On 1 Oct 2020, South Africa’s borders officially opened. There are of course many questions around visiting South Africa .. The Southern African Tourism Services Association (SATSA), of whom we are proud members has posted an excellent FAQ document around this. This is a fluid document and will be updated as & when info is changed.
Peace of Mind
African Travel Gateway has for many years run a business model based on sound & conservative principles. As a result we thankfully remain in a position of financial strength, and with a full staff compliment able to operate fully effectively.
We have close on 30 years experience in creating African safari experiences, and keep our ear close to the ground with what’s new, what’s changed and what’s important for our travellers.
Mental Health, Positivity and the Importance of Planning
Anxiety, negativity and fear is being traded globally, like never before. We encourage a positive and pro-active approach, and the advanced planning your African Safari is free of cost, distracting in a good way and ensures you get the best our of your holiday to Africa. Your best vacation is yet to happen.
“The only man I envy is the man who has not yet been to Africa – for he has so much to look forward to.”
― Richard Mullin
Ourselves and our many suppliers that make up our diverse safari experiences, take the Covid-19 protocols seriously. They align with all legal requirements including among other measures, mask wearing in public spaces, the availability of alcohol based sanitizers (min 70% proof) in public areas of hotels & lodges and transport facilities. Social distancing is maintained at 2 meters. On the open air game drive vehicles at safari camps & lodges, the measures include allocating a maximum of 4 – 6 passengers (unless a group is travelling together). The vehicles are sanitised before & after each game drive.
Covid-19 related postponements & cancellations
For bookings postponing or cancelling while Covid-19 is still a reality, ie:
• The World Health Organization (WHO) continued declaration of Covid-19 as a global pandemic
• The South African Government closes, or keeps its borders closed due to Covid-19
• Your country of residence prohibits travel from it’s borders
• The absence of inbound international flights into South Africa,
the following policies will be practiced:
For bookings made on or after 30 Mar 2020
- Trips maybe deferred to any date in 2021 for no cost, other than a particular supplier’s rate change
- Air tickets rules and restrictions vary greatly, there they will be fully communicated to you before paying so you can select a fare best suited to your peace of mind.
- Trips can be cancelled due to due Covid-19 restrictions up to 60 days prior to travel without cancellation fees
- Comprehensive travel insurance has always been a pre-requisite of travel with African Travel Gateway. Many travellers around the world have been sorely let down in this crisis by insurance companies excluding cover for pandemic / epidemic related claims. Our recommended travel insurance company is World Nomads, one of few insurance companies that do not have pandemic / epidemic exclusion clauses.
For bookings made before 30 Mar 2020
Given the unprecedented nature of the crisis, the responses from suppliers across the board varies. This means that each postponement / cancellation is addressed individually. Below is the general pattern:
- For Covid-19 related postponements, just about all suppliers are allowing postponing to end of 2021 for no charge, save a change in rate due to the change in period (where applicable).
- Air tickets are governed by the restrictions in place at the time of ticketing, but many airlines are offering a free change (voucher) for travel despite restrictions that may have been in place prohibiting changes
- For Covid-19 related cancellations, we engage each supplier individually and motivate for a full waiver of cancellation fees, and in the instances where suppliers have already been paid deposits or in full, we motivate for a full refund.
- In many cases they agree, and at times charge an admin or cancellation fee. The main factor influencing to these charges is the time between the date of travel and the requested cancellation.
- Whenever any charge is levied we engage the supplier vigorously on behalf of the client to try and have these waivered.