Africa Legislation Tourism Travel Weekend

Current state of travelling in Africa as a North American – a guide

Below you will find a very useful guide for the North American traveller keen on visiting Africa. It lists several countries in Africa and their respective current travel requirements, thanks to the great work of The Points Guy website:

Democratic Republic of Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo reopened its borders in August. It is perhaps best known for the Virunga National Park and for being home to the mountain gorilla. Most businesses and schools are now open. Unfortunately, Virunga National Park is not set to open until 2021.

Gorilla at the Virunga National Park, DRC

According to the U.S. Embassy, all arriving international travelers age 11 and older must arrive with proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within seven days of their departure to DRC. Upon arrival, travelers age 11 and older must take a COVID-19 test at the airport. Travelers should register their information and pay for the test at INRBCOVID.com before they begin their travel. The cost of the required test is US$45. After testing at the airport, arriving passengers must self-quarantine until they receive a negative test result, usually within 24 hours.

Americans also need a visa to visit as well as a World Health Organization (WHO) with proof of yellow fever vaccination. The U.S. State Department’s advisory for the Democratic Republic of Congo is Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

Also read: Botswana plans to slowly reopen borders in effort to restart tourism industry

Egypt

Temple of Kom Ombo dedicated to God Sobek on the Nile River near Aswan and Luxor

International tourism resumed in Egypt July 1. The Great Pyramids of Giza also reopened on July 1 after being closed since March, reported Reuters. The pyramids underwent a deep cleaning of all paths and touchpoints earlier this summer.

Egypt is now open for Americans, but there are some important things to know before you go.

Americans will need a tourist visa available on arrival or before arrival via online enrollment. There are no quarantine requirements although you will need a negative COVID-19 PCR test. According to the U.S. Embassy in Egypt, while most travelers over the age of six, including Egyptians, will require results of tests taken within 72 hours prior to departure for Egypt, passengers traveling from Japan, China, Thailand, North America, South America, Canada, London Heathrow, Paris, and Frankfurt will be allowed to provide the test certificate performed at a maximum of 96 hours prior to flight departure, due to the long travel and transit period from these airports. You also have to have the physical (printed) test results. No digital documents are being accepted.

According to the Egyptair website, international passengers traveling directly to Sharm el Sheikh (SSH), Taba (TCP), Hurghada (HRG) and Marsa Alam (RMF) airports who failed to submit a valid PCR test (72 or 96 hours before flight departure time), will undergo the PCR test upon arrival to those airports with a charge of 30 USD. Passengers will then be isolated in their hotels until the PCR test result is received. Should the PCR test be positive, the passenger will need to self-isolate in his/her room at the hotel and coordinate with the Egyptian Ministry of Health.

Ghana

Ghana’s Accra Kotoka International Airport reopened for regular international service on Sept. 1, although the country’s land and sea borders remain closed. According to the U.S. Embassy in Ghana, Americans are allowed to enter the country and all passengers arriving by air must present a negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test conducted by an accredited laboratory in the country of origin not more than 72 hours prior to departure.

Chale Wote, the annual street art festival that takes place in Accra, Ghana.

In addition, upon arrival, each traveler age five and older must undergo a COVID-19 test conducted at the airport. There is a $150 fee per person. Travelers can pay the fee online before departure or pay upon arrival at the airport in Accra. Ghana’s Ministry of Public Health has mandated the use of face masks in public.

Kenya

Kenya is now open for tourism again as of August 1. President Uhuru Kenyatta says the country has reached enough preparedness to lessen restrictions but precautions should still be taken, reports Reuters.

A lone hot air balloon over a herd of zebras @ Maasai Mara National Reserve, Narok County, Kenya.

Under the reopening plan, travel in and out of Nairobi was allowed and general domestic travel began July 15. International travel began August 1. Mosques can open for an hour with 100 visitors. A mandatory face mask requirement while in public remains in effect and a nightly curfew starting at 10 pm has been extended through Jan. 3, 2021.

All visitors need a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 96 hours of arrival, according to the U.S. Embassy in Kenya. They’ll also face a health screening on arrival.

The State Department has a Level 3 warning to “reconsider travel,” because of coronavirus.

Mauritius

The island nation was under lockdown from March 20 to June 15 when the restrictions were fully lifted.

Paradis Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa, Black River, Mauritius

According to the U.S. Embassy, as of Oct. 1 Americans are now allowed to visit but only long-stay arrivals may be approved with a mandatory 14-day quarantine at an establishment recognized by the authorities, which includes multiple COVID-19 PCR tests.

Mask mandates remain in effect throughout the island.

