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Updated African Travel Restrictions due to COVID-19

Written by Julie Graham

With our finger on the pulse of Africa travel, we share the updated Africa travel restrictions due to COVID-19. See the new guidelines, protocols and safety requirements needed for your favorite destinations in Africa below.

Please note, it is highly recommended that you regularly check government and airline websites for any Africa travel restrictions and updates as the requirements are constantly changing.

– updated 22 January 2023 –

East Africa Travel Restrictions due to COVID-19

Country Airport/land borders open PCR testing information PCR testing for <5 years on arrival Vaccination certificate (WHO approved) Quarantine on arrival
Kenya Yes Fully vaccinated travelers do not require a PCR test. Unvaccinated travelers require a negative PCR test no more than 72 hours before arrival.  No Yes, for 12 years and older No, unless showing symptoms 
Tanzania Yes All travelers are not required to present a COVID-19 vaccination certificate or a RT-PCR test unless it is required for your final destination
Rwanda Negative test certificate required taken at maximum 72 hours before arrival only if doing primate trekking No
Uganda A negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate is no longer required for fully vaccinated inbound travelers. No If 6 years and older No, unless showing symptoms or test positive

Kenya

Wildebeest walking in Kenya - - one of the country's in the Africa travel restrictions Coronavirus information
Wildebeest herds in the Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

Countries allowed to travel to Kenya

Yes all.

Health & Safety COVID-19 Protocols

Fully vaccinated travelers:

  • If proof of full vaccination is presented, then travelers are exempt from entry testing. Vaccination means having received the prescribed doses of the specific vaccine, latest shot at least 14 days before arrival (not including the day of vaccination). The vaccine must be approved by the World Health Organization.
  • Travelers who are fully vaccinated shall be exempted from the requirement of a PCR test. Travelers below 12 years of age are exempted from this requirement.

Unvaccinated travelers:

  • All unvaccinated travelers arriving at any port of entry into Kenya must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result conducted not more than 72 hours before departure regardless of the route of entry.
  • This is also for those above the age of 12 years.
  • If no proof of PCR test then there will be a rapid antigen test at a cost of 30 USD.

Only if presenting with flu like symptoms upon arrival, then a COVID-19 travellers must report daily on the “Jitenge” platform for the first 14 days in the country. A rapid antigen test might also be required a cost of $30.

Pre-departure PCR testing may be reconsidered at the discretion of any of the airlines departing from or terminating in Kenya. Passengers traveling out of the country, will be required to abide by the particular travel, health and COVID1-i related requirements of the transit and destination country.

Airlines Flying into Kenya

Kenyan Airways, Emirates, RwandAir, Lufthansa, Qatar, British Airways, Ethiopian Airlines. Emirates require a negative COVID-19 certificate obtained no later than 96 hours prior to flight departure. Kenyan Airways require a negative COVID-19 certificate obtained no later than 72 hours before boarding.

Our Recommended LuxVenture® Trip in Kenya:

Sub Saharan Kenya Safari Experience

Tanzania

Lady taking a picture from a hot air balloon in the early morning
Hot air balloon safari over the Serengeti in Tanzania

Health & Safety COVID-19 Protocols

International passengers entering mainland Tanzania from/through the Republic of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) must complete an online Health Surveillance Form.

Passengers travelling within Tanzania may be asked to complete an online Domestic Departure Health Surveillance Form before a domestic departure or on arrival at a domestic destination on a flight originating in Tanzania.

All travelers entering or transiting the mainland through land borders, ports or airports are not required to present a COVID-19 vaccination or RT-PCR certificate. A Rapid Antigen test is not required either.

Thermal and physical screening will be done on arrival.

Departure

  • No departure tests are required, but check with your destination country or transit country for any further requirements. If the destination country requires a RT-PCR certificate, this can be done for 50 USD per person.

Airlines Flying into Tanzania

Ethiopian Airlines, Qatar, KLM Royal Dutch, Emirates, Kenya Air, Precision Air, Swiss, Turkish.

