[Updated March 25, 2022] As a safari specialist and African destination tour operator that people come to for travel guidance and honest advice, we continue to closely monitor the progress of the pandemic, the latest travel news and advisories, and international best practice guidelines for minimizing the risk and keeping travellers safe.

GOOD NEWS: Africa is completely open and travel-ready! Case numbers in East Africa and Southern Africa are low. Most countries have dropped PCR test requirements for vaccinated travellers. Below we provide an update on the pandemic situation and how it impacts travel.

We are open!

Throughout the pandemic, Wild Wings Safaris has remained open. Travel is back to normal. Our guides are all vaccinated, and our team of consultants are on hand to answer enquiries and take new bookings. An African safari is the ideal post-pandemic vacation: low stress, lots of sunshine, abundant fresh air, wide-open spaces, outside dining and open vehicle game drives with vaccinated guides. We have seen a strong recovery as the pandemic continues to wane. Now is a great time to book your next safari trip, before demand skyrockets even further and availability becomes limited.

Pandemic Update

South Africa acts as a hub and indicator for the region of Southern Africa, while Kenya can be seen as a hub and indicator for safaris in East Africa.

South Africa has recovered well from the fourth wave of infections driven by the mild Omicron variant, which peaked in December 2021. New daily cases have been dropping steadily and active cases are down to less than 0.03% of the population, their lowest levels since before the first wave. Almost all pandemic restrictions have been lifted.

Despite the unjustified bad press and travel bans South Africa received after discovering the Omicron variant, the country has set an example to other nations in terms of pandemic management. South Africa has been very proactive in responding to each new wave of infections, and active cases per million have consistently been much lower than the US, UK and Europe. Indoor mask wearing is still mandatory in South Africa and compliance with safety regulations and social distancing rules is very good. Outdoors and on safari you will not need to wear a mask. Vaccine rollout started slow but is picking up momentum, with over 50% of adults vaccinated so far. Importantly, over 85% of the population are estimated to have immunity, either from vaccination or from prior infection. Our guides are also fully vaccinated. However, being vaccinated is not a requirement to come on safari. Life is pretty much back to normal in South Africa. All shops, bars, restaurants, gyms and malls are open. National Parks have remained open throughout most of the pandemic. Travel is permitted and borders are open. PCR tests are no longer needed for vaccinated travellers.

Kenya's numbers are also very low, with less than 100 new cases per day and very few active cases remaining in a population of 55 million. Numbers have been trending down since December 2021. The country is fully open for safari travel. PCR tests are no longer needed for vaccinated travellers.

Please read our blog post to stay up to date on the COVID-19 entry requirements by country. We update this regularly, every time there are changes to the regulations.

Borders are open

All countries in Southern and East Africa are open to all international travellers. There is no red list. You do not have to be vaccinated to travel, but if you are not vaccinated you will need to show a negative PCR test result (less than 72 hours old).

Covid-19 Safety Protocols

A few health protocols remain in place, such as indoor mask wearing and hand sanitizing. We remain committed to making your trip as safe and hygienic as possible. Like most frontline tourism staff, our safari guides have been vaccinated. As the pandemic winds down, more and more of the remaining regulations are being dropped. For example, you no longer need to wear a mask outside, in restaurants or on an open safari vehicle.

Early morning open vehicle

Early morning open vehicle safari

Plan and book now without risk

Can you risk booking now for later in 2022 or 2023?

Absolutely! To accommodate the current uncertainty, all payments remain 100% refundable if you have to cancel due to COVID-19. Most airlines and safari lodges also have very flexible cancellation and refund policies in place in case of a COVID-19 related cancellation.

The current level of risk to tourists is very low. Even if you're only planning to travel much later, our advice is to book soon to avoid disappointment. There is a lot of pent up travel demand, and thousands of people have postponed their trips from 2020 and 2021 to travel in 2022 or 2023. We are already seeing a flood of bookings and availability for peak periods is already limited. Many popular destinations over peak travel dates in 2022 are already fully booked. Our advice therefore is to book early. It is possible to book now without any financial risk to yourself. We advise all travellers to take out comprehensive travel insurance that includes COVID-19 cover.

Lion cub falling asleep in the Kruger

Lion cub photographed in the Kruger Park by safari guide, Simon Vegter

Relaxed terms and conditions

Our temporary COVID-19 Policy outlines our more flexible cancellation policy. This will apply while COVID-19 remains a threat, and allows you to make a provisional booking now for a future safari date with minimal risk. We will review this policy monthly until it becomes clear that it is safe to proceed with normal booking procedures. We expect to revert to our normal terms and conditions very soon.

Is it safe to book and travel now?

Yes! It is perfectly safe to book and travel now, especially if you are vaccinated. You don't have to be vaccinated to travel to Africa, but it will certainly help you feel safer and avoid the need for PCR tests. Case numbers are very low. Throughout the pandemic, it has been statistically safer to visit Africa than to use public transport to go to work or go to a local supermarket back home. Airports and airlines around the world continue to apply COVID-19 safety regulations and screening protocols to help keep passengers safe. Some countries and airlines still require a recent negative COVID-19 test before they will allow you to board, but some countries like the UK have already dropped all COVID-19 travel restrictions. Most African countries have dropped PCR test requirements for vaccinated travellers.

The nature of African safari travel makes it very safe. Would you rather be in a crowded museum in a big city, or enjoy Africa's vast landscapes and wide-open spaces, remote wilderness areas, an abundance of sunshine and fresh air, and amazing game viewing from open vehicle game drives?

As the world returns to normal after this terrible pandemic, we are travel-ready and look forward to welcoming you on safari!


About the author


Dianne Kokkonidis was born in Johannesburg, grew up in the Transkei and spent years exploring Europe. She returned to South Africa to live on a farm in the Outeniqua Mountains when the call of Africa got too loud to ignore. She comes from a family of storytellers, so it's no surprise she's now found her way into writing about one of the oldest stories known to mankind - the lure of Africa.