Which Safari Countries are Open for Travel to Africa?
As the excitement of travelling again starts to build, many of our clients are showing interest in a Tailormade Safari, so we decided to compile a list of real-time updates on travel restrictions due to COVID-19. This list is based on various conversations we have had with our trusted partners on-the-ground as well as the information we have gathered from the various local governments.
Here are the latest COVID regulation update for travel to Tanzania
Tanzania is home to the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, and Zanzibar which is why it is one of our favourite travel destinations. This in addition to the fact that they were among the first to reopen their borders to international travel, which happened on the 01st of June.
As expected, all hotels and other tourist facilities in the country must go through a vigorous COVID-19 certification process, and official documents must be placed at the entrances of all facilities. The Tanzanian government has also directed all of the country’s tourism entities to appoint and adequately train COVID-19 liaison officers to be the point of contact with its Health Ministry which just adds to that extra level of security when it comes to the virus.
If you're thinking of making Tanzania your next adventure then there are a few key things to note:
Best of all, there is no quarantine time needed when you arrive in Tanzania.
If you are travelling with an airline that requires a negative COVID-19 certificate, or if your country of origin requires a negative COVID-19 certificate upon departure, then luxury safari Tanzania will also request the certificate on arrival. All other travellers do not require a negative COVID-19 certificate, although it is recommended that all travellers have the certificate as a precautionary measure.
Arriving passengers showing any symptoms or signs of COVID-19 will be required to undergo enhanced health screening and may be tested for COVID-19.
While in Tanzania, visitors will be expected to adhere to full protective measures against the spread of COVID-19.
Travel regulations for Kenya
We have great news for those who want to combine two of the most celebrated National Parks in East Africa in one fell swoop! As of the 01st of August, Kenya opened their borders to international travellers which means that you can ‘do’ the Serengeti and the Masai Mara during the same trip … and just in time to catch the Great Migration which spends the months of August through to October making its way between Tanzania and Kenya across the Mara river and vast plains!
Here are the COVID-19 protocols for Kenya:
These countries are exempt from mandatory quarantine upon arrival in Kenya.
All passengers on international flights must show a negative COVID-19 certificate on arrival, obtained no later than 96 hours prior to departure from their home country.
Body temperatures must test below 37.5°C (99.5°F) and visitors must have no persistent cough, no difficulty breathing, and no other flu-like symptoms.
If there is a reported case of COVID-19 on a flight or if the above symptoms are detected, all passengers within two rows of the passenger with the symptoms will be quarantined for testing. If the test results are negative, they will be allowed to leave the facility.
It is mandatory for all passengers arriving in Kenya to complete the Travelers Health Surveillance Form by the Ministry of Health. The form is found here and must be completed online prior to disembarkation. Passengers will receive a QR code after completing the form and will be required to display it to a Port Health Official to proceed through immigration.
Strict infection prevention and control measures have to be followed: social distancing, good hand hygiene, and the wearing of masks remain mandatory.
Rwanda travel protocols
Bordering Tanzania is the staggeringly beautiful country of Rwanda, home to some of Africa’s premier primate wildlife watching and tracking. Rwanda's airports reopened to international flights on the 01st of August, so why not get yourself booked in for a safari of a lifetime in one of the most untouched safari locations on the continent?
Here are some things to be aware of:
Travellers from any countries are allowed to travel to Rwanda.
All travellers arriving in Rwanda must have a negative COVID-19 certificate. The only accepted test is a SARS-CoV 2 Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR), performed within 120 hours of departure for Rwanda. Other tests such as Rapid Diagnostics Tests (RDT) are not accepted.
Prior to arrival, all travellers must complete the Passenger Locator Form and upload their COVID-19 test certificate via www.rbc.gov.rw/travel.
All travellers arriving in Rwanda will be screened upon entry and take a second RT-PCR test to confirm the negative results of the test done prior to arrival. You will be required to wait about 24 hours for these test results in a designated transit hotel. The Government of Rwanda has negotiated special rates at designated transit hotels for the 24-hour waiting period.
All travellers departing from Rwanda must test negative for COVID-19, with the RT-PCR test performed within 120 hours before departure. The Rwanda Development Board has advised that as long as travellers depart within 120 hours of their RT-PCR test on arrival, they do not require another test.
Preventive measures must be followed while travelling in Rwanda: physical distancing where possible; the wearing of masks is mandatory; and temperature screenings before entering certain buildings are mandatory.
All tourists will be allowed to visit Rwanda's attractions and destinations after testing negative for COVID-19 in two consecutive tests.
Travel protocols for Namibia
Moving away from East Africa, and hot off the press, we are thrilled to announce that Namibia will be reopening their borders as of the 01st of September (albeit with a mini form of quarantine for now). If you're looking for a true wilderness travel experience then this beautiful country should be at the top of your list! As one of the least densely populated nations on earth, it really will be one of the top spots to spend a nicely socially distanced holiday and in a land of limitless horizons, endless sand dunes, oases of fascinating wildlife and jaw-dropping ancient culture.
Here’s what you need to know about travelling to Namibia:
Travellers from any countries are allowed to travel to Namibia
Entry to Namibia will only be allowed through Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek.
All passengers arriving on international flights must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result, conducted within 72 hours of boarding the plane.
All travellers will be required to stay at their first accommodation or tourist facility for 7 days, which must be duly registered with the Namibia Tourism Board and certified by the Ministry of Health and Social Services. Travellers must proceed directly to their first accommodation from the airport – no overnight or stopovers are permitted.
Seychelles COVID travel protocols
Now for something completely different! Stepping out of the African Bush and into the idyllic waters of the Indian Ocean, the beautiful islands of Seychelles have been ready to welcome you with open arms since the 01st of August 2020. This is the perfect destination to feel totally pampered and visit some of the most pristine beaches in the world.
So what do you need to know?
Visitors must ensure that accommodation bookings are made only at licensed establishments or liveaboards that have been certified by the Seychelles Public Health Authority. The list of certified establishments is available on www.tourism.gov.sc. All booking vouchers reflecting the entire duration of stay in the Seychelles must be presented at Immigration for verification.
All visitors from permitted countries must have a negative COVID-19 PCR certificate from an accredited laboratory, obtained within 72 hours before departure.
Visitors must submit their negative PCR test results, flight and accommodation details before departure for the Seychelles. The submission form is here. All negative test certificates, flight and accommodation details and health declaration forms are to be e-mailed to [email protected] prior to departure, so we can get this through to the necessary authorities.
All visitors will undergo temperature checks and health screening. Any visitor with fever and respiratory symptoms such as cough, runny nose or shortness of breath will be isolated from other travellers and subjected to further assessment. Additionally, visitors may be required to undertake a COVID-19 test upon disembarkation.
Those from the following countries will be allowed to travel to Seychelles: Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Cuba, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, and UAE.
The best bit regarding travel to Seychelles is that when you travel back to the UK you won’t have to self-isolate! What a win.
Watch this space as we eagerly await updates on South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique and Uganda – but remember, you can already go ahead and plan for these destinations for 2021 and beyond if you like! Or, if you fancy a last-minute (and well-deserved) break away from the norm, feel free to give us a call to help you plan your trip to one of the various countries who are already welcoming visitors.
Let us tailor-make your ideal African safari. Feel free to call us on +44 1932 361807 (UK & Rest of the world) / 1 844 390 1798 (USA toll free) or pop us an email at [email protected], and we can help you to plan your bespoke safari holiday with us – and by doing so, help us to support those most in need on the ground.