Safari destinations currently open to tourists
By Marc Harris on Nov 02, 2020 in Adventure travel, Africa, Featured, Kenya, Regions, Rwanda, Specialty travel, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
It is undeniable that our travel dreams have almost all been defeated this year. Whether you want to relax on the beach or embark on a fun safari, travel has been disrupted in ways we could never have imagined at the start of the year.
However, there appear to be the green shoots of recovery. Across the African continent, countries are slowly opening up and allowing visitors, with some placing more stringent restrictions than others. Yet those who can and are willing to travel, not only help support businesses and communities that rely heavily on tourism, but will also have an exclusive and intimate experience that certainly would not have been possible in a normal year.
Tanzania has maintained an open door policy throughout the pandemic, welcoming tourists with open arms months before any other African country, but its level of visitors is certainly not what it has been in recent years. Home to the incredible wildebeest migration in Serengeti National Park as well as other incredible wildlife viewing destinations like Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire National Park and Ruaha National Park, wildlife destinations do are not much better.
There are no restrictions on entry into Tanzania, apart from an arrival temperature control which was always in place, so there is no stress for passengers who fear being denied l ‘Entrance. All camps and lodges have applied strict Covid protocols and with visitor levels at an all time high, safaris are often exclusive and very intimate.
Across the border with Tanzania, Kenya has a slightly stricter policy. They require a negative Covid test no later than 96 hours before departure from the traveler’s country of origin. Flights between the two countries have also resumed, so the combination of the two is again possible.
Not only has Kenya’s magnificent Masai Mara seen a fraction of the visitors it normally receives, but destinations such as Amboseli, which are favorites with travelers and photographers, are almost deserted. This allows wildlife sightings to be intimate and pressure-free. Travelers can spend as long as they like viewing animals without worrying about the number of other vehicles in the area.
Uganda and Rwanda
Uganda and Rwanda are both renowned for providing fabulous trekking experiences with gorillas and chimpanzees. While Rwanda focuses more on the luxury side of travel, Uganda is for the more adventurous traveler, but with Uganda hiking permits being half the amount Rwanda pays ($ 750 per person instead of $ 1,500). ), this is often the deciding factor.
The two countries have opened up to travelers relatively recently, with Rwanda being the more stringent of the two on their Covid requirements. Tourists arriving in Rwanda must present a negative Covid-19 test one hundred and twenty hours before departure and must take a second test on arrival. A mandatory twenty-four hour quarantine in the hotel of your choice will follow pending the results of this second test. After a negative result, visitors can continue their vacation as normal.
Uganda, on the other hand, requires proof of a negative test within seventy-two hours prior to travel from an accredited laboratory in the country where the journey is started, and a temperature check will be carried out at the ‘arrival.
While normally gorilla treks have a maximum of eight people, due to the pandemic that has occurred, many travelers have postponed their trips until next year, so those who travel now often have the treks and trips. gorilla sightings for themselves. The obligatory wearing of the mask is imposed on the treks and this in order to ensure the safety of the other travelers as well as the gorillas which share approximately 98% of our DNA.
Namibia has experienced several different strategies for visitors arriving in the country, and most have not been the easiest to stick to if you’re planning on vacationing there. However, in the past two weeks, the government has abolished mandatory testing five days after travel begins, as well as any type of quarantine. Now all you need to do is show a negative Covid test dating back less than seventy-two hours before boarding the plane from your home country.
Although Namibia is a large and open country, some of the hot spots like Etosha can get busy during high seasons but due to the lack of travelers whether you are visiting the harsh and beautiful Skeleton Coast or marveling at the dunes from Sossusvlei, a unique experience awaits you.
Zambia and Zimbabwe
While Botswana remains permanently closed and South Africa has a very strict list of nationalities allowed in the country, Zambia and Zimbabwe have recently opened their doors and are hoping to revive tourism in their incredible national parks.
Zambia’s only requirement is to present a negative Covid test within fourteen days of arriving in the country, while Zimbabwe requires this test result to be within forty-eight hours of starting your journey. From then on, your adventures can continue uninterrupted in both countries.
While Victoria Falls is wonderfully accessible from both sides, game drives at these two destinations are also exceptional. Both known for their rustic and authentic camps, the South Luangwa and Mana Pools offer some of the most incredible wildlife sightings along with an array of activities like walking and boat safaris.
No matter where you choose to travel, Covid requirements change, so be sure to check with your own home affairs department as well as the tourism department of the country you are visiting for entry requirements.
The rules and requirements were up to date at the time of writing.
Marc Harris is Managing Director of Africa Odyssey. Africa Oydssey is managed by a team of award-winning experts providing tailor-made Africa safari vacations.
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