Morocco

Morocco extended its strict state of emergency until Dec. 10. Americans are among citizens of several dozen countries currently allowed to enter the country without a visa, but they must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure and present it in printed form at airport check-in and upon arrival in Morocco. Face masks are mandatory in flight and in all public spaces.

Shot after the rain in the beautiful blue city of Chefchaouen, Morocco.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Morocco, travelers must also have confirmed reservations with a Moroccan hotel or travel agency.

Be aware that there are still curfews in some cities, and domestic travel within Morocco requires a travel authorization letter from local officials. Apparently, a hotel reservation can be all the documentation you may need.

To help fight coronavirus, Morocco has rapidly expanded its fleet of drones for surveillance, public service announcements and sanitization.

Namibia

Namibia is open with a COVID-19 test required.

Arriving visitors also have to stay at their first lodging for a period of one week. It has to be a government-approved hotel or camp, and arrivals must be registered with the government.

The vast, incredible landscapes of the Namibian desert in Sossusvlei.

International flights and tourists are now allowed to fly to Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH), but according to the U.S. Embassy in Namibia, they must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken within 72 hours of arrival and fill out a health questionnaire. Those whose test result is more than 72 hours old will need to undergo a day-of-arrival quarantine until getting a negative result on a second test before being allowed to move freely in the country.

President Hage Geingob said in a televised address, “The virus is likely to remain in our midst for a prolonged time and we must learn to live with it … learning to live with the virus means adapting our attitudes and behaviors so that we can reduce the damage it can do to our country.”

Nigeria

Nigeria reopened its airports on July 8 after months of closure. Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt, Owerri and Maiduguri airports all reopened for domestic flights in July, and international flights resumed in August.

All tourists are again welcome, including Americans.

Tuk-tuk ride in the chaotic yet vibrant and colourful metropolis of Lagos, Nigeria.

According to the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, arriving international passengers must have proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 120 hours (five days) of departure.  A Quarantine Protocol issued in September requires all international visitors to register via the Nigeria International Travel Portal and pay for another test seven days after arrival in Nigeria.

Rwanda

Rwanda is among the limited number of countries in the world open to American visitors. Now might be the perfect time to plan that safari adventure you’ve always wanted to take if you are able to swing it. Rwanda has done a good job controlling the coronavirus outbreak with only 6,191 cases and 51 deaths according to Johns Hopkins University. Face masks are required when in public spaces.

Rwanda is home to three major national parks. You can even book a trip to see the endangered mountain gorillas of Volcanoes National Park.

Herd of deer enjoying a moment of serenity at the Akagera national Park, Rwanda, where you can once again sight the majestic Big 5 creatures of the savannah.

The land-locked country reopened to all nationalities back on June 17, and the international airport reopened to commercial flights Aug. 1. All arriving passengers will be required to present a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR (Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction) test taken within 120 hours (five days) of departure for Rwanda.

VisitRwanda’s reopening guidance says, “For passengers entering Rwanda, a second PCR test will be conducted upon arrival, with results delivered within 24 hours, during which time they will remain in designated hotels at their own cost.”

Rwanda is offering visa on arrival as well for all nationalities. There are a number of additional planning resources available at VisitRwanda.com.

All national parks in the country are open but visitors will have to test negative for coronavirus 19-48 hours before visiting.

Senegal

International flights have resumed to Senegal, but land and sea borders remain closed. The government of Senegal is only allowing legal residents for the most part. Americans are not technically banned, but according to the U.S. Embassy, there are reports of many U.S. citizens being turned away at the border or at airport of departure.  Senegal also requires a negative COVID-19 test taken with five days (120 hours) of arrival and only from the country where you started your trip. The West African country also requires all arrivals to submit a ‘Public Health Passenger Locator’ form. Arriving passengers face health screenings. Hotels are open. There is no curfew, but a mandatory mask order remains in effect.

Aerial view of the pink Lake Retba or Lac Rose in Senegal. Its colour derives from the fortuitous mix of high water salinity (rivalling that of the Dead Sea) and micro algae that thrive on salt and sunlight.

Seychelles

Seychelles is currently open to visitors from 45 countries, but the United States is not on the approved list.

Commercial flights started back up in July.

Approved countries have been divided into Category 1 countries and Category 2 countries. Tourists from Category 1 countries are required to be tested for COVID-19 (polymerase chain reaction test) within 72 hours before they arrive, while those from Category 2 countries must present a negative test taken within 48 hours prior to departure and upon arrival isolate in a designated establishment for six nights, with a second PCR test performed on the fifth day.

Part of Le Meridien Hotel “Fisherman’s Cove” on Mahe island, Seychelles

Visitors will be charged $50 to support local public health measures, and the tourism department is planning to introduce an app that will track tourists’ movements to facilitate contact tracing.

