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Africa is a bucket list destination for adventure seekers and romantics alike. Given the current circumstances, many of our clients are wondering: When will I be able to travel to Africa again? To make it easy, we have compiled a reference guide to when all your favourite Africa destinations are open for international visitors as well as some detailed information on what to expect for all Covid-19 travel to these countries. Here are the latest news on Covid-19 travel restrictions, travel protocols as well as border statutes of African countries.
Source: Rhino Africa
With every country seemingly applying a variety of different Covid-19 travel policies and protocols; it is difficult to keep up. As the authorities in African travel, we’ve collected all the travel information on the safest Covid-19 African destinations in order for you to best plan your next adventure to Africa.
Experience a safari in Southern Africa
Encounter the Big 5 on a safari in Kruger National Park, hiking up dunes in Namibia or feeling the spray of the mighty Victoria Falls – Southern Africa is the ultimate post Covid-19 safari destination.
The South African government implemented a 5 level risk-adjusted approach to lockdown. As of 1 June 2020, the country moved to level 3 with some relaxation of the restrictions on what citizens are allowed to do. In level 3 there is a ban on all international travel and all national borders remain closed. Intra-provincial travel is allowed.
Rhino Africa, with the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) have been working closely with government on a phased re-opening of international tourism to the country from September 2020. Read a blog from our Founder, David Ryan explaining why the recent media reports claiming South Africa will only open in February 2021 are false.
Possibly September 2020, however this is still to be determined.
All borders remain closed.
None have yet been stipulated.
No information has been provided.
With some of the lowest reported Covid-19 cases in the world, the Botswana government was quick to close borders and limit the spread of Covid-19 within the country. As of 29 June 2020, the government of Botswana had not announced any plans to resume commercial international flights into the country and the current ban on all individuals entering the country remains in place.
Botswana has banned the entry of all visitors (except residents) from entering the country.
All borders remain closed
Ask our Africa experts for more information on Botswana.
Zimbabwe imposed a country-wide lockdown on 30 March 2020 and no change to this state has been announced. As of 30 June 2020, all borders are closed for foreign travellers.
Zimbabwe remains under indefinite lockdown except for returning Zimbabwean nationals and permit holders.
Keen to travel to Zimbabwe in the near future? Let our travel experts explain you all about your travels to Zimbabwe.
Any foreign travellers arriving in Zambia for non-essential work purposes will not be permitted entry. As of 30 June 2020, no visitor visas are being issued and any travellers arriving with existing visitor visas will be denied entry.
Zambia’s borders are not officially closed but under very tight restrictions. Airports have been opened as of 27 June 2020.
Zambia has not placed any specific restrictions on any countries.
Anyone entering Zambia may be tested for Covid-19 and then must spend up to 14 days in self-quarantine at their residence or preferred place of stay. If asked, you must inform Ministry of Health officials where you will be staying, and give them your contact details. Even if your test result is negative, you must complete the 14-day self-quarantine period.
Anyone entering Zambia with symptoms of Covid-19 will be taken to government facilities for treatment and quarantine.
Get in touch with our travel experts in order to receive the latest information on safe travels to Zambia.
Namibia is open for international tourism. If you’re interested in experiencing dramatic landscapes and vast open spaces, read the following travel information.
The country’s borders reopened on 3 August 2020.
Everyone with a negative PCR test. Please note that the test has to be taken within 72 hours prior to your departure.
All travellers will get tested upon arrival and have to spend at least 7 days at their first destination within the country. If the test result is negative, you are welcome to continue your Namibia tour.
There is no mandatory quarantine for international guests. However, should you test positive, quarantine and self-isolation protocols apply.
All international travel into Mozambique has been suspended. As of 30 June 2020, no travel visas are being issued however the land border between South Africa and Mozambique is currently open for cargo only.
No information is currently available on reopening.
Mozambique has not placed any specific restrictions on any countries.
All arrivals into Mozambique will be required to observe self-quarantine for a period of 14 days.
Our Africa experts will be more than happy to share the latest news on Mozambique with you. Feel free to send them an email or give them a call.
Your “Out of Africa” adventure awaits
From the romantic charm of the open grasslands and the Great Wildebeest Migration to the foggy volcanic mountains in Africa’s rainforest, where our planet’s last gorillas live – East Africa should be on your travel bucket list.
The Tanzanian government announced on 18 May 2020 that it will lift the ban on international flights arriving and departing from the country. All hotels and other tourist facilities in the country must go through a Covid-19 certification process, and follow the new standard operating procedures. To ensure a safe environment for locals and tourists alike, the government directed all the country’s tourism entities to appoint and adequately train Covid-19 liaison officers to be the point of contact with its Health Ministry.
