Updated African Travel Restrictions Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Which Safari Countries Are Open for Travel, What Are The Entry Requirements, and When Will Flights Resume?

- Updated 23 September 2020 -  

Many of our current clients as well as potential travellers interested in safari have been asking about border closures and flight schedules. Thanks to our direct line of communication with our trusted on-the-ground partners throughout Africa, cross-referenced with official government entities, we’ve compiled a one-stop informational resource with real-time updates on travel restrictions due to COVID-19. Here’s the latest on safari travel to Africa…

A Note About Flying to Africa

Most international commercial airlines are requiring that passengers produce a certificate of a negative COVID-19 test that has been conducted within 72 hours of departure. The same may be required when arriving at any transit airport / country.

Open / To Open

Congo

Congo

The Republic of the Congo has reopened its borders and airports for international visitors.

Open for international travel

  • Yes
  • Odzala-Kokoua National Park due to open on 1 April 2021

Health screening and COVID-19 protocols

  • All visitors are required to complete a negative COVID-19 test within a maximum of seven days prior to arrival, and submit the test results within two days of departure for Congo.
  • All arriving passengers will be required to undergo body temperature scans and may be requested to take another COVID-19 test.

Mandatory quarantine

  • Required for 14 days.
Kenya

Kenya

*Approved and recognised user of the World Travel and Tourism Council's (WTTC) Safety Stamp.*

On 6 July 2020, the Kenyan government announced that local air travel will resume operations from 15 July 2020 and that international travel will resume from 1 August 2020. Kenya's Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife has implemented a reduction in park entry fees from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021.

Open for international travel

  • Yes

Health screening and COVID-19 protocols

  • All passengers on international flights must show a negative COVID-19 certificate on arrival, obtained no later than 96 hours prior to departure from their home country.
  • Body temperatures must test below 37.5°C (99.5°F) and visitors must have no persistent cough, no difficulty breathing, and no other flu-like symptoms.
  • If there is a reported case of COVID-19 on a flight or if the above symptoms are detected, all passengers within two rows of the passenger with the symptoms will be quarantined for testing. If the test results are negative, they will be allowed to leave the facility.
  • It is mandatory for all passengers arriving in Kenya to complete the Travelers Health Surveillance Form by the Ministry of Health. The form is found here and must be completed online prior to disembarkation. Passengers will receive a QR code after completing the form and will be required to display it to a Port Health Official to proceed through immigration.
  • Strict infection prevention and control measures have to be followed: social distancing, good hand hygiene, and the wearing of masks remain mandatory.

Mandatory quarantine

  • All passengers arriving on international flights are required to quarantine for 14 days at a government-designated facility or at their Kenyan residence. These countries are exempt from mandatory quarantine.

Countries allowed to travel to the destination

  • All

Airlines flying into the destination

  • Kenyan Airways will resume international flights from 1 August 2020. The airline's COVID-19 certificate validity for all inbound flights to Kenya is 96 hours. For outbound flights from Kenya, a COVID-19 certificate is not required unless your country of transit or destination requires one.
  • All passengers aboard any Emirates flight require a negative COVID-19 certificate, obtained no later than 96 hours prior to flight departure.
Madagascar

Madagascar

The Malagasy government has announced that the island of Nosy Be will reopen for international travel on 1 October 2020. Fascene Airport on Nosy Be will be ready to welcome international visitors and perform the necessary health checks and testing. Domestic travel within Madagascar resumed in September 2020, with international travel expected to resume when Ivato International Airport in Antananarivo reopens for international visitors.

Date of reopening

  • 1 October 2020 – only the island of Nosy Be

Health screening and COVID-19 protocols

  • All passengers are required to undertake a COVID-19 PCR test on arrival in Nosy Be.
  • All arriving passengers are required to present a return air ticket and are not permitted to travel outside of Nosy Be. 

Mandatory quarantine

  • Not yet confirmed.

Airlines flying into the destination

  • Ethiopian Airlines
Malawi

Malawi

Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe is open for international commercial and charter flights.

Open for international travel

  • Yes

Health screening and COVID-19 protocols

  • All arriving passengers are required to present a negative COVID-19 test result, conducted within 10 days before departure for Malawi.
  • All passengers are required to complete a health declaration form and undergo basic screening.
  • Only passengers and airport staff will be allowed to enter the terminals and are required to wear face masks and maintain social distancing at all times.
  • All departing passengers are required to present a negative COVID-19 test result, conducted within 10 days before departure from Malawi.

Mandatory quarantine

  • All arriving passengers are required to self-isolate at the address they declare on arrival for a period of 14 days.

Airlines flying into the destination

  • Kenya Airways
  • Ethiopian Airlines
Mauritius

Mauritius

*Approved and recognised user of the World Travel and Tourism Council's (WTTC) Safety Stamp.*

The suspension on international commercial flights will remain in place until 30 September 2020, followed by a proposed phased reopening of borders for international travel.

Date of reopening

  • 1 October 2020

Health screening and COVID-19 protocols

  • All passengers will have to undergo a PCR COVID-19 test five days prior to travelling to Mauritius.

