Travelling in a time of COVID-19

Posted on October 21st, 2020 by Overland Africa

Travelling in a time of COVID-19

As we head into, what has always been our traditional “ booking season “, we need to address the question on everyone’s mind… How will overland ensure guest safety on tour? 

Crew responsibility

To reduce the risk of infection, each crew member will be required to take the following steps.

Wear a cloth mask when in the presence of any other person

Maintain a safe distance wherever possible – 1.5m or more

Sanitize regularly – you should sanitize whenever you have come in physical contact with a surface or object that may have been touched by another person

If you need to cough or sneeze – ensure to do this away from other people. If this is not possible then do this into the bend of your elbow.

Each staff member will be issued with a cloth mask to be worn when required

Each person will also be provided with a small spray type sanitizer for his or her own personal use.

 

Our trucks and vehicles will be sanitized and cleaned once a day at the end of the days travel, and before the next day’s travel.

 

Vehicle sanitizing checklist – completed by our crew

Sweep inside of truck

Mop inside with provided cleaning agents

Spray all seats with liquid sanitizer

Wipe all USB charging points with sanitizer

Wipe handrails at entrance to the truck

Wipe all window catches

Wipe door handles to entrance

Wipe down all armrests

Wipe all safety belt clips and buckles

Clean out rubbish bin

 

Departure points

At each departure point, it will be the responsibility of the driver to perform health checks on all clients.  The temperature of all guests be will be recorded before they are allowed to board the vehicle.  A lead in mat will be provided, sprayed with sanitizer, all clients are to wipe their feet on the mat when walking in to the truck.

There will be a sanitizer dispenser mounted at the entrance to the truck, all clients must sanitize when entering the vehicle. Clients are required to sanitize their hands each time they enter into the vehicle to depart a location.

 

Daily Checks

Crew are to take temperatures once a day of all clients and themselves, at the time of departure.  If the tour is not scheduled to depart that day, all temperatures will be recorded at breakfast.

 

Food preparation

We have always had a strong focus on hygiene when cooking, but never before has it been as important as it is now.

Our crew will ensure that all surfaces and utensils are wiped down properly before use.  At the end of the day/evening, crew will have to make sure that all items are rinsed in a sanitizing solution that will be provided.   It is of the utmost importance that all foodstuffs continue to be washed before use.

 

We would like to stress that the well-being of participants is everyone’s responsibility and our crew are there to enforce the protocols which have been put out.  These protocols have been adapted from various regulatory institutions including the World Travel & Tourism Council.

Putting these measures in place will add additional pressure on our crew and we ask that you ensure that your clients are aware of these measures that will (by law) be required to be followed.  Any guest refusing to follow or adhere to these guidelines could face being expelled from the tour.  It is in everyone’s interest to play their part in ensuring the safety on tour.

 

This is a territory that is new to all of us and it may be necessary from time to time to adapt the protocols.  We of course will continue to share information with you as we make it available.

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Which Side is the Best for Vic Falls: Zimbabwe or Zambia?

Posted on October 6th, 2020 by Overland Africa

Which Side is the Best for Vic Falls: Zimbabwe or Zambia?

This depends entirely on your vacation wishes. Both sides offer magnificent views of the Falls, but it’s your accommodation preferences and choice of activities that might influence your decision.
If you want the best of both worlds, you can easily get across the border via Victoria Falls Bridge. All you’ll need is your passport and a double / multiple entry visa, which you can purchase at the border control (your guide or transfer agent generally expedites this for you). This means that if you’re staying on the Zambian side and want to view the Falls from the Zimbabwean side, you can do so comfortably on a day trip – and vice versa.

Which Side Has the Best Views?

Zim has the lion’s share of vantage points, as about three quarters of Vic Falls lie within the country. Take a stroll down Victoria Falls National Park’s footpaths, meandering through drizzling rainforest and out onto gorge-edge viewpoints where you’ll be greeted head-on by the glorious Main Falls – thundering down into the rocky chasm below, causing tremors in the ground beneath your feet.

Want to get really close to the cascades of water?

Then head to the Zambia side of Vic Falls. Walk along the paved paths on the edge of the Falls and cross the heart-racing Knife-Edge Bridge during High Water Season – an exhilarating (and soaking!) walk along the edge of the precipice, about 100m / 328ft above the gorge.
During the low-water season, head down the footpath that leads to the Boiling Pot – a massive whirlpool at the base of the waterfall. Look up and marvel at the sheer magnitude of this natural wonder.

