With our finger on the pulse of Africa travel, we share the updated Africa travel restrictions due to COVID-19.
Many countries in Africa are entering a new phase of recovery after the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic quite literally brought the world to a standstill. Part of this phase is the reopening of airports, removal of curfews, and the slow and steady reintroduction of international tourism, guided by new and improved health and safety protocols.
A renewed sense of hope has brought with it a renewed excitement about travel again, and safari travel has never looked more enticing than it does now. The striking natural landscapes of the continent are more beautiful than ever – the animals are abundant, the bushveld is flourishing, and the land is thriving. It is something one has to experience first-hand to really grasp the magic. As explorer and author William Burchell once said, “Nothing but breathing the air of Africa, and actually walking through it, can communicate the indescribable sensations.”
While there are a number of wonderful destinations in Africa that have opened their borders, we have selected some of our favorite Indian Ocean Islands, Southern and East African COVID safe destinations that are ready to welcome travelers from around the world to experience this magic for themselves. See the new guidelines, protocols and safety requirements needed for your favorite COVID safe destination in Africa below.
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 12 July 2021 –
On the 1st July 2020, Kenya was awarded the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Safe Travel Stamp in recognition of the country’s adoption of the global health and hygiene standardized protocols dubbed ‘Safe Travels’. International travel to this wildlife mecca resumed on the 1st August 2020, and safari tours to Kenya were able to resume again. As from 26 March 2021, Kenya announced a ban on all inland travel in the capital Nairobi and out four other counties. No road, rail or air transport will be permitted in these 5 areas.
Countries allowed to travel to Kenya
Travelers that are not on the approved list will need to undergo quarantine for 14 days at their own cost. However there are 205 other countries (this list is updated 8 March 2021), that are exempt from mandatory quarantine.
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.
Also an approved and recognised user of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Safe Travel Stamp, Tanzania announced its lift on the ban of travel on 18 May 2020, just in time for the great annual migration. International flights arriving and departing from the country began, and travel to Tanzania has been a relatively stress-free affair.
All countries are allowed to travel into Tanzania (excluding India) and there is no mandatory quarantine upon arrival. The country is open for international travel. Except for India.
Ethiopian Airlines, Qatar, KLM Royal Dutch, Emirates, Kenya Air, Precision Air, Swiss, Turkish.
The iconic tropical spice island of Zanzibar, just off the coast of Tanzania, also reopened its borders to all travelers on the 6th June 2020, welcoming tourism back to its pearlescent sand beaches and warm Indian Ocean waters.
All countries are allowed to travel into Zanzibar and there is no mandatory quarantine upon arrival. This excludes India.
Mango Airlines, Precision Air, Oman Air, Turkish Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Air, Qatar, Emirates, Kenya Airways, Coastal Aviation, Auric Air.
Also awarded the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Safe Travel Stamp, Rwanda’s airports reopened for commercial flights in August 2020, allowing international travellers back into the country for tourism once again.
All countries are allowed to travel to Rwanda, and though there is no mandatory quarantine on arrival, travelers are required to be tested at the airport and must wait between 8 – 24 hours for their results in a designated hotel.
All tourists will be allowed to visit Rwanda’s attractions and destinations after testing negative for COVID-19 in two consecutive tests.
If you are arriving from India or Uganda you will be required to quarantine for 7 days at a transit hotel at your own cost, that is designated.
Private charter flights, Qatar Airways, Kenya Airways, Emirates, Egypt Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, RwandAir.
Uganda resumed international passenger flights to Entebbe International Airport on the 1 October 2020, allowing travelers to visit this gorilla trekking destination once again.
Uganda is open to all international travelers (excluding India) and there is no mandatory quarantine required. 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.
Emirates, Turkish Airlines, Qatar Airways, Uganda Airlines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Air Tanzania, Kenya Airways.
On the 9th November, Botswana lifted its international travel restrictions in a phased manner, resuming air travel from Sir Seretse Khama International Airport in Gaborone, Kasane International Airport, and Maun International Airport.
All countries are allowed to travel into Botswana and there is no mandatory quarantine upon arrival. Travelers will, however, be required to remain in contact with local health authorities for a period of 14 days doing self-monitoring. They are required to fill in a traveler locator form.
Private charter flights, Airlink, Air Botswana, Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airways.
Our Recommended LuxVenture Trip in Botswana:
On 1 October 2020 South Africa reopened its borders to international travelers. Cape Town is an approved and recognized user of the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Safety Stamp.
Although OR Tambo International Airport, King Shaka International Airport, Cape Town International Airport, Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport and Lanseria International Airport’s are opened, there are still some restrictions.
The country is open to all international travelers.
Air France, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Edelweiss Air, Virgin Atlantic and Lufthansa
As from 1 March 2021 air travel remains open for international travelers, but land borders are only open to returning residents and essential services. If traveling from Victoria Falls to Kasane (Botswana) we can arrange a light aircraft scheduled flight for you so you don’t need to go through the land border, this means then that you can still travel between Victoria Falls and Kasane/Chobe area.
You can visit national parks and designated tourism facilities as long as you are within curfew hours (20h00 to 5.30). Hotels and lodges are exempt from the mandatory business closures. Your Ker & Downey travel specialist will be arranging this for you.
All countries are allowed to travel to Zimbabwe and mandatory quarantine is not required unless travelers display symptoms of COVID-19. If symptoms of the virus are apparent, travelers are required to stay at a designated isolation facility for 7 days, then self-isolate for another 7 days.
Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways Air Tanzania, Airlink, Fastjet (as from 15 March 2021).
Namibia reopened its borders to international travelers wanting to holiday in the country from the 1st September 2020 and announced its new implementation protocols to revive the country’s tourism initiative. Entry to Namibia will only be allowed via Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek. This renowned safari destination is characterised by the endless desert landscapes and sand dunes that disappear into pristine coastlines, and is definitely worth experiencing.
All countries are allowed to travel into Namibia and there is no mandatory quarantine upon arrival. Quarantine is required if a swab done in the country displays a positive test result as stipulated below. Entry is only allowed into Namibia at the Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek.
Ethiopian Airlines, Lufthansa, Eurowings, Qatar Airways, Airlink, Mack Air.
Madagascar opened Nosy Be on 1 October 2020, however, travel to the mainland is currently closed. Ivato International Airport is not open in Antananarivo for international visitors.
All countries are allowed to travel to Nosy Be except for Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, United Kingdom, Russia, Ukraine, India, USA, Morocco, Argentina and Iran. This list is subject to change.
Mozambique is open for international travel. Land borders are open for self-drive travelers and most shopping centres, markets, restaurants, cafes and bars are open, with some restrictions on timings. Beaches are closed to the public.
All countries are allowed to travel to Mozambique.
Flights approved from Ethiopia, Kenya, Qatar, Portugal, Turkey and South Africa.
Ethiopian Airlines, RwandAir, Kenya Airways, Emirates, Turkish Airlines Oman Air, Airlink, Proflight.
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. 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!