Founder of The Luxury Safari Company, Rose Hipwood, flew to Tanzania from London and recorded her first-hand experience of travel in the country through a series of videos.
She said while some countries required travellers entering their borders to have a negative COVID certificate, Tanzania did not. She flew on Ethiopian Airlines to Addis Ababa, then transferred to Kilimanjaro International Airport in Tanzania, and said that she felt very safe and secure, with most people wearing masks and hand sanitiser available everywhere.
Hipwood said on arrival at smaller airports like Kilimanjaro, hand sanitiser was compulsory on entry and masks were required. “On the plane you will have been given a health form which is very straightforward – passport details, have you had fever, cough – a list of things – and where you’ve been.” She added that this form was in addition to the ones filled out for visas and may add some time on to travel schedules.
Overall, Hipwood described her experience of international travel as pleasant and went on to create videos at Namiri Plains Camp in the Serengeti.
At the camp, she took viewers through the changes that safari camps had made for guests’ health and safety. Hot or cold towels normally given to guests after a safari have been replaced with hand sanitiser. “There’s hand sanitiser everywhere,” she said.
Contact with people is minimised, dining is private and she says the risk at safari camps feels very low. She spoke to staff at the camp about their experience of COVID in Tanzania, and they told her that sanitisers and masks were compulsory, even when visiting the smallest shops in rural towns and that the spread of the illness had not been as severe as in other parts of the world.
“That leads me to believe that the biggest threat is actually from other guests coming into the camp from Europe and from the States, however you will not come into contact with those guests,” said Hipwood. She said for peace of mind she would recommend getting a negative COVID certificate even if it’s not required.
During her time in the country Hipwood saw an array of wildlife including lions, hyena and wildebeest. “It makes me really sad that people are not here to enjoy all of this, and I think that anyone who does travel to Africa in the next few months will have a really life-changing safari.”