Covid-19 Statement: Tuesday 28 June 2022
Where do we stand currently – in terms of travel in the present environment?
Though the WHO must be some way from declaring that the Covid 19 is over, much of the world appears to have moved into a phase of ‘living with Covid-19’.
If your African travel is still many months away: at this stage, we expect people to be able to travel as planned. And, if you are due to pay your balance and travel in the next few weeks, we are happy to welcome you and deliver your holiday.
Travel is not without risk, any more than any other facet of life; going to work, playing a sport etc. Covid-19 is still contagious and can still be a nasty illness. Not everyone is fully vaccinated and not everyone can be vaccinated. We understand that. Yet we also want to encourage travellers to keep faith with us in Africa. The vital role of international tourism in safeguarding threatened and pivotal wildlife species and fragile, unique habitats is incalculable. Sensitive, nature-based travel is such a force for good. Our message remains: if you cannot travel now, please reschedule.
We are so heartened to see that you, our clients, think this too. Not only are we happy to at last welcome those who were forced into postponement. Just as exciting is that we are booking on new trips for those who travelled in the last two years, despite the travel restrictions and challenges. We are also delighted to re-book groups who did have to cancel.
We cannot know that moving out of this pandemic will be plain sailing. But governments, scientists and the medical profession have a greater understanding of what we are dealing with. As do we.
Here for you and looking forward!
So how are we approaching it at Cedarberg Africa? This Covid-19 statement summarises how we aim to help.
Flexibility around new bookings:
We have always offered 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 others.
We can be flexible in terms of deposits and cancellation terms.
We cannot eliminate the need to take non-refundable deposits. Our suppliers have suffered enormously since 2020 and many have needed to support not only their own staff but extended communities. Some are very small and in very high demand. They have to demand a financial commitment to confirm a future booking. But we CAN try to design trips such that the overall deposit requirement is reduced. 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.
If you are booked to travel and have concerns
Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have.
If you decide you do not want to 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.
However there may be change fees, especially if you choose to defer ahead of time, such as seasonal price changes, flight change costs and a nominal admin fee. (Naturally, we will try to keep these as low as possible.)
If you wish to cancel, we will endeavour to recover supplier payments where possible. But the reality is that African safari companies have had virtually no Government assistance during the Pandemic. So some suppliers are sticking to their Terms and Conditions in cases of outright cancellation.
The past couple of years have been unbelievably tough for many of us, and many industries such as Travel.
Naturally if you are unable to travel this year, we would love you to reschedule.
To have a meaningful and life-enhancing treat to look forward to when the time is right
- The last few years 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 has ended, or when enough people are safely vaccinated.
- Lots of people tell us 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 and super-knowledgeable wildlife rangers will be there to welcome you when you do make it here!
Space – the final frontier
- To enjoy the precious luxury of space and wide open landscapes has always a beguiling feature of a safari in Africa. That is unchanging.