Just days after the country was taken off the UK’s red list, Kenya announced that travellers arriving from the UK are no longer required to undergo a seven day self-quarantine.
There are still rules to follow*, but, regardless, this is the moment when East Africa’s safari superstar reopens for business. And arguably, there’s never been a better time to book.
Greater privacy is guaranteed. The number of travellers heading to Kenya remains well down. The country received around two million international visitors in 2019; between January and June 2021, there were just over 300,000. Go soon and you’re likely to find silent savannahs, uncrowded parks, near-deserted beaches and empty plains – empty, that is, apart from the prolific amount of game.
That drop in visitors has led to some drops in prices too, as companies try hard to attract much-missed, much-needed travellers. There are good deals to be found, especially for those who stay for longer.
There’s also an opportunity to bag bush camps, lodges and experiences that usually fill up far in advance. Book your trip now and you could secure all of your first-choice accommodation and all the best add-ons – something that will get much tougher over coming months as travel continues to pick up, and all the deferred bookings and pent-up demand cause a dearth of availability. Forward planning has never been more important if you want to bag the safari of a lifetime.
Safety is being take seriously too. Protocols developed specifically for tourism have been endorsed by World Health Organisation and have seen Kenya awarded the ‘SafeTravel’ stamp by the World Travel & Tourism Council.
And of course, Kenya’s wide-open wildernesses are ideal for these Covid time. There’s no issue adhering to the two-metre rule when you’re driving across endless grasslands, tracking animals on foot in an exclusive conservancy or sitting atop a remote kopje drinking sundowners as the sky puts on a show.
Most of us long-cooped-up travellers are looking for space, peace, fresh, healthy air and an immersion in a place totally different from home. A safari comes with all that as standard, plus a sprinkle of extra magic.
*At the time of writing, all visitors must show a negative PCR test on arrival and are required to submit daily health information, via an app, for 14 consecutive days. Masks must be worn in public places and a night-time curfew (10pm til 4am) is in effect – though there are exemptions for international travellers.