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Botswana Coronavirus Updates: What’s Been Happening?

Botswana Coronavirus Updates: What’s Been Happening?

COVID-19 has dramatically changed the African safari industry. Nothing has looked the same since March, and while some things are getting back to normal, we’re not quite there yet. Botswana’s coronavirus pandemic response is still ongoing.

So, we thought we’d take a moment to let you know what’s happening in Botswana when it comes to coronavirus, how we’re doing at Brave Africa, and our plans/hopes/dreams for the future.

Botswana Coronavirus Updates

As of the end of August 2020, COVID-19 cases have not yet reached 1,000 people in Botswana. There are:

  • 701 confirmed cases
  • 202 active cases
  • 493 recovered cases
  • 6 deaths

Covid-19 cases in Botswana

To keep case numbers so low, Botswana’s borders have been shut down for months. Beyond travel for trade and work, there has been no movement across the borders either to/from South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, or Zimbabwe.

  • The Botswana government has also been quick to enforce lockdowns as needed to reduce the spread and to prevent outbreaks.
  • Mask wearing is strictly enforced when out in public with a very steep fine for violations.
  • Alcohol sales have also been suspended in order to discourage large group gatherings.

Wear a mask - Botswana

 

Botswana Coronavirus Travel Updates

As for travel to and from Botswana during the coronavirus pandemic, as we said, borders are still closed to all non-essential travel. There are currently no commercial international flights into or out of Botswana. However, the Botswana government is in talks with leaders from other countries to determine when and how to resume flights for tourism and beyond.

Travel updates in Botswana

 

Brave Africa Coronavirus Updates

So, how is the Brave Africa team doing during Botswana’s coronavirus pandemic response? They are doing as well as can be expected.

At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the Brave Africa leadership team took one simple idea to heart: if we cannot be there for each other, how can our guests expect us to be there for them? And thus, all of our choices for our staff have revolved around this idea moving forward.

 

Integrity is doing the right thing when it is hard to do the right thing. As we near the end of the fifth month of the country’s borders being closed to tourism travel and our fifth month of zero revenues, Brave Africa staff continue to receive income and a 30-day supply of foodstuffs. We believe that we are all in this together, and Brave Africa has not laid off or furloughed any staff due to the pandemic.

All of Brave Africa’s staff remain well and healthy. They check in with us regularly from wherever they happen to be riding out the pandemic. Most of our team have returned to their home villages to be with their families, while a few staff live in Maun.

For those in Maun, they have been coming to the office (voluntarily) to keep the vehicles, equipment, and office in top shape. They have also converted the yard around the office into a vegetable garden to supplement their groceries while we wait for tourism to reopen in Botswana.

Brave Africa Garden

The Brave Africa team garden at the office, where we planted rapeseed, tomatoes, coriander, parsley, green peppers, and chilies.

 

Botswana Nature 2020

The good news is that shutting down the borders does not change the majesty of Botswana’s wilderness. In fact, nature has put on a true show this year while tourists have not been able to visit.

After a few years of arid conditions and drought throughout the Okavango Delta, this year has resulted in spectacular floodwaters. For the first time in recent memory, the Thamalakane River, which passes through Maun (where almost every safari begins) is filled with water.

Botswana flooding Okavango Delta

The Thamalakane River in Maun, Botswana, is filled with floodwaters.

Okavango Delta Floodwaters

Life-giving water in the Delta.

 

The return of this life-giving water, plus the absence of humans in the bush, has created an environment where wildlife and nature are both thriving. We fully believe that this could make the 2021 safari season a year to remember.

We look forward to getting back out there soon!

 

Hundreds of Elephant Deaths in Botswana

Unfortunately, we can’t talk about Botswana’s gorgeous wildlife without mentioning the death of elephants this year. Between May and July 2020, almost 400 elephants were found dead in Botswana.

It raised a lot of concern among conservationists worldwide and fears of poaching, poison, and more. The dead elephants were usually found close to watering holes in a very strange mass die-off that hadn’t been seen in years.

The question of what killed these elephants is still unanswered—although poaching, poisoning, and anthrax have been ruled out. But though the cause of death is still unknown, we are happy to report that no further elephants have been found dead in Botswana. Whatever happened seems to have stopped for now.

Conservationists and the Botswana government are keeping an eye on the situation, and we will update you as we have more information to share. 