Zimbabwe Side

Zambia Side

The good news is, no matter which side you stay on, you can easily cross the border to explore the other or to undertake activities like white-water rafting, gorge swinging, bungee jumping, visiting Livingstone Island or having dinner on an old-fashioned train. Your Africa Safari Expert will make all the arrangements for the transfers and activities – just have your passport ready for the border crossing.

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Victoria Falls Seasons – Zimbabwe

Posted on September 29th, 2020 by Overland Africa

Victoria Falls Seasons,  Zimbabwe – When Scottish explorer, Dr David Livingstone first laid eyes on the Falls in 1855, little did he know that it would be confirmed as the world’s largest waterfall, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world, and a World Heritage Site.

Little has changed since people discovered Mosi-oa-Tunya thousands of years ago – what you see now is the same astonishing view that awed Livingstone and everyone else lucky enough to see the Falls.

 

Victoria Falls Seasons:

  • High-water season is from about February to July – expect the most spectacular views of the Falls and prepare to get a little wet.
  • Low-water season is from about August to January – this is the best time for white-water rafting and swimming in  Devils Pool.
  • Safari high or peak season is from about June to October – a good time to combine a safari with a visit to Vic Falls. Bear in mind that the later you visit, the drier the Falls will be. The ‘sweet spot’ for a good safari and great views is generally about July and August, which is also a very popular time to visit. Reservations should be secured well in advance.

During high-water season, more than 17 million cubic feet (481 386 cubic metres) of water fall over the edge every single minute – that’s almost 200 times more than an Olympic swimming pool or 12 000 pools in an hour!

When to Go: Best Time to Visit Victoria Falls

It might be the largest waterfall on earth and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world, but it’s also the mild winters and hot summers that make Victoria Falls a popular year-round destination.

Quick Advice:

Like almost everything else in Africa, the spectacle at the Falls is entirely dependent on rainfall. When you choose to travel will have a massive impact on your experience at Vic Falls. It is a wonderful destination to visit year-round, but if there are specific sights and activities that you’d like to include in your Falls itinerary, keep these travel seasons in mind:

Rain may vary from year to year. Always ask your Africa Safari Expert about current and projected water levels for when you want to travel to avoid disappointment.

The rule of thumb is: any activity on the water is best when water levels are at their lowest, otherwise the current is too strong. Any activity on land or in the air is best when water levels are higher, so you can enjoy the most dramatic views.

 

Summer: November to April

Expect dramatic and short afternoon thunderstorms, hot and humid weather conditions, and spectacular sunsets. The Zambezi River is usually low during December, rising steadily as the rain water starts to arrive from the Angolan highlands. The rainy Green Season revitalises Southern Africa between December and April.

Winter: July to August

The moderate winter months in Southern Africa are sunny and dry, and a great time to combine your tour to Victoria Falls with a wildlife safari in the superb national parks of Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana or South Africa.

TIP: October is the hottest month of the year in Vic Falls (around 34°C / 93°F), and one of the very best months for safari. The animals don’t stray far from the little remaining water, but the Falls are at their very lowest and the Zambian side will the completely dry. Be sure to choose which is most important to you – game viewing or the Falls – if you’re travelling around this time.

 

High-water Season

Between February and July, the mighty Zambezi River is in full flood and the Falls are at its most thunderous – usually peaking between March and April. Dazzling clouds of mist can float 1 312ft (400m) above the Falls! Expect to get drenched by spray at most of the vantage points on the Zim and Zambia sides.

TIP: You can rent or buy a poncho or an umbrella at the Falls.

 

Best time for:

The Falls’ lunar rainbows or ‘moonbows’ are rare atmospheric phenomena that occur when the bright glow of a perfect full moon reflects and refracts off the mist created by the waterfall. Niagara Falls also used to produce colourful lunar rainbows, but sadly the light pollution in the area has eliminated these beautiful occurrences.

 

Low-water Season

The Zambezi’s water levels are low from August to January, and at its lowest from October until the rains start again.

 

Best time for:

 

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Volunteer and Safari Combo at N/a’ankuse Wildlife Sanctuary

Posted on September 22nd, 2020 by Overland Africa

Volunteer and Safari Combo at N/a’ankuse Wildlife Sanctuary

The internationally acclaimed N/a’ankuse Wildlife Sanctuary was set up in 2007 to care for Namibia’s orphaned, sick, injured and abused animals, from predators to primates and everything in between and at any one time you can expect to encounter anything from baboons to cheetah to lion to aardvark and more.

