netting, and covering vulnerable body parts (e.g. ankles, wrists, back of the knees, behind the ears, inner thighs, neck and upper back) with clothing. These same organisations do not suggest antimalarial medication during low-risk times (as long as you're using effective non-drug measures), but you will see many other places suggesting medication throughout the entire year despite this. I can only believe that the reason these other organisations do this is to protect themselves legally.
However, one should weigh up the risks of contracting malaria against the (potential) side-effects and/or drug interactions and/or viability of using a particular antimalarial medicine. This is what the WHO and SA Dept of Health have done, but ultimately malaria-risk may vary from person to person, and indeed from area to area, and so there are cases where antimalarials plus non-drug measures may be necessary for some people during low-risk times. However, I have come across very few people where this has been the case.
Personally, I do not use antimalarial medications in low-risk malaria areas, but do still ensure I follow suitable and effective non-drug measures. I still follow this protocol even when I'm camping, for as long as the tent has sufficient (and unbroken) mosquito netting, there should be little difference between the bungalow and the tent. Of course, air conditioning in a bungalow does help to prevent mosquitoes flying around, which is one advantage I can think the bungalow has over the tent.
A low-risk malarial area means that the number of mosquitoes flying around and/or those carrying malaria are lower than during high-risk season. However, low-risk is not no-risk, hence the requirement of still using non-drug measures. If one develops flu-like symptoms (often with a significantly raised body temperature) within about a week of entering a malarial area, rather have a malaria test to determine if you have contracted the deadly disease or not. If necessary, repeat the test.
Hope this helps to answer some of your concerns, Kallis?
Disclaimer: My recommendations here - though based on some experience and some drug knowledge - are not absolute, and further consultation with suitable health-care professionals is suggested before a final decision is taken on whether to enter a malarial area, what prophylaxis to use, and any general factors and limitations that need to be taken into account. Furthermore, I only advise based on what information is given by the person(s) entering the malarial area, but I have no control on the information given to me, and so such information could possibly be incomplete or misleading.
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