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African Safaris in Covid-19 Times

Posted on 1st June 2021

Africa awaits and various countries are welcoming travelers!

 

Many of our clients as well as potential travelers have been asking us about travel restrictions in Africa due to COVID-19. To help you with planning your safari, we have compiled this one-stop informational blog with the current updates on travel requirements to our major destinations in Africa.

These updates reflect the current information we have. Requirements are changing regularly, and we will do our best to keep you updated with the latest information.

Please note that it is the responsibility of the client to verify all the requirements (visa, PCR test, quarantine, travel bans, possible airline specific restrictions, inoculations, and other documents required) for their trip (for both the destination country and also the country of origin) and to ensure that all such requirements are complied with.

 

BOTSWANA

1. What are the current entry requirements for Botswana?

  • Covid Negative Test
    All passengers must have a negative PCR result not older than 72 hours between the time of testing (date/time of sample collection) and the time of theirarrival into Botswana. This requirement also applies to anyone who has been vaccinated against COVID-19 – a negative test must still be produced before entry into the country.
  • All passengers will be screened on arrival for Covid symptoms.
  • Test on arrival
    At Maun Airport, a Rapid Antigen Testis required on arrival (free to all incoming passengers).
  • Health declaration
    Travelers must however complete a self-declaration screening form and provide contact information for their stay in Botswana to the local health authority.  
  • Travelers from India: All travelers originating from or transiting through India within the past 14 days, will be required to undertake mandatory quarantine at a site selected by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, for a period not exceeding 10 days at their own cost.
  • Visas
    Most nationalities can get a visa on arrival,but some may be required to get a visa in advance so please check the requirements for your nationality.

2. What are the current departure requirements for Botswana?

  • All passengers must have a negative PCR not older than 72 hours from the time of departure from Botswana.
  • Should a traveler test positive on departure, a minimum of 5 days quarantine will be required before performing another PCR test to exit Botswana.

3. Will I need to quarantine in Botswana before I can enjoy my holiday? If so, for how long?

  • Travelers who test negative for the antigen test on arrival do not need to quarantine on arrival and can proceed with their planned itinerary.
  • Travelers who test positive forthe antigen test on arrival will have to do a PCR test – this will require overnighting in your arrival town while waiting for the result of the PCR test. If the test comes back negative, the traveler will be able to proceed with their planned itinerary. If the test comes back positive, the traveler will need to quarantine for at least 5 days before another PCR test is conducted. Should this 2nd test be positive, the traveler will need to quarantine for another 9 days.
  • Such travelers will be required to stay in contact with the local health authority for a furtherperiod of 14 days doing self-monitoring.

4. Are there any restrictions on what I can do and where I can visit while I am in Botswana?

There are no such restrictions but tourists are expected to follow social distancing and hygiene measures like wearing a mask at all times while in the company of others.

5. What policies has Botswana put in place to reduce the risk of Covid-19?

Covid-19 prevention measures have been implemented by the government including mandatory wearing of face coverings and maintaining social distance.  

6. Where can I do a Covid-19 PCR test in Botswana?

PCR Covid tests can be carried out in Maun or Kasane and results should be back within 24 hours. Therefore, an overnight stay in Kasane or Maun may be required. It may also be possible to get tested directly in camps in the Okavango Delta – thus avoiding an extra night in your exit town – however, in such an instance an additional cost will incur to fly the medic in.

 

NAMIBIA

1. What are the current entry requirements for Namibia?

  • Covid Negative Test

    All passengers must have a negative PCR result not older than 7 days (168hrs) from the time of your arrival to be allowed entry into Namibia. This requirement also applies to anyone who has been vaccinated against COVID-19 – a negative test must still be produced before entry into the country.

  • All passengers will be screened on arrival for Covid symptoms.

  • Health declaration

    All travelers must fill out a questionnaire prior to their departure.

