The following information is intended exclusively for Experiential Travel clients travelling to Africa on our itineraries.

Covid-19 Advisory #20-12

12th September 2020

Correction to Advisory #20-10

Scope of this advisory: Travel from the USA to Kenya.

Travelers from the USA will be exempt from Quarantine on arrival, except those coming from California, Florida or Texas.

Please visit the U.S. Embassy in Kenya's website for up to date advice.

Covid-19 Advisory #20-11

12th September 2020

Scope of this advisory: Travel to/from the USA.

The Center for Diseases Control (CDC) has announced on 9th September, 2020 that:

Beginning September 14, 2020, the United States Government will remove requirements for directing all flights carrying airline passengers arriving from, or recently had a presence in, certain countries to land at one of 15 designated airports and halt enhanced entry health screening for these passengers. Currently, enhanced entry health screening is conducted for those arriving from, or with recent presence in, China (excluding the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau), Iran, the Schengen region of Europe, the United Kingdom (excluding overseas territories outside of Europe), Ireland, and Brazil.

The full statement can be read on the CDC site at: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/s-0909-covid-19-entry-strategy-air-passengers.html

Covid-19 Advisory #20-10

1st September 2020

Scope of this advisory: Travel to our destinations in Africa.

Some countries are starting to lift their restrictions on travel into and within their borders.  Any travel plans would need to comply with the restrictions of (1) your country of residence, (2) your destination and (3) any countries you plan to transit through.

Generally, African countries have suffered less from Coronavirus than most other countries.  They are implementing “Covid-safe” practices and opening their borders earlier than our markets of Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the USA.

NB: The following is not advice and is subject to change at any time without notice.  You must check details with your travel agent before making any travel plans.

For residents of our markets.

Most countries have enshrined in legislation the right conferred by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on its citizens to “leave any country, including (their) own, and to return to (their) country.”   Australia has not.  Therefore the “travel advisories” issued by most countries really are advisories, but Australians do not ever have a “right” to leave the country.

That said, all countries control their airspace and flights across its borders.  This is the mechanism used by most countries to practically enforce “Do Not Travel” advisories.

Residents of the United States of America

Travel to all of our destinations in Africa are rated by the Department of State as “Level 3 – Reconsider Travel”, except Ethiopia and Namibia, which are rated “Level 4 – Do Not Travel”.  NB: the Namibia rating is likely to change within days.

Residents of the United Kingdom

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel.  None of our destinations are in the "exempted list".

Residents of Australia

You can’t leave Australia unless you get an exemption from the Department of Home Affairs.

Residents of New Zealand

“Do not travel” advisory current for all destinations.

For travellers to our destinations

Botswana

Botswana is currently closed to foreigners but this may change as early as September 2020.

Ethiopia

You will require a valid, negative PCR test conducted no more than 120 hrs prior to commencing travel.  NB: Other tests such as Rapid Diagnostics Tests (RDT) are not accepted.  Travellers must submit to medical screening on arrival, which may result in compulsory quarantine for 14 days.

Kenya

You will require a valid, negative PCR test conducted no more than 96 hrs prior to commencing travel.  Temperature test below 37.5C and no flu-like symptoms evident.  Quarantine for all USA residents (for 14 days) and passengers within two rows of passengers with symptoms on inbound flight until they test negative.  Social distancing, good hand hygiene, and the wearing of masks remain mandatory for duration of stay.  Kenya Airways and Emirates are operating flights to and from Kenya.  You must register with Kenya Health and obtain a QR code before leaving home.

Madagascar

Whilst Madagascar is not technically closed to foreigners, all transport within the country is currently suspended.

Morocco

Morocco's borders are currently closed to foreigners.

Namibia

Namibia will commence reopening on 1 September 2020.  You will require a valid, negative PCR test conducted no more than 72 hrs prior to commencing travel.  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.

Rwanda

You will require a valid, negative PCR test conducted no more than 120 hrs prior to commencing travel.  NB: Other tests such as Rapid Diagnostics Tests (RDT) are not accepted.  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.  Social distancing, good hand hygiene, and the wearing of masks remain mandatory for duration of stay.  Temperature screening mandatory in some public buildings.

South Africa

South Africa is currently closed to foreigners from high risk countries (including the UK and USA but not including Australia or New Zealand) but this may change as early as September 2020.  Permitted travellers will be subject to medical screening and consequently may be required to subit to isolation or quarantine for 14 days.

Tanzania

Tanzania has reciprocal PCR testing with your country of residence.  So, if you require a PCR to return home, you will require one to enter Tanzania.  Travellers exhibiting flu-like symptoms may be detained for further testing.  Social distancing, good hand hygiene, and the wearing of masks remain mandatory for duration of stay.  Many international airlines are flying to Dar Es Salaam.

Uganda

Uganda is currently closed to foreigners but this is reviewed fortnightly.

Zambia

You will require a valid, negative PCR test conducted no more than 14 days prior to arriving in Zambia.  Temperature test below 37.5C and no flu-like symptoms evident.

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is currently closed to foreigners but this is reviewed fortnightly.