The Seychelles said at one point that it was banning cruise ships until 2022.

South Africa

South Africa began reopening to tourism on Oct. 1, and according to the U.S. Embassy, as of Nov. 11, U.S. citizens can now enter South Africa for tourism purposes, but they need to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours from the time of departure, or they must remain in mandatory quarantine for 14 days at their own cost.

All international visitors arriving by air to South Africa will need to provide a negative coronavirus PCR test taken with three days of departure. They will also face a health screening on arrival.

Beautiful golden hour glowing over the seacoast of Cape Town, South Africa

If a passenger has a negative test result, they will not have to quarantine. Those who don’t bring tests will need to quarantine for two weeks at their own expense.

Travelers must also download the South Africa coronavirus mobile tracing app, and fill in all the information on that app. The U.S. State Department’s advisory for South Africa is Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

Tanzania

Tanzania is now accepting tourists with no quarantine conditions attached.

Tanzania was among the first African nations to reopen to tourism. Currently, all travelers need ti fill out a Health Surveillance Form while on the plane, but incoming travelers only need to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival if their country of departure or airline requires it for travel. If their country does not require testing to fly, travelers with any signs of infection will undergo enhanced screening upon arrival and may be tested.

Many tourists are required to have a visa with details here.

View of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, as seen from Amboseli National Park, in neighbouring Kenya. The dormant volcano is Africa’s highest mountain and highest single free-standing mountain in the world.

The government is asking passengers to complete a Health Surveillance Form upon arrival, and according to the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania, all arriving travelers should expect enhanced health screening and if they are showing symptoms COVID-19 rapid testing at the airport. Mask wearing and social distancing are also still in place for anyone planning a visit. Readers have confirmed that they have had no issues flying into the country. The U.S. State Department’s advisory is Level 3: Reconsider Travel.

Uganda

Americans can currently travel to Uganda, and according to the U.S. Embassy, arriving passengers must have a negative PCR COVID-19 test from an accredited laboratory in the country of origin taken not more than 120 hours before departure for Uganda. Passengers will be subjected to temperature and health screening upon arrival at Entebbe Airport, but are not required to quarantine. However, any arriving passengers who exhibit signs or symptoms of an infectious disease will be transported to an isolation center for a COVID-19 test where they must remain, at their own cost, until the results of the test are received. Travelers who test positive will be taken to a Ministry of Health facility for treatment, or given the option to be repatriated (for foreigners), at their own cost.

Elephant seems to smile (like most African people naturally do) in the Murchison Falls National Park, Pakwach, Uganda

The U.S. Embassy also notes that that Government of Uganda also now requires that all departing passengers present a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken not more than 120 hours before departure. This requirement is mandatory for all departing passengers out of Uganda even if the destination country does not require it.

Uganda has eased some of its lockdown restrictions, allowing some businesses like hardware shops, restaurants and wholesale stores to reopen. There is a nightly 9 p.m. curfew and masks are required when in public. The U.S. State Department has also issued a Level 3: Reconsider Travel warning due to COVID-19 and the risk of kidnapping.

Previously, the government imposed strict restrictions that included the closure of all but absolutely essential businesses, dusk-to-dawn curfews, and bans on both private and public vehicles. Transportation resumed in 33 districts, others who have large refugee populations and are large hubs of transit on the border remained restricted.

Zambia

Zambia is open to international travelers, including Americans. The country is known as one of the top safari destinations and includes Victoria Falls.

Victoria Falls seen by helicopter. It serves as a border between Zambia and Zimbabwe (the most beautiful border on the planet, no doubt?)

Zambia now requires a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 14 days of arrival, although many airlines require one within 72 hours of travel. Tourists also need a visa. There are also no quarantine requirements right now, but there are reports of some health screenings and symptomatic individuals may be required to submit to testing and/or quarantine. You can apply for an e-visa online here.

President Edgar Lungu said on Sept. 11 that bars and schools would begin reopening with limited hours.

Keep in mind the U.S. State Department has a Level 3 advisory saying Americans should “reconsider travel.”

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe reopened its borders to international flights on Oct. 1. In a statement, the government said, “All travelers will be required to have a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) COVID-19 clearance certificate issued by a recognized facility within 48 hours from the date of departure.” Quarantine is no longer required if a negative test is presented.

U.S. citizens can travel to Zimbabwe, according to the U.S. Embassy.

Rafting down Zambezi River, the very same river that makes up the majestic Victoria Falls, in Zimbabwe.

The Environment, Climate, Tourism, and Hospitality Industry Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu told media outlets the country was also now allowing all attractions and businesses to reopen including the spectacular Victoria Falls.

Source: The Points Guy

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