  • Travelers from India: International commercial air travel suspended. Passengers from India are not allowed to enter the country.

  • Visas
    Most nationalities can get a visa on arrival, but some may be required to get a visa in advance so please check the requirements for your nationality.   

2. What are the current departure requirements for Namibia?

Travelers departing Namibia will only be required to produce a negative COVID-19 test certificate on departure if it is required by the airline or to a country where this is required.

3. Will I need to quarantine in Namibia before I can enjoy my holiday? If so, for how long?

Travelers not showing Covid symptoms do not need to quarantine on arrival and can proceed with their planned itinerary.

4. Are there any restrictions on what I can do and where can I visit while I am in Namibia?

There are no such restrictions, but tourists are expected to follow social distancing and hygiene measures.

5. What policies has Namibia put in place to reduce the risk of Covid-19?

  • Covid-19 prevention measures have been implemented by the government including the mandatory wearing of face coverings and maintaining social distance.  
  • Currently a curfew from 9pm to 4am is in place
  • The sale of liquor is restricted from 9am to 6pm, Mondays to Thursdays, on a take-away basis only, with exception of hospitality establishments such as guesthouses, hotels and similar establishments where residing guests may access on-site amenities.

6. Where can I do a Covid-19 PCR test in Namibia?

PCR Covid tests can be carried out in Windhoek and in other major towns such as Swakopmund, Walvis Bay, Katima Mulilo, etc… . Most safari lodges will not be able to arrange testing at the lodge due to their remote locations.

 

SOUTH AFRICA  

1. What are the current entry requirements for South Africa?

  •  Covid Negative Test
    All passengers must have a negative PCR result not older than 72 hours before their departure. This requirement also applies to anyone who has been vaccinated against COVID-19 – a negative test must still be produced before entry into the country.
  • Health declaration
    Passengers and crew entering South Africa via Johannesburg must fill in this Travel Health Questionnaire . This form must be presented to the Port Health Officers as part of the screening process, along with any other entry requirements.
  • All travelers must complete an Entry Health Screen Form either prior to or on arrival.
  • All passengers will be screened on arrival for Covid symptoms.

  • Travelers from India: There is the possibility of some restrictions on travelers from India being imposed. Any travelers from there should let us know and we can advise on the current situation.

  • Visas

    Most nationalities can get a visa on arrival, but some may be required to get a visa in advance so please check the requirements for your nationality.

2. What are the current departure requirements for South Africa?

  • Travelers departing South Africa will only be required to produce a negative COVID-19 test certificate on departure if it is required by the airline or to a country where this is required.
  • Travelers must fill in an Exit Health Form

3. Will I need to quarantine in South Africa before I can enjoy my holiday? If so, for how long?

All travelers will be screened by Port Health Officials upon arrival and departure. Those presenting symptoms must remain in quarantine until a repeat COVID-19 test is carried out.

 4. Are there any restrictions on what I can do and where I can visit while I’m in South Africa?

  • There are no such restrictions but tourists are expected to follow social distancing and hygiene measures.  
  • There is currently a curfew in place from 11pm to 4am

5. What policies has South Africa put in place to reduce the risk of Covid-19?

  • There is currently a curfew in place from 9pm to 4am
  • Public gatherings are currently not permitted. Restaurants and gyms are closed. Restaurants may serve take-away food only. Funerals are allowed with a maximum 50 people attending. Night vigils, before or after funerals are not permitted and nightclubs remain closed.
  • No alcohol to be sold.
  • Wearing of masks remains compulsory. Failure to do so is a fineable offence.
  • The province of Gauteng is in complete lock-down until further notice. Please refer to this link for impact on passengers transiting through Johannesburg.

6. Where can I do a Covid-19 PCR test in South Africa?

PCR covid tests can be carried out in all major cities like Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg. Some lodges may also be able to arrange testing at the lodge but there will be additional costs for the medic to travel to the lodge. PCR covid tests can also be carried out at OR Tambo International Airport with a turnaround time of between 2 hours to 48 hours.

