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

Which Safari Countries Are Open for Travel and When Will Flights Resume?

- Updated 6 July 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…

Open / To Open

Kenya

Kenya

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 / date of reopening:

  • 1 August 2020

Health screening and quarantine protocols on arrival:

  • Visitors will be expected to undergo health screening procedures – details to be confirmed.
Mauritius

Mauritius

Since 11 May 2020, this Indian Ocean island has reported no confirmed cases of COVID-19. The suspension on international commercial flights will remain in place until 31 August 2020.

Open for international travel / date of reopening:

  • 1 September 2020

Airlines flying into the destination: 

  • Air Mauritius announced that their flights are scheduled to resume on 1 September 2020, subject to the opening of borders and the lifting of travel restrictions.
Rwanda

Rwanda

Rwanda's airports will reopen for scheduled commercial flights on 1 August 2020. The government has made a selection of promotional offers (including discounted gorilla trekking permits) available to foreign visitors until 31 December 2020.

Open for international travel / date of reopening:

  • 1 August 2020

Health screening and quarantine protocols on arrival:

  • Visitors are expected to test negative for COVID-19 after taking a test in their country of origin at an ISO-certified laboratory, 72 hours before departure. Test results must be submitted to lab@rbc.gov.rw before departure and also upon arriving in Rwanda.
  • A second COVID-19 test must be taken upon arrival. Visitors will be expected to wait for test results for about 24 hours at designated hotels at their own cost.
  • Visitors who are not able to test in their country of origin can be tested twice in Rwanda. The first test will be taken upon arrival, while the second test will be taken 48 hours after arrival.
  • Departing visitors will also be offered a COVID-19 test at the airport.
  • The cost of the COVID-19 test will be included in visitors' tour packages.

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) from 17 June 2020.
  • Commercial airlines 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 will reopen for commercial flights from 1 August 2020.

Visitors must have negative COVID-19 PCR certificates from authorised laboratories dated no more than 72 hours from the date of travel. If a PCR test is not available, a Rapid Antigen test will be required. All visitors are required to send negative COVID-19 test results as well as flight and accommodation details to the Seychelles Public Health Authority prior to boarding a plane.

Open for international travel / date of reopening:

  • 1 June 2020 (private jets and direct chartered flights)
  • 1 August 2020 (commercial flights)

Health screening and quarantine protocols on arrival:

  • Strict screening processes on arrival – health check forms, symptomatic checks, temperature scans and potential Rapid Antigen tests.

Countries allowed to travel to the destination:

  • Low risk countries: Belgium, China, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Mauritius, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and Thailand.
  • Medium risk countries: France, Austria, Canada, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, and UAE.

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.
Tanzania

Tanzania

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 / date of reopening:

  • 1 June 2020

Health screening and quarantine protocols on arrival:

  • No visitors will be subjected to 14 days quarantine when landing in Tanzania.
  • Visitors will be expected to adhere to full protective measures against the spread of COVID-19.

Countries allowed to travel to the destination:

  • All – if passengers’ body temperatures test normal, they will be able to enter the country without being quarantined.

Airlines flying into the destination:

  • 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.
  • Ethiopian Airlines are currently offering flights into Tanzania.
  • Qatar Airways will be flying to Zanzibar four times a week from 11 July 2020, and to Kilimanjaro International Airport three times a week from 13 July 2020.
  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will start flying to Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam from 30 June 2020.

In Discussion

Namibia

Namibia

Namibia has suspended the issuance of visitor visas on arrival and implemented a travel ban on foreign nationals from coronavirus-affected countries such as China, Iran, Korea, UK, USA, Japan, and the Schengen states.

Open for international travel / date of reopening:

  • Gradual reopening of borders to selected countries (yet to be confirmed) proposed from 15 July 2020.

Health screening and quarantine protocols on arrival:

  • As of 30 June 2020, all Namibians and non-Namibians entering the country must submit a COVID-19 test on arrival, valid for 72 hours before entering Namibia.
  • All visitors must submit to a mandatory, 14-day quarantine at a government certified establishment upon arrival, at own cost.
South Africa

South Africa

The South African government has issued a travel ban on foreign nationals from high-risk countries, cancelled visitor visas and revoked previously granted visas. As the country’s risk-adjusted approach to COVID-19 is based on five lockdown levels (South Africa is currently in Level 3), the reopening dates for international tourism have not been defined.

Recent media reports claiming that South Africa will only reopen for international travel in 2021 are false. The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) will present a data-driven plan at a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee meeting on 9 June 2020, advocating for an earlier phased reopening of international tourism from as soon as September 2020.

Open for international travel / date of reopening:

  • Possibly September 2020 – to be confirmed.
Zambia

Zambia

Zambia is not explicitly denying entry to foreign nationals. However, no visitor visas are being issued until further notice, and travellers arriving with existing visitor visas or applying for visas on arrival for non-essential purposes will not be permitted entry. All international flights are redirected to land and depart from Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka, and non-essential travel to countries with confirmed COVID-19 cases are suspended.

Open for international travel / date of reopening:

  • Although borders are officially open, no visitor visas are being issued.

Health screening and quarantine protocols on arrival:

  • All international visitors are screened on arrival.
  • Mandatory quarantine (minimum of 14 days) for all travellers from high-risk areas.
  • While awaiting test results, travellers will be isolated at designated government facilities or alternatively at designated lodges and hotels at their own cost.

Airlines flying into the destination:

  • Ethiopian Airlines are flying into the country from selected destinations.
  • Emirates might start flying to Zambia from August 2020 – to be confirmed.

Awaiting Further Information

Botswana

Botswana

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

Open for international travel / 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.

Open for international travel / date of reopening:

  • Unknown
Uganda

Uganda

Entebbe International Airport remains closed and there is no indication of when Uganda will reopen for tourism. All the country’s national parks and primate parks are also closed.

Open for international travel / date of reopening:

  • Unknown
Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe remains under indefinite lockdown, subject to fortnightly reviews. Zimbabwe’s borders are closed, except for returning Zimbabwean nationals and permit holders.

Open for international travel / date of reopening:

  • Unknown