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WHICH SAFARI COUNTRIES ARE OPEN FOR TRAVEL, WHAT ARE THE ENTRY REQUIREMENTS AND WHEN WILL FLIGHTS RESUME?

- Updated 14 July 2021 -

Many of our current clients as well as potential travelers interested in African safaris have been asking about border closures and flight schedules. Thanks to our direct line of communication with our trusted on-the-ground partners throughout Africa, cross-referenced with official government entities, we’ve compiled a one-stop informational resource with real-time updates on travel restrictions due to COVID-19. Here's the latest on safari travel to Africa…

Flying to/from Africa

Most international commercial airlines require passengers to produce a certificate of a negative COVID-19 PCR test that has been conducted within 72 hours of departure. The same may be required when arriving at any transit airport or back in your home country. Many of our trusted suppliers throughout Africa are able to arrange in-lodge/hotel COVID-19 tests or transfer you safely to an authorised testing facility.

Travelling to Africa After Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

Now that a COVID-19 vaccine is becoming available, many potential travelers are asking if they’ll be required to undergo COVID-19 tests and follow the current health and safety protocols when travelling to Africa after getting the vaccine. The answer remains unclear, as experts still need to learn more about the protection that a COVID-19 vaccine provides under real-life conditions. We are keeping abreast of developments in travelling after being vaccinated and will provide updates when we have clear and conclusive information.

African Countries Open for Travel

Namibia

UK Air Bridge Approved Since 12 December 2020

Namibia announced new implementation protocols that will guide the country's international tourism revival initiative. These protocols came into effect from 1 September 2020.

As of 30 June 2021, Namibia imposed a two-week lockdown, with curfew between 21:00 and 04:00. Special exemption is in place for tourists, providing they have proof of being on vacation.

Open for international travel

Yes

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival

  • Present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result, conducted within 7 days of arriving in Namibia.
  • Travellers arriving from predetermined hotspots like India are required to take a second PCR test seven days after arriving in Namibia.
  • Undergo health screening and temperature testing.
  • Submit your full trip itinerary.

Mandatory quarantine

  • Not required, unless a traveller's PCR test is older than 7 days.
  • If PCR test is older than 7 days, a traveller will be placed in quarantine for 7 days and required to take a COVID test at own cost.

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on departure

A negative COVID-19 test certificate, conducted within 48 hours of departing Namibia, if your country of origin requires it.

Countries allowed to travel to the destination

  • All
  • Travellers arriving in England from Namibia will not be required to quarantine for 14 days. This ruling comes into effect from 21 November 2020.

Airlines flying into the destination

  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • Lufthansa from 19 September 2020
  • Eurowings from 20 September 2020
  • Qatar Airways from 1 October 2020

Botswana

UK Air Bridge Approved Since 12 December 2020

Botswana started a phased reopening of international borders from 9 November 2020. Air travel resumed at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport in Gaborone, Maun and Kasane International Airports.

Open for international travel

Yes

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival

  • Present a printed original test certificate of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result, conducted within 72 hours of departure for Botswana.
  • Undergo health screening for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • If arriving at Maun Airport, a Rapid Antigen Test (free of charge) is required. Results are available after about 15 minutes.
  • Complete a traveler locator form with accurate contact information while in Botswana so that the local Health Authority can contact you, if necessary, within 14 days.

Mandatory quarantine

Any visitor showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be required to undergo a PCR test, and possible isolation and or quarantine for 14 days.

All passengers arriving from or transiting through India

  • Required to quarantine (at own cost) at a site selected by the Ministry of Health & Wellness for a period not exceeding 10 days.
  • Undertake an exit COVID-19 test (at own cost) from day 5 to 7 to determine the end of their quarantine period.

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on departure

Travellers are required to undergo a PCR test 24 hours before departing Botswana. This can be done via one of two options:

  • Option 1: Arrange in-camp testing – a qualified practitioner is flown to your camp or lodge to conduct a PCR test. This has to be booked 36 hours in advance, online bookings are essential, and a minimum of two guests is required. Guests are liable for all costs.
  • Option 2: Do the PCR test in Maun or Kasane Airport – bookings are essential. Your Africa Safari Expert can arrange this for you. Test results are available within 24 hours.