Covid-19 Advisory #20-09

25th March 2020

  • The Australian government has banned all non-essential travel to all international destinations. 
  • Most state borders are closed to non-essential travel.
  • Most of our providers now offer postponement for up to 12 months.
    • 2021/seasonal rate increases will apply to most postponed travel.
    • Some providers will not facilitate postponement until 60 days before travel.

Covid-19 Advisory #20-08

19th March 2020

The official responses continue to ripple around the world.  Some of the more significant:

  • The Australian government has upgraded its travel advisory to "Do Not Travel" for all international destinations.  It has also advised Australian tourists to return home ASAP.
  • Kenya has banned arrivals from any country with Covid-19 infections
  • Morocco, Namibia and South Africa have banned arrivals from lists of high-risk countries.
  • Virgin Australia willground its international fleet on 30MAR20
  • Qantas/Jetstar will cut its international capacity by 90%
  • Almost all of our providers now offer "Defer up to 12 months for free" in lieu of normal cancellation terms
    • A few providers make the same offer "if our (property/service/country) becomes inaccessible".

Covid-19 Advisory #20-07

15th March 2020

The global responses to Covid-19 have been spreading faster than the disease itself.  This is great news for our clients who are scheduled to start their travels in three months or more.  We are optimistic that these measures will finally control the spread of the disease and that the world will quickly return to a normal post-pandemic footing. 

These measures will also protect our clients who have already commenced their trips and we continue to monitor their travels, as we always do.

Australia issues a temporary "Reconsider your need to travel" advisory for all countries.

This appears to over-ride the underlying advisory levels, which for many of our destinations is still "Exercise normal precautions", the lowest possible alert level.

New Zealand issues "self-isolate for 14 days" orders for all arrivals.

The unprecedented order applies to all arrivals, including Australians and New Zealanders arriving as from midnight tonight.  Shortly after the order was issued it was no longer possible to get a seat on a flight to New Zealand before the deadline.  

We are currently negotiating cancellations for some of our clients and we're pleased to say that most suppliers are agreeing to extra-contractual full refunds because it has become effectively impossible to travel in New Zealand.  We are optimistic that we will ultimately achieve full refunds for cancellations.

Kenya and Ethiopia report first cases; South Africa infections increase to 38

As previously reported, African countries have recent and very effective experience in controlling the import of viruses, such as Ebola.  These measures were escalated quickly across Africa in response to Covid-19 and consequently have identified these cases, which were all contracted in the USA or Europe.

For all travellers, our advice remains:

  • You can expect diligent screening at each port of entry
  • Don't get sick before you leave home - vaccinate for influenza
  • Limit your movement on the aircraft
  • Continue to practice good hygiene while you're away
  • Check your Travel Insurance PDS
  • Monitor official advisories

Please see ourCovid-19 Advisory #20-05 for more details.

Covid-19 Advisory #20-06

13th March 2020

Stop putting your phone, wallet, and keys into the plastic security screening trays at airports. 

These trays have previously been proven to be an effective accumulator of viruses.  During an influenza epidemic in Finland, testing revealed that half of the plastic security trays contained traces of the virus.

The American Transportation Security Administration has recently advised that you should keep all of your personal items such as wallet, keys, phone etc in your bag, rather than taking them out of your pocket and placing them in the tray.  You should also use a hand sanitiser after security screening.

We think this is good advice.

Get more details in this Business Insider article.

Covid-19 Advisory #20-05

12th March 2020

The World Health Organisation has declared that Covid-19 can be characterized as a pandemic.  You should note that WHO also says that "a pandemic is defined as “an epidemic occurring worldwide, or over a very wide area, crossing international boundaries and usually affecting a large number of people.  The classical definition includes nothing about population immunity, virology or disease severity."

We do not believe there is any reason to change your travel plans but you should prepare well.

  • You can expect diligent screening at each port of entry
  • Don't get sick before you leave home - vaccinate for influenza
  • Limit your movement on the aircraft
  • Continue to practice good hygiene while you're away
  • Check your Travel Insurance PDS
  • Monitor official advisories
  • There are thirteen Covid-19 infections in Southern Africa

You can expect diligent screening at each port of entry

You can expect to be scanned by fixed and hand-held infra-red temperature scanners as you enter each country.  If you have an elevated temperature or display cold- or flu-like symptoms you may be turned away or quarantined.  In South Africa, for example, officers in military uniforms and masks may enter your aircraft when you arrive and scan your forehead in your seat.  

Don't get sick before you leave home - vaccinate for influenza


All African countries have recent experience in very effectively preventing viruses from crossing their borders.  So, be very careful to not contract any common cold or influenza virus for a month before you travel.  We strongly advise Influenza vaccinations for everybody unless there are professional medical reasons not to.

Limit your movement on the aircraft

We have not seen any evidence of a Covid-19 infection actually occurring on an aircraft, nevertheless, it makes sense to limit your risks where you reasonably can. 

