Africa is open for safaris and the animals want to see you!
Africa is Open: As of November 2020 all African safari countries are open to international travelers. Intrepid adventurers are taking advantage of great airfares, and special safari deals, while enjoying Africa’s best wildlife locations without crowds. As two recent travelers to Tanzania noted “flights have never been cleaner, the protocols in Africa made us feel really safe, and getting away from the never ending negative news cycle was almost as wonderful as the wildlife viewing!”
Africa – the Perfect Social Distancing Destination: Africa has weathered Covid very well and with the small size of most safari lodges and camps (anywhere from 3 to 12 rooms), wide open spaces, and time spent outdoors, there is no place better for social distancing. Why visit a crowded church in Italy when you can be enjoying a gin and tonic with a herd of elephants!
“Africa, as the WHO statistics show, has been the least affected of all global regions.” – Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO Secretary-General
Flights are Cleaner than Ever and Fares are Great: With 44 documented cases of potential novel Coronavirus infections out of 1.2 billion flyers in 2020, IATA data, in conjunction with a peer-reviewed study published in the Journal of Travel Medicine, suggests the odds of contracting Covid aboard a fligh are 1 in 27 million. In addition many international airlines require a negative test to fly!
A recent JD Power survey of 4,000 North American travelers noted that 73% plan to fly internationally in the next 6 months.
In terms of fares we are seeing roundtrip USA to Africa business class fare for close to US $4,000 per person! Economy tickets are often under $1,000 per person.
Safaris are Ready: We are hugely impressed by the robust Covid protocols put in place across the safari industry. These have been fine tuned over many months – while international travel was banned local travelers have been out on safari.
Africa’s Wildife and Local People REALLY Need You: Safaris are ecotourism at its best with huge direct benefits for local people, wildlife, and wilderness areas. Tourism provides jobs in addition to financing schools, clinics, and anti-poaching patrols. Without tourists Africa’s animals face a dire situation and many local communities are facing dire food shortages… your safari helps save African wildlife and communities.
Travel Insurance Covers Covid: Most travel insurance policies now cover Covid for cancellation and medical care. We know which policies work and which don’t.
Testing is Easy: Testing is now fast and easy… some PCR tests can be done with video supervision and results are received with 24 to 48 hours. Rapid testing is also expanding.
Flexibility: Book your dream safari now safe with the knowledge that most safari operators are allowing deposits to be used towards new trip dates if Covid restrictions make travel impossible. Airlines are offering flexible policies as well.
Escape to Africa: A recent American Express survey noted that half of U.S respondents reported the inability to travel is causing anxiety and stress, and 78% reported travel is one of the activities they are craving most.
We Make Things Simple: In addition to booking your safari and flights we know where to get testing done, each countries entry / testing requirements, which travel insurance is best, and tips and tricks for safe travels. So get call us today and book your once in a lifetime trip to Africa!
A Breakdown of Safari Country Travel Requirements: Tanzania and Zambia offer the fewest entry requirements with great safari options – in the case of Tanzania you can just show up! Kenya is super organized with great offerings however the shorter timeframe for testing is notable. Rwanda is the most restrictive.
At this time the logistics of planning a safari to one country are much easier than planning a multi country trip. We expect over months many more safari properties will offer on site testing making travel between African countries easier. Rapid testing, done by many airlines and offered at many airports, may also become the new norm allowing hassle free travel.
Botswana: fully open / present a negative PCR test result, not older than 72 hours before boarding your first flight.
Kenya: fully open / present a negative PCR based COVID-19 test carried out within 4 days before arrival date – starting from date of sample collection.
Malawi: fully open / present a negative test taken within 10 days of arrival.
Namibia: fully open / present a negative PCR test result, not older than 72 hours before boarding your first flight.
Rwanda: fully open / all travelers arriving in to, and departing from, Rwanda must teste negative for COVID-19 within 5 days of departure (meaning that you get tested and get results no more than 5 days before your first flight). Additional PCR test upon arrival in Kigali and wait at hotel up to 24 hours for results… additional test before departure flight and must visit gorillas within 72 hours of a negative test (so do the gorillas right after your stay in Kigali).
South Africa: fully open / present a negative PCR test result, not older than 72 hours before boarding your first flight.
Tanzania: fully open / no Covid testing required.
Uganda: fully open / present a negative PCR based COVID-19 test carried out within 3 days before boarding in bound flight to Uganda. Another test must be taken within 3 days of departing.
Zambia: fully open / present a negative PCR based COVID-19 carried out within 14 days of arrival.
Zimbabwe: fully open / present a negative test taken within 2 days of arrival.
We Are Here For You: If you are considering an African safari, or are already booked on a dream safari, and have concerns – we get it. Please call us in Seattle toll free on 1 800 461 0682 or internationally on 425 222 4060. Your comfort and safety is of the utmost import.
Ultimate Africa President
“I first visited Africa in the late 1980s. I came face to face with a wild elephant, and fell in love with being on safari! I made it my goal to create an African travel company that was all about authentic wildlife experiences. Many years later we are one of the top African travel companies in the Americas – known for arranging custom safaris to East and Southern Africa; personal trips, no cookie cutter stuff.”