Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Malaria Awareness

Security Messages and Warnings

The U.S. Embassy advises U.S. citizens to take all available precautions to avoid contracting malaria. Recent heavy rains have caused overall malaria rates to rise in Botswana. While malaria is usually found primarily in the north of Botswana, local media have recently reported two deaths from malaria in the Palapye/Tswapong region and 27 cases of malaria registered by the Palapye Hospital that oversees the region.

Malaria is endemic in the North-eastern part of Botswana: North East, Chobe, Ngamiland, and some parts of Ghanzi District including CKGR (Central Kalahari Game Reserve). However, isolated cases of malaria have been reported in Mochudi and some areas in the Kweneng district. Malaria is prevalent through the year but the incidence increases at the onset of the rainy season in October. The highest peak in the incidence of malaria transmission occurs between February and April. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website has a map which depicts Malaria transmission areas in Botswana.

When traveling in Botswana, you should avoid mosquito bites to prevent malaria, especially at night by sleeping under insecticide–treated bed nets, using insect repellent, and wearing long-sleeved clothing when outdoors at night. You may need to take prescription medicine before, during, and after your trip to prevent malaria, depending on your travel plans.

Common symptoms of malaria include diarrhea, headache, coughing, body aches, fever, sweating, chills and shivers, and nausea and vomiting. Travelers should talk to their doctor about how to prevent malaria while traveling.  For more information on malaria, please visit the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/malaria/.

To obtain Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel notices, call the CDC at 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) from within the United States, or 1-404-639-3534 from overseas, or visit the CDC website at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel.

For further information:

  • See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for Botswana.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Gaborone, located at Embassy Drive, Government Enclave, Gaborone at (+267-395-3982), 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:00 to 1:30 p.m. on Friday. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is 267-395-7111.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • Follow us on Twitterand Facebook.

If you have received this message but are no longer in Botswana and wish to stop receiving email messages from us please follow these instructions:

  • If you registered with the U.S. Embassy in Gaborone using the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) please log into your account and make sure your departure date from Botswana has been entered.  The STEP system may not let you “back-date” your departure so to close your trip you should enter today’s date.
  • If you registered with the U.S. Embassy in Gaborone using any other method, please send us an email with your details and request that we close your travel to Botswana manually.