We are delighted to see that some of our clients are keen to continue with their travels in 2021, and some are even booking new holidays for this year and into early 2022. While the travel can be both cathartic and rewarding, it does mean we have to work through the logistics of PCR testing, which may be not as problematic as you may think.
While we are all excited for the advent and rollout of the internationally recognized vaccine passport, the reality is that COVID-19 testing will be a reality for most destinations for the near future. This usually needs to be completed within the previous 72-96 hours of the first leg of your continuous journey to Africa. In addition, you most likely will require a test in order to return home to your country. These all require some cost, some changes and a little bit of patience.
If you are considering booking a new trip with us, there are some key things to think about that might this extra burden to your holiday less cumbersome:
- We recommend that you consider one country trips where you need only worry about the test before you leave and the test to return home. We have always been a big proponent of the one country itinerary which can really allow you to immerse yourself in all the country has to offer, slow down your pace and really start to enjoy all it has to offer. Two countries are certainly possible if you don’t mind another test and there are some combinations where the combination works quite well, especially if you find you need to transit one country to get to the other. Three or more country itineraries may prove to be too much testing and hassle for you, but are not impossible.
- Think about where you should end your trip, it might make sense to end your trip where testing is easy and has little impact to your holiday. Don’t rush it! Plan for an extra night or two longer than you might have initially thought. This might take some of the stress away of ensuring testing is done and you may experience some little gems you wouldn’t have previously had time for. There are some great cities in Africa that have a lot to offer!
- Many places may offer both a standard and express option for testing. If you plan on using the express test option, make sure you account for the extra costs that might be involved.
- There are many options available where a nurse can fly into the camp or the airstrip near you for testing purposes, saving you the extra night in a town or city. This is convenient and may represent the smallest impact to your holiday, but understand the costs can be high, generally in the range of $300 USD per person or more.
- Think about how you want to travel to Africa. It probably makes sense to take the most direct route you can and save any ‘stopovers’ for future trips. Understand that some airlines have their own testing requirements. Don’t be in a rush to book your flights, it can be done closer to travel when you have a better understanding of the current country entry and exit regulations. Additionally as airlines add back on capacity, we are seeing more and more options, some of which have never before been possible.
With a little patience and planning, testing need not be a burden to your enjoyment of your safari.
Why not take some buddies to travel with? While we have always had many clients that have travelled together in small groups, now is the best time to be thinking about creating your own small ‘travel bubble’. You will not only be grouped together on safari vehicles, but private touring in non-safari locales and cities will become both affordable and pleasant. Ditch those ‘Zoom Happy Hours’ and get together safely for a life-altering travel experience.
You can view the testing, entry and exit requirements for each country in our COVID-19 Hub Menu at top.