There is great news out of Africa as the continent slowly begins to reopen borders to international travelers. Opening dates and entry requirements vary from country to country but here are the latest updates. As this is still a fluid situation, the following information will be updated as new details are announced.
(Updated Oct 8, 2020)
Tanzania’s borders are open with international flights arriving. Upon arriving in the country visitors will be required to have their temperature taken. There is no required quarantine for international travelers. Tanzania has further relaxed its rules, no longer requiring that a negative test COVID-19 certificate is presented on arrival (except where visitors’ airlines or country require it). Guests to Tanzania are, however, required to observe many of the hygiene practices that have become commonplace, such as regular hand-washing, physical distancing and wearing a mask in some indoor environments.
Kenya reopened its borders on August 1st and published a list of countries from which visitors are not required to be quarantined, this include most of the United States (residents of California, Florida, and Texas were not exempt from quarantine). As of September 16th, the quarantine requirements for residents of California, Florida and Texas has been lifted. Arriving passengers must present a negative PCR based COVID – 19 test carried out within 96 hours before travel. Passengers must also complete an online health surveillance form for contact tracing.
As of Oct 1, 2020 Uganda has resumed international airline arrivals and accepting foreign visitors from all countries. The current requirements for entry are:
- Uganda immigration requires that arriving passengers show PCR COVID-19 negative test results issued within 72 hours prior to boarding your first flight en route to Uganda. As long as passengers do not leave the terminal building of the connecting airport then their PCR test will still be valid upon landing in Entebbe.
- Uganda immigration requires that departing passengers show PCR COVID-19 negative test results issued within 72 hours prior to departing from Uganda.
- This means that if you have been in Uganda longer than 72 hours, you will need to be tested again in Uganda.
- Current test cost is $110, payable to clinic staff at time of testing. Wait time for results is about 48 hours so travelers will need to spend an additional 2 days in Entebbe (our operator is working to provide testing outside of Entebbe to avoid the extra stay).
Rwanda reopened the Kigali International Airport on August 1st. Arriving passengers must present negative PCR test results from within 120 hours of arrival and will be tested again on arrival followed by quarantine in a local for up to 24 hours while awaiting results (all at your cost). Travelers must also have a negative PCR test taken within 120 hours prior to departure.
It was announced on Sept. 16, 2020 that South Africa’s borders will open for international visitors on October 1, 2020. Some countries may be red-listed based on their coronavirus statistics – more details will be forthcoming. Travellers will have to present, on arrival, the result of a negative coronavirus test less than 72 hours old. Quarantine is required only if travelers do not present a negative covid test or show symptoms.
Currently Botswana is closed to all international travel (except returning residents). When this ban will be lifted is not known. It’s likely Botswana will wait to see how South Africa’s opening progresses before opening its borders so there may not be any official government statement for a few more months.
Namibia’s Hosea Kutako International Airport outside Windhoek is open and international flights are arriving. On Sept 18, 2020 Namibia announced new protocols for international travelers:
- All tourists must have a negative PCR result not older than 72 hours before boarding their flight to Namibia.
- Tourists must complete a health questionnaire and provide a full travel itinerary to health staff upon arrival.
- Tourists must have travel insurance to cover medical expenses and unexpected hotel stays in case of isolation.
- Upon arrival tourists may proceed to the pre-booked destination.
- If a tourist plans to stay less than five days at the pre-booked establishment, they may proceed to the next destination. However, on day 5 they must be available for swabbing at the closest medical facility.
- Tourists must be reachable on day 7 to receive results of the swabbing. If result is negative the tourist is released from further surveillance. If result is positive, the tourists will be taken to an isolation facility of their choice and treated at their own cost.
Domestic flights within Zimbabwe resumed on Sept 10, 2020 with international flights into Victoria Falls and Harare to resume on Oct 1, 2020. All travelers will be required to have a PCR COVID-19 Clearance Certificate issued by a recognized facility within 48 hours from the date of departure. The Government of Zimbabwe instituted screening checks based on WHO regulations including thermal scans and review of travel history within the previous 14 days.