Which African countries are open for travel?
Date of update: 23 December 2021
We were all dreaming about our next holiday when suddenly, without warning, the world changed. The first cases of the corona virus were discovered and the Covid-19 pandemic spread rapidly all over the world. And just when it looked better, the Omicron emerged. But – has it stopped you from dreaming about Africa? If it hasn’t, the next questions are: which African countries are open for travel? And when is it safe to travel again? The answer is unfortunately not a fixed starting date or a simple yes or no. We can’t tell you to travel or not, but we can give you the information to help you make that choice for yourself. The good news is that almost all African countries are open for travel – mostly with no quarantine, only a valid PCR test!
A guide to help you decide
Consider this e-book as a guide to help you decide. Since this information changes all the time, we will regularly update this e-book. There are many countries in Africa, each with their own regulations. From a practical point of view, we have to limit ourselves to ‘our’ countries in Southern and Eastern Africa.
There are many pieces of a puzzle that need to fall in place before you can travel again and realize your African dream Experience. You need to be able to trust your booking agency and know that you are safe, not just being told something just to get you to book. We pride ourselves on giving honest information and we will tell you right away whether your plans are possible or not.
These puzzle pieces can be roughly divided in four categories: your home country and airline regulations, whether your African destination is open, how safe it is to travel locally and last but not least: what happens with your money if you can’t travel due to Covid.
Note: we focus in this e-book exclusively on the Covid-19 consequences, not on any other diseases or regulations.
1. Home country and airline regulations
These vary wildly from country to country and airline to airline. The Omicron has shown these can change on short notice. So, this information you need to look up yourself. Things to look at include: travel restrictions upon return, vaccination requirements, travel insurance, airline requirements regarding PCR tests and airline cancelation and rebooking procedures.
2. Is my African destination open for tourism and what are the main rules?
Africa is a huge continent, so we’ll limit ourselves to East- and Southern Africa and the countries where we organise holidays. In the table underneath you will find the current situation: is the country open for travel, do you need to quarantine, is vaccination mandatory, what are the Covid entry regulations and are there local travel restrictions for tourists.
Generally speaking, the number of deaths related to the number of infections is much. much lower than outside Africa and the recovery rate is much higher. This is likely due to a combination of factors, including the much higher percentage young people. Vaccination roll-out is picking up momentum, for instance, South Africa has over 27 million vaccinated.
Note: negative Covid tests requirements are for the moment of first departure from your home country, not arrival date.
Note: All African countries have mandatory wearing of masks in public. These can be cloth masks.
3. How safe is it to travel in my destination?
Now you know what is required, how safe is it once you have arrived? This is where local knowledge and trust really come into play. We are on the ground in Africa and know what is going on. We know how to avoid unnecessary risks!
- All our staff is fully vaccinated. If you travel with a chauffeur/guide, he or she will be vaccinated.
- Generally speaking, the Covid-19 cases are concentrated in and around the major cities. In most game reserves and small communities, cases are virtually non-existent. Hence if you travel directly to a game reserve upon arrival, your chances of meeting someone who carries the infection are very low. We can’t guarantee a zero risk, but our itineraries minimise the risks of catching Covid-19.
- All places we book have very strict regulations in place to minimise the risk of catching Covid-19. There are different protocols for lodges, game drive vehicles, other transport, trains, local flights, restaurants, excursions, sight-seeing etc. At Tales from Africa, we check with all we book for you that they actively conform to the regulations and execute them without exceptions. As a result, you might for instance have limited people in the restaurant, or have no buffet-breakfast but a more limited choice served at your table.
- Tales from Africa has received the Safe Travels compliance with Covid-19 industry protocols stamp and we make sure that our partners adhere to minimally the same standards.
4. What happens with your money if you can’t travel due to Covid?
We understand the uncertainty that the Covid-19 pandemic brings and work with you, our guest, to make your holiday happen. In a safe and controlled way, without having to fork out money long in advance and not knowing whether you will get a refund if the situation worsens.
Your booking is safe during Covid-19. During the global Covid-19 pandemic all travel shall attract an element of uncertainty since nobody can predict the future (i.e., whether you can travel in a couple of months from now). The global vaccine rollout promises to make travel safe and certain again, but until that is the case, we want you to feel safe to book your tour right now with minimal financial risks.
This is how we envision it to work for you:
- We will endeavour not to take any deposits for any bookings, refundable or otherwise. Although we will not require deposits until such time as the booking can be confirmed, we must, however, advise you that we may have to charge you an interim administration fee of US$ 150 for time spent, sundry expenses incurred, and services rendered. This administration fee is included in your quote and tour costs.
- We will not charge any penalties for cancellations where travelers are prevented from traveling due to COVID-19 related reason (your own health or governmental/regulatory), regardless of the cancellation period. Our standard Terms & Conditions remain in place for cancellations for any other reason.
- We will inform you of any place where we can only book a service from a supplier that does not fall in line with the above. We will then suggest an alternative.
- If there is no alternative, we will only pass forward deposit requirements and stricter cancellation terms where the supplier insists on these, and only if you as our client will accept these, before booking.
- Full payment is only required 2 weeks before the start of your tour; sometimes this can be longer due to lodge requirements.
- Any flights you book through us are exempt of the above since the booking- and cancellation terms for flights are determined by the airlines themselves and not by us. We will, however, endeavor to first offer you airlines with the most lenient conditions, before offering you any other airlines. You can then decide which option best suits you.
We hope to have given you the information you need (about which African countries are open for travel) to help you make your decision. We do understand your concerns and if anything is unclear, or if you would like to discuss any of this with us to help you choose, please don’t hesitate to contact us! firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp +27 76 404 8864.
Download here the e-book of the 23 December 2021 update of ‘Which African countries are open for travel?’
This is not an official document but an e-book (titled ‘Which African countries are open for travel?’), written with the sole purpose to give you information on which you can base your own decision whether, when and where to travel to those African countries that we have first-hand knowledge of. The decision to travel is solely your own decision and we are therefore not liable in any way for any costs or consequences, whether material or immaterial, deriving from that decision.
All the information in this e-book is sourced from the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center and other relevant information sites. Though we check our information and try to the best of our abilities to ensure it is correct, we can’t be held liable for any mistakes in the information contained in this e-book.