Where can I Travel Post-Covid?
It is established that our preferences for destinations, locations and all things travel will change in COVID-Era and Post-Covid as well, which will establish a new dawn for the travel industry.
An important question: Where can I travel once borders open-up and we have destinations once again to start welcoming tourists and flights?
I can without hesitation suggest Africa. Why Africa? Below Info-graph can help at a glimpse (courtesy: Africa Bush Camps):
For starters Africa (only exception is South Africa, with high numbers and currently ranked 5th on the global chart) has been able to contain the virus from spreading (as compared to USA, Russia, Brazil and India, with high cases and mortality).
The only reported cases in Africa are in it’s urban locations, which like any other country is due to high population density.
But for us, Africa is wilderness, wildlife and safari reserves, it’s concessions and conservancies, and not the urban centers, which are primarily used for transit purposes, or overnights only for flight connection purposes.
For years, people have chosen to come on safari to disconnect from the fast-paced life and unwind in the stillness of Africa.
No other destination offers a better connection with nature, wildlife, and local people (tribes) living in seclusion and harmony. It offers a perfect opportunity to understand and experience wildlife in its natural habitat and authenticity.
Africa offers an extra level of exclusivity, specially countries and reserves which offer private concessions, wherein one or few camps have or share access to hundreds of thousands of hectares of wilderness at your disposal. Very few remote places in the world can offer such a low density of human exposure, Africa is one of them and my favourite choice Post-Covid19.
Accommodation in Africa: Boutique, Intimate, Remote, Private and Luxurious
In Africa, on a Luxury Safari, you have the privilege of booking the full camp on an exclusive basis, just for your family or group. This is possible since many camps in Africa offer an average of 5-10 tents as it’s maximum inventory. Wilderness Safaris and Great Plains Conservation are classic examples of small, intimate, and luxurious camps in Africa, offering the best of the best.
As an alternate you also have option of booking a Private House or Private Villa as part of a bigger camp or they are set-up as separate, secluded and intimate camp locations. A big camp in Africa is usually not more than 10-15 tents.
- Asilia Africa offers private houses which have three bedrooms each and are suitable for families, while their camps are naturally intimate range in size from 7 to 15 double rooms. If your group isn’t big enough to book out the entire camp, you also have the option to book a separate section at some of their camps.
- Singita Private Villa Collection (East Africa and Southern Africa) offers seven exclusive-use villas across Africa to travellers looking to spend quality time with loved ones, a private setting where you can experience a once-in-a-lifetime adventure together in pristine spaces.
- Each of the exclusive-use Plains Houses at Cheetah Plains accommodates a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 8 guests per house, offering you and your safari companions the ultimate private safari experience in the splendid Sabi Sand Game Reserve (South Africa).
- Africa House is the exclusive-use villa at Royal Malewane (South Africa) that sleeps up to 12 guests. Africa House is a spacious and elegant, bush villa with six en-suite bedrooms either side of a central courtyard.
- Little Mombo Camp (3 tented suites) overlooks a grassy floodplain dotted with tree islands in the north of Botswana’s Moremi Game Reserve, within the Okavango Delta. It is set within a private concession, in an area renowned for having Botswana’s highest density of wildlife – making Little Mombo a real ‘flagship’ safari camp for Botswana.
- Duba Plains Suite is a private, exquisite two-bedroom tented villa located on the 33,000 hectare private Duba Plains Reserve. Tucked into pristine Okavango Delta wildlife habitat with views across floodplains filled with iconic African wildlife species, there is simply no other safari experience like this in the Okavango Delta, Botswana.
- Arijiju is a beautiful, private home in the game-rich, malaria-free, Kenyan Highlands with rare, truly wild luxuries.
- Time + Tide Chongwe House, Lower Zambezi, Zambia is award-winning safari design at its finest. This stunning two storey, four bedroom private house is set on a tranquil stretch of the Chongwe River against a beautiful mountainous backdrop.
- Footsteps Camp in Botswana for the adventure seekers and young explorers. This comfortable private camp accommodates family in three specially designed, twin-bedded, Meru tents complete with sewn-in floors.
- The Nest @ Sossus is tucked away in a lush valley on the private Namib Tsaris Conservancy, and it backs up against the great escarpment in the Namib Desert (Namibia). It is an exclusive use property with 3 private en suite bedrooms (king & queen beds) as well as an additional en suite kiddie’s room.
In case you are travelling as a couple, or prefer to book individual tents (rooms) in a camp in Africa, rather than booking full camp or a private house, you can still have privacy since as a standard, in most African camps the accommodation tents are built quite spaced out from each other giving complete privacy.