1 June 2020
There are no restrictions for certain countries. If passengers’ body temperatures test normal, they will be able to enter the country without being quarantined.
No visitors will be subjected to 14 days quarantine when landing in Tanzania. However, you are expected to adhere to full protective measures against the spread of Covid-19.
No set policy or procedure has been announced.
Kenya will be opening their borders for international travellers from 1 August 2020. There are a few precaution measures in place, which we explain below.
On 1 August 2020, international travellers from “safe countries” will be allowed into Kenya once again.
Only citizens from Canada, China, Ethiopia, Japan, Morocco, Namibia, Rwanda, South Korea, Switzerland, Uganda and Zimbabwe are allowed to enter Kenya at the moment.
If you want to travel to this beautiful East African country, you must present a negative PCR Covid-19 test before boarding the plane (tested within 96 hours before take off). The Kenyan government announced that only passengers who exhibit coronavirus symptoms will be subjected to a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Any visitor arriving in Kenya with no symptoms of coronavirus and a body temperature of less than 37.5 degrees Celsius will be allowed to leave the airport.
If there is a suspected case on the flight, passengers on the first and the second row from where the case was will all be tested. If they test negative, they will be allowed to leave the airport, if they test positive then they will be quarantined according to the Ministry of Health’s guidelines.
Positive patients will be quarantined, more detailed information on what this will entail for international visitors is still to be provided.
https://magicalkenya.com/ (official site of the Kenya Tourist Board)
Uganda is getting ready to welcome visitors again: The Ugandan Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities has announced a set of standard operating procedures. In order to make sure that all service providers follow the new guidelines, the Uganda Tourism Board is currently inspecting hotels and other accommodations before setting a date.
It is unclear when Uganda will reopen its borders.
No information is available as yet.
Rwanda’s Covid-19 management plan has been recognised internationally and the EU has added the country to its “safe” list.
17 June 2020
All tourists are welcome, but visitors must test negative for Covid-19 in two consecutive tests.
If you are travelling to Rwanda, you must take two Covid-19 tests. The first one in your country of origin at an ISO-certified laboratory, not more than 72 hours before your departure. You have to submit your test results to firstname.lastname@example.org before you start your journey and then again upon arriving in Rwanda. You will take a second Covid-19 test upon arrival at Kigali International Airport and have to wait up to 8 hours for your test results at designated hotels near the airport.
If you are unable to get tested in your country of origin, you will be tested twice in Rwanda. The first test will be taken directly upon arrival at Kigali International Airport, while the second test will be taken 48 hours after your arrival. In addition, you have the option to get tested again before you fly home. The cost of the Covid-19 tests will be included in your tour packages.
If a tourist tests positive, they will be treated in a state healthcare facility.
Are you looking for an adventure in Africa’s rainforest? The Republic of Congo is currently working on health protocols to ensure safety of both citizens and visitors.
The government of the Republic of Congo has announced the suspension of all commercial flights in and out of the country. The country’s land and sea borders remain closed until further notice.
Please contact our experienced Africa experts for further information on travelling to the Republic of Congo.
Welcome to your tropical paradise
Crystal clear waters, sandy beaches, your own beach villa – do we need to say more? The Indian Ocean Islands not only offer you privacy paired with luxury, they also let you experience a wonderful tropical flora and fauna.
Your picture-perfect island holiday might be possible sooner than expected. Mauritius was officially one of the Covid-free countries in Africa and does everything in its power to retain that status.
1 September 2020
Visitors from all countries are allowed to enter the country.
Upon arrival in Mauritius, you will be screened by the health authorities.
Visitors with symptoms will be examined more thoroughly and, if required, are being kept in quarantine or isolation at designated centres. All travellers leaving Mauritius will get screened before their departure.
Like Mauritius, the Seychelles is another Covid-free country in Africa and therefore safe for you to visit. All 11 patients (on the main island Mahé) have fully recovered and the island paradise hasn’t reported any new cases since 7 April 2020. The have also confirmed that commercial flights can enter the country from 1 August 2020.
1 June 2020 (under certain conditions, e.g. travellers arriving via private jet and direct chartered flights). Commercial flights will resume operations from 1 August 2020.
The Seychelles has a list of stipulating which countries fall within the low-risk or medium-risk category. The full list is updated every 14 days.
The Seychelles has a strict screening processes upon arrival. They require proof of a negative Covid-19 test prior to boarding the flight into the Seychelles. In addition to this, for low-risk countries travellers are required to submit to an antigen test within 72 hours of travel. For travellers from medium-risk countries are expected to conduct a PCR test within 72 hours of travel. All travellers need to provide proof of travel insurance and proof of accommodation.
The Tanzanian standard operating procedures do also apply to tourism entities on the Famous Spice Island.
