Ask Susan Marling

By Daily Mail travel expert

Last updated at 14:41 17 February 2003


My wife and I would like a holiday in Namibia and Botswana. However, I'm not sure if this will be possible as I am taking Warfarin to thin the blood after two slight strokes. A

pparently, antimalarial drugs affect the efficiency of Warfarin, so am I left with the choice of risking a further stroke or contracting malaria? Or would I be best choosing another holiday destination?

J. Hole, Hutton, North Somerset.

A: The risk of malaria is seasonal in this part of Africa. The World Health Organisation warns that risk of malaria exists in Namibia and Botswana from November to May/June in the northern and other specified regions of these countries, and throughout the year in certain river valleys.

Find out more on or .

Consult a travel clinic to choose a holiday date that minimises the risk. According to Dr Richard Dawood, author of Traveller's Health (Oxford University Press), the interaction between malaria pills and Warfarin would be extremely uncommon.

However, other aspects of travel abroad (such as diet and general routine) can disturb anticoagulant control.

Check with your doctor before you go, try a 'dummy run' with anti-malarials, and consider arranging for more frequent blood testing if you're away on a long trip.

Q:Our daughter would like to get married in the ice chapel at the Ice Hotel next winter. Do you know of any companies that can arrange this, and what are the costs involved?

Mrs G. Wilson, Folkestone, Kent.

A:The Ice Hotel in Swedish Lapland (there's now another in Quebec in Canada) is a very popular venue for weddings, so you're right to plan ahead.

Arctic Experience (tel: 01737 214 214, offers tailor-made arrangements from Britain.

Their basic price of £400 covers logistics of the event (venue hire, priest, administration fees and marriage licence) without the frills.

Guests and bride and groom can expect to pay about £800 per person for scheduled flights between Heathrow and Kiruna via Stockholm on SAS, transfers between Kiruna Airport and Ice Hotel, accommodation for two nights in cabins, one night in ice room - all on bed and breakfast basis - one dinner, and airport taxes.

The Ice Hotel is open to guests between December and April each year. The chapel can seat 30 to 35 people. It is made entirely of ice and, like the rest of the Ice Hotel, has a temperature of between minus 5 and minus 8 degrees C.

The ceremony is conducted by a priest, although it is also possible to have a civil ceremony, both of which are recognised in Britain. Allow about two months before the ceremony to process the relevant paperwork.

Excursions available for the honeymoon include snowmobiling, Northern Lights tours, sledding and a reindeer sledge tour.

Do you have a holiday dilemma? Write to: Ask The Expert, Travel Mail, Daily Mail, 2 Derry Street, London, W8 5TT

Alternatively, email Frank Barrett, This is Travel's resident expert

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