Airlines flying into the destination

  • Private charter flights
  • SA Airlink
  • Air Botswana
  • Qatar Airways
  • Ethiopian Airlines

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe announced the reopening of the country's local tourism sector on 3 September 2020. Domestic flights resumed on 21 September 2020 with Air Zimbabwe and Fastjet, in advance of 1 October 2020: the reopening date of Zimbabwe's international airports.

As of 1 July 2021, the government instituted a national lockdown and a curfew from 18:30 to 06:00. Air travel remains open for leisure travellers, but land borders are only open to returning residents and essential services – including commercial and transit cargo carriers. Inter-city and inter-provincial holiday travel, as well as visiting national parks and designated tourism facilities are allowed, but will be bound by the country's curfew hours. Visitors who are travelling between destinations are required to provide documentation of bookings at national parks and other designated tourism facilities.

Open for international travel

Yes

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival

  • Present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate, obtained from a recognized facility within 48 hours of departure for Zimbabwe.
  • Undergo health screening and temperature testing.
  • Social distancing, hand sanitisation and the wearing of masks are mandatory.

Mandatory quarantine

Although the government has stated that all arriving travellers are required to quarantine for 10 days, this statutory legislation is not being practiced or enforced. This is verified by our key safari partners on the ground in Zimbabwe, as well as other international travellers. The tourism industry has requested the Zimbabwean government to update its official website accordingly.

Airlines flying into the destination

  • Emirates
  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • Kenya Airways
  • Air Tanzania
  • Fastjet flights between Johannesburg and Victoria Falls are suspended until 15 March 2021.

Zambia

Zambia is open to foreign nationals and issuing visitor visas upon entry into the country. Depending on your nationality, travellers can arrive without a visa, obtain a visa on arrival, or apply for an e-visa before travelling to Zambia – visit the Zambia Department of Immigration website for more info. Limited domestic flight schedules are operating twice-weekly between Kenneth Kaunda International Airport and Mfuwe International Airport, and between Kenneth Kaunda and Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport in Livingstone.

Open for international travel

Yes

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival

  • Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival
  • Provide a certificate of a negative COVID-19 test that has been conducted within 72 hours of arriving in Zambia.
  • Undergo temperature and symptom screening.
  • Travellers arriving from high risk countries are required to undergo a PCR test at own cost. If the test result is positive, travellers will be required to quarantine for 14 days. Travellers who transit through high risk countries are not considered high risk if the transit time is less than 24 hours. The list of high risk countries is reviewed and updated regularly.
  • Adhere to COVID-19 regulations like physical distancing, wearing face masks, and personal hygiene.
  • You will also need to monitor yourself daily for 14 days post arrival for symptoms of the virus and report any occurrence to the nearest health facility.
  • Travellers leaving Zambia will only be required to produce a negative COVID-19 test certificate when flying with an airline or to a country that requires said certificate.

Mandatory quarantine

  • All international visitors are screened on arrival. If you show any signs of COVID-19, you will have to quarantine for 14 days.
  • Travellers from high risk countries will have to quarantine for 14 days if their PCR test result on arrival is positive.

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on departure

Obtain a Travel Certificate from the Ministry of Health, originating from Zambia, if your destination or airline requires a COVID-19 test certificate. To obtain a Travel Certificate, travellers must present their passports and COVID-19 test results at one of these offices:

  • University Teaching Hospital (UTH)
  • District Health Office (DHO)
  • Public Health Office (PHO)
  • Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZNPHI)
  • Adult Infectious Disease Center (AIDC) at UTH

Airlines flying into the destination

  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • RwandAir
  • Kenya Airways
  • Emirates is set to start flying to Zambia from 1 September 2020.
  • Proflight Zambia is operating limited domestic flights.
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