 

TANZANIA

1. What are the current entry requirements for Tanzania?

  • Covid Negative Test
    All passengers must have a negative PCR result not older than 72 hours between the time of testing (date/time of sample collection) and the time of their arrival into Tanzania. This requirement also applies to anyone who has been vaccinated against COVID-19 – a negative test must still be produced before entry into the country.
  • Test on arrival
    All passengers will be screened on arrival for Covid symptoms and will have to take a rapid Covid test on arrival (current cost for this is US$ 25 per person).
  • Health declaration
    All travelers are required to complete an online Traveler’s Surveillance Form available on the Ministry of Health’s website. The form must be completed 24 hours prior to travel. A Unique Health Code (UHC) will be issued, which must be presented upon arrival in Tanzania.
  • Travelers from India: All flights to and from India are currently banned. Any traveler who has travelled via India in the last 14 days regardless of their route taken to reach Tanzania, shall be subjected to a rapid test at point of entry followed by stringent contact tracing and 14 days mandatory quarantine at their own cost at a Government facility.
  • Visas
    Most nationalities can get a visa on arrival, but some may be required to get a visa in advance so please check the requirements for your nationality. However, we strongly advise getting a visa in advance as the process for getting one on arrival is time consuming!

2. What are the current departure requirements for Tanzania?

Travelers departing Tanzania will only be required to produce a negative COVID-19 test certificate on departure if it is required by the airline or toa country where this is required.

3. Will I need to quarantine in Tanzania before I can enjoy my holiday? If so, for how long?

Tanzania is proposing that nationals from certain countries will be required to quarantine for 14 days on arrival. This requirement has only just been introduced and we are awaiting further details as to which countries will be on this list.

4. Are there any restrictions on what I can do and where I can visit while I’m in Tanzania?

There are no such restrictions but tourists are expected to follow social distancing and hygiene measures.

5. What policies has Tanzania put in place to reduce the risk of Covid-19?

Covid-19 prevention measures have been implemented by the government including the mandatory wearing of face coverings and maintaining social distance.  

6. Where can I do a Covid-19 PCR test in Tanzania?

PCR covid tests can be carried out in Dar es Salaam or Arusha and there is also a clinic at Seronera in the Central Serengeti. However, results are going to take at least 48 hours to come back.

 

ZIMBABWE 

1. What are the current entry requirements for Zimbabwe?

  • Covid Negative Test
    All passengers must have a negative PCR result not older than 48 hours before their departure. This requirement also applies to anyone who has been vaccinated against COVID-19 – a negative test must still be produced before entry into the country.
  • Travelers from India: There is the possibility of some restrictions on travelers from India being imposed. Any travelers from there should let us know and we can advise on the current situation.
  • Visas
    Most nationalities can get a visa on arrival,but some may be required to get a visa in advance so please check the requirements for your nationality.

2. What are the current departure requirements for Zimbabwe?

Travelers departing Zimbabwe will only be required to produce a negative COVID-19 test certificate on departure if it is required by the airline or to a country where this is required.

3. Will I need to quarantine in Zimbabwe before I can enjoy my holiday? If so, for how long?

Any tourists showing signs or symptoms of COVID-19 will have to do a rapid COVID-19 test, at their own cost. If tested positive, tourists will be placed in immediate isolation and quarantine will be for their own cost.

4. Are there any restrictions on what I can do and where I can visit while I am in Zimbabwe?

There are no such restrictions,but tourists are expected to follow social distancing and hygiene measures.  

5. What policies has Zimbabwe put in place to reduce the risk of Covid-19?

Masks must be worn at all times in any public areas and if stopped at police roadblocks.

6. Where can I do a Covid-19 PCR test in Zimbabwe?

PCR covid tests can be carried out in Victoria Falls and Harare and results should be back within 24 hours. Most safari lodges will not be able to arrange testing at the lodge due to their remote locations.