Our Recommended LuxVenture® Trip in Tanzania:

Great Migration Safari in Tanzania

Zanzibar

Traditional Dhow off the coast of Zanzibar
Traditional Dhow off the coast of Zanzibar

Countries allowed to travel to Zanzibar

All countries are allowed to travel into Zanzibar and there is no mandatory quarantine.

Health & Safety COVID-19 Protocols

Fully vaccinated travelers

  • All travellers must complete and submit a Travellers Surveillance Form within 24 hours before arrival. Upon submission you will receive a Health Code which will be requested upon arrival.
  • Fully vaccinated travelers will be required to present a valid certificate of COVID-19 vaccination, with QR code for validation at any point of arrival into Zanzibar. The only accepted vaccinations are those approved by the World Health Organization.
  • A PCR test is not required if you are fully vaccinated.

Unvaccinated travelers

  • All travellers must complete and submit a Travellers Surveillance Form within 24 hours before arrival. Upon submission you will receive a Health Code which will be requested upon arrival.
  • All arriving passengers aged 6 years and older are required to present a negative Real-Time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test or Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAATs) with QR code for verification on arrival, carried out within 72 hours before departure for Zanzibar.
  • We do suggest you pay for the COVID-19 rapid test online to avoid unnecessary queues upon arrival as you will get a automatically generated control number Link
  • Travelers displaying symptoms and signs related to COVID-19 will be required to undergo enhanced health screening and may be tested.
  • While in the country, all international travelers will be expected to adhere to protective safety measures such as hand hygiene, wearing masks and keeping physical distancing as deemed appropriate.

Departure

  • No departure tests are required, but check with your destination country or transit country for any further requirements. If this is required, the team will arrange for this and the results received between 48 – 72 hours from sample collection. Mobile facility COVID-19 testing at a cost of $150 per person per test.

Please note: If you do not have access to a QR code on your vaccination certificate, please download the CLEAR App. Here, you can upload all your vaccination documents and have them verified. You will then be provided with a valid QR code you can use to travel.

Download CLEAR HERE

All travellers who arrive in Zanzibar from COVID-19 high risk countries and visiting Tanzania mainland within 14 days from the date of arrival, will be required to present a negative Rapid Antigen Test certificate obtained during entry, otherwise you will be subjected to a Rapid Antigen Test at your point of entry in Tanzania.

Airlines Flying into Zanzibar

Mango Airlines, Precision Air, Oman Air, Turkish Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Air, Qatar, Emirates, Kenya Airways, Coastal Aviation, Auric Air.

Our Recommended LuxVenture® Trip in Zanzibar:

Bush & Beach Safari in Tanzania & Zanzibar

Rwanda

Mountain Gorilla in Rwanda
Mountain gorilla in Rwanda

Countries allowed to travel to Rwanda

All countries are allowed to travel to Rwanda, 

Entry requirements are the same if you are fully vaccinated or un-vaccinated into Rwanda. You do not need to present proof that you have been fully vaccinated to enter Rwanda.

Health & Safety COVID-19 Protocols if visiting primates at Volcanoes, Nyungwe and Gishwati-Mukuru National Park

  • If participating in primate trekking then a PCR test is required (not a rapid test). A rapid test is acceptable for those visiting Akagera National Park.

Airlines Flying into Rwanda

Private charter flights, Qatar Airways, Kenya Airways, Emirates, Egypt Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, RwandAir.

Our Recommended LuxVenture Trip in Rwanda:

Mountain Gorilla Trekking

Uganda

Uganda landscape
Uganda landscape

Countries allowed to travel to Uganda

All passengers are allowed to enter. However, passengers who exhibit signs and symptoms of an infectious disease will be transported to an isolation centre for a COVID-19 test. The results will be available within 24 to 48 hours.

If you are transiting through Uganda, you wil need to provide proof that you are fully vaccinated or provide a negative COVID-19 test certificate on arrival in Uganda.

All visitors are required to complete the online health declaration form within 24 hours of travelling to Uganda.

Health & Safety COVID-19 Protocols

Fully vaccinated

  • A negative PCR test certificate is not required for fully vaccinated inbound travelers.
  • Produce the full vaccination certificate at air or land border points.
  • Children under the age of 6 are exempted from providing a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate whether vaccinated or not.

