As the UK begins to open up International travel we are thrilled to see some very exciting islands on the potential ‘green list’ and some great options on the ‘amber list’ too. We will certainly be making the most of travelling to some of Europe’s gems, not least Norway, Finland and Iceland which we cover under our sister company The Luxury Arctic Travel Co.
Of course the UK has chosen to keep most of East and Southern Africa on the ‘red list’ – our extensive travel through Africa during the pandemic on top of the fact we are in touch with our offices across Africa on a daily basis only goes to prove to us regularly that this is a completely irrational reaction by the UK foreign office to a continent which has done extremely well in keeping COVID at bay.
In the USA and UAE you are now free to travel if you have had both doses of your vaccine which is seeing our American and UAE guests have some sensational trips to Africa – some of which were postponed and some of which have been booked last minute. We are so grateful to them and are delighted to be back planning high end adventures across Africa. The feeling of being in the African wilderness having been stuck at home for the last year is very humbling and people are having extraordinary life changing safaris.
The South African variant is the prompt that led the UK Foreign Office to put all of East and Southern Africa on the red list. The mystery here comes from two angles – the first is that South Africa has not had any issues with the variant, they passed their peak very quickly and are now at the lowest level of coronavirus restrictions.
The second part of the mystery is that so far every vaccine stops those who catch the South African variant from getting fatally ill, or even being hospitalised.
As you can imagine based on the above facts we are feeling extremely hard done by on behalf of all our camps and lodges in Africa, who may not receive any UK guests this year. Let alone how we feel for the poor guests who cannot travel on long awaited and long planned trips. Sadly we have also realised that no one has any sway over foreign office decisions despite some fantastic campaigning last year and some this year.
The positive is of course that our wonderful USA and UAE clients are travelling like mad and having the most sensational safaris we have ever planned. All of our lodges and camps have made themselves COVID safe and you will feel far safer when you’re out in the open air of the African wilderness than popping into a crowded supermarket.
All airlines which fly long haul routes use a modern standard of aircraft which has a HEPA Air Filter meaning catching a virus on a flight is virtually impossible, it would be easier to catch it on a shorter flight on an older aircraft. Airports too have gone to amazing lengths to allow for social distancing and to keep people safe.
In short – we’re ready to go, and luckily so are many of you. We are thrilled to be back speaking to clients on a daily basis, planning spectacular safaris for them and their families. It goes without saying that your welcome in Africa will be extremely warm – everyone can’t wait to have you back in the bush experiencing wildlife and nature at its’ finest.