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

- Updated 07 February 2022 -

Many of our current clients as well as potential travellers 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

While some countries across the globe have completed their COVID-19 vaccine roll outs, many countries in Africa still require travellers to arrive with negative COVID-19 test certificates, and follow the current health and safety protocols after getting the vaccine. 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 1 August 2021, Namibia has lifted all travel restrictions between regions.

Open for international travel via

  • Airports
  • Land borders- except MataMata

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival

Before arriving in Namibia, all travellers older than 5 years must take a PCR test within 72 hours from when the test sample was taken and upload it onto the Trusted Travel (TT) platform - https://africacdc.org/trusted-travel/. Visitors will also be required to present the negative test certificate upon arrival in Namibia. Travellers with results from non-TT compliant labs must upload results to the Global Haven system. From 15 January 2022, only test results from the Trusted Travel platform or results that have been verified on the Global Haven system will be valid for entry. See a guide how to use the trusted travel system - https://www.atta.travel/media/21567/trusted-travel-guide-namibia-nov21.pdf?mc_cid=4502150350&mc_eid=61561fe895.

  • All travellers must complete the COVID-19 Surveillance Form before departing to Namibia.
  • Travellers are recommended to carry hard copies of all the above documents.
  • Travellers will be required to undergo health screening and temperature testing
  • Travellers will be required to complete a short health questionnaire.

Mandatory quarantine

  • Not required, unless a traveller's PCR test is older than 7 days.
  • If PCR test is older than 72 hours and travellers are not in possession of a de-isolation certificate, they will be required to take a PCR test at the port of entry at their own cost, and will be quarantined at own cost until the a negative result is provided.

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

Botswana

UK Air Bridge Approved Since 12 December 2020

Botswana started a phased reopening of international borders from 9 November 2020.

Open for international travel

  • Airports
  • Land borders

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival

  • All travellers older than 5 years must present a printed original test certificate of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result not older than 72 hours from time of departure from the country of origin.
  • All passengers arriving in Botswana are required to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination. No official statement on the implementation of this requirement has been made yet, but travellers entering Botswana have been asked for this certification.
  • Undergo health screening for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • All arrivals (including children) will undergo an additional, cost-free COVID-19 antigen test. Results are ready within 20 minutes.
  • Complete a traveler locator form (handed out on the airplane or on arrival) 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.

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on departure

All travellers departing Botswana must present a negative COVID-19 test certificate (paper version only), irrespective of their destination. Tests must be conducted within 72 hours of departure at any of the country's testing facilities, or:

  • 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.

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 February 2022, the government instituted a curfew from 00:00 to 05:30. 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 via:

  • Airports
  • Land borders (Victoria Falls and Kazungula for fully vaccinated travellers only)

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival

  • Present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate, obtained from a recognised 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.
  • All travellers older than 18 years who arrive via the Kazungula and Victoria Falls land borders must produce proof of COVID-19 vaccinations, as well as negative PCR test results no older than 48 hours. Children under 18 years are only required to have negative PCR test certificates. Children younger than 5 years do not require PCR test certificates.

Mandatory quarantine

Not required.

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 https://www.zambiaimmigration.gov.zm/

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 via:

  • Airports
  • Land borders

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival

  • All travellers are required to produce a negative result for a COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure.
  • Complete a Traveller Health Questionnaire from the Ministry of Health on board the flight before landing in Zambia.
  • Undergo temperature and symptom screening

Mandatory quarantine

Not required.

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