UPDATED 18 June 2020
Currently the spread of the Coronavirus has had unprecedented global impacts resulting in countries closing borders, implementing travel bans and quarantines directly affecting worldwide travel.
You may be thinking, how does this affect my travel plans in Africa?
While the impact of the virus is varied based on age and medical resources, we believe it is the responsibility of individuals to respect the restrictions imposed in order to ensure a speedy end to this virus and curb its ability to further spread.
What African countries currently have Travel Bans?
South Africa Travel Bans:
1. Flights to South Africa are suspended.
– This does not apply to repatriation, medevac and emergency flights.
2. Nationals and residents of South Africa are subject to medical screening and quarantine for 21 days.
Kenya Travel Bans:
1. Flights to Kenya are suspended.
– This does not apply to:
– aircraft in state of emergency;
– operations related to humanitarian aid, evacuation, medevac, repatriation and diplomatic flights approved by appropriate authorities.
2. Flights exempted from the suspension must express their intention in writing to KCAA before departure.
3. Airline crew are required to self isolate at the designated airport hotels for the duration of their rest period.
4. Approved flights must provide a completed passengers declaration forms and manifests to Port Health, Immigration and customs.
Madagascar Travel Bans:
All flights to Madagascar are suspended.
Uganda Travel Bans:
1. Flights to Uganda are suspended.
– This does not apply to:
– aircraft in a state of emergency;
– operations related to humanitarian aid, medical and relief flights;
– technical landings where passengers do not disembark and
– safety-related operation flights.
2. Airline crew are subject to quarantine.
Morocco Travel Bans:
Flights to Morocco are suspended.
– This does not apply to VIP flights with an authorisation issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Morocco.
Namibia Travel Bans:
Namibia’s borders are closed.
Zimbabwe Travel Bans:
1. Except for BUQ, HRE and VFA, airports are closed.
2. BUQ, HRE and VFA airports are open for the following flights:
– flights carrying staff for essential services or sick persons to hospitals and other health care providers;
– flights carrying a member of the staff of a foreign mission or agency going to or from such mission or agency, or a citizen, resident or protected subject of a foreign country going to or from a foreign mission of the country of which he or she is the citizen, resident or subject, for the purpose of obtaining services or assistance at such mission;
– flights carrying police, defence forces personnel and other enforcement officers.
Malawi Travel Bans:
1. Passengers are not allowed to enter Malawi.
– This does not apply to nationals of Malawi.
– This does not apply to passengers who reside in Malawi.
2. Nationals and residents of Malawi are required to self-isolate. They will be monitored by health personnel.
Botswana Travel Bans:
Airports in Botswana are closed.
Tanzania Travel Bans:
1. Passengers are subject to medical screening upon arrival.
2. Airline crew are subject to medical screening upon arrival and will be isolated if they are suspected of Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
3. Airline crew arriving in Zanzibar (ZNZ) will be quarantined at the airlines designated hotels.
4. A completed “Health Form” must be presented to the Ministry of Health personnel upon arrival.
Mozambique Travel Bans:
1. Passengers arriving from countries with cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) or who have been in contact with infected persons are subject to quarantine for 14 days.
2. Airline crew who disembark are subject to quarantine during their rotation/rest period of maximum of 24 hours.
International Travel Bans:
Also check your own countries travel advisory as most countries worldwide have called for citizens to avoid non-essential travel. More information can be found on the nytimes.com travel restrictions page which is updated frequently.
What African countries have infections?
Above is the current map as presented by World Health Organisation of the recorded cases worldwide.
Is Africa currently a low risk travel destination?
Travel in Africa is considered to be low risk as you are less likely to spend time in overcrowded cities and more likely to be outdoors in wide open spaces which means you have less chance of direct contact with the virus. It’s also thought by medical professionals that the virus is not resistant to fevers, this combined with the warm climate of Africa reduces the severity and likelihood of infection.
While on an overland tour in Africa, you will travel with limited people and thus the exposure is even lower. Some tours have a max of 30 people per vehicle while small group tours have a max of 12 – 16 travellers. We even have some tours with a maximum of 7 travellers per vehicle.
All airports are also proactively screening travellers on arrival which lowers the risk of further contamination.
However you ability to travel is now limited by travel restrictions which are in place worldwide and will impact your ability to travel to or within Africa. The respective governments are reviewing travel restrictions daily and we will keep you updated on this page as to these changes.
What should you do if you decide to continue with your travels?
Check your health and travel insurance to see if you are covered when abroad in case the situation arises that you need medical care or should be placed in quarantine on arrival at your destination.
Monitor the World Health Organization’s site and your own country’s travel advisory.
Also check your itinerary to see if any border closures have been put in place. If you are travelling from an infected city, you may be faced with a travel ban and this will directly affect your ability to enter a port or continue onto your destination.
What happens if I can’t leave my country?
We recommend you move your tour to a later date in 2020 or to 2021. Some trips are subject to a nominal moving fee, whereas most are currently wavering this fee. Check with your travel consultant to see what the operators updated policy is.
What happens if my tour is postponed by the operator?
In this instance you will be notified as soon as possible by your travel consultant and you will be given the option to move your tour or hold credit for your monies payed – as per the operators policy at that time.
I want to cancel my trip, what now?
You are fully entitled to take this decision on consideration of the travel advice of your country or the one you intent to travel to. In this instance, you will need to contact your travel insurance to determine if you are covered for cancellation.
Can I postpone my trip?
Yes, you will have the option to move your departure date subject to the operators change policy. Please contact your consultant for more details in this instance.
We are here to help, so please contact your consultant for any questions if you are unsure.