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What is safari like amid a pandemic? In the past two years, we've been fortunate to have had intrepid clients and staffers travel to Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe to experience an African safari in our new reality. We're happy to share some first-hand accounts of our travellers' experiences from their safaris – and even gorilla trekking – during COVID-19.

Although Africa continues to see positive momentum with most African safari destinations now open to international visitors, restrictions and COVID-19 travel guidelines change regularly. If you're planning on travelling, ensure you stay up to date with the latest requirements.

Kenya Safari

What It’s Like Going on a Kenya Safari During COVID-19

Kenya & Tanzania Safari – July 2021

Bateleur Camp in Masai Mara, Kenya | Go2Africa

Every day was different and beyond expectations! Your partners on the ground, Asilia, were outstanding! COVID testing happened in an organised manner and was very easy.

Bateleur Camp was incredible and was the best possible way to end our trip. We were fascinated by our Maasai guide, who we fell in love with after 5 days. He was relentless in his pursuit of finding whatever we wanted to see! I know there was some luck involved, but once something was spotted, he expertly maneuvered us to the perfect spot. His dedication to get us a great spot for the Migration paid off with a 40-minute crossing!

– Sharon

Watch a short video clip of the crossing on our Facebook page.

Sharon stayed at:

Nairobi, Kenya
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Hemingways Nairobi

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Day tours Spa treatments
Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
Exceptional wildlife encounters.  Cultural activities. Family suite lounge. Tented bedroom suite. Twin bedroom. View from your private porch. Walking safari.

Entamanu Ngorongoro Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Day tours Game drives Guided walking safaris Guided walks
Masai Mara, Kenya
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andBeyond Bateleur Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Bird watching Bush dining Cultural visits Full-day safaris

Masai Mara, Serengeti, Tarangire & Ngorongoro Safari – June 2021

Clients on safari during COVID-19 | Go2Africa

Our package was built to suit our exact needs and desires for the safari in terms of budget, length of stay, activities, and class of accommodations. Go2Africa really listened and offered advice and input that helped us to make final decisions and create the perfect bespoke vacation all in the midst of COVID!

– Jennifer

Jennifer & Ellen stayed at:

Nairobi, Kenya
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Eka Hotel

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Day tours Spa treatments
Masai Mara, Kenya
Sanctuary olonana The swimming pool at Sanctuary Olanana. Outdoor boma. Lounging while taking in the view. Stunning views from the lounge. Twin suites at Sanctuary Olanana. Bedroom with lounge suite.

Sanctuary Olonana

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Bush dining Game drives Guided walks Hot air ballooning
Serengeti, Tanzania
Kichakani has sleek and stylish accommodation. Warm up at the campfire. Prime position for the annual Wildebeest Migration. Traditional safari mess tent. Enjoy coffee and the view on your private deck. Kichakani Serengeti Camp is designed to have minimal impact on the environment. The lounge offers expansive views of the Serengeti.

Sanctuary Kichakani Serengeti Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Game drives Sundowners
Tarangire, Tanzania
SanctuarySwala-Camp_boma Nestled in a remote pocket of Tarangire National Park. Unwind in the lounge at Swala. Sanctuary Swala offers unique fittings crafted from local materials. Sunset drinks. En suite bathroom at Swala. sanctuaryswala-camp_deckpatio

Sanctuary Swala Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Bird watching Bush dining Cultural visits Game drives
Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
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Neptune Ngorongoro Luxury Lodge

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Day tours Full-day safaris Game drives Guided walking safaris
Arusha, Tanzania
Rivertrees Country Inn - The Farmhouse. Rivertrees Country Inn's lush green grounds. Relax by the swimming pool. Spot the local wildlife in the trees around the estate. The River House interior. Down-to-earth comfort that invokes a warm sense of feeling at home. Dine indoors or alfresco at Rivertrees.

Rivertrees Country Inn

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Bird watching Canoeing Day tours Game drives

Masai Mara & Victoria Falls Safari – June 2021

The safari was absolutely AMAZING. Kichwa Tembo was a great lodge and I highly recommend it to anyone traveling to Africa. The animal sightings were unreal. The Masai Mara as a whole was just astounding, and I can’t even think of the words to capture its beauty. I swear there might be a different sun and sky there, because it certainly doesn’t compare to what we have at home! Everywhere we went, the people were incredibly kind and welcoming. We were nervous about feeling unwelcome traveling during COVID times, but we felt quite the opposite which was a lovely surprise.

All in all, I’m very pleased with our experience working with the Go2Africa team. I know there was a lot of back and forth, and I truly appreciate your time, effort, and patience throughout this process. It would have been a huge additional stress not having you guys as a communication point when our flights were changed. I would definitely recommend you guys to anyone who inquires about traveling to Africa.

