As many of you probably have heard, we at Dragons do not feel that it is our position to offer advice on what you should or should not do to protect yourself from Malaria while traveling in Madagascar. We feel that everyone should consult their travel doctor to figure out what is best for them when it comes to taking malaria prophylactics as there are many options available to all of you. Again, we strongly advise that you consult your doctors to figure out what is the best course of prevention for you.
That said, we want to provide you with the most up to date and transparent information that we can about your risks and the ways in which we try and mitigate those risks while we are in country. Madagascar is within the Malaria risk zone for sub-saharan Africa. That means that there is Malaria in Madagascar. There are places in Madagascar that have much higher risks than others and while we will be spending a lot of our time in the lower risk zones we will be traveling in some areas that are higher risks.
The plateau (i.e. Tana, Antsirabe, Ambatomanga) are fairly high elevation (4,000 feet) and we will be there in the winter which means that the risk of Malaria is less during those times. However, Ranomafana, Isalo, Morondava, and Andasibe are more tropical and have a higher risk of malaria. We find that it is important to practice prevention at all times in Madagascar which means having and using mosquito nets at night as well as using insect repellant during the day (and night if you want) to lower the risk of mosquito born illness.
All of your homestays will have access to mosquito nets that we strongly recommend that you use while in Madagascar. We recommend that you use DEET bug spray while hiking in the rainforest and in the desert and paying particular attention to those places where insects seem more prevalent (ankles and wrists).
It is not possible to completely avoid being around insects and mosquitos in Madagascar but it is possible to limit your exposure. We also travel with the appropriate treatment for Malaria and have experience (both personal and professional) with dealing with malaria in Madagascar.
If anyone has any further questions please address them to me at [email protected]
Thanks so much,