Mandatory quarantine

  • Required for 14 days at an establishment approved by authorities.

Airlines flying into the destination

  • Air Mauritius should resume flights from 1 October 2020, subject to the opening of borders and the lifting of travel restrictions.
Namibia

Namibia

Namibia announced new implementation protocols that will guide the country's international tourism revival initiative. These protocols will come into effect from 1 September 2020, which will signal the reopening of Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek to international visitors. Entry to Namibia will only be allowed via this airport.

Open for international travel

  • Yes

Health screening and COVID-19 protocols

  • All passengers arriving on international flights must present a negative PCR COVID-19 test result, conducted within 72 hours of boarding the plane.
  • All arriving travellers must submit their full itinerary on arrival.

Mandatory quarantine

  • Not required, but all visitors must be available for a swab test on day five (5) of their trip. You must then be reachable / contactable on day seven (7) to receive the results of the swabbing. If the result is negative, you may proceed with the rest of your itinerary. If the result is positive, you will be treated at isolation facilities authorised by the Ministry of Health and Social Services at their cost, and according to national case management guidelines.

Countries allowed to travel to the destination

  • All

Airlines flying into the destination

  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • Lufthansa from 19 September 2020
  • Air Namibia
  • Eurowings from 20 September 2020
  • Qatar Airways from 1 October 2020
Rwanda

Rwanda

*Approved and recognised user of the World Travel and Tourism Council's (WTTC) Safety Stamp.*

Tourism activities across the country resumed from 17 June 2020 and Rwanda's airports reopened for scheduled commercial flights on 1 August 2020.

Open for international travel

  • Yes

Health screening and COVID-19 protocols

  • All travellers arriving in Rwanda must have a negative COVID-19 certificate. The only accepted test is a SARS-CoV 2 Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR), performed within 120 hours of departure for Rwanda. Other tests such as Rapid Diagnostics Tests (RDT) are not accepted.
  • Prior to arrival, all travellers must complete the Passenger Locator Form and upload their COVID-19 test certificate via www.rbc.gov.rw/travel.
  • All travellers departing from Rwanda must test negative for COVID-19, with the RT-PCR test performed within 120 hours before departure. The Rwanda Development Board has advised that as long as travellers depart within 120 hours of their RT-PCR test on arrival, they do not require another test.
  • Preventive measures must be followed while travelling in Rwanda: physical distancing where possible; the wearing of masks is mandatory; and temperature screenings before entering certain buildings are mandatory.

Mandatory quarantine

  • All travellers arriving in Rwanda will be screened upon entry and take a second RT-PCR test to confirm the negative results of the test done prior to arrival. You will be required to wait about 24 hours for these test results in a designated transit hotel. The Government of Rwanda has negotiated special rates at designated transit hotels for the 24-hour waiting period.

Countries allowed to travel to the destination

  • All tourists will be allowed to visit Rwanda's attractions and destinations after testing negative for COVID-19 in two consecutive tests.

Airlines flying into the destination

  • Charter flights (individual and groups)
  • Commercial airlines from 1 August 2020
  • RwandAir, starting between Dubai and selective African routes, from 1 August 2020.
Seychelles

Seychelles

From 1 June 2020, the Seychelles gradually started reopening its borders to visitors from low-risk countries travelling via private jets and direct chartered flights. After successfully implementing this first phase, the Seychelles reopened for commercial flights from 1 August 2020.

Visitors must ensure that accommodation bookings are made only at licensed establishments or liveaboards that have been certified by the Seychelles Public Health Authority. The list of certified establishments is available on www.tourism.gov.sc. All booking vouchers reflecting the entire duration of stay in the Seychelles must be presented at Immigration for verification.

Open for international travel

  • Yes

Health screening and COVID-19 protocols

  • All visitors from permitted countries must have a negative PCR COVID-19 certificate from an accredited laboratory, obtained within 72 hours before departure.
  • All travellers must apply for mandatory Health Travel Authorization from the Seychelles via this official government website. Applications must be made up to 72 hours before your departure flight. You will need your passport, PCR COVID-19 test result, itinerary, and your credit or debit card.
  • All visitors will undergo temperature checks and health screening. Any visitor with fever and respiratory symptoms such as cough, runny nose or shortness of breath will be isolated from other travellers and subjected to further assessment. Additionally, visitors may be required to undertake a COVID-19 test upon disembarkation.

Mandatory quarantine

  • Not required.

Countries allowed to travel to the destination

  • Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Cuba, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, UAE, and UK.
  • The list of permitted countries is revised periodically and available on www.tourism.gov.sc.

Airlines flying into the destination

  • Private jets and direct chartered flights from the above countries.
  • Commercial flights from the above countries from 1 August 2020.
South Africa

South Africa

*The city of Cape Town is an approved and recognised user of the World Travel and Tourism Council's (WTTC) Safety Stamp.*

The South African government announced on 16 September 2020 that the country's borders will reopen for tourism on 1 October 2020. Travel to and from certain high-risk countries (to be confirmed) will be limited. Only one land border post and three international airports – OR Tambo, King Shaka and Cape Town – will reopen to international travellers.