Botswana camp sights visit Khwai Concession

Botswana is home to more than 130,000 elephants—one-third of Africa’s entire population!

 

Planning Your Brave Africa Safari After Coronavirus

So, with all this information, should you start planning your Brave Africa safari for after the coronavirus? We know things are still up in the air, and the unexpected can still occur, but we do believe that 2021 could be a fantastic year to go on safari in Botswana.

When animals haven’t seen humans in their environment for a while, they start to relax. They go back to behaviors and actions that they may have avoided when humans were around. This means that a 2021 safari could be more of an adventure than ever before. It could be like a safari of the past where nature is truly wild and untouched.

Before you start planning your 2021 African safari after Botswana’s coronavirus pandemic response, there are a few questions you should ask yourself:

  1. Where do I want to go on safari?
  2. When do I want to travel?
  3. Are there special coronavirus safari deals?
  4. Is the safari operator taking coronavirus seriously?
  5. What does it take to book my safari now?
Let us help you out! Email info@braveafrica.com with any questions or reach out to your favorite travel agent.
How to Plan Your African Safari After Coronavirus

How to Plan Your African Safari After Coronavirus

None of us could have guessed what 2020 would bring. At Brave Africa, we were expecting a full year of amazing safaris and wonderful guests.

Things have not gone as planned, but that’s life. The good news is that we’re still here, and we will continue to be here in 2021 and beyond. Our team is still doing well, and we’re preparing for the future of African safaris—whatever that may look like. And, believe us, it’s worth it!

So, how can you plan your African safari after the coronavirus?

The African Safari After Corona

The coronavirus pandemic has drastically changed the travel industry. In the short term, it’s completely shut down all travel with worldwide lockdowns and stringent restrictions across the globe. In the long term, people are going to think about traveling differently.

Suddenly, all travelers are going to have to consider what’s safe and what’s healthy before choosing a vacation. And it’s not just about the end destination. You have to get there, and plane travel has never been ideal.

What does the African safari industry look like after corona? It’s different.

 

Go on an African safari after coronavirus

Seeing the beauty of an African sunset is just one reason to go on safari after coronavirus.

 

Africa is, of course, ready and waiting for tourists to return. And while right now might not be the best time to travel, it is a great time to plan for the future.

If you’re willing to take a leap of faith and plan your dream African safari, you could take advantage of some major deals, flexibility, and pricing cuts. In fact, most safari operators are making it so there’s little to no consequences and only benefits to booking now.

5 Questions to Ask Before You Plan Your African Safari After Corona

There are just a few questions you need to ask before you plan your African safari after coronavirus.

1. Where do I want to go on my African safari?

Botswana Elephants on Safari

Botswana is home to more elephants than anywhere else in the world—130,000 at last count.

First, you need to decide what country you want to visit for your African safari: South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe, etc. Each country offers unique experiences, amazing wildlife, and beauty.

During normal times, you couldn’t go wrong with any country—though we’re biased toward Botswana, of course—but these are not normal times. Instead, you need to consider your destination based on:

  • The impact of the coronavirus
  • Travel ability
  • Safety guidelines

For most people, South Africa is the gateway to Africa. Almost everyone flies into Johannesburg as a launching point for the rest of the continent. It’s the most common destination. That means that, until South Africa opens up its borders to tourists, getting anywhere in Africa could be difficult.

As of May 27, 2020: South Africa has had 25,937 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 552 COVID-19 related deaths. Starting on June 1, 2020, the country will move into Level 3 of their coronavirus response, which will open up much of the economy. However, travel will not open until Level 2 or Level 1, for which there are no current timelines.

Countries such as Botswana and Zimbabwe are almost completely dependent on South Africa’s reopening to restart safaris. Until that time, travel for safari is going to be difficult if not impossible.

As for safety, you might want to consider going on an African safari after coronavirus in a location where the pandemic had very little impact. For example, in Botswana, there have only been 29 cases of coronavirus recorded and one coronavirus-related death.

 

Keep an eye on the World Health Organization (WHO) for the latest travel advisories.

2. When do I want to travel?

There is no bad time to visit Botswana

There is no bad time to visit Botswana. You’ll have incredible animal viewing in every season.

Depending on where you choose to go on your African safari that will help make your decision in regards to travel. Right now, most African countries are still closed to tourists and outside travel. Until borders open back up, you won’t be going anywhere.