Tourists from all countries.
As long as visitors’ body temperatures test normal, they will be able to enter the country without being quarantined for 14 days. All tourists are expected to adhere to full protective measures against the spread of Covid-19.
The Maldives is on a good path: The active Covid-19 case rate decreases continuously. The luxury holiday destination is getting ready to welcome international travellers.
15 July 2020
If you want to travel to the Maldives, you have to be symptom-free and in possession of a confirmed booking in a tourist establishment registered with the Ministry of Tourism. Such a booking is mandatory in order to enter the country. Tourists who are visiting the Maldives during phase 1 of opening have to book their entire stay in one registered establishment. Multiple hotels and resorts are not permitted until further notice. However, exemptions will be made for transit arrangements. Good news in terms of tests: Visitors are not required to submit any medical test results for entry to the Maldives.
All arriving travellers must undergo a thermal screening at entry.
Visitors do not have to be tested or carry virus-free certificates to enter. Free tests will be offered to travellers who show symptoms of fever or coughing. They will also be offered a free test when they leave the Maldives.
Please also note the following: Please wear a mask upon arrival and make sure that you follow the general physical distancing protocol. Hand sanitisation will be available at the arrival terminal.
If the result of the PCR test is positive, the tourist will either continue isolation at the resort or will be transferred to a state-run isolation facility. If the result of the PCR test is negative, no further quarantine is required and the visitor can continue his travels as planned. Although released from isolation, a symptomatic person will have to follow the usual restrictions.
https://www.tourism.gov.mv/ (Ministry of Tourism)
https://www.foreign.gov.mv/ (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Consider downloading the contact tracing app “TraceEkee” for real-time updates.
As a French overseas region, La Réunion follows the French and EU guidelines on reopening its borders for international travellers.
Open, however, there are restrictive measures at airports in place.
Travel restrictions to mainland France have been lifted. Travel to Reunion will require a negative COVID-19 test taken in the previous 72 hours. Non-French nationals remain barred from entry.
We recommend that you take a Covid-19 test 72 hours prior to departure, in order to avoid being subject to a 14-day quarantine upon arrival.
If a visitor presents symptoms such as fever, cough and difficulty breathing within 14 days of travel in La Réunion, he or she is advised to dial 15 and provide further details. In suspected cases identified by a medical professional, the Urgent Medical Aid Service (SAMU) will be contacted. SAMU will then inform the nearest Infectious Disease Centre, which determines if the patient needs to be quarantined.
If you test positive for Covid-19, you will have to isolate yourself for 14 days and are subject to telephone follow-ups. At the end of the quarantine, you will get screened again at a dedicated health facility.
You might have heard the rumours about Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina and his herbal tonic, which supposedly heals Coronavirus. So far, the travel information for this adventurous destination remains mostly uncertain. Please let our travel experts know if you have a specific region or accommodation in Madagascar in mind.
Please check your home country’s official travel advice for Madagascar or contact our travel experts for further information.
Travelling to Africa in times of Covid-19
We understand that many people are concerned about travelling in uncertain times like these. Booking a safari through an expert travel company like Rhino Africa has never been more important. Our dedicated travel experts will keep you informed about possible travel restrictions, safety measures and will explain everything from mandatory quarantine to general precautions that you can take to ensure you keep yourself and your loved ones safe.
Endless open savannahs, a private island paradise, being surrounded by the waterways of the world’s largest inland delta – Africa offers you a whole variety of safe destinations. Untouched wilderness and a comparatively small number of tourists make our continent the perfect destination for your first post-Covid-19 journey. Remote locations in combination with highest safety and health standards ensure that you will spend a safe holiday in Africa.
Make sure that you keep yourself informed and use trustable sources such as the website of your home country’s Department of Foreign Affairs.
Why is now the best time to book your 2021 safari in Africa? First of all, a lot of accommodations have really good “book now, travel later” offers. And who doesn’t want to save on the adventure of a lifetime? Since most tourists who were meant to travel now have postponed their Africa holiday to next year, you want to make sure that you book your customised tour, while your dream destinations are still available. Our experienced travel experts are looking forward to planning your next holiday on our magnificent continent. Africa awaits you.
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Katharina is a Journalist/Content Writer from Hamburg, Germany. She's been living in Cape Town and Germany for more than four years. The jet-setter life was fun, but now she's looking forward to unpacking her suitcases for good and settling down. Katharina is a team player and she's very excited to be part of the Rhino Crash. She first came to the rainbow nation in 2010, when she completed a semester at Stellenbosch University. She immediately fell in love with South Africa, and a very handsome surfer, in particular. Hiking, sailing, cooking, and eating are her favourite activities when she's not wielding a pen.
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