Friday 12 June
As Covid-19 cases decline in many parts of the world and a number of countries prepare to re-open, we want to share our plans to minimise risk both for existing clients and those making NEW travel plans for an African tour or safari.
Here for you and looking forward
Flexibility around new bookings:
We offer Personal Safari Planning completely orientated around each client and their needs. Because we have an experienced team, with a knowledgeable and empowered consultant dedicated to you, we’ve always been able to be more flexible than many.
Now, more than ever, we are prepared to tailor overrides to our standard terms and conditions.
Now, more than ever, we can be flexible in terms of deposits.
So don’t let concerns over risking your holiday money get in the way of securing that dream African adventure to look forward to. Do ask us. We are happy to negotiate with our partner suppliers on a case by case basis. This could allow you to change dates late in the day. Or sometimes even cancel free of charge, until closer to travel.
Already booked and travelling soon?
We’ve already contacted everyone due to travel in the next 10 weeks to discuss the outlook and explore options including re-scheduling your itinerary for another time, amendments and cancellations.
For those travelling further ahead than the next 10 weeks, do feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have. As restrictions are being lifted week by week, you may still be able to travel as planned. But if you decide you do not want to travel or cannot travel on the booked dates, we’ll work with you and our partners (such as hotels, safari camps and airlines) to defer dates to suit you, if at all possible.
To have a meaningful and life-enhancing treat to look forward to when the time is right
- The last few weeks have been tough going for most people. Even those of us lucky enough to have safe havens at home are bound to be eager for a change of scene, when the pandemic is ended. Lots of people tell me that they want to get away for a restorative holiday, just as soon as it is safe to do so. But we do appreciate that other people may prefer to ease back into normal life more slowly and look forward to their trip further into the future.
To support those less fortunate in emerging economies, especially in Africa
- Not to beat about the bush (pun intended); by postponing a trip planned for the time of the pandemic (rather than cancelling outright), you will be making a massive difference to the lives of people in a poorer part of the world.
- Jobs in tourism support many more people than you meet in person and the ‘trickledown effect’ gets money straight to communities working hard to ‘be the change’ in Africa. For example, tourism contributes 8.6% to South Africa’s total GDP and accounts for 1.5 million jobs.
- Many wildlife conservation areas and community conservancies rely entirely on tourism. The absence of visitors brings the immediate prospect of hardship and job losses. Even when a lodge is privately owned, whether by investors, a family or a wealthy philanthropist, the necessary closures are painful. Large numbers of safari (and other unique) accommodations are tiny, very expensive to operate and run on 95%+ occupancy rates. many are also the sole employer, education provider and health provider within their community.
- There is a threat to animals too. With rangers laid off, and poverty rising, poachers could soon prey on the conservancies amazing wildlife.
To make sure you still get the holiday you wanted and planned
- In another angle on this, the more people who postpone, the more robust the Africa safari business will be. This means that the friendly faces, exuberant and helpful staff and super-knowledgeable wildlife rangers will be there to say “hi” when you do make it here!
Will future travel be different; safer?
Airlines, hotels, safari lodges, visitor attractions and road transport providers have all been spending the travel hiatus working on protocols for keeping both guests and staff safe when it is time to re-open. We are starting to receive some details around their plans and this is likely to turn into a torrent of information very soon.
The precious luxury of space and wide open landscapes has always a beguiling feature of a safari in Africa. That is unchanging. Some other aspects of travel will undoubtedly alter, for Africa and globally, let us hope it is for the better.
There could be some new behaviours to adapt to, and short-term alterations, could turn into new norms. No hand-shaking, face masks in crowds and hand sanitiser and hand cream in equal measure may, (or may not), be around for a while.
We think that the fundamental reasons that compel you to return to Africa are constant: the warmth and enthusiasm of the people; the unmatched wildlife and natural landscapes; the sense of connection and even homecoming.