While it’s difficult, if not impossible, to predict when you can go on an African safari after coronavirus, that doesn’t mean you should completely write-off 2020. If you are willing to push back your dates toward the end of the year—August and later—there is a chance that you could be one of the only people on safari.

Some experts are predicting that there could be a start to normalizing life at the end of 2020, and there could be nothing better than being on your own in the wilderness—just you, your guide, and the animals.

If that still seems too risky for you, you can plan your safari for 2021, instead. Just be sure to book early and quickly. Since many safari-goers who had planned to come out in 2020 had to push back their dates until next year, availability is becoming tight. If you want to get your preferred dates, you should book as soon as possible.

And if you don’t know when to plan your African safari after coronavirus in 2021, check out our blog, “When Should You Visit Botswana? Botswana by the Month.”

 

3. Are there any special deals, discounts, or policies for going on a safari after coronavirus?

Botswana wild dogs

Brave Africa has special coronavirus deals that you’ll want to chase down.

As we’ve said, the world has changed, and the African safari industry has changed with it. We understand that it’s a brave new world out there, and we’re doing our best to keep up with the times.

With how unpredictable the future is at the moment, many African safaris are doing what they can to offer travelers peace of mind and confidence when booking their safari. Not only are there revised cancelation and reschedule policies for the remainder of 2020 and 2021, but there are also some incredible discounts you can take advantage of.

For example, at Brave Africa, for a limited time, we are offering:

  • Once-in-a-lifetime pricing for any 2020 safari
  • 2020 and 2021 Book with Confidence promotions

You can learn all there is to know here. But here are the highlights:

2020 travel

Our once-in-a-lifetime rates mean that guests who book a 2020 departure may enjoy a High season safari this fall for less than the price of low season. The price reduction saves the guests over $5,000 for a party of two!

Special Brave Africa 2020 Pricing Table

Brave Africa Cost Savings Table

  • Book with confidence. The deposit is only $400 (7-day itinerary) or $600 (10-day itinerary) to hold their spot for the entire party.  It covers our own non-refundable costs for campsites—that’s it.
  • Book now; pay later. The remaining balance is not due until 30 days prior to departure.
  • As long as we get 30 day’s notice, guests can reschedule for any available date through December 31, 2021—any reason; no penalties.
  • If rescheduling for another date in 2020, there will be no difference in costs.
  • If rescheduling for 2021, guests rollover 100% of their reservation credit AND get a further 10% bonus towards their rescheduled booking. (As an example, if a party of two pays $8,000 for a 10-day itinerary in 2020 and reschedules for 2021, they will have $8,800 available in credit towards any available 2021 itinerary).

We designed this 2020 Book with Confidence policy so that, on a worst-case scenario, the most that guests’ risk is the $400 or $600 deposit if they completely walk away without going on their safari between the day they make the booking and December 31, 2021. Otherwise, if COVID-19 spread, vaccine delays, or any other circumstance forces guests to postpone their travel dates, they may roll over at least 100% of their investment into a new travel date for the next 19 months!

2021 travel

  • Book with confidence. The deposit is only $400 (7-day itinerary) or $600 (10-day itinerary) per person to hold their spot (deposits are usually 20%-30% of the entire reservation).
  • Book now; pay later. The remaining balance is not due until 60 days prior to departure.
  • As long as we get 60 days’ notice, guests can reschedule for any available date through March 31, 2022—any reason; no penalties.

Again, even though we are cautiously optimistic that everyone will return to a new normal by 2021, we want to minimize the stress from the uncertainty of the future. Worst-case scenario, guests lose a deposit much smaller than industry-standard if they completely walk away without going on their safari with us.  Otherwise, even if COVID-19 or other life circumstances delay their original travel date, guests can roll over 100% of their investment into a new travel date through March 2022!

4. Is the safari operator taking the coronavirus seriously?

Brave Africa Camp Setup

Brave Africa has social distancing built into our safari with a maximum of 12 guests and 6 tents.

Going on an African safari after coronavirus means that you will have to travel responsibly in the future.

While there’s no definitive information about how risky it is to travel on an airplane during the pandemic, we do know that airports, TSA, airlines, and tourism gateways will all do what they can to decrease infection risk once the world starts traveling again. A key will be avoiding crowded settings as much as possible.

