Everything you need to know about Covid-19 protocols and requirements for travel to your favourite African safari and beach destinations...
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We here at Wild & Isle are looking forward to the New Year with quiet confidence. While not being insensitive to the current global travel situation due to COVID-19 (Corona Virus) restrictions, we are optimistic that more destinations on the African continent and its neighbouring Indian Ocean Islands will soon open up.
Many exciting African and Indian Ocean destinations are already open to travel and – for various reasons (not least of all small crowds and discounted rates) – now might well be the ideal time to travel to Africa.
Indeed, we’ve had a flood of enquiries from return clients and potential travellers about ‘open’ African destinations, country-specific travel restrictions and flight schedules.
Here is what you need to know about travelling to Africa during the time of COVID-19 in 2021.
Most of the African countries feature variations on these basic entry requirements:
✔Negative PCR test (usually no older than 72hrs prior to departure).
✔Comprehensive screening questionnaire/interview.
✔No presenting symptoms.
✔Adherence to social distancing as well as wearing of a mask.
Here then is a short (and incomplete) list, of a handful of safari and African beach destinations which are open to international travellers.
We will work to expand on this as well as keep it updated as restrictions change and more safari and beach destinations open up to international travellers in Africa.
Read on to learn more about which African safari and beach destinations you can travel to, and what COVID-19 protocols are required.
Tanzania is perhaps at the forefront of African travel during the current COVID restrictions. And, why shouldn’t it be? With far reduced tourist traffic due to the pandemic (sadly) safari areas such as Tarangire, Ngorongoro and the Serengeti are far less crowded than usual, making for spectacular game viewing experiences and ‘easy’ social distancing.
There are regular arriving and departing flights and all our partner lodges and agents have the necessary COVID-19 protocols in place in line with globally-accepted guidelines. These pertain to social distancing as well sanitisation and hygiene practices, among others.
There is currently no mandatory 14-day quarantine for passengers arriving to Tanzania. Passengers may however be subjected to temperature and COVID-19 screening upon arrival.
Depending on where you are travelling you from, you may NOT require a negative COVID-19 certificate, although it is recommended to get one regardless. Should your country of departure require a negative PCR test, then Tanzania will also request the certificate on arrival.
There will be full health screening at the airport and while in Tanzania, visitors will be expected to adhere to full protective measures against the spread of COVID-19.
We currently have various discounted (ranging from 15 – 25%) itineraries available in Tanzania which offer great wilderness experiences as well bush and beach combo tours.
Zanzibar Island is the main island in the Tanzanian archipelago of Zanzibar and therefore falls under Tanzanian jurisdiction, which means all COVID protocols as outlined above apply. You may however fly via Kenya (or somewhere else) en route to the spectacular Indian Ocean island destination. We will help facilitate this and ensure you adhere to all the necessary requirements.
For example, one of our agents recently travelled to Zanzibar (in December 2020) from South Africa via Kenya. His experience:
✔Transit in Kenya was hassle free. At Jomo Kenyatta International Airport regulations and Covid-19 protocol is rigorous. Everyone wears a mask, there are screening stations, social distancing is enforced and taken very seriously.
✔Covid – 19 hasn’t affected Zanzibar Island as it has many other places in the world.
✔He and his wife did NOT require a negative PCR test to enter Zanzibar, however it was required for the return to South Africa. This can be done at one of three hospitals on the island. These have a 72 hour turnaround and costs range from $80 pp to $130 pp depending on where and how you have the test done. We will make sure this part of your journey is taken care of, giving you peace of mind well before stepping off the plane for your tropical holiday.
We currently have various discounted (ranging from 15 – 25%) itineraries available featuring the best of both worlds of Zanzibar beach and Tanzanian bush. On the island we have partnered with Zanzibar Collection which features extremely high standards of health and hygiene at all of their in award-winning properties.
Big sky country with wide-open spaces and a very low population density… Namibia epitomises social distancing, even during times of ‘usual’ travel outside of COVID-19 and pre the ‘new normal’. With its variety of remote wilderness offerings Nambia makes a great destination for travellers looking for remote, safe lodges away from big crowds.
Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek was reopened to international visitors on 1 September 2020. Various other restrictions have been lifted since. Currently there is no mandatory quarantine period and all visitors require is a negative PCR Test no older than 72hrs.
To make the most of your stay in this beautiful country, we recommend a combination between the spectacular Skeleton Coast as well as the wild desert interior best experienced in areas such as Twyfelfontein, Ongava Private Game Reserve, Onguma Game Reserve and Okonjima Nature Reserve .
The landlocked Southern African country – perhaps best known for the famed Okavango Swamps –started opening its international borders in early November 2020. It is now possible to fly into Sir Seretse Khama International Airport in Gaborone, Maun and Kasane International Airports.
Travellers are required to be in possession of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result, conducted within 72 hours of departure for Botswana. There is no mandatory quarantine measures in place, but any visitor showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be required to undergo a PCR test, and possibly quarantine for 14 days. Upon return to your home country you will also be required to have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result. This can be done in Maun or at Kasane Airport the day before you depart from Botswana .
Kenya offers the traveller a large variety of beach and bush options – from the pristine white sandy beaches of the East Coast to the free roaming wildlife in its 45 reserves. While the Masai Mara is perhaps the most iconic and well known of these, there are various smaller reserves featuring premium boutique lodges. Let us a tailor a combination trip taking in all the best sites for you.
Much like its East African neighbour, Tanzania travel to Kenya is open and flowing freely but with strict protocols in place. You require a negative PCR-based COVID-19 result, no older than 96 hours prior to departure. You also need to complete the mandatory Ministry of Health Travellers Health Surveillance form online. After submitting the travel surveillance form, you will be promoted to download a QR code which you will be required to display to port health officials on arrival to be allowed to proceed to arrival immigration.