This is why the camps in Africa do not have to make any changes to implement or adapt to COVID-Era’s new normal, since social distancing has been a norm for all camps in African wilderness.
Open Spaces: Dining & Activities
Another area to ensure social distancing or exposure with other guests is renting out your own private vehicle for the game drives, which normally seat 4-6 pax in a group.
Recent studies show that the coronavirus is prone to transmit more easily indoors than outdoors. This is because of the larger volume of clean air and limited closed space. When you’re on safari, the environment is your playground – you can enjoy activities and meals in the open, limiting interaction and the possible spread of COVID-19. Game drives are considered open-air activities and are, therefore, relatively safe.
Emergency Medical Evacuation:
Africa has been well prepared to handle emergency medical evacuation to closest medical facility, since the dawn of Safaris on it’s continent. This was obvious due to remote locations of camps in game reserves, national parks, concessions and conservancies. Organisations like AMREF Flying Doctors is the leading provider of fixed – wing air ambulance services in Africa. They have been in the aeromedical transport industry for more than 60 years.
Then you have global players like Global Rescue, who offer medical advisory and evacuation service memberships which offers medical evacuation. This means that you will be transported on a medical flight from a hospital that’s typically at least 100 miles or so away from your home to the hospital of your choice via a private air ambulance. At its most basic, it covers the cost of transporting you in an ambulance to the aircraft, the flight, and then on to another ambulance to the home hospital.
Infact an operator, a boutique travel design company, based out of New Delhi, India and an Africa Safari Specialist Experiential Travel Journeys Pvt. Ltd, offers free membership to Global Rescue to to all it’s guests booking a Safari Trip with them.
Travel within Africa:
Africa has no dearth of fixed wing and helicopter operators offering quick and easy transfers to remote locations within your destination, offering almost a direct access to your safari camp. These small aircrafts can also be chartered exclusively for your private group.
- Wilderness Air is proud to be the air partner of Wilderness Safaris, a responsible ecotourism and conservation company with private access to the finest wilderness and wildlife areas of southern Africa.
- Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, CFS offers aircraft management, charter, sales and FBO services. They operate a broad range of modern aircraft from single-engine turboprops to large jets, enabling them to meet all their clients’ business and leisure aviation requirements.
- Auric Air is the specialist provider of choice for bespoke VIP charter services in East-Africa. With years of experience in VIP aircraft charters‚ and a pedigree in working with VIPs across the globe‚ their team tailors each VIP charter to the client’s every need‚ down to the last detail.
- Coastal Aviation operates to roughly 100 airstrips located in some of the most isolated pockets of Eastern Africa. The scheduled Coastal network connects visitors to Kenya and Rwanda with the world-famous Serengeti, links Southern Tanzania parks of Selous and Ruaha with the tropical island paradises of Pemba, Zanzibar, and Mafia.
- Enhance your Botswana experience by exploring the unreachable, and wild regions of the Okavango Delta. Create priceless memories with Botswana-based, Helicopter Horizons.
- Tropic Air offers 25 years of private flights and helicopter journeys throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
Travel from India to Africa:
Once the commercial flights start, you have options of great connectivity into Africa with Emirates, Etihad, Qatar, Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, South African Airways to name the most famous.
But flying commercial can involve too many transit points for your comfort, and to limit your level of exposure, may be you want to consider flying private.
Private Jet operators like Vista Jet offers you the best in comfort, service, privacy and of-course luxury with their expanded fleet of executive private jets.
Founded in 2004, VistaJet revolutionized aviation by pioneering a new way to fly: giving customers access to a fleet of over 70 aircraft around the globe, while paying only for the hours they need. To date, VistaJet passengers have flown to over 1,900 airports in 96% of the world’s countries, making it the first and only global aviation company.
Support wildlife & Local communities by Travelling to Africa. Travel with Purpose
African wildlife and it’s local communities also need our support and want tourism to return. Currently, the teams at various camps have been serving as guardians of wildlife, patrolling the lands on foot, and keeping busy to be ready for your return.
The presence of a safari camp in an area is important to ensure safety of wildlife. While travelling in your game vehicle, you add to the number of boots on the ground by deferring any poachers coming into the area.
When you come to Africa, you are investing in more than just a relaxing holiday, you can help better the lives of those in need and help in the process of self-empowerment through collaboration. Interconnected activities such as community empowerment, conservation support and education are supported by our Foundation in the areas in which we operate.
– Amit Kalsi, Private Travel Designer