The good news is that going on an African safari is a guaranteed way to get away from crowds while remaining safe. Especially if you choose to safari in a place like Botswana’s Okavango Delta, you can expect the crowds to be small. Most safari camps and safari lodges in the area have a low maximum number of guests, tents, and vehicles.

For example, at Brave Africa, our safari camp’s maximum capacity is six tents (12 guests) at a time. Your safari vehicle is also maxed out at six guests (two guests per row—no occupied middle seat). This means that we’re already ideally set up for social distancing on vacation.

On top of that, because we are a mobile-tented safari, our main tent and vehicles are open-air, which greatly diminishes your risk of getting an airborne infectious disease—such as coronavirus.

But that’s just the bare minimum. If you want to feel comfortable going on an African safari after coronavirus, you also want to ask what the safari operator is doing to increase their health and safety measures. At Brave Africa, we’ve implemented additional processes and procedures, including:

  • Increased availability of hand sanitizer.
  • Masks available to use as-needed / desired.
  • Enhanced staff training on safety and health protocols.
  • Heightened cleaning and hygiene processes.
    • Our team will carefully wipe down and sanitize vehicle armrests, seats, and handles after every game drive.
    • All shared surfaces at camp will be cleaned and sanitized between uses.
    • Sanitization of hard surfaces during daily guest tent cleaning.

In addition, every Brave Africa guest will receive a Health Amenity Kit upon arrival. This kit includes a mask, a personal hand sanitizer, and a personalized water bottle.

5. Is there any reason not to book my African safari now?

Welcome to Brave Africa

Brave Africa is waiting to welcome you on safari!

Finally, you need to really ask yourself if there’s any reason not to book your African safari right now?

With extremely low deposits required, flexible rescheduling policies, and great discounts, now is the ideal time to book your dream vacation. If you’re willing to go with the flow, change your plans as required, and go on safari sometime in the next 18 months, then there’s no reason to delay.

Many of the special safari deals and offerings are only available for a limited time. Once travel gets back to normal, so too will the booking policies of most safari operators.

Also, if you have been watching the news at all, you know how stir-crazy everyone has gone. When travel resumes fully, we can only imagine how busy things could get for a little while as everyone tries to get away from home. If you book early, you will have your choice of dates, locations, operators, and more.

PLUS, by booking early, you could really help out safari operators who are struggling right now. COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the safari industry, including conservation efforts.

By making the commitment right now to go on an African safari in 2020 or 2021, not only do you enjoy the benefits of the coronavirus deals only available for a limited time, you are also saying that you care about the African wildlife and are willing to commit to protecting it.

When you book a safari with Brave Africa, we donate $5 a day per guest to various charities dedicated to conservation.

Going on an African Safari After Coronavirus

There’s no reason not to go on an African safari after coronavirus! And there has never been a better time to plan for your dream vacation. Just be sure to choose your destination, safari camp or safari lodge, and timing carefully.

5 African Nature Documentaries to Watch During COVID-19

5 African Nature Documentaries to Watch During COVID-19

Are you bored stuck in quarantine? We completely understand. It’s tough right now to stay entertained while locked inside, but we have a solution. In honor of Earth Day (April 22, 2020), we gathered our five favorite African nature documentaries to watch during COVID-19.

All of these documentaries offer something unique and exciting to enjoy while you’re sitting on your couch and wondering what’s on TV. Some are focused on Botswana’s Okavango Delta, while others are more wide-ranging and document nature from across the globe. Whatever the case, they all offer unique insight into the beautiful continent that is Africa.

1. DisneyNature Elephant

This kid-friendly nature documentary follows a family of elephants as they journey through Botswana’s Okavango Delta in search of food and water. Narrated by Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, it’s a charming story of the struggles and joys of being an elephant and surviving all that nature has to offer—the good and the bad.

It’s a story-driven African nature documentary that is perfect for kids who may get bored with typical nature shows that are too fact-focused. Telling the tale of matriarch Gaia, her sister Shani, and Shani’s son, Jomo, Elephant takes a fun look at the journey many elephants in the Okavango Delta go through every year to stay alive.

You can find it on Disney+. And we highly recommend the behind-the-scenes story In the Footsteps of Elephants if you want more insight into Botswana and what it took for filmmakers to get the shots they did.

2. Night on Earth

Night on Earth, which you can watch on Netflix, might be one of our favorite new nature documentaries. The series offers viewers an entirely new look at animals, under cover of darkness. It’s absolutely incredible to see big cats, bears, bats, and other creatures as they explore their world in a way you’ve never seen before.