 

N/a’ankuse aims to rehabilitate and release all animals that come to the sanctuary, however for those that can’t be released they provide a safe and secure sanctuary to enjoy the rest of their life. From humble beginnings, N/a’ankuse has gone on to become one of Namibia’s, and the world’s most well-known wildlife sanctuaries with the addition of the Shiloh Wildlife Sanctuary, established in 2017 to care for orphaned and injured rhino and elephant through funding from the Jolie-Pitt Foundation, loyal supporters of N/a’ankuse.

 

The sanctuary is run on a day to day basis by a dedicated team of conservationists, with the help of a team of volunteers to make sure all animals are fed, monitored and enclosures kept clean to name a few jobs.

 

N/a’ankuse, which means ‘god will protect us’ in the local San Bushman language,  also aims to assist and benefit the often-marginalised San (Bushman) people of Namibia through the Clever Cubs School offering free private primary education, the LifeLine Clinic offering medical assistance to the Epukiro community as well as offering employment and training at N/a’ankuse to the San community.

 

POST COVID-19 TOURISM SPECIALS

In addition to day visits to the wildlife sanctuary, N/a’ankuse also offers visitors the chance to actively participate in conservation by volunteering on their wildlife conservation project. This allows guests the opportunity to be involved in all day to day tasks of animal conservation for those residents that are not able to be released. This includes exercising the animals daily, preparing food, cleaning enclosures and checking enclosure perimeter fences as well as more preventative conservation duties such as monitoring free roaming carnivores through GPS data, analysing camera trap photos, game counts and more. No day is ever the same or ever boring and volunteers are rewarded with incredible memories of Africa that will never be forgotten. Volunteers do not require any special skills, just a passion for animal conservation and willingness to get their hands dirty and have a great time. Spend a week getting you hands dirty doing important wildlife conservation before exploring Namibia on one of our volunteer and safari combinations below!

Click the below for our combo offers:

Volunteer and Safari Combo – 12 day N/a’an ku sê, Etosha & Swakopmund

Volunteer and Safari Combo – 13 Day N/a’an ku sê, Skeleton Coast, Sossusvlei & Canyons

Volunteer and Safari Combo – 14 day N/a’an ku sê & Dunes & Wildlife

Volunteer & Safari Combo – 15 Day N/a’an ku sê, Wildlife & Himba

 

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Updated African Travel Restrictions Due to COVID-19 – Malawi

Posted on September 10th, 2020 by Overland Africa

 – Updated 16 October 2020 –

 

Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe is open for international commercial and charter flights.

 

Open for international travel – Yes

 

Health screening and COVID-19 protocols

  • All arriving passengers are required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result, conducted within 10 days before arrival in Malawi. Any passenger arriving without a negative test result will be denied entry into Malawi.
  • All passengers are required to complete a health declaration form and undergo basic screening.
  • Only passengers and airport staff will be allowed to enter the terminals and are required to wear face masks and maintain social distancing at all times.

 

Mandatory quarantine – All arriving passengers are required to self-isolate at the  address they declare on arrival for a period of 14 days.

 

Airlines flying into the destination

  • Kenya Airways
  • Ethiopian Airlines

 

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Updated African Travel Restrictions Due to COVID-19 – Madagascar

Posted on September 10th, 2020 by Overland Africa

-Updated 16 October 2020 –

 

The Malagasy government has announced that the island of Nosy Be will reopen for international travel on 1 October 2020. Travel will be limited to Nosy Be and the surrounding archipelagos – no travel to the mainland of Madagascar will be allowed. Fascene Airport on Nosy Be will be ready to welcome international visitors and perform the necessary health checks and testing. Domestic travel within Madagascar resumed in September 2020, with international travel expected to resume when Ivato International Airport in Antananarivo reopens for international visitors.

Open for International Travel –  1 October 2020 – only the island of Nosy Be

Health screening and COVID-19 protocols

 

Mandatory quarantine – Not required.

 

Airlines flying into the destination

 

 

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Updated African Travel Restrictions Due to COVID-19 – Zimbabwe

Posted on August 24th, 2020 by Overland Africa

 –  Updated 16 October 2020 –

 

The Zimbabwean government announced the reopening of the country’s local tourism sector on 3 September 2020. Domestic flights will resume on 21 September 2020 with Air Zimbabwe and Fastjet, in advance of 1 October 2020: the date for Zimbabwe’s international airports to reopen. Land borders remain closed until further notice.

 

 

Open for International Travel – Yes

 

Health screening and COVID-19 protocols

 

Mandatory quarantine – Not required unless travellers 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.

