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.
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?
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?
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.”
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:
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!
- 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!
- 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!
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?
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.
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.