From cheetahs hunting in the African savannah to monkeys trying to survive freezing temperatures in Japan, Night on Earth reveals the magic that happens after the sun goes down. It’s an addicting new nature series that we highly recommend.

Botswana at sunset on safari

The first episode, in particular, is highly focused on Africa and big cats at night. Watch it on Netflix.

3. National Geographic: The Flood

If you want to get an up-close and personal look at Botswana’s Okavango Delta, The Flood is the National Geographic special you MUST watch. When we sat down to enjoy this, we were amazed at how much of what they showed matched what we’ve witnessed in the Delta ourselves.

This African nature documentary truly shows the spectacular beauty that can be found in Botswana. There is no place like the Delta anywhere else in the world. Each year the cycle of flooding and desert creates a symphony of life that takes your breath away. And The Flood gives you an in-depth look at this miracle and all it has to offer.

If you want to truly see what it’s like to go on safari with Brave Africa in the Okavango Delta, this is the documentary you want to watch. It’s probably the closest you can get to actually going on safari. Watch it on Disney+.

4. The Ivory Game

Every 15 minutes, an elephant is killed. Many of these elephants are killed for their tusks. The illegal ivory trade is a terrible and thriving business that claims thousands of elephants every single year, and The Ivory Game takes you into that dark world for a close-up look.

This African nature documentary is not for the faint of heart. It’s a dark story about the illegal ivory trade, the consequences it has, and what’s being done to stop it. It’s a herculean effort that’s constantly ongoing and desperately deserves our attention.

Elephants Touching Trunks

If you want to know more about the challenges facing elephants and conservation efforts. Watch it on Netflix.

5. National Geographic: Savage Kingdom

With three seasons already available to watch, National Geographic’s Savage Kingdom is a fantastic TV show. It takes you into the heart of Botswana’s Savuti to show you life as a predator. The episodes follow the kings and queens of the African savannah—lions, hyena, cheetah, leopard, wild dogs, etc.—as they battle it out to be on the top of the food chain.

Narrated by Charles Dance (best known for his role as Tywin Lannister) it’s an epic TV series that not only shows you the beauty of Botswana’s Savuti marsh but also it’s harsh reality. Life isn’t easy for the predators or the prey in this vast, unforgiving land.

Unfortunately, this amazing show is only available if you have Hulu+ Live or you can buy each season on Amazon Prime for $14.99.

Bored in Quarantine? Top 8 Sites for Great Safari Content

Bored in Quarantine? Top 8 Sites for Great Safari Content

If you’re anything like us, you’re already bored of being stuck in quarantine. Although, in Botswana, our stay-at-home orders are fairly recent—extreme social distancing began on April 2, 2020, at midnight—our team members in Colorado have been on lockdown much longer (almost three weeks now).

And since it seems like we’ll be here at least until the end of April, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to share some of the ways we’re staying entertained during COVID-19. We recently shared a blog about much of Brave Africa’s fun online safari content during this time, but we’re not the only ones stepping up our online game.

There are many safari lodges, travel agencies, photographers, and other content creators that are going above and beyond with their great safari content right now.

Here are eight of our favorites from:

  1. &Beyond
  2. Singita
  3. Hills of Africa Travel
  4. Wilderness Safaris
  5. Africa Adventure Consultants
  6. Savanna Lodge
  7. Wild Eye
  8. Brave Africa

1. WILDwatch LIVE

 

Every day, &Beyond is bringing Africa’s animals and stunning landscapes directly to your couch through WILDwatch LIVE. Twice daily, on YouTube and Facebook, you can tune in for a three-hour game drive in Kruger National Park in South Africa.

The game drives are streamed (in real-time), so viewers have the opportunity to experience exactly what a safari is like. You’ll witness a spectacular diversity of wildlife and landscapes while also gaining valuable insight from professional guides.

WILDwatch LIVE is a fabulous way to satisfy some of your wanderlust. Tune in daily:

  • 6:00 am – 9:00 am CAT
  • 15:30 pm – 18:30 pm CAT

2. Singita Virtual Game Drives

Singita is also live-streaming virtual game drives every day. You can tune in on Instagram and Facebook for a live glimpse of what’s going on in the bush.

