December 3, 2020 | Expert Africa
Expert Africa is seeing an increase in holiday bookings as travellers are attracted by special rates, quiet conditions, unrivalled remoteness, and the opportunity to make a major contribution to camps and communities at this difficult time. Fair and flexible booking terms, and effective insurance policies, offer reassurance, as indeed do the sustained low infection rates across Africa.
Chris McIntyre, Expert Africa’s Managing Director, says: ‘Since August, Africa and the routes to get there have been re-opening. The initial trickle of travellers has become a steady stream, with healthy number of last-minute bookings.
Safaris are outdoor holidays, based in remote tented camps in destinations which generally have very low Covid infection rates. Self-isolation on safari – alone with nature and your guide – is the perfect recipe for escapism and mental calm.
‘Travellers to Africa are making a major contribution to the lives of the camp teams and their communities’, states McIntyre. ‘Each guest is contributing directly to the wellbeing and lives of dozens of people.’
There was initial concern that, with travel so limited this year, African communities that rely on tourism would turn to hunting wildlife to replace lost income. For the most part, this simply hasn’t happened: the conservation ethic has proved far stronger than expected. Wildlife and ecosystems have continued to be cared for, despite individuals and communities facing slashed incomes and personal hardship.
For travellers, the fact that insurance companies now have policies available which cover Covid-19 is hugely assuring. Plus, it’s becoming increasingly common for airlines and immigration authorities to require a negative Covid-19 PCR test before travelling.Unedited reviews from Expert Africa’s most recent travellers provide compelling feedback for anyone considering a trip to Africa in the immediate future:
‘We had enormous fun, and everything was private as there were very few tourists…can you imagine walking 80k in the Serengeti and never seeing another tourist or hearing a car?’ Mr G – visited Tanzania in August 2020
‘The trip was a massive success…the pandemic has provided me with an opportunity to travel at a time of year that would usually be out of my budget, especially as a solo traveller with single supplements to contend with.’ Miss P – visited Kenya in September 2020
‘We felt completely safe the whole time we were on our holiday, and Namibia is clearly dealing with Covid much better than we are back in the UK.’ Miss J and Mr G – visited Namibia in October 2020
‘Everything went very well. It was exactly the kind of experience we were looking for and the children had a blast.’ Mr B – visited Tanzania in October 2020
‘Africa – and in this case, Kenya – is open and in need of international tourists. A bit more planning is necessary, and you will need to have a Covid test but the minute you land at JKIA (Nairobi) your heart will soar.’ Ms H – travelled to Kenya in October 2020
‘This was one of the most enjoyable trips to Africa over the last 12 years.’ Mr J – visited Zambia in October 2020
‘The prospect of fewer visitors being around also lured us to the Serengeti and we witnessed the mind-blowing spectacle of 10,000 wildebeest galloping majestically across the Mara…There is normal life out there beyond the Covid black hole known as the UK…In Tanzania day-to-day interactions with other human beings are, well, normal. Simple practical precautions are in place like hand-sanitising and masks on the small bush planes…The welcome we received without exception was tremendous.’ Mr and Mrs C – visited Tanzania in October 2020
‘We are extremely pleased to confirm that travelling under COVID is not only possible, but in fact 200% worthwhile with Expert Africa on one’s side…We also like to emphasize that all camps did make a tremendous effort to make our stay as convenient and as safe as possible. This included wearing face masks, using sanitizers, respecting social distancing, 24-hour room vacancy prior to new guests arriving, ten-day staff quarantine prior to service.’ Mr B – visited Zambia in 25 September 2020
These, and all other, reviews from Expert Africa’s travellers are here.
With a decidedly different Christmas looming, embrace something entirely different this year: take the family to South Africa. Hot, sunny and dry, it’s exactly the shot of Vitamin D desperately needed. Add in a stylish family-friendly lodge, safari activities and the chance to see the Big Five. Why wouldn’t you?
Example itinerary: The Kwandwe Self-drive Safari visits Kwandwe Ecca Lodge, a luxurious lodge for families where a private vehicle, ranger and tracker are included for every family suite booking. Situated on a private game reserve, there are also a range of available activities to enjoy, from day and night game drives to bush walks, fishing and boat rides on the nearby Galpin Dam.
A three-night stay in December costs from £2,090 pp (two sharing) in December, including full board, two game activities a day, most drinks, car hire and transfers; and from £1,355 per child (two children aged 16 years or younger, sharing). International flights are not included but can be arranged at extra cost. Call Expert Africa on 020 3405 6666 (www.expertafrica.com).