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Goodbye 2020, Hello 2021!


The sun sets on a stormy year.

There is no denying that 2020 was a very difficult year for the travel industry, and Classic Africa was not exempted. Our team faced challenges over the past 10 months that we could not have dreamed up – from helping repatriate travelers hours before African countries locked down, to postponing hundreds of clients' safaris, to renegotiating currency contracts with banks, we spent most of the year in uncharted territory. In addition to the opportunity to learn and grow, one silver lining from this annus horribilis has been reinforcement of our belief in the fundamental goodness of people.

We are eternally grateful to our wonderful clients for their composure and empathy as we have navigated this storm together. With properties and suppliers in Africa standing firm on cancellation policies, your willingness to take advantage of postponement options has ensured the survival of Africa's safari industry, which is critical to the future of the continent's wildlife and the economic empowerment of rural people.

We are also extremely proud of the efforts that our partners in Africa have made to help mitigate the catastrophic economic consequences of the pandemic in some of the poorest countries on earth. From retaining all staff on payroll, to airlifting tons of food to keep whole villages fed, and covering the costs of anti-poaching operations when governments couldn't, the safari industry came to bat when the local people needed them most. As just one example of some of the work being done, please CLICK HERE for a very poignant video from our partners at Great Plains Conservation.

Of course we're not out of the woods yet, but the imminent approval of two highly effective vaccines (with others in the pipeline), and the likelihood of widespread availability by the second quarter of next year provide a much more positive outlook for 2021. All the countries of safari Africa are already open and welcoming guests from North America, and feedback from returning travelers bears witness to how enthusiastically guides and staff are embracing (from a safe distance!) the return of wageni (guests). If you haven't already booked a safari for 2021, please rest assured that a pent-up desire to host old friends means that an especially warm welcome awaits all travelers to Africa in the next 12 months!

Welcome to 2021!

On a personal note, our family made the best of our "new normal." William (age 12) and Edward (age 8) navigated the world of remote learning, which has been relatively uneventful – although they both miss their friends at school very much. The summer was spent largely at home, with day trips to the beautiful beach at Watch Hill, and boating excursions on the Connecticut River. We missed hosting WWII veterans at our annual VJ-Day Celebration this year, but could not for obvious reasons. Halloween was a highlight of the autumn as the village of Middle Haddam was overflowing with trick-or-treating spirit, despite the necessary protocols. As we look forward to a cozy family Christmas, and a quiet but hopeful New Year celebration, we wanted to extend our warmest wishes to the many "Classic Africans" whom we consider friends – may you enjoy peace and good health this Holiday Season, and may 2021 bring hope and renewal!

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