It was truly the adventure of a lifetime! The safari bug has definitely bitten and I am confident we will be going back to Africa.

– Mandy 

Mandy stayed at:

Masai Mara, Kenya
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Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Bird watching Bush dining Cultural visits Game drives
Nairobi, Kenya
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Eka Hotel

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Day tours Spa treatments

Aberdare, Samburu, Laikipia & Masai Mara Safari – June 2021

The trip was everything we expected and so much more. The facilities were all great and the service was especially great. From the bartenders to the guides – we can’t say enough positive things. Sadly, all of the Kenyan staff had been out of work during COVID and none of them earned any money during that time. For our guides and lodge staff, we were their first clients in over a year.

We’d been vaccinated – as had just about everyone at the lodges and the guides. Temperatures were checked before dining and before entering any of the lodges. Almost everyone wore face masks. All the possible precautions were taken to keep everyone safe. We even had cellphone and Wi-Fi service everywhere.

Hands down, the best day was the hot-air balloon ride. No one should ever go to Africa without having this experience.

– Paul

Paul & Amy stayed at:

Nairobi, Kenya
Soothe away post-safari aches with a trip to the hotel spa - pure indulgence! Soft lights & a warm atmosphere make the Nairobi Serena a welcome first-night stopover. The hotel's spa offers everything from yoga & tai chi to massages & gym workouts. The in-house Mandhari Restaurant is considered one of the finest in Nairobi. There is plenty of casual dining too - head for the pool bar for café-style cuisine. Executive Suites come complete with an expansive seating area. The cuisine served at Nairobi Serena ranges from Kenyan & Indian to North African & Italian.

Nairobi Serena Hotel

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Live music & entertainment
Samburu, Kenya
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Elephant Bedroom Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Bush dining Cultural visits Game drives Guided walks
Kenya, Kenya
Simple, uncluttered but very comfortable, each suite comes with a double bed or two singles.
Set in a Big 5 reserve, Sweetwaters is also home to the only chimpanzee sanctuary in Kenya. Each tent comes with an en suite bathroom; children's beds & cots can also be provided. Fresh Kenyan coffee, delivered to your door, starts the day at Sweetwaters Tented Camp. Camel-back safaris add a North African twist to East African game viewing at Sweetwaters! A private conservancy setting means Sweetwaters is able to offer exciting night drives along with guided nature walks. Raised off the ground, each of Sweetwaters' luxury tents has a veranda overlooking a busy waterhole.

Sweetwaters Serena Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Animal tracking experience Bird watching Bush dining Cultural visits

Kenya & South Africa Safari – June 2021

‘Determination’ and ‘rewarding’ are two words that define travelling to Africa as a family of six during COVID. The overarching uncertainty caused by the pandemic and the inconsistent responses of certain countries made for some stressful moments. However, we learned that careful preparation of documentation, regular monitoring of COVID requirements, seeking advice, and a heavy dose of patience made our adventure possible. At times we simply needed to ask for help and, as one would expect, the warm people of Africa delivered to get us where we needed to be.

The upside of travelling during COVID was the absence of other travellers. At our safari destinations, this translated into camps that were far less crowded. Furthermore, we found in every case that camp staff were so excited to welcome us after a long stretch of being quiet. The connection we made with these people was truly amazing – many of whom we stay in touch with to this day.

Amboseli is a magical place. When we arrived, we first had to fly low over the airstrip to frighten the wildebeest off the runway! 😆 The staff at Tortilis Camp were amazing. They did such a good job catering to Reese’s dairy allergy. We loved the bush breakfasts and the surprise Maasai warrior dance during one of our sundowners. We learned that Keller (our oldest boy) can jump really high, and would be a proud warrior and have many wives if he lived in the Maasai village. 😆 Joseph was an amazing guide and taught us so much about elephants. He was so calm around the animals which helped us get really close to them.

The family tent at Loisaba Tented Camp was amazing! We had three tents: two doubles and one king that had their own pool, which Carter loved. This was our favourite accommodation, with the most luxurious touches and AMAZING showers. We loved having the option of enjoying other activities during our ‘down time’ – this was unique and valuable to us. We took advantage of the mountain bikes, horseback riding, camel ride, and bush walks. It was great to see the bush from different perspectives and having those opportunities.

If I could live under the stars forever I would. Loisaba Star Beds was pure magic! I wanted to stay awake all night. I loved this camp! I’m so bummed we only stayed one night. While talking with the staff, we commented about one of the butlers’ bracelets and how beautiful they were. We told them we were sad that we weren’t allowed to visit a village during COVID, because we wanted to buy some beaded jewellery and support the village. He mentioned that his mother made them for him and that he might be able to get some for us before we left the next day. Well, he made a call and got us two sets of Samburu bracelets from local ladies in his village! While we were on our game drive, they made a trip to his village to collect the bracelets. Talk about going above and beyond!

