Coronavirus – what it means for your holiday
On 17 March 2020 the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advised against all but essential travel for UK travellers destined anywhere around the globe for 30 days. This advice has been updated a number of times, including updating the global advisory against ‘all but essential’ travel in the summer of 2020, exempting destinations from which British nationals could travel to and not quarantine on their return. These included Mauritius, the Seychelles, the Maldives, and Rwanda, although January 2021’s lockdown rules removed all travel corridors once again and mean no leisure travel is currently allowed until 17 May 2021.
Our initial priority, back in March 2020, was the repatriation of clients who were already on safari in Africa. We successfully completed this activity in just over a week, with our last clients returning to the UK on Thursday 26th March. A big thank you, to all of you who were affected, for your understanding in finishing holidays earlier than planned or travelling home by a different route.
We then moved on to liaise with all clients originally due to travel in 2020. The pragmatic response from airlines, and our excellent relationship with camps and partners on the ground, allowed us to postpone holidays with no additional costs.
We are now contacting clients travelling in the summer months of 2021 to assess the latest FCDO guidance, the UK lockdown, quarantine and associated rules, and adjust plans if and when required. Some clients are discussing with us the ‘traffic light system’ and entry requirements should they choose to travel later in the year, while others are taking the opportunity to postpone their 2021 trip to 2022. We will continue this work on a rolling basis; the natural point to do this is when balance payments are due. There’s nothing that clients need to do in advance of this as we’ll be in touch with the latest information at the right time.
If you do have any other questions in the meantime please do get in touch and we’ll be delighted to help. We are working from home where we can, but available by phone and email.
Finally, a big thank you to all those who have been in touch to wish the Aardvark Safaris’ team and partners on the ground in Africa their support, it’s very much appreciated. We have been delighted by our clients’ enthusiasm to travel to Africa – bookings for the second six months of 2021 and into 2022 are really encouraging, people are obviously keen to get their Africa fix and understand the current difficulties won’t last forever.