by Rob D'Eon
July 2018
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Trekking in the Baliem Valley: Malaria and things like that

OK, this is another one of these “your call” things. If you do your research, which I am sure you will, you will see that Papua is one of those places where you are supposed to take precautions against malaria, among a bunch of other things.

Long story short: we didn’t, and yet again, survived.

So, like the water thing, I’m not saying “don’t”. I’m just saying we didn’t, and to my knowledge neither of us has malaria or any other disease/virus. A key point here is that Wamena is at an elevation of 1660 m, and you will be hiking at elevations between 1500 and 2500 m (if you go to the area we went). The area can therefore be described as “the highlands”, and therefore not a high-risk malaria zone.

In terms of mosquitoes, we were not bothered by them, other than one evening in Wamena when there were some mosquitoes around. I’m not saying there are zero mosquitoes, just very few to the point that I don’t remember any during our trek. Put it this way: we brought mosquito repellent, and didn’t use it once.

Hot tips:

·       Bring mosquito repellent. It’s the least you can do. It weighs nothing, and will give some piece of mind. If you don’t use it (we didn’t), who cares.

·       If you are nervous about the malaria thing, then hey, take the pills, and sleep soundly.

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