Not fully vaccinated

  • All travelers (except those younger than 5) must provide an original negative COVID19 PCR test in your country of origin, issued within 72 hours of departure for Uganda. This must be from a recognized laboratory.
  • On departure from Uganda, all travelers are required to arrive at the airport at least 4 hours before their flight and present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result issued within 72 hours of departing from Uganda. This is required even if your destination country does not require this (except for children under 5 years). However to note that your destination country’s time frame will be the most important if they require a negative test in less than 72 hours.
  • You will be required to undergo temperature checks and health screening.

Airlines flying into Uganda

Emirates, Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways.

Our Recommended LuxVenture Trip in Uganda:

Bwindi Gorilla Trekking Safari

Southern Africa Travel Restrictions due to COVID-19

Country Airport/land borders open PCR testing information PCR testing for <5 years on arrival Vaccination certificate (WHO approved) Quarantine on arrival
Botswana No longer required, regardless of vaccination status No No No
South Africa Yes, No longer required, regardless of vaccination status No n/a
Zimbabwe Yes  Not required if fully vaccinated. However a negative PCR test no more than 48 hours before arrival.  No Is required if fully vaccinated. Certificate of full vaccination to be shown. No.
Namibia No longer required, regardless of vaccination status .
Madagascar Yes PCR test is required not more than 72 hours before arrival. PCR test on arrival and wait in an airport hotel for 24-48 hours) for test results No No Yes, but only while waiting for the test results
Mozambique Yes Not required if fully vaccinated. Negative PCR test no more than 72 hours before arrival if not fully vaccinated. No No, but recommended No, unless test is older than 72 hours
Zambia Yes Not required if fully vaccinated. However a negative PCR based SARS-CoV-2 test no more than 72 hours before arrival if not fully vaccinated is required. No Yes. Unless not fully vaccinated. No

Botswana

Charter flight over the Okavango Delta, Botswana- one of the country's in the Africa travel restrictions Coronavirus information
Charter flight over the Okavango Delta, Botswana

Countries allowed to travel to Botswana

All countries are allowed to travel into Botswana and there is no mandatory quarantine upon arrival. 

Health & Safety COVID-19 Protocols

There are currently no COVID-19 protocols in place, regardless of vaccination status.

COVID-19 negative test or vaccination certificate is only required if the destination country or airline requires it.

Airlines Flying into Botswana

 Private charter flights, Airlink, Air Botswana, Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airways.

 Our Recommended LuxVenture Trip in Botswana: 

Best of Botswana Safari

South Africa

South Africa safari trips Table Mountain
Table Mountain, Cape Town

Countries allowed to travel to South Africa

The country is open to all international travelers. As from 22 June 2022, all restrictions were lifted.

Zimbabwe

Elephant in Mana Pools, Zimbabwe
Elephant in Mana Pools, Zimbabwe

All ports of entry are open. Visitors arriving by road from Botswana (the new Kazangula border) to Victoria Falls will need to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate not older than 48 hours (2 days). For families with children younger than 12 years, they do not require a negative COVID-19 PCR test result, irrespective of vaccination status.

Health & Safety COVID-19 Protocols

Fully vaccinated:

  • If fully vaccinated then a PCR test certificate is not required. The vaccinations must be approved by the WHO. A booster is not required.
  • A full vaccination certificate is required to be presented with a QR code.
  • Those who have received three doses of the World Health Organisation recommended vaccines are exempted from mandatory wearing of face masks in outdoor public places.

If not fully vaccinated: 

  • Those travelers not fully vaccinated will be required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate, obtained from a recognized facility within 48 hours of departure for Zimbabwe. 
  • This is required for all travelers 12 years and older.
  • There will be enhanced health screening and temperature testing on arrival.
  • Complete a Health Questionnaire detailing where they have traveled to and providing personal details for tracking purposes. Document here
  • On departure COVID-19 protocols to be followed only if the destination country or airline requires it.

Travelers will be checked with non-contact thermometer on arrival.

Airlines Flying into Zimbabwe

Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, Air Tanzania, Airlink and Fastjet.