The difference here is that the videos they offer are short and take you directly to their best sightings. You don’t have to watch for minutes or even hours to witness the best of the best. Instead, you can scroll through dozens of videos with clips of lions, leopards, rhinos, giraffes, elephants, and more.

3. Hills of Africa Travel – Daily Safari Puzzles

safari content during quarantine

Every day, Hills of Africa Travel shares a new safari puzzle on their Facebook page. We originally got the idea for our own #WednesdayPuzzle from them, but they take it to the next level.

Every day, they share a new, awesome puzzle of the unique, adorable, and stunning animals you can find throughout Africa. There have been puzzles of springbok, bushbuck, baboons, vulture, penguins, elephants, and many more.

Each puzzle is a great five to ten-minute distraction while you’re stuck at home with nowhere to go. We think it’s great safari content.

4. #WildernessPoetry

Wilderness Safaris is offering wilderness lovers a unique way to remember Africa by sharing their favorite wilderness poetry. On their blog, you can find incredible poems written by their guests and staff that will inspire you to fall in love with nature all over again. They’re also asking readers to share their own poems using the hashtags #IDreamOfAfrica, #WildernessPoetry, and #WeAreWilderness.

Beyond poetry, Wilderness Safaris is also lining up a bunch of riveting stories about the African bush. Stay tuned to their social media to see what they’re up to.

5. #ArmChairAfrica

The Africa Adventure Consultants are taking their Facebook followers on an #ArmChairAfrica safari every day with great content. Not only are they sharing amazing photos and videos from safari, but they’re going further with other ideas to keep you entertained.

For example, they’re offering great safari content, such as:

  • Book recommendations
  • Interviews with experts
  • Fun activities (learn to draw a gorilla)
  • And more.

6. Savanna Stay@Home Safari

 

The Savanna Lodge, located within the Sabi Sand Reserve in South Africa, is sharing daily videos of their Savanna Stay@Home Safari. Already, there are 12 episodes that viewers can enjoy, covering everything from lion sightings to cheetahs, buffalo, elephants, leopards, and more.

Each episode is between 10 and 20 minutes in length and is led by an expert safari guide. The videos are shared on YouTube and provide viewers with an incredible safari experience from the comfort of their phone or computer.

7. The Wildlife Photography Podcast

If you’re looking for something to listen to while you work, take care of the kids, or just relax on the couch, the Wildlife Photography Podcast is a great choice! Hosted by Gerry van der Walt, it provides all sorts of great information, insight, and stories about going on safari in Africa and wildlife photography.

You can find discussions, interviews, Q&As, and more. All told by Gerry, a specialist photographic safari guide, educator, public speaker, and co-founder of Wild Eye. We especially enjoyed the short 11-minute episode about tracking a lion on foot.

He’s posting regularly during the coronavirus pandemic, so tune in!

8. Brave Africa Safari Content

Brave Africa Coloring Page

On Brave Africa, we’re trying to share a lot of fun, interesting, and engaging content, during COVID-19. We’ve got a little bit of everything, including short #virtualsafaris that take you into the bush for a little bit. We also are sharing:

  • Downloadable coloring pages for kids. Find them all here.
  • #PuzzleWednesday with animal puzzles to put together online. Find them here.
  • Pinterest pins on all things Brave Africa, safari, and Botswana.
  • Regularly updated blog with news, stories, images, and videos.
Online Safari Content During the Coronavirus Crisis

Online Safari Content During the Coronavirus Crisis

There’s no beating around the bush, COVID-19 is severely impacting life as we know it around the world. Many of us are practicing social distancing, self-quarantine, and other extreme measures to end the spread. That’s why we feel that online safari content is so important right now to make up for the lack of coronavirus tourism.

Coronavirus Tourism and Small Business Impact

It is a scary time, particularly for the travel and tourism industry. Brave Africa is not immune to everything that’s going on around the world.

As a small business trying to launch our mobile lodge and safari company in 2020, the timing couldn’t be worse. Our hopes, dreams, and plans for a strong first year in business have been put on hold.

But as long as we stick together, listen to the advice of medical professionals, and do what is best for everyone, we can get through it stronger than ever.

Botswana Coronavirus Update – March 27, 2020

While Botswana (as of Friday, March 27, 2020) still has no confirmed cases of the virus, tourism has effectively shut down in the country.

