Since the beginning of this global saga the theme seems to have been “distance”. Keep your distance and stay safe. Wash your hands, wear a mask, stay at home and much more. As we slowly seem to be emerging into a new way of life, we still want to travel but we’re not sure how to travel.
We have the desire to travel, we want to explore, make memories, experience wild and un-explored places. Maybe your trip was postponed and you’re looking forward to doing it in 2021, whatever the case may be, the desire to travel is not going to go away and nor is the travel industry going to collapse. What we are going to see is a new way to travel where we are much more conscious of the process and people around us. Once we arrive at our destination, especially in Africa, the risk diminishes very significantly.
Africa has low population densities, warm to hot weather that is not conducive to bugs surviving for very long and wide open spaces where “distance” is no longer an issue. Africa may historically have had a reputation as being un-safe or dirty but today, with common perceptions turned on their heads, Africa is the best place to travel post COVID-19. Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia have all re-opened for tourism and guests with safari companies like Asilia Africa have already reported excellent travel experiences from home departure to arrival at the safari camp.
The world is slowly emerging into the future of travel and what that is going to look like for families with children, friends traveling together, honeymoons and couples. As of August 2020 Tanzania, Kenya and Zambia are open for international tourism. Namibia will follow suit at the end of September – this is a great destination for a self drive safari, see more about this below. You will be asked for a health certificate no older than 14 days prior to arriving stating that you have a negative test result, and you will be asked to fill in a health and safety questionnaire. All good and easy.
Emirates Airlines have just announced they will be resuming flights to Lusaka in Zambia as of 4 September twice weekly on a Friday and Sunday. Emirates have adapted to the future of travel offering COVID insurance free of charge when you fly with them. Guests flying with Emirates have also told me of nearly empty planes and plenty of space for physical distancing.
Exclusive Africa Safari’s
So many of us are tired of this forced isolation, our dream trip, annual vacation, family reunion and honeymoons were cancelled. Now, as we slowly see the re-opening of tourism and travel we can start planning again for 2021. Now really, really is the best time to start planning your safari to Africa.
Most all of the safari and tourism companies have frozen their rates to the end of 2021, they are offering fantastic discounts (50% off your safari if you are a registered Healthcare Worker) and you can benefit from long stay discounts too if you book your safari camps with one company.
We need to think out of the box, it’s a new era, it is the future of travel – exclusive use safaris’. So why not get your family together, celebrate and book your safari to Africa where you can all stay together, in your own little bubble of safety, happiness and love. Whichever country you plan to visit you can be assured that the most stringent health and safety protocols are being followed, your contact with others can be kept to the bare minimum and African Safari Experts will ensure that all your in-country arrangements are completely private.
If you are a group of friends that want to travel there are some incredible camps in South Luangwa, Zambia, where 6 people together can enjoy the exclusivity of the camp with no other contact besides the staff. We have some fantastic packages available that start at Mfuwe Lodge and includes the Directors House, Chamilandu Bushcamp and Bilimungwe Bushcamp. This package is ideal for a group of 6.
If you are a multi-generational family then head off to the North of Kenya and enjoy the simple life of a farm at Ol Malo House and Lodge. Or if you prefer to explore the Serengeti in luxury consider Roving Bushtops or Serengeti Bushtops and for a really inspirational family safari lodge then book at Chem Chem Forest Lodge.
The advantage of the exclusive use safari lodge is you and your family will have exclusive use of the lodge, a private chef, a private guide and vehicle all to yourselves. The value for money saving when booking a group on an exclusive basis is often far greater than you will enjoy anywhere else.
The future of travel is going to be stay longer, take more time, immerse yourself, do it with your loved ones and reconnect to the essential goodness of natural world experiences. Most safari lodges in Africa have good connectivity and with many people now working from home, or remotely, it’s possible to spend longer on your safari in Africa with a little bit of work thrown in where needed.
Flying to Africa has never been a short journey and most flights will take you via another destination, this means that if you are going to make the effort to come, then make the absolute most of it. If you are working remotely then there is every reason why now, you can plan a longer safari, take in multiple destinations and spend quality time with your partner and family.
The exclusive use and stay longer options available with most accommodation is a great way to save yourself a good deal of money while spending the time we never seem to have in this fast paced world. If we have learned nothing else from this, the lesson is certainly one of cherish and it’s taught us that we need to slow down and smell the roses.
