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Safari Protocols for Preventing COVID-19

7/1/2020

In consultation with global experts at the WHO, CDC, and World Tourism Council, safari camps and lodges in Africa have been developing stringent protocols for social distancing, sanitation, and other procedures to minimize the risk of transmitting Coronavirus, and maximize health and safety for guests and staff alike. Because safari camps are small, isolated, and self-contained, they are in many respects easier to manage from a health and wellness perspective than hotels. Measures differ somewhat between countries and camps, but some common themes among the top camps include:

All staff are tested for Coronavirus (or quarantined for 14 days) before starting their work shift - facilitated by the fact that shifts last 6-12 weeks, without any exposure to the outside world. Once at the camp, staff have their temperatures taken daily, wear masks while performing all duties, keep 6' social distance, and wash their hands thoroughly before and after each guest interaction. Rooms (which are almost always more than 30' apart) are cleaned and disinfected daily by your dedicated housekeeper, and common areas are cleaned and disinfected thrice daily.

Communal dining has been discontinued, and all meals are served individually plated, with travel groups spread out and with staggered timing to minimize exposure to other guests. Travel groups are cared for by a staff "bubble", with a dedicated waiter, housekeeper, and guide. Where possible, each travel group will have its own safari vehicle; where vehicles need to be shared, middle rows will be left open to maximize the distance between guests. Guides will wear face masks for the duration of each safari activity.

 

What stands out about the protocols is that, apart from limiting social interaction with staff and other guests, the safari experience is essentially unchanged. In fact, the smaller number of guests on safari vehicles is an enhancement, and low tourist volumes ensure that anyone traveling on safari over the next few months will enjoy the most private and exclusive safari experience since the turn of the millennium!


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