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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?

  • All passengers must produce a valid vaccination certificate and proof that they are fully vaccinated upon entry into Botswana. Fully vaccinated means two doses of a two dose vaccine, or one dose of a one dose vaccine.
  • Passengers who are not fully vaccinated must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test with QR code, carried out within 72 hours before arrival into Botswana.
  • Only children 12 years and older require a vaccination certificate or must present a negative PCR result 
  • All passengers will be screened on arrival for Covid symptoms.
  • 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.  
  • 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?

Traveller’s departing Botswana will only be required to produce a negative COVID-19 test certificate or a valid vaccine certificate on departure if this is required by the airline for entry into a country where this is required.

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

This is no longer applicable.

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.

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

It is recommended to follow simple hygiene measures. There are no mandatory policies.

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?

  • All passengers must produce a valid vaccination certificate and proof that they are fully vaccinated upon entry into Namibia. Fully vaccinated means two doses of a two dose vaccine, or one dose of a one dose vaccine.
  • Passengers who are not fully vaccinated must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test not older than 72 hours from your time of departure from your country of origin.
  • Only children 12 years and older require a vaccination certificate or must present a negative PCR result 
  •  
  • All passengers will be screened on arrival for Covid symptoms.

  • Health declaration

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

  • 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. Self-quarantine will be required when testing positive. 

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.  

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?

  • 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.
  • 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.

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

No. This is no longer a requirement. 

 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 hygiene measures.  

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

There are no restrictions. Tourists are expected to follow normal hygiene measures.  

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?

  • All passengers must produce a valid vaccination certificate and proof that they are fully vaccinated upon entry into Tanzania. Fully vaccinated means two doses of a two dose vaccine plus Booster dose, or one dose of a one dose vaccine plus Booster dose.
  • Passengers who are not fully vaccinated must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test carried out within 72 hours before departure for Tanzania
  • All arriving passengers (fully vaccinated or unvaccinated), aged 6 years and older, entering the United Republic of Tanzania from the following countries, will be required to undergo a Rapid Antigen Test on arrival, the cost of which is USD 10 per person per test for the Tanzanian mainland and USD 25 per person per test for Zanzibar. These countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, France, India, Malawi, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States of America, Rwanda, and South Africa.  
  • Health declaration

    All travellers, including Tanzanians, returnees and crew members/passengers in transit, must complete an online Traveller Health Surveillance Form within 24 hours prior to arrival, available at https://afyamsafiri.moh.go.tz/ for mainland Tanzania and https://healthtravelznz.mohz.go.tz for Zanzibar.

  • 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 to a country where this is required.

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

Currently no quarantine is required.

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?

  • All passengers must produce a valid vaccination certificate and proof that they are fully vaccinated upon entry into Zimbabwe. Fully vaccinated means two doses of a two dose vaccine, or one dose of a one dose vaccine.
  • Passengers who are not fully vaccinated must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test with QR code, carried out within 48 hours of boarding their flight into Zimbabwe.
  • Only children 5 years and older require a vaccination certificate or must present a negative PCR result 
  • 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?

Fully vaccinated 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.

Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated travelers are required to take a negative PCR test within 72 hours prior to their departure from Zimbabwe.

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 indoor and outdoor 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 PCR test needs to be able to be verified digitally through the Trusted Travel Initiative (TT) system and the PanaBios system.
  • In addition to the COVID-19 negative certificate, a Trusted Travel Code is needed for entry. The Ministry of Health has published this Travel Guide on how to apply. Here is a step by step guide on Jitenge Retrieving QR Code Process by the Kenyan Ministry of Health.
  • Passengers must be citizens of countries considered to be of low to medium risk for COVID-19 transmission. Here is a list of Countries from which travelers will be exempt from quarantine on arrival.
  • With effect of 21st December 2021 all visitors / tourists / travelers from the European Region MUST be fully vaccinated and provide a valid proof of vaccination before entry into the country. A valid proof of vaccination will also be required for admission into National Parks and Game Reserves, Hotels, Bars and Restaurants.
  • All passengers will be screened on arrival for Covid symptoms.
  • Health declaration
    Prior to arrival in Kenya, travelers must fill the International Travelers Health Surveillance Form. Upon submission of the form a QR code will be emailed to the registered address. This QR code will need to be presented to Port Health Officials on arrival in Kenya.
  • 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 PCR 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 list are 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. 

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.

A valid proof of vaccination will also be required for admission into National Parks and Game Reserves, Hotels, Bars and Restaurants.

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?

  • All passengers must produce a valid vaccination certificate and proof that they are fully vaccinated upon entry into Zambia. Fully vaccinated means two doses of a two dose vaccine, or one dose of a one dose vaccine.
  • Passengers who are not fully vaccinated must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test not older than 72 hours from your time of departure from your country of origin.
  • Only children 12 years and older require a vaccination certificate or must present a negative PCR result 
  • 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.
  • 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. Self-quarantine will be required when testing positive. 

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 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

    All passengers arriving at Entebbe International Airport will be required to have a compulsory COVID-19 PCR test regardless of their country of origin or vaccination status. Children below the age of six years will be exempt on condition that they are accompanied by parents with a negative PCR test.

    Passengers are advised to register for arrival testing using this link  https://arrivals.healthdesk.go.ug/home/ at least one week before arrival so that the arrival process goes seamlessly. It is recommended that guests don’t pay for the testing in advance but rather pay locally in cash (US$30) at the Airport at the post bank Uganda Kiosks

    Passengers have to remain in the airport’s designated holding area while awaiting test results (approx.. 2 hours).

    Passengers  require proof that they are visiting Uganda as a tourist (e.g.hotel receipt or similar)

  • 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. 

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.

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.