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Slowly, Carefully, Safari Reopens

7/1/2020

 

On August 1stKenya and Rwanda will reopen their borders to foreign travelers, joining Tanzania (which has been open since early July) in the full reopening of East Africa's safari areas! This will mark the first time in over four months that foreign travelers will have the pleasure and privilege of visiting some of the most beautiful and wildlife-rich ecosystems on the planet, bringing much-needed tourism dollars for conservation and community empowerment.                                              

 The move comes as both countries have done an outstanding job of containing Coronavirus, initially by strict lockdowns, and then a cautious, phased reopening of the domestic economy (it helps that citizens have a lot of experience managing infectious diseases like Ebola). Strict operating procedures for tourism have been developed in conjunction with the WHO and Africa CDC, and the isolated setting and small, exclusive nature of safari camps makes them among the safest travel destinations in the world.

 

 All three East African countries require foreign visitors to be tested for COVID in their home countries, within 72 hours of departure. Because of the susceptibility of Rwanda's endangered mountain gorillas to the Coronavirus, the country is taking the extra precaution of requiring that visitors be tested a second time on arrival in Kigali, and again upon departure (for contact tracing).

 

 Reopening plans in southern Africa are roughly a month behind East Africa - South Africa has set September 1st as the target date for allowing foreign visitors in again, and neighboring countries are expected to be close behind. Part of the challenge is that, outside of South Africa, southern Africa has some of the lowest infection rates in the world (e.g. under 600 total cases in Botswana), and the countries are grappling with ways to allow visitors in while keeping the virus out.

 Most August and September 2020 safari bookings have postponed to 2021, creating unpresented last-minute availability for peak season 2020. For travelers who do not fall within high-risk COVID groups, the next few months represent an outstanding opportunity for what is going to be the most private safari experience in at least two decades, and camps are open to providing incentives - please contact us if you would like to explore options for escaping the craziness at home and enjoying an unforgettable safari in the remote wilderness of Africa.


7/1/2020
Safari Protocols for Preventing COVID-19
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