According to the Government of Botswana in line with the Public Health Act 2013, all individuals from the following high-risk countries will not be allowed entry: China, Japan, South Korea, Iran, USA, UK, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and India. There’s also warning of an “imminent countrywide lock-down” to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic with soldiers watching all borders.

Already, almost all international travel has shut down, but there is good news. We will still be here when the coronavirus is defeated and life returns to normal (or the new normal), whether that’s in a few weeks or a few months.

Brave Africa’s Coronavirus Response: GREAT Online Safari Content

The Brave Africa team is in constant communication about how to handle the coronavirus crisis and what we can do to keep moving forward. As we wrote in our previous blog, we are allowing all current clients to postpone their booking up to 12 months with no penalties. And we’re honoring the same rate whether you rebook this year or wait until 2021.

But what about for everyone stuck at home, dreaming of being anywhere else?

We are going to be providing great content across our social media platforms and blog. If you can’t come to us for a safari, we’ll come to you on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Here’s a little about the type of online safari content you can expect to keep you entertained as you are quarantined

#VirtualSafari Mondays

On Mondays, we’re going to start taking you on virtual safaris (#virtualsafari)! From the comfort of your home, you can journey with us into the Okavango Delta in Botswana to see the animals, hear the sounds of the bush, and experience the majesty of being on safari.

The goal is to let you get out of the house even just for a little while through your phone or computer screen. We want you to have something to look forward to every Monday for the coming weeks and months as we protect ourselves and each other. It’s the easiest way to enjoy some coronavirus tourism.

So, be sure to tune into our social media pages every Monday to check out the latest #virtualsafari video!

Watch the first video here!

 

Puzzle Wednesdays

To help keep you entertained while you’re at home in self-quarantine, we’ve started sharing a fun puzzle every Wednesday on our Facebook and Twitter pages. This online puzzle takes one of our favorite pictures from safari and breaks it down into 48 puzzle pieces (or more) that you can then put together online.

It’s a great diversion for ten or so minutes in the middle of the week when we know you can really use it. If you really like these puzzles, we’ll keep them up and make them harder as we go! You can find our first African sunset puzzle here.

Brave Africa Safaris puzzle

We’d like to thank Hills of Africa for this great idea, which they first shared on their Facebook page.

Coloring Book Fridays

Then, on Fridays, we’re sharing pictures from our Brave Africa coloring book! We’re taking some of our favorite safari images and transforming them into black and white coloring pages that you can print out at home and transform into your own artwork.

So far, we’ve shared a gorgeous image of a Lilac Breasted Roller as well as a picture of a leopard on the prowl.

Brave Africa coloring page Bird 1

We encourage you to go as crazy or as accurate as you want on the drawings. That’s why we’ll always upload the original photo along with the coloring book download, so you can decide what type of art you want to create. Is this fun online safari content, or what!?

Brave Africa coloring page leopard 1

Photos from the Bush

We know there’s a lot of doom and gloom in the world right now, so we promise to continue sharing beautiful, inspiring, and fun photos from the bush. Because we all need something to smile about during this time.

You might not be able to go on safari right now, or even in the next few weeks, (since COVID-19 tourism is not allowed) but the bush is always there, waiting for us to explore. Join us throughout the week as we share candid animal pictures taken by our guests and employees.

It is just one small way we hope our online safari content brightens up each of your days.

Elephant close up safari

Vacation Planning

Sometimes the best way to get through an unpleasant time is to think about the future. Truthfully, we do not know when the coronavirus pandemic will end, and travel will return to normal. We hope it is only a few weeks or months from now, but it could be much longer than that.

No matter how long it takes, we do know that there will be light at the end of the tunnel. Whether it is this summer, fall, winter, or 2021, we will be able to travel and explore the world again. And we do not know about you, but we are definitely going to have cabin fever!

What better way to pass the days than to plan your future vacation? You do not have to make any commitments right now, we know things are too uncertain, but you can dream.

This is a great time to collect airline miles and credit card points so you can get a free flight to Africa later this year or next. It is also an excellent opportunity to begin budgeting and planning your dream vacation.

During these next few weeks, we will try to help you out with blogs and other content offering tips and advice on planning your dream safari vacation. It is never too early to get started. There is a lot you need to know and do to have the best trip possible, so we will be here to help.

Online Safari Content You Want

Safari lion close encounter

Last, but certainly not least, we would love feedback about what type of content you would like to see.

