South Africa Travel Update
South Africa is finally seeing a glimmer of light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel. During President Cyril Ramaphosa’s national address on 15 August 2020, he said coronavirus infections appear to have peaked in the country, as he announced a sweeping relaxation of lockdown measures.
Three of South Africa’s nine provinces that had very high infection rates have seen a marked reduction. These are the Western Cape (Cape Town, Winelands and Garden Route), Gauteng (Johannesburg and Pretoria) and the Eastern Cape. Four Provinces have remained relatively unaffected and two provinces still have to see their peak and decline in infection rates (Kwa-Zulu Natal and The Free State).
Experts are crediting our strict, decisive and early lockdown for the declining infection rate, and in another positive sign, the recovery rate rose above 80% this week. We have now been in lockdown for 144 days and achieved level two of five levels, with level one being our designated goal to reopening.
Our borders remain closed, but under the newly-announced level two lockdown restrictions, inter-provincial domestic travel is now also allowed. We remain hopeful that our borders will reopen by November, and when we do this, it will be because we are safe to open.
We are in the fortunate position, should we open in November, to be at the beginning of our summer with 6 months of great, warm weather ahead of us. Most activities and attractions in South Africa are outdoors. Our game lodges and safaris are corona-free and havens of secluded luxury. There are few countries that can offer so much open space and attractions that take guests away from the big cities and still offer incredible experiences.
We are cautiously confident that we can welcome our international visitors back to South Africa in 2021. We have worked tirelessly to beat the virus and we hope that we can continue to save jobs and get money flowing into our conservation efforts.
Our safety protocols have been ready for months. Not only will tourists and visitors be comprehensively and safely taken care of, every accommodation establishment, restaurant, vehicle, attraction and venue will be COVID-ready and waiting to welcome them.
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