Take me back
We all long for the days gone by when there was peace and quiet to be found in the places that we travel to. Over tourism, crowding and “sharing” the wide open spaces of Africa is now a norm. The COVID pandemic has brought tourism all over the world to a complete standstill and has severely impacted many millions of lives globally.
Our entire purpose for travel is often to escape the mad rush of traffic in our home towns, to find some sort of solitude, to discover new places and experience new things. The future of travel is going to present vastly different experiences for those that are brave enough to travel within the next 6 to 12 months.
Our guests that have traveled to Africa in August and September have given incredibly positive feedback on their experiences from their departure airport all the way to arriving at their safari lodge. Hand sanitizers everywhere, paperless check-in’s and strict social distancing at the airports. On arrival in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam the experience was excellent, our teams on the ground assisted with quick exits and straight onto vehicles or private charters.
Now, it’s easy to find safari lodges and game parks in Africa that are nearly deserted, where the experience for our guests harks back to nearly a decade ago. They have been enjoying the Great Migration river crossings with not another vehicle in sight! This really is the time to be taken back to enjoying an African safari where you can really experience the bush without the crowds.
Many of the safari lodges are providing private vehicles or minimizing the number of people on each vehicle. This has resulted a more personalized safari, and a much safer one. You can spend longer at sightings and with the extended break of guests at most lodges and game reserves the animals are much more relaxed.
Self Drive Safari
For some the absolutely ideal way to travel is to self drive. Fly to your destination country, hire a vehicle and make your own itinerary, or, have no itinerary at all. The joy of travel is discovery and in Africa the places you may want to see could be way off the normal tourist routes. In South Africa and Namibia self drive safaris in Africa have always been very popular with a multitude of car hire companies offering very competitive rates.
What about Zambia? Some think a self drive safari in this country isn’t possible. Nothing could be further from the truth. Zambia is a very safe destination for any kind of safari to Africa and there is a good network of roads and places to stay. Another option could be to hire a 4X4 with a roof top tent and camp.
Most companies that rent out 4X4 vehicles have the option of with or without camping gear. One firm that African Safari Experts has worked with for years is Hemingways Zambia owned by Pete and Annabel. The vehicles and the service they provide is absolutely fantastic and they will offer you generous assistance with planning a trip and equipment to make your dream self drive safari a reality.
In both South Africa and Namibia the distances between places can be vast, this is why self driving is so popular. You have all the time in the world to explore and with your tent on the roof you can camp most anywhere. In Zambia, while the distances are vast, the game reserves in which you can self drive make her the most attractive destination for a self drive safari.
Self driving is the future of travel in Africa. Your vehicle will be waiting for collection as you land, sign the hire papers and you’re off! Whether you decide to do a self drive safari in South Africa, Namibia or Zambia you will find the experience richer and much more affordable.
If you are interested in a self drive safari then get in touch with us, our combined 78 years of travel in Africa means an incredible diversity of advice and suggestions.
Planning your safari to Africa
The present result of the COVID pandemic is that there really isn’t a better time to start planning your safari to Africa. All the postponements mean that a safari in 2021 will deliver the kind of safari experience we all dream of. If you had planned to safari to Africa next year then you will need to start planning and booking now. With the future of travel ever changing you can also be assured that by the time you travel in 2021 it will be even safer for you and your family.
Get the assistance of an experienced Africa travel planner who can offer you the advice you are looking for from personal experience of travel in Africa. African Safari Experts has a combined 78 years experience of work and travel in Africa, we will most likely have been to the places you want to travel to. We know the roads, the people and the places that will deliver for you the very best safari to Africa. We have adapted to the future of travel in Africa and are perfectly placed to deliver an exceptional safari experience, as we have been doing for nearly 2 decades.
Whether you are looking for an exclusive use lodge, an island paradise, a villa or your own 4×4 to travel as your heart desires we are the safari experts in Africa. Most of the travel agents in your home country will have a rudimentary knowledge of where you want to go, African Safari experts knows the people, the places and the very best of what each country has to offer you for your safari to Africa.
We will soon be writing a blog on our experience of travel in Kenya and Tanzania in late August and this sheds very positive light on what the future of travel looks like. Look out for that soon, it will reassure you that this is the very best time to travel to Africa for your dream safari.
CEO – African Safari Experts