We know how negatively COVID-19 is affecting everything and its particularly strong impact on the travel industry is unlike anything we have ever seen before. So, we would like to know what online safari content you want to see.

Do you want:

  • More videos and images from the bush because they are a great distraction from the constant stream of bad news?
  • More information about what is going on in Botswana and how the coronavirus is impacting everything there?
  • Behind the scenes looks at what Brave Africa is doing to weather the coronavirus crisis?

Let us know!

Final Thoughts

We know this is a challenging time for everyone. The good news is that it also presents an incredible opportunity for all of us to put aside our differences and come together as a global community. We are all in this together, and the more we can do to support each other, the better.

Our thoughts are with those who are sick, have lost their jobs, or are otherwise struggling in the world as it is now.

At Brave Africa, we are doing our best to hang in there during the storm and make it out to the other side. Stay tuned as we update our website, keep sharing great content, and do what we can to keep you informed.

Don’t Worry! In 2021, Brave Africa Will STILL Be Here

Don’t Worry! In 2021, Brave Africa Will STILL Be Here

The coronavirus is causing a ton of uncertainty right now. Reading just a few news stories is enough to make you think that the world will never be the same and that once-in-a-lifetime safaris in 2021 will only ever be a dream. And it’s true that the travel and tourism industries have been severely and negatively impacted by COVID-19, but don’t count us out. In 2021, Brave Africa will still be around.

We know a lot of people are hesitating to plan or even think about their vacation in 2021. Which airlines, hotels, and tour operators will still be around next year? Already, 50 million jobs in the global travel sector are at risk, some airlines could go bankrupt, and hotels are asking for bailouts.

But Brave Africa still be around to take you on an African safari in the future. We won’t be another casualty of the coronavirus pandemic.

Brave Africa Will Outlast This Pandemic!

Obviously, we cannot predict the future with certainty or guarantee anything, but being debt-free and having adequate cash reserves puts Brave Africa in the best position possible to survive this unprecedented impact to travel and tourism.  We are at low risk of going bankrupt even if there are no more safari-goers for the remaining nine months of 2020, and we are confident that Brave Africa will still be here to host once-in-a-lifetime safaris in 2021 and beyond.

Although we are a brand-new operator, Brave Africa is in solid financial health and we have the knowledge, experience, and foundation to outlast the pandemic.  Out of all of the scenarios tour operators and lodges can find themselves in during these unpredictable times, Brave Africa is as set for success as we can be.

2021 Brave Africa Lion Looking Ahead

We’re looking ahead to 2021, and the future looks bright. We will get through this together.

Brave Africa is Debt-Free

First and foremost, Brave Africa has no debt. Unlike many other hospitality operators, we have no expensive construction loans, commercial mortgages, private land leases, automobile loans, or other major liabilities that we would be obligated to pay in spite of reduced revenues.

We own all of our assets outright, including our vehicles, tents, and other camp equipment.

Low Operating Expenses

In addition, most of our operating expenses are only incurred if we have paying customers. For example, as a mobile lodge, we benefit from the fact that we only pay for campsites when they are in use. We also only purchase food and other safari supplies shortly before each scheduled adventure, so there is no product waste or inventory spoilage that we have to worry about.

When we are not running safaris, are only expenses are staff payroll, business insurance, and a small office rent. This means that we have enough cash reserves to remain in business for the next 12 months even without any incoming revenue.

Experienced Executives/Investors

The Brave Africa team is also composed of experienced executives and investors who have knowledge weathering tough financial storms.

One of our owners has a background in accounting as well as running a successful software company in the United States. He has been able to guide our team down the right path to ensure that Brave Africa remains financially solvent in spite of any turbulence in the safari industry.

As for our financial backers, they are highly invested in Brave Africa’s success. They believe in our vision and business. If required, they are willing to put additional investment into the company to continue operations for the foreseeable future.

 

Plan with Confidence

We ask that everyone stay safe, and when we get to the other side, know that in 2021, Brave Africa will be here and ready to take you on an unforgettable trip!

For now, for as long as physical distancing, self-quarantining, and travel restrictions last, we will continue to bring the African bush to you! Check out our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube accounts to escape for a moment (our next blog will explain exactly what we’re doing).

CHECK OUT BRAVE AFRICA’S SPECIAL CORONAVIRUS PRICING & BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE PROMOTIONS!

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