Planning travel mid-pandemic is a bit confusing, overwhelming and frustrating, to say the least. And if you’re planning an excursion outside of the country, to places like Africa, it can feel downright scary! That’s why we’re here to help!

If you’ve been dreaming of an African Safari but aren’t sure if it’s safe to plan your travels yet, then review the updates below so you know what’s going on with travel to and from Africa during COVID-19.

Updated 2021/03/15

Notes:

Flying to/from Africa

Most international commercial airlines require passengers to produce a certificate of a negative COVID-19 PCR test that has been conducted within 72 hours of departure. The same may be required when arriving at any transit airport or back in your home country. Many of our trusted suppliers throughout Africa are able to arrange in-lodge/hotel COVID-19 tests or transfer you safely to an authorized testing facility. We are here to help you make your travels as seamless as possible.

Travelling to Africa After Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

Now that a COVID-19 vaccine is becoming available, many potential travelers are asking if they’ll be required to undergo COVID-19 tests and follow the current health and safety protocols when travelling to Africa after getting the vaccine. The answer remains unclear, as experts still need to learn more about the protection that a COVID-19 vaccine provides under real-life conditions. We are keeping abreast of developments in travelling after being vaccinated and will provide updates when we have clear and conclusive information.

Botswana

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival

  • Present a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test result, conducted within 72 hours of departure for Botswana.
  • Undergo health screening for COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Stay in contact with the local health authority for a period of 14 days while self-monitoring.
  • Any visitor showing symptoms of COVID-19 will be required to undergo a PCR test, and possible isolation and or quarantine for 14 days.

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on departure

  • Present a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test result within 72 hours of departure from Botswana. This can be done via one of two options:
    • Option 1: Book a ‘fly in’ test. A nurse can be flown into any lodge within the Okavango Delta region and the swab test will be flown back to Maun to process the result.
    • Option 2: Do the PCR test in Maun or Kasane Airport the day before you depart from Botswana, as there is a 24-hour turnaround time for results.

 

Kenya

Approved & Recognized User of the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Safety Stamp

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival

  • A negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate is required, obtained no later than 96 hours prior to departure from your 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 at designated airport hotels. 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.
  • Before arriving in Kenya, passengers are required to submit their COVID-19 test certificates to generate a Trusted Travel (TT) code. Click here to create a TT account, upload PCR test certificates, and generate a TT code.

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on departure

  • Passengers departing Kenya are required to have a Trusted Travel (TT) code for their COVID-19 test certificates if their destination countries, airlines or transit airports require PCR tests. Visit www.africacdc.org/trusted-travel to check the test requirements of transit and destination countries.
  • A list of laboratories that have been approved to carry out COVID-19 PCR tests, issue certificates and TT codes can be found here.

Namibia

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival

  • Present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result. The test result must not be older than 7 days (or 168 hours) at the time of entry into Namibia. This requirement also applies to anyone who has been vaccinated against COVID-19 – a negative test must still be produced before entry into the country.
  • Undergo health screening and temperature testing.
  • Submit your full trip itinerary.
  • Mandatory quarantine not required, unless a traveler’s PCR test is older than 72 hours (but less than seven days) – supervised quarantine of seven days is then required.

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on departure

  • A negative COVID-19 test certificate, conducted within 48 hours of departing Namibia, if your country of origin requires it.

Rwanda

Approved & Recognized User of the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Safety Stamp

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival

  • Provide a negative COVID-19 test 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.
  • Complete the Passenger Locator Form and upload your COVID-19 test certificate via www.rbc.gov.rw/travel prior to arrival.
  • If you are visiting any national park in Rwanda, you are required to schedule your visit within 72 hours of receiving a negative PCR test result. If your visit/s are more than 72 hours after the initial test on arrival in Rwanda, you will be required to take another COVID-19 test before visiting the parks.
  • Follow preventive measures while travelling in Rwanda: physical distancing where possible; the wearing of masks is mandatory; and temperature screenings before entering certain buildings are mandatory.
  • All travelers 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 travelers depart within 120 hours of their RT-PCR test on arrival, they do not require another test.
  • Mandatory quarantine: All travelers 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.

