Africa has been very lucky with their swift handling of this tragic pandemic and as such has had relatively low numbers of cases, and even lower death rates. This is being studied in detail but much of the research says that it may be due to the young population, and the fact that outdoor living is part of the culture making transference of the virus harder. We will know more as this goes on but as such we expect every country in Africa to have opened up by September at the latest, with most reopening in August, if not July.
Socially distancing on safari is exceptionally easy, see our recent blog post detailing how we can achieve this.
Here is a run down of some of the countries policies and timelines for Summer travel 2020:
*Please note: we have access to private healthcare clinics who can provide COVID-negative travel certificates before travel, which will eliminate the need for a test when you enter a country*
Tanzania has opened up fully and is welcoming guests from the 1st Jun 2020 – most guests have already postponed their safaris so some of the camps won’t open fully until mid Jul-August when guests are still very keen to complete their 2020 safari. We can’t blame them, there will be far fewer guests but the incredible wildlife viewing, including the wildebeest migration, will still be in full swing in Tanzania. Rules will include a COVID-19 negative test two days before travel.
We expect Kenya to open up by July or August 2020 as such is the competitiveness of these two neighbours, they will not be keen to see Tanzania boom with tourism for this Summer, and take none of the bookings themselves! Nairobi is also a major hub for reaching various parts of Africa so they will have to open their airspace or risk taking down several economies with them. Again we feel a covid-19 negative test may be necessary before travel.
South Africa is currently releasing some very confusing material re what their plans are and as we sift through it we will continue to update you. We expect pressure from countries only reachable via Johannesburg will mean the airspace will open up to allow through travel, but we are unsure whether tourists will be allowed on safari here until October/November 2020, or possibly later.
Botswana has shut down completely and managed to totally eliminate the virus which makes it a very appealing option for a Summer safari in 2020, however it also means they are nervous about allowing International guests. So far we expect it to be fully open by September. This year has seen one of the most magnificent floods in the Okavango Delta and we really want as many guests as possible to experience this unique Botswana spectacle in 2020.
Our beloved Zambia looks like it will also reopen in September and has started by opening up the Livingstone and Victoria Falls area already. Zambia in September or October 2020 would provide you with some of the best game viewing you will see anywhere, and of course that wilderness that guests are really craving now.