 

Airlines flying into the destination

 

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Updated African Travel Restrictions Due to COVID-19 – Uganda

Posted on August 24th, 2020 by Overland Africa

  – Updated 16 October 2020 – 

 

Uganda has released a tentative phased reopening schedule for all its land borders and the resumption of international passenger flights to Entebbe International Airport, effective 1 October 2020.

 

Open for International Travel – Yes

 

 

Health screening and COVID-19 protocols

Arriving passengers:

Departing passengers: 

 

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.

 

Airlines flying into the destination

 

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Updated African Travel Restrictions Due to COVID-19 – Mozambique

Posted on August 24th, 2020 by Overland Africa

 – Updated 16 October 2020

 

Mozambique’s borders are open for international travel and flights have been approved from Portugal, Turkey, Qatar, Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa. Land borders are also open for self-drive travellers.

 

Open for international travel – Yes

 

Health screening and COVID-19 protocols

 

Mandatory quarantine – All visitors, regardless of citizenship or prior travel, are required to self-quarantine for 10 days, followed by a COVID-19 PCR test at their own cost. Alternatively, travellers may self-quarantine for 14 days without completing an additional COVID-19 test.

 

Airlines flying into the destination

 

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Updated African Travel Restrictions Due to COVID-19 – Botswana

Posted on August 24th, 2020 by Overland Africa

-Updated African Travel Restrictions Due to COVID-19 – Botswana  Updated 16 October 2020 – 

Awaiting Further Information – Botswana

Botswana

The Government of Botswana has banned entry of all visitors (except residents) from high-risk countries.

Open for international travel / date of reopening:

  • Unknown

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Updated African Travel Restrictions Due to COVID-19 – South Africa

Posted on August 24th, 2020 by Overland Africa

– Updated 16 October 2020 – 

*Cape Town is an approved and recognised user of the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Safety Stamp.*

The South African government announced on 16 September 2020 that the country’s borders will reopen for tourism on 1 October 2020. Travel to and from certain high-risk countries will be limited. Only one land border post and three international airports – OR Tambo, King Shaka and Cape Town – will reopen to international travellers.

 

Open for International Travel – Yes

 

Health screening and COVID-19 protocols

  • Arriving passengers must present 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.
  • Arriving passengers will be screened for any COVID-19 symptoms and/or for contact with people who have been infected with the virus.
  • Arriving passengers will be asked to download the COVID Alert South Africa mobile app – more information here.
  • All foreign national visitors must have travel insurance that covers the cost of any testing or quarantine.

 

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.
  • Travellers 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, travellers will be subjected to a 10-day quarantine at a designated site, at their own cost.

 

Countries allowed to travel to the destination

All except the following countries that are currently considered high-risk:

  • Argentina, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, Peru
    The Philippines, Russia, Spain, The United Kingdom, and The United States of America.

Exceptions will be made for individuals from high-risk countries who are business travellers with scarce and critical skills, diplomats, repatriated persons, investors, and people participating in professional sporting and cultural events.

If the passport of a traveller from a high-risk country indicates that they have spent 10 days or more in a low-risk country before departure, they will be considered to be arriving from a low-risk country and subject to the low-risk entry requirements.

The list of high risk countries will be reviewed by the South African government every two weeks.

 

Airlines flying into the destination

  • KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
  • Air France
  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • Emirates
  • Lufthansa

 

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Updated African Travel Restrictions Due to COVID-19 – Namibia

Posted on August 24th, 2020 by Overland Africa

– Updated 16 October 2020 –

 

Namibia announced new implementation protocols that will guide the country’s international tourism revival initiative. These protocols will come into effect from 1 September 2020, which will signal the reopening of Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek to international visitors. Entry to Namibia will only be allowed via this airport.

 

Open for international travel – Yes

 

Health screening and COVID-19 protocols

  • All passengers arriving on international flights must present a negative PCR COVID-19 test result, conducted within 72 hours of boarding the plane.
  • All arriving travellers must submit their full itinerary on arrival.

 

Mandatory quarantine – Not required, but all visitors must be available for a swab test on day five (5) of their trip. You must then be reachable / contactable on day seven (7) to receive the results of the swabbing. If the result is negative, you may proceed with the rest of your itinerary. If the result is positive, you will be treated at isolation facilities authorised by the Ministry of Health and Social Services at their cost, and according to national case management guidelines.

 

Countries allowed to travel to the destination – All

 

Airlines flying into the destination

  • Ethiopian Airlines
  • Lufthansa from 19 September 2020
  • Air Namibia
  • Eurowings from 20 September 2020
  • Qatar Airways from 1 October 2020

 

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