 

KENYA 

1. What are the current entry requirements for Kenya?

  • Covid Negative Test
    All travelers must have a negative PCR result not older than 96 hours before their departure. This requirement also applies to anyone who has been vaccinated against COVID-19 – a negative test must still be produced before entry into the country. This PCR test needs to be able to be verified digitally through the Trusted Travel Initiative (TT) system and the PanaBios system.
  • All passengers will be screened on arrival for Covid symptoms.
  • Health declaration
    All travelers must fill out a “Travelers Health Surveillance Form” online for contact tracing. After submitting the form, passengers will receive a QR code which must be presented to port health officials for them to be allowed to proceed to arrival immigration.
  • Travelers from India: Until 11 June 2021, flights from India to Kenya are suspended. Passengers arriving from India or who in the past 14 days have been in or transited through India are not allowed to enter.
  • Visas
    An e-visa is required before entering Kenya.  Visa on arrival will no longer be available. Obtain an e-visa at http://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html

2. What are the current departure requirements for Kenya?

Travelers departing Kenya will only be required to produce a negative COVID-19 test certificate on departure if it is required by the airline or to a country where this is required.

3. Will I need to quarantine in Kenya before I can enjoy my holiday? If so, for how long?

  • Travelers from some countries are required to quarantine for 14 days. Travelers from countries on this listare exempt from quarantine if they present a negative COVID-19 test. The test must be a PCR test. Any other type of Covid test will not be accepted.
  • Anyone who shows symptoms of COVID-19 on arrival will be required to quarantine in their accommodation for the first 14 days. Passengers seated on two rows surrounding anyone on a flight displaying symptoms will be traced and required to quarantine for 14 days.

4. Are there any restrictions on what I can do and where I can visit while I am in Kenya?

There are no restrictions as to where you can travel in Kenya. However, a nationwide curfew is in effect from 9pm to 4am until further notice. During curfew hours, everyone must stay at home or indoors, except for essential service workers. The Government of Kenya has advised that passengers departing the airport after the 9pm curfew must retain their boarding pass as proof of their arrival time which will allow for movement to their accommodation. Similarly, evidence of air passengers arriving after 9pm will enable access for drivers coming to collect passengers during curfew hours.

5. What policies has Kenya put in place to reduce the risk of Covid-19?

  • The Kenyan Government has implemented Covid-19 health and safety protocols that all tourism and hospitality establishments must comply with.
  • Face masks must be worn in public places, except when dining, or when adhering to social distancing in hotels, gardens or on beaches, as well as on public and private transport.

6. Where can I do a Covid-19 PCR test in Kenya?

Covid PCR tests can be carried out in Nairobi and results should be back within 24 hours. Some safari lodges may be able to arrange testing at the lodge but this will be very limited and there will be additional costs for the medic to come to the lodge.

 

ZAMBIA

1. What are the current entry requirements for Zambia?

  • Covid Negative Test
    All passengers must have a negative PCR result not older than 72 hours between the time of testing (date/time of sample collection) and the departure time of your flight from your home country. This requirement also applies to anyone who has been vaccinated against COVID-19 – a negative test must still be produced before entry into the country.
  • All passengers will be screened on arrival for Covid symptoms.
  • Health declaration
    On arrival at the airport a Traveler Health Questionnaire must be completed and submitted.
  • Travelers from India other ‘high risk’ countries
    Travelers from India and certain other countries that are considered ‘high risk’ are required to have another PCR test on arrival in Zambia and quarantine until a negative result is obtained. Please make sure to advise your nationality at time of enquiry so we can check if you will be affected by this.
  • Visas
    Most nationalities can get a visa on arrival but some may be required to get a visa in advance so please check the requirements for your nationality.

2. What are the current departure requirements for Zambia?

Travelers departing Zambia will only be required to produce a negative COVID-19 test certificate on departure if it is required by the airline or to a country where this is required.