South Africa

Cape Town is an Approved & Recognized User of the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Safety Stamp

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival

  • Complete a Traveller Health Questionnaire (THQ) not more than 2 days before arrival. The same applies when leaving South Africa.
  • Provide a valid certificate of a negative COVID-19 PCR test, obtained not more than 72 hours (3 days) from the time of departure for South Africa. The test must be conducted by a certified medical practitioner and the certificate must have the name and signature of the practitioner who conducted the test.
  • Undergo screening for any COVID-19 symptoms and/or for contact with people who have been infected with the virus.
  • Download the COVID Alert South Africa mobile app – more information here.
  • Mandatory quarantine not required unless:
    • Arriving passengers fail to present a valid and negative COVID-19 PCR test. This will require quarantine at own cost.
    • Travelers display any symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in contact with an infected person. A mandatory COVID-19 test will be required at their own cost. If this test result is positive, travelers will be subjected to a 10-day quarantine at a designated site, at their own cost.

 

Tanzania

Approved & Recognized User of the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Safety Stamp

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival

  • Travelers are NOT required to be tested or produce a negative Covid-19 PCR test certificate to enter Tanzania.
  • Travelers should be aware of specific air carrier requirements. Some airlines require a negative Covid-19 PCR test certificate to board.
  • 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.
  • If a traveler needs to obtain a Covid-19 PCR test prior to departure from Tanzania, tests are being conducted at medical facilities in Moshi & Dar
  • All travelers are required to fill out a Traveler’s Surveillance Form which will be made available on board their flight to Tanzania. The completed form must be submitted to the Port Health Authorities upon arrival.
  • 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.
  • Visit Tanzania’s US Embassy website for recent updates to Tanzania’s entry & exit requirements.
  • Mandatory quarantine not required.

 

Uganda

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival

  • Provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from an accredited laboratory in your country of origin, issued within 120 hours of departure for Uganda.
  • Undergo temperature checks and health screening on arrival.
  • Wear masks, maintain a social distance of 1.5 metres (5 feet) where possible, and practice good personal hygiene.

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on departure

  • Arrive at the airport at least four hours before their scheduled flights.
  • Present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result, issued within 120 hours of departing from Uganda.
  • Undergo temperature checks and health screening.
  • Mandatory quarantine not required. Passengers who exhibit signs and symptoms of an infectious disease will be transported to an isolation centre for a COVID-19 test. Results will be available within 24 to 48 hours. If foreign nationals test positive for COVID-19 and wish to be repatriated to another facility outside Uganda, they can do so at their own cost and according to COVID-19 medical evacuation protocols.

 

Zambia

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival

  • Provide a certificate of a negative COVID-19 test that has been conducted within 7 days of arriving in Zambia.
  • Adhere to COVID-19 regulations like physical distancing, wearing face masks, and personal hygiene. You will also need to monitor yourself daily for 14 days post arrival for symptoms of the virus and report any occurrence to the nearest health facility.
  • Travellers leaving Zambia will only be required to produce a negative COVID-19 test certificate when flying with an airline or to a country that requires said certificate.
  • 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.

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on departure

Obtain a Travel Certificate from the Ministry of Health, originating from Zambia, if your destination or airline requires a COVID-19 test certificate. To obtain a Travel Certificate, travellers must present their passports and COVID-19 test results at one of these offices:

  • University Teaching Hospital (UTH)
  • District Health Office (DHO)
  • Public Health Office (PHO)
  • Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZNPHI)
  • Adult Infectious Disease Center (AIDC) at UTH

 

Zimbabwe

Health screening & COVID-19 protocols on arrival

  • Present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate, obtained from a recognized facility within 48 hours of departure for Zimbabwe.
  • Undergo health screening and temperature testing.
  • Social distancing, hand sanitization and the wearing of masks are mandatory.
  • Mandatory quarantine: Not required unless travelers show symptoms of the virus or don’t have a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate on arrival – they are then required to stay at a designated isolation facility for 7 days, then self- isolate for another 7 days. A fee of $60 will be levied on travelers tested at ports of entry.

 

Check back for updates! And feel free to contact us directly if you want to book your next trip, but have questions first.

Information credit: go2africa.com