Our Recommended LuxVenture® Trip in Zimbabwe:

Hwange to Vic Falls & Mana Pools Safari

Namibia

The dunes at Sossusvlei, Namibia - one of the country's in the Africa travel restrictions Coronavirus information

The dunes at Sossusvlei, Namibia

Namibia has removed all PCR entry requirements. With immediate effect travelers no longer have to produce a vaccination certificate or negative PCR test result at the country’s port of entry.

Our Recommended LuxVenture® Trip in Namibia:

African Photo Safari

Madagascar

Madagascar Aerial View - one of the country's in the Africa travel restrictions Coronavirus information

Pristine wilderness in Madagascar

Airport opened:

All airports are currently open.

COVID-19 protocols on arrival:

  • PCR test is required by immigration not more than 72 hours before arrival.
  • All arriving travellers are required to undergo an Antigen test at a cost of USD 20. If the result is positive, the traveller will be required to quarantine for 7 days at a dedicated facility at their own cost.

Airlines Flying into Nosy Be

Ethiopian Airlines

Our Recommended LuxVenture® Trip in Madagascar:

Madagascar Wildlife Safari

Mozambique

Mozambique- one of the country's in the Africa travel restrictions Coronavirus information
Mozambique

Mozambique is open for international travel.

Maputo International Airport is part of the Airport Health Accreditation Programme

Countries allowed to travel to Mozambique:

All countries are allowed to travel to Mozambique.

Health & Safety COVID-19 Protocols

Fully vaccinated:

  • Copy of vaccination certificate with QR code is required.

If not fully vaccinated:

  • All travelers who have not fully vaccinated and are over 11 years of age, will be required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test, obtained within 72 hours of departure for Mozambique from your country of origin.

Flying into Mozambique:

Flights approved from Ethiopia, Kenya, Qatar, Portugal, Turkey and South Africa (Airlink). 

Please note: If you do not have access to a QR code on your vaccination certificate, please download the CLEAR App. Here, you can upload all your vaccination documents and have them verified. You will then be provided with a valid QR code you can use to travel.

Download CLEAR HERE

Our Recommended LuxVenture® Trip in Mozambique:

South Africa and Mozambique Honeymoon

Zambia

Sunset cruise on the Zambezi River- situated in one country's in the Africa travel restrictions Coronavirus information

Sunset safari cruise down the Zambezi River

Health & Safety COVID-19 Protocols

Fully vaccinated:

  • If travelers are fully vaccinated, they need to present a copy of a full vaccination certificate with a QR code. A full course/dose is required, if approved by WHO.
  • Traveler Health Questionnaires Traveler Health Questionnaire for entry are provided on provided on incoming flights for passengers to complete before disembarkation. These should be completed and handed in on arrival. Will need to be completed in English and handed.

If not fully vaccinated:

  • All arriving not fully vaccinated visitors will need to carry proof of a negative COVID-19 test conducted within 72 hours of original flight departure. This must be a SARS CoV-2 PCR test certificate result. it must include a medical practitioner name, signature and stamp.
  • Entry screening will be conducted at all airports.
  • This does not apply to children younger than 12 years old as they are exempt from testing.

For departure the entry requirements of the destination country or transit country must be adhered too.

Airlines Flying into Zambia

Ethiopian Airlines, RwandAir, Kenya Airways, Emirates, Turkish Airlines Oman Air, Airlink, Proflight, Airlink.

Please note: If you do not have access to a QR code on your vaccination certificate, please download the CLEAR App. Here, you can upload all your vaccination documents and have them verified. You will then be provided with a valid QR code you can use to travel.

Download CLEAR HERE

Our Recommended LuxVenture® Trip in Zambia:

Liuwa Plain & Kafue National Park Safari

Please always check restrictions for your home country and your destination for your travels before you book and before your travel with regards to Africa travel restrictions. The above information is subject to change, however is updated regularly. Please also check with your airline. We can not be held liable for any sudden changes. It is time to rediscover wonder in some of most breath-taking COVID safe destinations in Africa. Get in touch with one of Ker & Downey® Africa’s expert LuxVenture® Designers today to plan your dream safari or beach escape that showcases the very best of this magical continent!