All You Need to Know About Travel To South Africa – Borders Are Open
As people around the world continue to get vaccinated and borders open up, we are happy to be welcoming more and more international travellers to our shores again. We continue to adhere to strict safety protocols, in line with WHO recommendations, put in place across the country and followed in all the camps we visit to ensure the safety of our citizens and our guests. These safe practices are as follows:
- Wearing a face mask in public spaces.
- Sanitise hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitiser (These will be placed, and easily visible, in all public guest areas for both guest and staff use, as well as in all guest rooms. They will also be provided on all activities (including vehicles, boats, mekoro and guided walks) for use during activities and at drinks and coffee stops).
- Maintain physical social distancing (something that is naturally at the heart of a safari particularly at the private, intimate camps we travel to). Game drives happen in open air vehicles with at least one chair between guests. The only thing we can’t promise that will maintain social distancing protocols are the animals.
- Avoid indoor gatherings (we have always believed dining in the fresh, open air under the milky way or vast blue skies is the best way to go).
- Separate tables with be allocated per couple, family or travel group, at a reasonable distance from each other. Meals are staggered or provided in different locations to limit exposure to other groups. You will have a dedicated waiter/butler for your stay who follows strict sanitizing protocol. Handling of food, crockery and glassware is done in a professionally high standard and in line with catering guidelines.
- All rooms are fully sanitized after each set of guests have left with alcohol- based, environmentally- friendly yet effective disinfectants. Staff wear gloves while cleaning.
- Staff are well trained and adhere to strict hygiene protocols throughout your stay.
Following these guidelines has proven successful in South Africa as, at the time of writing, the overall cases in the country have dropped significantly due to the conscientious manner in which the South African public have followed the protocols set out by our Government.
A message to all our American travellers:
To our American guests, we wanted to also clear up some misconceptions about travelling to South Africa at this time. We have had some feedback to say that American Travellers are banned from entering South Africa. This is not true and is, unfortunately, another misconception. The ban, in fact, prohibits South Africans from visiting America but not the other way around. Our borders are still open to all US citizens and when you return home you will not be required to quarantine.
Before you Travel:
- All travellers must obtain a negative COVID-19 (SARS-CoV 2 RT-PCR) test, taken 72 hours before departure. You must travel with the original (not digital) copy. (Please note that other tests, such as Rapid Diagnostics Tests (RDT), are not accepted).
- While it is not mandatory for international travellers to have in their possession travel insurance covering the COVID-19 test and quarantine costs it is highly recommended.
- Please take note of your own country’s policy for re-entry back home as some countries may differ and policies are ever-changing.
- We book all your domestic travel and keep you up to date and manage any changes so that you can travel worry free and don’t need to stay abreast of potential changes.
- We can also organize your international flights as we keep abreast of which countries are accepting travellers in transit from various destinations.
What to expect upon arrival in South Africa:
- In public areas, it is mandatory to wear a mask and observe social distancing and hygiene measures at all times. South Africa is very strict about these measures which have been a major contributing factor to our lower COVID-19 case numbers.
- In the airport terminal, you will pause at an infrared thermal scanner to check body temperature and an airport official will request your COVID-19 test certificate.
- Upon arrival at the port of entry, travellers will be asked questions from health authorities and will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and ensure they have not been in contact with infected persons.
- If the traveller shows COVID-19–related symptoms or has been in contact with an infected person(s), they must take a COVID-19 test at their own cost. If the COVID-19 test comes back positive, the traveller will undergo a 10-day quarantine at a designated site at their own expense.
Testing Available at the Camps:
- Private COVID-19 PCR testing is available onsite at the lodges and is something we will organize for you so that you don’t need to add on time to your trip or visit testing centers. This ensures testing doesn’t affect your safari or overall experience.
- The certificate is processed immediately after the test results are received (approximately 48 hours) which will allow you to continue your journey with peace of mind that you have met the requirements for onward travel to future destinations, or to return home. Please take note of the regulations in your next destination or home country as these change regularly.
- Mediclinic, Netcare and Life Health hospitals are private hospitals able to treat COVID-19 patients. These are world class quality medical establishments.
- 24-hour Medical assistance is available at all lodges we travel to.
Please note that we will do our best to keep this blog up-to-date with the most recent information but that the situation is changing often. Reach out to us to make sure of the most recent travel info or to find out more details at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. We are here to guide you through the process.