An upswing in holiday bookings to Africa is being triggered by special rates, the lure of remoteness and the chance to make a major contribution to safari camps and communities following Covid-19.
Specialist operator Expert Africa also cited flexible booking terms and effective insurance policies as offering reassurance to consumers alongside sustained low infection rates across the African continent.
Managing director Chris McIntyre said: ‘Since August, Africa and the routes to get there have been re-opening. The initial trickle of travellers has become a steady stream, with healthy number of last-minute bookings.
“Safaris are outdoor holidays, based in remote tented camps in destinations which generally have very low Covid infection rates.
“Self-isolation on safari – alone with nature and your guide – is the perfect recipe for escapism and mental calm.”
McIntyre, author of Bradt Guides to Namibia, Botswana and Zambia, added: “Travellers to Africa are making a major contribution to the lives of the camp teams and their communities. Each guest is contributing directly to the wellbeing and lives of dozens of people.
“There was initial concern that, with travel so limited this year, African communities that rely on tourism would turn to hunting wildlife to replace lost income. For the most part, this simply hasn’t happened – the conservation ethic has proved far stronger than expected.
“Wildlife and ecosystems have continued to be cared for, despite individuals and communities facing slashed incomes and personal hardship.
“For travellers, the fact that insurance companies now have policies available which cover Covid-19 is hugely assuring.
“Plus, it’s becoming increasingly common for airlines and immigration authorities to require a negative Covid-19 PCR test before travelling.”
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