Date of reopening

  • 1 October 2020

Health screening and COVID-19 protocols

  • Travellers must present a negative COVID-19 test result on arrival, conducted within 72 hours of arrival in South Africa.
  • Visitors will be requested to download a government contact-notification app on arrival.

Mandatory quarantine

  • Travellers arriving without a negative COVID-19 test result will be required to quarantine at their own cost.
  • All travellers will be screened on arrival and those who show any symptoms of COVID-19 will be required to quarantine until they test negative for COVID-19.

Airlines flying into the destination

  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
  • Air France
  • Ethiopian Airlines
Tanzania

Tanzania

*Approved and recognised user of the World Travel and Tourism Council's (WTTC) Safety Stamp.*

The government of Tanzania announced on 18 May 2020 that it will lift the ban on international flights arriving and departing from the country. All hotels and other tourist facilities in the country must go through a COVID-19 certification process, and official documents must be placed at the entrances of all facilities. The Tanzanian government has also directed all the country’s tourism entities to appoint and adequately train COVID-19 liaison officers to be the point of contact with its Health Ministry.

Open for international travel

  • Yes

Health screening and COVID-19 protocols

  • If you are travelling with an airline that requires a negative COVID-19 certificate, or if your country of origin requires a negative COVID-19 certificate upon departure, then Tanzania will also request the certificate on arrival. All other travellers do not require a negative COVID-19 certificate, although it is recommended that all travellers have the certificate as a precautionary measure.
  • Arriving passengers showing any symptoms or signs of COVID-19 will be required to undergo enhanced health screening and may be tested for COVID-19.
  • While in Tanzania, visitors will be expected to adhere to full protective measures against the spread of COVID-19.

Mandatory quarantine

  • Not required.

Countries allowed to travel to the destination

  • All

Airlines flying into the destination

  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • Qatar Airways
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
  • Emirates
  • Air Tanzania could resume operations to other countries that have re-opened for international travel, or for passengers looking to fly with the airline – to be confirmed.
Uganda

Uganda

Uganda has released a tentative phased reopening schedule for all its land borders and the resumption of international passenger flights to Entebbe International Airport, effective 1 October 2020.

Date of reopening

  • 1 October 2020

Health screening and COVID-19 protocols

  • Travellers must present a negative COVID-19 test on arrival, conducted within 72 hours of arrival in Uganda.

Mandatory quarantine

  • Not required – to be confirmed.

Airlines flying into the destination

  • Turkish Airlines
  • Qatar Airways
  • Emirates
  • Kenya Airways
  • Ethiopian Airlines
Zambia

Zambia

Zambia is open to foreign nationals and issuing visitor visas upon entry into the country. Limited domestic flight schedules are operating twice-weekly between Kenneth Kaunda International Airport and Mfuwe International Airport, and between Kenneth Kaunda and Harry Mwanga Nkumbula International Airport in Livingstone.

Open for international travel

  • Yes

Health screening and COVID-19 protocols

  • All arriving passengers must have a certificate of a negative COVID-19 test that has been conducted within 14 days of arriving in Zambia.
  • Visitors will be expected to adhere to COVID-19 regulations like physical distancing, wearing face masks, and personal hygiene. They will also need to monitor themselves daily for 14 days post arrival for symptoms of the virus and report any occurrence to the nearest health facility.

Mandatory quarantine

  • All international visitors are screened on arrival. If you show any signs of COVID-19, you will have to quarantine for 14 days.

Airlines flying into the destination

  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • RwandAir
  • Kenya Airways
  • Emirates is set to start flying to Zambia from 1 September 2020.
  • Proflight Zambia is operating limited domestic flights.
Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwean government announced the reopening of the country's local tourism sector on 3 September 2020. Domestic flights will resume on 21 September 2020 with Air Zimbabwe and Fastjet, in advance of 1 October 2020: the date for Zimbabwe's international airports to reopen. Land borders remain closed until further notice.

Date of reopening

  • 1 October 2020

Health screening and COVID-19 protocols

  • All travellers will be required to present a negative PCR COVID-19 test certificate, obtained from a recognised facility within 48 hours of departure for Zimbabwe.
  • All travellers will undergo health screening and temperature testing.
  • Social distancing, hand sanitisation and the wearing of masks are mandatory.

Mandatory quarantine

  • Arriving travellers are required to self-isolate for 7 days.
  • If travellers don't have a negative PCR COVID-19 test certificate on arrival, they are required to stay at a designated isolation facility for 7 days, then self- isolate for another 7 days.

Airlines flying into the destination

  • Emirates
  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • Kenya Airways
  • Air Tanzania

Considering a Safari but Cautious of Travelling? 

See our updated COVID-19 T&Cs and our advice on safety:

Awaiting Further Information

Botswana

Botswana

The Government of Botswana has banned entry of all visitors (except residents) from high-risk countries.

Date of reopening

  • Unknown
Mozambique

Mozambique

Mozambique has suspended international passenger flights, as well as the issuance of visas and travel documents until further notice.

Date of reopening

  • Unknown