Welcome to Medhelp Lyme --
I just did a quick google search:
south africa lyme disease
and came up with some promising leads that way, including medical articles, a blog by someone who appears to be in S. Africa, and other information. I would suggest that you start there.
The symptoms of Lyme vary from person to person, and there are many strains of Lyme found around the world, which may give varying symptoms and varying test results -- and in any event, the tests for Lyme are not very accurate.
What is important is to find an MD who has an open mind about diagnosing and treating Lyme, if you think you may be infected. It is bad enough to be ill, but then to have to struggle to find an MD to help makes it so much harder ... but it can be done, and if you think you may have Lyme disease, I would encourage you to find definitive help to make that determination.
There is a raging battle in the medical community about how serious a disease Lyme is or is not, how to diagnose it, and how to treat it, including for how long to treat. There are also other diseases that often accompany Lyme which confuse the clinical (symptomatic) picture, particularly for MDs who are not progressive thinkers about Lyme and its co-infections.
There is a US website with helpful information (tho fairly detailed): ILADS [dot] org, which is the main group here for those who understand Lyme and take it more seriously. If you search online for:
ILADS Burrascano guidelines
you will find links to the ILADS website and Dr Burrascano's explanation of treatment approaches. He is well known in the field, and tho he writes for MDs, it is fairly understandable information after a few tries.
Let us know how you do and whether you find an LLMD, all right? Best wishes to you --
These MDs who take the broadminded approach are sometimes called by us patients 'Lyme Literate MDs', or LLMDs for short, just to signify that they are 'friendlies.' No MD calls him/herself an LLMD, so no need to look for that title on an MD's CV..
Some LLMDs follow a strictly allopathic approach to treatment, using a variety of antibiotics, often over long periods of time. Other LLMDs are more homeopathic or herbally oriented. And then there are MDs who combine the two approaches. There is no one right way.
I also just search on google for:
"south africa" LLMD
and the third and fourth 'hits' are very interesting, one focussed on Lyme-induced autism in South Africa, but may lead to some names of LLMDs, and the other obliquely referencing an LLMD in Jo'burg. You will notice that LLMDs are seldom referred to by their full names, but instead by a 'nom de Lyme' such as 'Dr M', to avoid harrassment by the medical authorities, who are prone to accuse LLMDs of over-treating Lyme. I don't know the state of such things in So Africa, but it seems to be a common problem everywhere I am aware of.
PS here is the abstract (summary) of a 1989 scientific journal article about Lyme in So Africa. The article is now over 20 years old, but even back that far, there was thinking in the scientific community that Lyme existed in SA. So if you hear that 'there's no Lyme in So Africa', don't necessarily believe that is the last word. Ticks can't read maps, and they tend to end up in places they aren't "'supposed" to be.
J S Afr Vet Assoc. 1989 Sep;60(3):155-8.
Lyme disease--a new disease in southern Africa?
Fivaz BH, Petney TN.
Department of Zoology and Entomology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, Republic of South Africa.
Lyme disease is a recently-described zoonotic disease occurring widely in the U.S.A., Europe and Asia. The causative organism, Borrelia burgdorferi, is transmitted predominantly by ticks of the genus Ixodes and infects a wide host range. The infection in humans causes the human disease syndrome erythema chronicum migrans resulting in arthritis, neurological symptoms and/or cardiac abnormalities. Similar clinical signs have been described in domestic animals. The status of Lyme disease in southern Africa is presently unknown but preliminary evidence indicates that the disease may occur in humans in the Republic of South Africa. The abundance of hosts and tick vectors would favour the establishment of the infection in Africa.
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]