3. Will I need to quarantine in Zambia before I can enjoy my holiday? If so, for how long?

There is no requirement for visitors to self-isolate unless they are from certain ‘high risk’ countries as mentioned above. However, if your body temperature is equal to, or above 38ºC, and you have other symptoms of COVID-19 (a cough, shortness of breath, a headache, or a sore throat), you will be tested and taken to a government facility for treatment and quarantine until your tests results are known.

4. Are there any restrictions on what I can do and where I can visit while I am in Zambia?

There are no restrictions as to where you can visit but all visitors are expected to follow Covid-19 regulations such as physical distancing, wearing face masks and personal hygiene. 

5. What policies has Zambia put in place to reduce the risk of Covid-19?

In addition to the common regulations regarding distancing and hygiene, there are measures at the airports regarding PPE for staff, mandatory wearing of face masks, enhanced cleaning, and screening of passengers.

6. Where can I do a Covid-19 PCR test in Zambia?

PCR Covid tests can be carried out in Lusaka and results are usually back within 24 hours. It may be possible to get tests done at lodges in South Luangwa but only if they are near the main entrance gate and there are additional costs for this.

 

UGANDA

1. What are the current entry requirements for Uganda?

  • Covid Negative Test
    • All flights from India and all passengers originating from India were suspended effective 1st May 2021.
    • All travelers must produce a Covid-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of boarding their flight to Uganda. The time begins from the day the sample is collected for testing.
    • Furthermore, the Ministry of Health of Uganda, emphasizes that all COVID-19 certificates for all travelers must indicate, “TRAVEL” as the intended purpose of the test.
  • Test on arrival
    Travelers (including children) from the USA, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Turkey, South African, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan and Tanzania will be subjected to a PCR Covid-19 test (US$ 65) at the points of entry including Entebbe International Airport.
  • Travelers who have received their full Covid-19 vaccination and are asymptomatic will be required to do a mandatory Covid-19 test upon arrival regardless of their vaccination status.
  • Travelers from India: All flights from India and all passengers originating from India were suspended effective 1st May 2021
  • Visas
    Most nationalities can get a visa on arrival but some may be required to get a visa in advance so please check the requirements for your nationality or to avoid disappointment contact this website before departure visas.immigration.go.ug

2. What are the current departure requirements for Uganda?

When leaving, travelers are also required to present a negative COVID-19 test from within 72 hours of departure from Uganda.

3. Will I need to quarantine in Uganda before I can enjoy my holiday? If so, for how long?

There is no mandatory quarantine requirement for passengers who have a valid negative COVID‑19 PCR test certificate on arrival and do not show any symptoms of COVID‑19.

4. Are there any restrictions on what I can do and where I can visit while I am in Uganda?

  • There are no restrictions as to where you can visit but all visitors are expected to follow Covid-19 regulations such as physical distancing, wearing face masks and personal hygiene. 
  • There is a nationwide curfew from 9pm to 6am. However, the curfew will not affect anyone traveling through the airport. All security operatives have been informed to let any traveler with proof of travel documents through.

5. What policies has Uganda put in place to reduce the risk of Covid-19?

  • Restrictions imposed by the Ministry of Health include allowing gatherings of no more than 200 persons provided masks are worn and social distancing of 2 meters is followed.
  • Cinemas, gyms, and massage parlors have been permitted to open while casinos and gaming centers are restricted to operating between the hours of 6:30am to 7:00pm. Bars and dance halls remain closed.
  • A curfew (9pm-6am) is in place. Motorcycle taxi (boda boda) drivers must cease their movements by 6pm.

6. Where can I do a Covid-19 PCR test in Uganda?

PCR Covid tests can be carried out in Entebbe / Kampala and results should be back within 24 hours. It is unlikely that tests can be carried out in any other areas in Uganda.