COVID-19 travel update: Which African countries are open for travel

COVID-19 travel update: Which African countries are open for travel

This is a developing story. We will be updating this article regularly as borders open for international travel.
Last updated on 28 August 2020.

 

Botswana 

For now, all of Botswana’s borders remain closed, except for residents and citizens. There are currently no commercial flights into or out of Botswana. 

Our top 3 Botswana lodges:

chief's camp firepit gunn's camp river view jao camp pool botswana

Kenya 

Kenya has lifted all internal travel restrictions and re-opened its airports to welcome international travelers on 1 August 2020. The country’s Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife has implemented a reduction in park entry fees from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021.

Kenya has been awarded the ‘Safe Travel Stamp’ by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) in recognition of the country’s adoption of the required global health and hygiene standardized protocols.

Our top 3 Kenya lodges:

bateleur camp room room at kichwa tembo tented campporini lion camp

Malawi 

Visitors from high-risk countries for coronavirus are no longer permitted to enter Malawi unless they have a residence permit. 

Namibia 

Namibia has planned to re-open on  1 September with flights into Windhoek only. All travelers will be required to stay for 7 days at their first tourist facility of booking, which must be duly registered with the Namibia Tourism Board and certified by the Ministry of Health and Social Services.

 

Our top 3 Namibia lodges:

sossusvlei desert lodgeOnguma the fortDamaraland camp

Rwanda 

Rwanda’s airports reopened for scheduled commercial flights on 1 August 2020. Some incredible promotional offers, including discounted gorilla trekking permits, have been made available to foreign visitors until 31 December 2020.

South Africa 

The South African airspace is currently still closed to international commercial airlines and the dates for international tourism have not been defined. Inter-provincial leisure travel for residents started from 17 August 2020, with socially distanced safaris in open vehicles allowed and the majority of lodges have reopened.

Recent media reports claiming that South Africa will only reopen for international travel in 2021 are false. The Tourism Business Council of South Africa is currently advocating for an earlier phased reopening of  tourism from as early as September 2020.

Our top 3 South Africa lodges:

Dulini river lodgeMadikwe safari lodgeHamiltons tented camp

Tanzania 

Tanzania unconditionally welcomed tourists from all nations in May, one of the earliest countries to do so. The Airport is open and ready for regional and international visitors. If passengers’ body temperatures test normal, they will be able to enter the country without being quarantined.

The Government has issued ‘post-covid’ travel guidelines and a number of properties and camps are starting to open up, and there are some fantastic specials available.

Our top 3 Tanzania lodges:

Ngorongoro crater lodgeSingita faru faru lodgeThe highlands

Uganda

Uganda is slowly emerging from complete ‘lockdown’. Lodges and staff and preparing in readiness for ‘post-covid’ travel according to all the new protocols. Some are already open for residents.

 Many border districts have been opened to travel, including most of the southwest – which inlcude Bwindi and Mgahinga. However, the  Primate parks/gorilla trekking remain closed until further notice (Bwindi/Kibale/Budongo). 

No date has yet been made available as to when the airport will be accepting international flights, but they are getting ready for post-covid arrivals.

Zambia 

Zambia’s borders remain open but under tight screening. Kenneth Kaund International Airport is open to international flights but all other provincial airports remain closed to international traffic. Travellers to Zambia will be tested with a nasal swab for COVID-19 on arrival. Anyone who goes to Zambia will have to go into mandatory quarantine for 14 days at a government-run facility. All tourist visas to Zambia have been cancelled. 

Our top 3 Zambia lodges:

zebras on the grass royal livingstone thorntree river lodge sundowner jettyelephants by dam victoria falls safari lodge

Zimbabwe 

Zimbabwe remains under indefinite lockdown with all borders still closed, except for returning Zimbabwean nationals and permit holders.

Our top 3 Zimbabwe lodges:

Nyamatusi camp main suite render game drive the hide hwange elephant camp view of victoria falls

Islands

Mauritius 

There are currently no commercial flights from Mauritius. The island is scheduled to open again for international travel from 1 September 2020 subject to the opening of borders and the lifting of travel restrictions.

Seychelles 

Seychelles gradually started reopening its borders from 1 June to tourists from low-risk countries travelling via private jet, direct chartered flight or yacht. After successfully implementing this first phase, the Seychelles reopened for commercial flights from 1 August 2020.

Visitors must ensure that accommodation bookings are made only at licensed establishments that have been certified by the Seychelles Public Health Authority. Your Safari.com Expert will only book certified establishments available on www.tourism.gov.sc. All booking vouchers reflecting the entire duration of stay in the Seychelles must be presented at Immigration for verification.

All visitors are required to send COVID-19 test results to the Seychelles Department of Health prior to boarding a plane.

Visitors should also have their negative test results on hand when arriving in the Seychelles, as well as certification by their local health authorities confirming that they’ve taken a test 48 hours or less prior to boarding the flight. 

Mozambique

The government of Mozambique is only allowing Mozambican citizens or foreign residents to enter the country until further notice. All international commercial passenger flights are still suspended.

Zanzibar

Zanzibar is one of the Indian Ocean islands but classified as part of Tanzania. Please see travel restrictions above.