All airliners are fitted with highly efficient HEPA filters similar to those installed in operating theatres.  The air-conditioning system typically delivers 15-20 cubic feet of essentially sterile air per passenger per minute.  And the entire volume of air in the cabin is passed through those HEPA filters every two to three minutes. It is most unlikely therefore that you would contract any virus from the air your breathe.  The higher risk is on the surfaces within two metres of an infected person.  So, as you move about the cabin, avoid touching any surfaces where you can and certainly avoid touching your face.

It is important that you also limit the risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).  Learn how to do the in-seat exercises to mitigate DVT and do the minimum recommended out-of-seat exercises.

Continue to practice good hygiene while you're away 

  • Practice "social distancing". 
  • Wash your hands frequently, for 20 seconds with soap and water. 
  • Take a personal hand sanitiser and use it often. 
  • Don't touch your face
  • Sneeze or cough into your elbow or a disposable tissue.

Whilst there is currently an extremely low risk of you contracting Covid-19 whilst away, good hygiene practices will help you to avoid contracting a cold or worse, the flu.  Any such infection might have a significant effect of the remainder of your holiday.

Check your travel insurance PDS

Be aware of your rights in the event that (1) your country's official travel advisories change in respect of your destinations, or (2) your destination countries change their right to enter policy in respect of your home country.  Neither of these things has occurred at this stage.

Monitor official advisories

Get your news from official sources and avoid the shrill and self-serving voices in general media and social media.  The World Health Organization, Smart Traveller, The State Department, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the CDC all have Covid-19 pages that are updated regularly.  We will also publish updated advisories as the situation changes.

There are thirteen Covid-19 infections in Southern Africa

There are thirteen Covid-19 infections in Southern Africa.  All are in South Africa and were infected in Europe.  Some of those have already made a full recovery, some are asymptomatic and the others are being treated.  All were quarantined.

We will keep you updated if the situation changes.

Covid-19 Advisory #20-04

10th March 2020

Seven South Africans who were part of a group of 10 thatreturned from Italy on 1 March have now tested positive to Covid-19.  Two members of the group are waiting for results and one is still travelling in Europe.

Our summary advice continues to be (see our Advisory #20-01 for details):

  • Don't get sick before you leave home
  • Continue to practice good hygiene while you're away
  • Check your Travel Insurance PDS
  • Monitor official advisories

Covid-19 Advisory #20-03

7th March 2020

The first case of Covid-19 has been reported in South Africa.  The patient is a 38-year-old man who visited Italy with his wife.

The South African couple, who have two children, were part of a group of 10 who returned from Italy on 1 March, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said.  The man and the doctor who first treated him were both in self-isolation in the eastern KwaZulu-Natal province, he added.

Our summary advice continues to be (see our Advisory #20-01 for details):

  • Don't get sick before you leave home
  • Continue to practice good hygiene while you're away
  • Check your Travel Insurance PDS
  • Monitor official advisories

Covid-19 Advisory #20-02

6th March 2020

In the past week there have been two Covid-19 infections reported in Morocco.  Both are Moroccan citizens who had recently returned from Italy.  Both are quarantined and receiving treatment in hospital for non-critical illness.   There are no Covid-19 infections in any other Experiential Travel African destination country.

Our summary advice continues to be (see our Advisory #20-01 for details):

  • Don't get sick before you leave home
  • Continue to practice good hygiene while you're away
  • Check your Travel Insurance PDS
  • Monitor official advisories

Covid-19 Advisory #20-01

26th February 2020

We trust you are looking forward to your trip to Africa this year.  Nevertheless, there would scarcely be a person in Australia, the UK or the USA who hasn't discussed Covid-19, especially travellers. So here is our current advice.

  • Don't get sick before you leave home
  • Continue to practice good hygiene while you're away
  • Check your Travel Insurance PDS
  • Monitor official advisories
  • There are no Covid-19 infections in your destination countries

Don't get sick before you leave home

All African countries have recent experience in very effectively preventing viruses from crossing their borders.  You can expect to be scanned by fixed and hand-held infra-red temperature scanners as you enter each country.  If you have an elevated temperature or display cold- or flu-like symptoms you may be turned away or quarantined.  So, be very careful to not contract any such virus for a month before you travel.  We advise Influenza vaccinations for everybody unless there are medical reasons not to.

Continue to practice good hygiene while you're away 

Wash your hands frequently.  Take a personal hand sanitiser.  Whilst there is currently a negligible risk of you contracting Covid-19 whilst away, good hand hygiene will help you to avoid contracting a cold or worse, the flu.  Any such infection might have a significant effect of the remainder of your holiday.

Check your travel insurance PDS

Be aware of your rights in the event that (1) a Pandemic is declared by the World Health Organization or (2) your country's official travel advisories change in respect of your destinations.  Neither of these things has occurred at this stage.

Monitor official advisories

Get your news from official sources and avoid the shrill and self-serving voices in general media and social media.  The World Health Organization, Smart Traveller, The State Department, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the CDC all have Covid-19 pages that are updated regularly.  We will also publish updated advisories as the situation changes.

There are no Covid-19 infections in our African destinations

There are no Covid-19 infections in the countries you plan to visit.  Moreover, you will spend most of your time away from population centres.  You are literally more likely to contract Covid-19 in your home country than in Africa.

We will keep you updated if the situation changes.