We had a wonderful sundowner that Sand River Masai Mara Camp set up for us in the bush. It was a bonfire with marshmallows for the kids, and Jeremiah (the best bartender ever!) was there to serve snacks and drinks. We also had an amazing bush breakfast on our last day in Kenya. It was so beautiful and a wonderful way to end such an amazing vacation.

We suspect that few, if any, safari experiences are as rewarding as the one we had. Africa is such a special place and it has totally stolen a piece of our hearts. Would I do this trip again? Hands down, 100%, over and over again!

– LoraMarie

LoraMarie & family stayed at:

Kruger National Park, South Africa
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Jaci's Sabi House

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Game drives
Amboseli National Park, Kenya
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Tortilis Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Bird watching Bush dining Cultural visits Game drives
Laikipia, Kenya
The beautiful infinity pool transports you into the African plains and is an ideal spot to relax during the day. All suites at Loisaba Tented Camp have a private deck with lounger chairs and a superb panoramic view. Explore Laikipia and its basalt hills on horseback. Loisaba Tented Camp Loisaba Tented Camp Loisaba Wine Suite Beverages

Loisaba Tented Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Biking Bush dining Camel rides Fishing
Laikipia, Kenya
Wheel Beds Loisaba Aerial View Loisaba Starbeds Communal Table Loisaba Fireplace Loisaba Guest Treats Loisaba Safari at Loisaba Camels at Loisaba

Loisaba Starbeds

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Biking Bird watching Camel rides Cultural visits
Masai Mara, Kenya
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Sand River Masai Mara

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Bush dining Cultural visits Game drives Hot air ballooning

Nairobi, Masai Mara & Amboseli – January 2021

Our trip was AMAZING! Our Africa Safari Expert Emma did such a wonderful job, planning and organising everything perfectly. Everybody was so helpful and wonderful. From the time we arrived until we went into security back at the airport to go home, everything was taken care of. That meant it was even a vacation for me as a mom! I’m a planner and might have control issues (I’m sure Emma noticed since we planned the trip almost two years in advance), but everything was so well planned and each step so clearly communicated that it made everything completely stress-free.

My kids’ most memorable moments were seeing four baby cheetahs and their mom eating a gazelle in the Masai Mara, and kissing the giraffe at Giraffe Manor. My husband has mentioned many times how hospitable everyone was. My eight year old even said last week, “I miss Amos (one of our guides in Amboseli), he was funny”. Every place we went to and stayed at was completely different, so there’s no way to pick a favourite, but I enjoyed the carefree time we spent exploring as a family, and seeing my kids and husband have so many new first experiences.

We love animals and the outdoors, so it was wonderful to see it through their eyes for the first time. I do wish we would have been able to go to the elephant orphanage and in the Masai village, but we understand the limits with COVID. I was nervous about traveling during the pandemic, but honestly, I felt very safe the entire time in Kenya. People wore masks, checked temperatures, and kept their distance.

We really appreciate everything you did to organise our trip. The excellent planning and organisation has given my family memories that we will have forever.

– Crystal

Crystal stayed at:

Nairobi, Kenya
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The Giraffe Manor

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Animal interactive experience Day tours High tea on offer
Masai Mara, Kenya
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Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Bird watching Bush dining Cultural visits Game drives
Amboseli National Park, Kenya
Porini_Amboseli_Camp_exterior-tent Elephants enjoy a wallow in the waterhole. Dramatic skies in Amboseli. The mess tent. porini-amboseli-camp-gallery-image-26-14450030491 Porini Amboseli Camp_porini_0301 Tent interior.

Porini Amboseli Camp

Activities Travellers Enjoyed
Bird watching Cultural visits Full-day safaris Game drives

Samburu & Masai Mara Safari – January 2021

Our entire Kenya safari was completely seamless: from the pick-up at the airport to travelling to three safari camps and back to Nairobi for the COVID-19 tests before flying home.

Our driver/guide, Lenny went above and beyond to ensure we saw everything – and I mean everything! As soon as we arrived in the Samburu Reserve, a family of elephants welcomed us. That’s when we realized this trip would be a trip of a lifetime!

Samburu was my favorite of the entire trip. It’s so rich in wildlife and you can drive off-road into the bush to see everything up-close and personal. Even the lions came sniffing around our 4×4! On our first game drive in Samburu we were lucky to see lion cubs playing with their mum and an elephant family crossing the river.  Plus giraffe and cheetah… So amazing!

The Masai Mara was incredible and it was amazing to meet a local Maasai tribe. We also saw five beautiful cheetahs and followed them all day!

I was seven months pregnant on this trip, but that didn’t stop us from having an adventure of a lifetime!

– Linoy

Linoy & Francis stayed at:

Samburu, Kenya
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