Really, can you go to Africa at the moment?
‘Can you go to Africa at the moment,’ is the comment I get most often as I describe the latest incredible feedback from clients in Kenya or Tanzania. With the summer we’ve all just endured, and the various rules imposed upon us, it seems almost impossible that people are travelling to Africa. But they are and in the words of George Bernard Shaw, “People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”
So, how do you go about it, if you want to escape the British winter and enjoy Africa with all the amazing wildlife and few other visitors? Or perhaps to just laze on a beach in the Seychelles and enjoy the warmth of the Southern Hemisphere’s summer sun?
Book with a tour operator who has experts on hand
The team at Aardvark Safaris is able to respond proactively to the many moving parts currently associated with planning a safari holiday. Our well-travelled sales consultants together with our dedicated admin team are all operating within the ‘new normal’. We’re here to chat on the phone, or answer emails promptly, to guide you through the booking process and give you all the advice you need.
Be prepared for some changes arriving into Africa
Entry rules and regulations aren’t the same as they were last year, and in some cases are different from how they were last week. The best tour operators are keeping on top of the changes and communicating them to their clients.
A good tour operator will excite you about what’s possible, but also be realistic about the hurdles to travel, whether that’s:
- Getting a negative PCR test a day or two before you fly
- Completing a health card online and printing out a QR code
- Filling in health check paperwork for your camp or lodge
- Making sure you have the right travel insurance (see below)
Make sure your travel insurance is up to scratch
Plenty of insurers simply stopped offering travel insurance from the middle of March 2020 and many others scaled back their cover. Suddenly the all encompassing policies of early 2020 no longer included cancellation due to Covid 19 symptoms or having to self-isolate if someone you’d been close to developed it. As time has gone on a number of companies have returned to the market to allow people to travel freely again, with cover for Covid risks related to:
- Cancellation prior to travel
- Requiring treatment when abroad
- Travelling against the blanket Foreign Office travel advice.
It may be that you need two policies to cover all your risks, with medical cover for Africa sitting alongside your cancellation cover. We are finding out about new options all the time and while it’s key for clients to do their own research, as policies must suit the individual, we can point you towards the options we’ve found.
It will be worth it
There is no question that in the short term travel will have increased challenges as airlines, countries and camps look to keep their staff and citizens safe, but Africa is pretty much open and the feedback we are getting is that the extra effort is worthwhile.