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IS AFRICA READY “POST-COVID” FOR YOUR SAFARI?

Are you safe travelling to Africa?

Wide open spaces, spaced out guest rooms, limited guest numbers on game drives… it’s as if Africa was made for times like these 😊

As we move through the current Covid-19 pandemic, there are rays of sunshine on the horizon. Countries are beginning to reopen, strict health protocols are in place at hotels and safari camps and Africa is readying herself for your arrival once again.

It’s been reported that Africa’s tourism industry has lost approximately US$55 Billion due to Covid-19 and the resulting worldwide lockdowns and limitations, that were and still are needed to help us safeguard ourselves and others.

It’s an important reminder of how much Africa relies on your support through eco-tourism. As part of Captured In Africa’s SAFARI FOR CHANGE ethos and responsible tourism policy, we believe travel should be of benefit to the destinations you visit, its people and wildlife.

 

How do YOU contribute through eco-tourism?

Jobs & Livelihoods: Local people, often from neighbouring communities, are employed as camp management, staff, guides and conservation & ecological teams. Tourism in Africa is a year-round industry that supplies year-round employment, resulting in financial security for the employees and their families. As sustainable eco-tourism increases in popularity, as do destinations that are founded on that very belief, establishing wildlife reserves and conservancies that balance nature with the tourism business model – it’s a careful and considered balance that sees limited number of lodges, beds, vehicles and guests to lessen the impact of tourism to ensure stability, sustainability and a caring for the environment. This system often includes local communities being part of the tourism business plan, either through land leasing or permit structure. The result of this system sees local communities benefiting from revenue… just by you visiting.

A local business women selling local fabrics and garments in Rwanda © Bisate Lodge – available to book with capturedinafrica.com

Wildlife Conservation: One instant and still relatively new way that safari-goers help, is through conservation funding. As part of the safari camps & lodges Captured In Africa use for your safari, conservation fees (or levies) are paid and which go directly to local efforts such as anti-poaching. Many of the safari camps we use, also offer opportunity to receive talks from local conservationists. Another fantastic way to not only help fund wildlife conservation, but to learn more about on-the-ground efforts and issues, is to participate in research outings to collar an animal for scientific purposes (location tracking to assist and alert local communities of nearby lions, for example), or to notch a rhino (tagging a darted rhino’s ear for research and security monitoring) to help protect it from poaching… these and more are an everyday occurrence as part of conservation in Africa, for which you directly support through your visit.

A rhino is relocated from a poaching hot-spot to an undisclosed safe haven courtesy of local conservation effort Rhinos Without Borders © Beverly Joubert

Education & Health Care: In many areas of Africa’s rural communities, healthcare is hard to come by due to the vastness of the land and how far people must travel to get to a nearby medical centre or school. Stories of children walking for 2-3 hours just to get to school on a morning are not uncommon and represent real problems. Through tourism and your booking, safari camps & lodges that employ many local people, also have a direct impact through funding of local schools, healthcare centres, day care for families and often safari activities for children to have the opportunity to view wildlife for themselves, something that even locals seldom see.

Educational camps are established for local young people, as seen here from Great Plains Foundation in Botswana’s Okavango Delta

Infrastructure: To aid tourists and indeed local people, revenue from tourism helps provide vital transport links between villages and cities, connecting them to vital resources such as medical & education facilities. Many of the safari camps which Captured In Africa deal with, often help provide local transport for locals between villages and medical centres.

Access to sustainable safari destinations is essential for both local people and international travellers © Federal Airlines

Economic Empowerment: As a direct result of responsible tourism, local people are ever more benefiting from your visit. As sustainable management systems are set in place, communities, farmers, safari accommodations and private investors are combining to bring about a new wave of eco-tourism focused destinations. This in turn allows local people to have a vested interest not just in tourism, but in maintaining their livelihoods and environment – placing a rightful emphasis on local people is key to tourism surviving.

Living alongside wildlife can have its negatives, but local communities are increasingly playing a vital role in tourism © The Highlands safari lodge, Ngorongoro, Tanzania – available to book with capturedinafrica.com

Environmentally Friendly Travel: Whilst the airline industry still has some time to go before rightfully amending their operations to reduce carbon emissions (to mitigate this, travellers can assist by reducing how many flights they take per year and think about the necessity of their travel to ensure their own responsibility when flying) – on the ground in Africa is a different beast altogether. Captured In Africa’s constantly ensure that the products we sell you are as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible. This involves identifying safari destinations that are proactive in advancing their sustainable footprint – wildlife reserves & conservancies with restricted number of guests and game drive vehicles to reduce impact on the environment and on the wildlife, safari camps with solar power, responsible grey water use, “in house” fruit & vegetable gardens, guest food menus to include plant-based items, reduction in water use in guest showers and importantly that those destinations employ local people and have some impact on local wildlife conservation initiatives.

Locally, sustainably produced goods helps reduce transport and fuel costs, whilst providing nourishing food for safari guests © Loldia House, Lake Naivasha – available to book with capturedinafrica.com

 

Ready for your Arrival

Safari camps & lodges have been working tirelessly with medical experts and travel industry bodies to develop a set of safety standards to mitigate the possibility of the COVID-19 virus spreading within tourism destinations when they reopen.

When arriving on your safari, travellers can expect the highest attention to details to ensure your safety, healthy and enjoyment;

  • During your journey to safari destinations, local flights and flight crew will operate to government protocols to ensure safe distancing from other people, surface sanitising and lounges will adhere to spacing markers. Flights are also cleansed between journeys
  • Arrival to safari camps will see travellers welcomed (as usual) and briefed on the latest procedures and safety measures to ensure their protection during their stay
  • High-touch areas will be removed/limited to avoid unnecessary contacts with both surfaces and staff (ie credit/debit cards used, no cash)
  • Handwashing and sanitiser stations will be established around public areas, with public spaces routinely cleansed
  • Travellers are advised to wear masks accordingly to country protocols and safari camp guides & staff will also wear masks
  • We don’t generally do buffet meals on safari, instead our luxury accommodations offer personalised service and meals individually. Bush picnics are also a great way to avoid other guests whilst dining in wide open spaces, with animals around you
  • Housekeeping is done to a high standard, with room cleansing daily by a dedicated staff member (no multiple people entering your room for example)
  • Game drives will be in open top 4×4 vehicles, with no more than 4-6 guests per vehicle (depending upon your group size), allowing for guests to sit spaced apart
  • Whilst some activities may not be available (such as spa treatments), your safari is expected to still be the trip of a lifetime in the most safe and secure way possible

2020 Bookings

Kenya and Rwanda are opening their borders to international travellers from 1st August 2020, with safety protocols in place.

Malawi are also expected to reopen their border in the coming weeks. This follows the reopening of Tanzania in recent weeks to international tourists, with major airlines flying once again from 30 June. Whilst other countries such as South Africa and Botswana remain closed, with updates coming on a daily basis, we expect other countries to follow in the coming months, ready for 2021.

*All travellers are kindly advised to check up-to-date government advisories concerning which country they are permitted to enter and what protocols are in place for travellers to safely travel. Please travel safe.

2021 Bookings

Now is a great time to book that dream safari for 2021. With flexible booking terms to allow complimentary changes to your booking, we also have numerous special offers available here which travellers may use as part of their next adventure.

Africa’s recovery begins with your next journey.

Bookings are now being accepted for 2020 and 2021. Speak to our team today to enquire or to simply ask us any questions, email us – info@capturedinafrica.co.za 

Stay safe.

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