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Bush Tales

COVID Requirements Travel to Botswana, Zimbabwe & Zambia

10 Min Read

Zimbabwe  |  Zambia  | Botswana

Travel has changed, but here is no doubt that people are still yearning to travel again! One thing that we have observed in the past few weeks is that the people who are wanting to travel are more intentional, more informed, and prepared to take on the adventure. We are here to ease your mind and supply you with all the relevant information so you can have a stress-free safari. 

 

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The National Guidelines for Aviation for COVID-19 have been set to ensure the safety of both travellers and airport staff. These are in addition to temperature testing, social distancing, sanitation, and mandatory wearing of masks.  

Visas:

It should be noted that these guidelines to not negate, in any way, from the current visa regime. 

Tourists Pre-Travel Requirements: 

  1.  All travellers will be required to have a PCR COVID-19 Clearance Certificate issued by a recognised facility no more than 48 hours BEFORE DEPARTURE in line with the WHO Guidelines.  
  2.  Travellers may be requested to undergo a further PCR test on arrival if officials believe they are symptomatic. Symptoms include, but are not restricted to, a fever and a dry cough. Travellers are advised to carry their own thermometer. 
  3.  Should travellers be requested to carry out the PCR test on arrival, this will be at the cost of USD 60. Results will be available after a period of at least 2 hours. Should the PCR be negative, a traveller is free to continue without quarantine.  
  4.  If the PCR is positive, the traveller will be required to undergo a quarantine period of up to ten days or until such time as a negative test is received. This will be at the traveller’s own expense. This can be done at approved private facilities.

Arrival procedures: 

Present the results of the PCR test at the airport 

PCR Test Facilities:

Lancet Laboratories in Victoria Falls and Harare.

Cost of Test:

$60  

In-Lodge testing: 

Not currently possible 

Results Waiting Period: 

Same-Day testing is available before 9 am or within 24 hours. 

Regulations to Travel Around Zimbabwe: 

  1.  All travellers must wear a mask at all times in any public areas.  
  2.  When travelling by road, travellers are required to have a mask, and must wear it when approaching police stops.  

Regulations for Leaving Zimbabwe:

If travellers require a PCR Covid-19 Clearance Certificate for re-entry to their home country, this can be performed one day prior to departure at a Lancet Laboratory testing facility in Harare or Victoria Falls.  

Quarantine Facilities: 

These are currently Government approved private facilities, and the cost will be at the travellers’ expense.  

Treatment Facilities (Severe symptoms): 

As Port Health Authorities are allowing evacuations to South Africa, this would be our recommendation. 

We highly recommend comprehensive Travel Insurance to cover medical evacuations. 

Note:  

Please be aware that this is a rapidly changing environment and the protocols mentioned are subject to amendment as and when new information is available, or changes are advised.  

Zambia  

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The president of the Republic of Zambia H.E Dr Edgar Changwa Lungu announced the re-opening of Zambia’s international airports in July 2020.  

As Zambia begins to ease restrictions on international travel, a number of measures have been put in place to safeguard travellers in the new normal.  

This communication serves to inform international travellers to Zambia of the safety measures that they will be required to observe on arrival and during their stay in the country. These guidelines have been developed in consultation with the Zambia Ministry of Health. 

Visas:

It should be noted that these guidelines to not negate, in any way, from the current visa regime. 

Tourists Pre-Travel Requirements:

Tourists and any persons visiting friends and/or relatives in Zambia coming into the country, other than a business visitor with a negative SARS CoV2 PCR test conducted within the previous 14 days, are free to visit as planned while adhering to recommended COVID 19 prevention measures such as maintaining physical distance, masking and personal hygiene. They shell monitor themselves daily for14 days for the development of COVID 19 symptoms and report any occurrence to the nearest health facility.  

Tourists and any person visiting friends and/or relatives in Zambia coming into the country without evidence of a negative SARS CoV2 PCR test conducted within the previous 14 days, will not be allowed into the country.  

