Coronavirus – what it means for your safari
In March 2020 non-essential travel effectively shut down, with Governments worldwide advising their citizens to stay at home. This advice has been updated several times during the intervening months with corridors opening and closing. Here in the UK we are waiting for the removal, on 17 May 2021, of the ‘no travel’ ban and updated news on the traffic light system every three weeks thereafter.
A couple of the countries we work with currently have amber status and many have started vaccination programmes for their hospitality staff. Other nations’ citizens, including those in USA, are a little less restricted and we are delighted to have been able to help a handful of clients travel to Africa last year and this, where and when it has been deemed safe to do so.
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 on 26th March.
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 guidance on quarantine and associated rules, and adjust plans if and when required. Some UK clients are discussing with us the proposed ‘traffic light system’ and entry requirements should they choose to travel later in the year. We also have the rules for those travelling from, and returning to the USA, at our fingertips.
Other clients are taking the opportunity to postpone their 2021 holidays until 2022 and we continue to work on these on a rolling basis. The natural point to do this is when balance payments are due, when we will be in touch with the latest information.
If you do have any questions in the meantime, please do get in touch and we will 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.