by David Ryan on June 30, 2020
8 min read

As we navigate this Covid-19 storm, I have come to realise that our industry is living in an age of survival of the quickest. Managing the effects of Covid-19 successfully means we all need a large dose of stability, flexibility and collaboration!

During this uncertain time, Rhino Africa has thoroughly reviewed every aspect of our business and our broader travel ecosystem. It has become apparent just how muddled our tourism value chain is, and how the current Terms and Conditions simply don’t serve our business and more importantly our guests.

Rhino Africa provides certainty during Covid-19 times: Couple on a game drive in Kruger

An African holiday should always provide peace of mind

Now is the perfect time to book an African safari

Fortunately, we are in an industry built off strong relationships. Our Rhino Africa team has been putting those relationships to the test; aligning our partners Terms and Conditions with ours to best serve our guests during this difficult time. All with the aim of providing as much security for the guest as possible. 

We recognise there are many advantages for our guests planning and booking their African Safari holiday right now – and we are encouraging all those who are able to, to take advantage of this. There has never been a better time to book an African holiday. But our guests require a greater sense of certainty through this time. Certainty that their holiday investment is indeed secure.

Covid-19 is here for the foreseeable future

One thing this pandemic has taught us all is that this is not business as usual. The greatest hazard is thinking that we can still operate the same way as we did just three months ago. Our guests rightfully want to know that should they be unable to travel, due to additional travel bans or quarantine requirements, they will be covered.

Flamingos in the Ngorongoro Crater lake

Incredible vistas of the Ngorongoro Crater

So what is Rhino Africa doing during Covid-19?

Rhino Africa, through our participation in SATSA and TBCSA, have been actively involved in two initiatives that are integral to a Tourism Recovery plan for Southern Africa. This is so that we can deliver greater certainty for guests that still wish to plan and book their African safari holiday during this time. 

The first is lobbying the South African government to re-open or commit to reopening international borders based on best practice protocols in line with the government’s Risk Assessment Strategy. While we know Sub-Saharan Africa is tourism ready, we remain hopeful for an October 2020 reopening as a driver of guest confidence.

The second is the alignment of our entire industry, in respect to Terms and Conditions, around bookings and cancellations to ensure we are able to protect our guests’ holiday investment. At Rhino Africa, we recognise our immediate future will be one of forced entrepreneurship, where new value creation for our guests will be everything. Today, as we adjust our own Terms and Conditions, we are working hard to ensure all our Rhinos know exactly how they can contribute to building guest confidence and certainty.

A rainbow over the majestic Victoria Falls

The mist-ridden majesty of the Victoria Falls, Photo Credit: Dietmar Temps

What does this mean for our guests?

Our adjusted Terms and Conditions assure our guests that when booking an African safari holiday, valid cancelation for any Covid-19 related event will ensure a 100% refund policy on all land portions of the itinerary for travel from March 2021 onward. Aligning an industry and our partners requires flexibility and collaboration, but it is all part of our priority to reassure guests that they can travel safely and their holiday investment is secure with us.

While we work to mitigate the risks associated with Covid-19, there is no substitute for comprehensive travel insurance to take care of any other unforeseen need to cancel outside of Covid-19. Over the years, the frequency and nature of international travel has led us all to be somewhat complacent around travel insurance. Covid-19 is a stark reminder that when it comes to travel, travel insurance is a great mitigation of risk for the guest. In addition, having travel insurance also means that the communities and wildlife who benefit from each booking will continued to be supported; even if travel plans are cancelled. 

Can a leopard change its spots?

We have come to realise the economic and tourism landscape will be unfamiliar for some time. We at Rhino Africa have 16 years of valuable experience to know that if change and transformation of our industry is not effectively implemented, we’ll end up looking so March 2020 – which means… well, we all know what that means!

And for that reason, we at Rhino Africa will continue to innovate and lead. While we can’t look for certainty, we can rely on our relationships! We can’t accept the status quo and merely tolerate partners who refuse to work in the best interest of our guests and our industry. We are living in an age of survival of the quickest. Innovation, speed of decision making and service from the heart, which you know and love with Rhino Africa, will be the most opportune way to outstrip our competitors – many of whom we know may not even be in the game.

Book your safari in times of Covid-19 with Rhino Africa: Leopard in a tree in Botswana

A lazy Leopard in Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana

Booking with Rhino Africa during Covid-19

The message to our guests is simple. Rhino Africa is confidently embracing this time of uncertainty around Covid-19 and international travel. We are committed to make sure each guest to Africa can book and travel with confidence and certainty.

We have special Covid-19 T&Cs, so you can enjoy a hot air balloon flight in East Africa

Now is the perfect time to explore the great wilderness of Africa

About Rhino Africa

Rhino Africa is Africa’s leading safari company and specialises in tailor-made luxury travel in Southern and East Africa, including the Indian Ocean Islands.

Based in Cape Town, we use our local expert knowledge to create once-in-a-lifetime journeys for 16,000 guests every year. Success within the safari industry has granted us the great privilege of supporting the causes we are passionate about. This is more than a passion; it is a burning, all-encompassing desire to ensure that we do whatever we can to support the special, on-the-ground movements that underpin conservation and rural education in Africa. We leverage our talent at tailor-made holidays to join forces with inspired groups and individuals in Africa, whose talents lie in protecting endangered species and empowering rural education, to achieve their dreams.

Basically what it comes down to: Rhino Africa helps the dreams we steadfastly believe in, come true. Whether that’s bucket-list African holidays, helping a child reach his/her true potential or protecting wildlife. We’re committed to uplifting this continent through travel. Tourism provides accessible employment opportunities, geographic diversification and increased foreign currency receipts, better than any other industry. That is why we believe travel has the potential to change the world – and now more than ever, our planet needs the kind of travel that gives back!

Rhino Africa continues to protect Africa's wildlife: Two rhinos

By travelling with us, you’re automatically supporting our good causes

About TBCSA

The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) is the umbrella organisation representing the unified voice of business in the travel and tourism sector in South Africa.

The TBCSA was established in 1996 by leading tourism businesses and associations to form a unified platform to engage with the South African government around the development of the sector. 

It is a not-for-profit, member-centric organisation mandated with the task of:

Sunset brings out the city lights of Cape Town

Cape Town, one of the most romantic cities in the world

About SATSA

SATSA is a member-driven association that offers inbound tourism services companies the highest level of quality in the tourism industry.

Who is SATSA? 

What is SATSA’s purpose?

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