Arrival Procedures: 

  1.  Traveller health questionnaires will be provided to all airlines entering Zambia. The questionnaires will be provided on-board for passengers to pre-fill before disembarkation, and to be surrendered to health staff on the ground at the airport. 
  2.  Symptomatic travellers with body temperatures equal to or above 38ºC will be tested for SARS Cov-2 at the airport. In addition to this temperature level, if a traveller is coughing, has shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing, sore throat and headache – they will be quarantined in specific institutions designated by the Ministry of health until their results are ready.  
  3.  Travellers who test positive will be managed according to the National Case Management Guidelines. 
  4.  Travellers without fever but with other symptoms will be assessed to determine the need for testing. 
  5.  Random testing for quality assurance purposes will be conducted randomly on selected passengers presenting negative results. 

PCR Test Facilities: 

SES Clinic Livingstone 

Cost of Test:  

$160 cash 

In-Lodge testing:  

Not currently possible  

Results Waiting Period: 

24 hours 

Regulations to Travel Around Zambia:

  1.  All travellers must always wear a mask in any public areas.  
  2.  When travelling by road, travellers are required to have a mask, and must wear it when approaching police stops. 

Regulations for Leaving Zambia: 

  1.  If travellers require a PCR Covid-19 Clearance Certificate for re-entry to their home country, this can be performed 24 hours prior to departure at the SES clinic in Livingstone.  
  2.  The cost of the test is $160, and this needs to be paid in cash to the SES Clinic 
  3.  African Bush Camps will provide a complimentary transfer to & from Thorntree River Lodge to the SES clinic

Quarantine Facilities: 

These are currently Government approved private facilities, and the cost will be at the travellers’ expense.  

Treatment Facilities (Severe symptoms): 

As Port Health Authorities are allowing evacuations to South Africa, this would be our recommendation. 

We highly recommend comprehensive Travel Insurance to cover medical evacuations. 

Note:  

Please be aware that this is a rapidly changing environment and the protocols mentioned are subject to amendment as and when new information is available or changes are advised. 

Botswana 

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Visas: 

It should be noted that these guidelines to not negate, in any way, from the current visa regime. 

Tourists Pre-Travel Requirements:

All travellers will be required to have a PCR COVID-19 Clearance Certificate issued by a recognised facility WITHIN no more than 72 hours BEFORE DEPARTURE in line with the WHO Guidelines.  

Arrival procedures: 

  1.  Present the results of the PCR test at the airport
  2.  Travellers will be screened upon arrival in Botswana  
  3.  Those travellers who are symptomatic will be subject to mandatory testing and possible quarantine. 
  4.  Non-citizens of Botswana who do not meet the requirements will not be allowed to enter Botswana.

PCR Test Facilities:

  1.  Government hospitals will test for free, but the results can take up to 72 hours. This test will only be done with a referral letter from a GP 
  2.  Diagnofirmis a private laboratory based in both Maun and Kasane. Results will be released within 24 hours (except over weekends) 

Cost of Test:

BWP1000 

In-Lodge testing: 

Not currently possible 

Results Waiting Period: 

24 – 48 hours dependent on the day of testing  

Most laboratories are closed over weekends, and we would recommend a Thursday being the last weekday that testing is scheduled for. 

Regulations to Travel Around Botswana:

  1.  All travellers must wear a mask at all times in any public areas.  
  2.  Inter-zonal travel permits may be required when travelling. 

Regulations for Leaving Zimbabwe: 

If travellers require a PCR Covid-19 Clearance Certificate for re-entry to their home country, this must be performed prior to departure.  

Please be aware of laboratory opening hours and the 24 – 48 hour testing time. 

Quarantine Facilities:

These are currently Government approved private facilities, and the cost will be at the travellers’ expense.  

Treatment Facilities (Severe symptoms): 

As Port Health Authorities are allowing evacuations to South Africa, this would be our recommendation. 

We highly recommend comprehensive Travel Insurance to cover medical evacuations. 

 

Please Note:  

Please be aware that this is a rapidly changing environment and the protocols mentioned are subject to amendment as and when new information is available, or changes are advised. 

There are still areas of uncertainty around COVID testing and travel in Botswana. We are awaiting further clarity on this information.  

 

For more about our in-house COVID regulations and Preventative Measures - read our blog here.

 

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