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Bush Tales

Health Guidelines & Preventative Measures for COVID-19

8 Min Read

As we find ourselves adjusting to a new norm, our team has been in camps serving as guardians of wildlife, patrolling the lands on foot, and most importantly getting up to date with guidelines and preventative measures going forward. We can't wait for you to come back to the wide open spaces of Africa and get away from the crowds and away from the stress. to help ease your mind about the unknowns, we have outlined the preventative measures & health guidelines for COVID-19.

I recently sat with James Halstead, MD at Halstead Aviation Corporation and Simon Sawyer, CEO of Special Projects & Services to talk about medical evacuations and Emergency Procedures, watch the talk here:

Our camp hygiene and preventative measures are based on World Health Organization guidelines about the transmission of COVID-19. This document will specify our camps’ regulations, however, due to our camps being situated in different countries, (Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Zambia) some of the requirements are country specific.

Health Liaison Officer

Health Liason Officer Covid-19 Health  Procedures & Medical Evacuations - African Bush Camps

  • A trained health liaison officer has been appointed in each camp and will be responsible for enforcing all COVID-19 procedures.
  • Temperature checks will be done and recorded twice daily for all staff and guests. Anyone showing unduly high temperatures will be asked to isolate in their rooms and await further guidance.
  • All guests feeling unwell will be asked to self-isolate, go to their rooms, and wait for advice from the Health Liaison Officer.

Personal Hygiene

Vigilant personal hygiene is the single most important priority at camp and will limit any potential spread of viruses. Staff have been re-trained in correct sanitizing and personal hygiene procedures with a focus on limiting the transmission of communicable diseases.

Hand Washing:

washing-hands-wash-your-hands-hygiene-net-soap-water Health Liason Officer Covid-19 Health  Procedures & Medical Evacuations - African Bush Camps

  • Our camp teams wash their hands thoroughly and often.
  • Hand sanitizer and sanitary wipes are placed in convenient locations throughout the camps for guest convenience. In addition, personal sanitizer dispensers will be made available to each guest on arrival.
  • During the current Pandemic we do not welcome our guests with handshaking. Our guests are greeted with a traditional song and dance, and a friendly smile.

Hand Sanitiser and Sanitary Wipes:

Hand sanitizer Covid-19 Health  Procedures & Medical Evacuations - African Bush Camps Safari

  • Alcohol-based hand sanitiser is used to supplement proper hand washing techniques
  • Sanitary wipes are provided in public areas in order to allow guests to wipe down personal items before use.
  • Bottles of hand sanitisers and packets of sanitary wipes are placed in all public areas, guest rooms and game vehicles.

Coughing and Sneezing

woman-blow-blowing-nose-hand-chief-previewHand sanitizer Covid-19 Health  Procedures & Medical Evacuations - African Bush Camps Safari

  • Tissues are made available in all public areas.
  • Sneeze and cough etiquette training is conducted with all staff. We understand that guests can be extremely sensitive to this and we take great care during hosting and activities.

In-house Actions

Housekeeping

  • Strict cleaning measures are in place at all properties and provide a solid foundation for risk control. Our teams have had refresher courses on correct cleaning procedures, ensuring the very best transmission mitigation.
  • We require our guests to vacate rooms by 8 am and arriving new guests will only be allowed to enter their rooms at 4 pm, allowing us time to deep clean and disinfect the rooms and their contents between visitors.
  • Bed linen and towels will not be changed during the guest’s stay unless requested or necessary.
  • Our staff will sanitize before entry into any rooms, wear face masks and sanitize before leaving the room.

Guest Rooms

Nyamatusi_Hand sanitizer Covid-19 Health  Procedures & Medical Evacuations - African Bush Camps Safari

  • All wet areas and bathrooms are sprayed with disinfectant during each guest changeover.
  • Each room will have a dedicated housekeeper to reduce staff movement in rooms.
  • Brochures, magazines and other documentation will be removed from the rooms except for laminated copies of guidelines and safety procedures which will be thoroughly disinfected.
  • Hand sanitizer and sanitary wipes will be positioned at the entrance to each room.

Hosting

Wearing masks in camp Hand sanitizer Covid-19 Health  Procedures & Medical Evacuations - African Bush Camps Safari

  • During this time guests will not be joined by hosts or guides during mealtimes.
  • At mealtimes, guest seating will be arranged according to social distancing guidelines.
  • Breakfast menus, braai nights, traditional nights, etc. will have no self-service and structured to avoid any direct guest contact with uncooked food.
  • Sanitizer dispensers and sanitary wipes will be available on each guest table during mealtimes.
  • Kitchen staff will sanitize before handling food or drinks. Our staff will always wear gloves and facemasks during food preparation. Service team will wear facemasks and sanitize regularly during service.
  • Hosts and guides will wear facemasks whenever interacting with guests unless social distancing can be assured.
  • Guest water bottles will be provided in their original packaging and water dispensers will be available in common areas for guests to refill their own bottles.
  • Public toilets will be regularly cleaned, and disinfected. Wet surfaces will be sprayed with antiseptic spray.
  • Communal towels will be removed. Individual hand towels and paper towels will made available.
  • Hand sanitizer must be used before entry and masks worn whilst inside.

Guiding

Open air activities good for safety Hand sanitizer Covid-19 Health  Procedures & Medical Evacuations - African Bush Camps Safari

  • Game drives are considered open air activities and therefore relatively safe. A game drive is highly unlikely to result in the passing on of any respiratory and airborne germs. We will, however, adhere to all normal preventive measures.
  • Game drive vehicles will be limited to a maximum of 6 guests unless all guests are travelling together in a group.
  • Guided walks will be restricted to people within the same travelling group and have no more than 6 guests at once.
  • Canoes will be restricted to a max of two people per canoe.
  • Hand sanitizer and sanitary wipes will be made available for each guest.
  • During this time, we ask all guests to provide all their own clothing whilst moving around. Regrettably, communal ponchos, warm clothing, rainwear, and blankets will not be provided.

Identification and Incident Reporting

Hazard detection and reporting is the most important step in effective risk management.

  • African Bush Camps employs outside specialists for all medical concerns/emergencies.
  • Any staff member or guest with coughing, wheezing, sneezing, gastrointestinal illness, or fever is to strictly self-isolate in their room and request to see the Health Liaison Officer.
  • In the event of a guest feeling unwell, detailed information will be requested which includes specifics about recent travel, name, age, etc. Information supplied will be treated with the utmost confidentiality but will be released to medical and government authorities on request.
  • During the current pandemic, we are required to follow country-specific government procedures to limit the potential spread of the virus and to provide treatment to people suspected of carrying the disease. These procedures are changing regularly and we keep abreast of these alterations at all times and adjust our procedures accordingly. Current requirements can be found on the respective government websites or available from us on request. This document is considered a ‘living document’ which will be updated and amended inline with new information and regulations on a continual basis.
  • It is essential that all guests are aware of their personal medical aid cover in respect of COVID19 and the limitations on repatriation should a guest become infected during their travel.

Our collective goal is to give our guests peace of mind so they can experience our bush camps and lodges safely and immerse themselves in their adventures. We have learned so much throughout the pandemic and have used the lockdown to make changes and educate our staff on protecting themselves and our guests. We can’t wait to welcome travellers to Africa again. To find out more about How to Plan a Safari Amidst COVID-19, read our article here.

For those wanting to channel some of their wanderlust and begin planning their 2021 safari, African Bush Camps offers a 45% discount for travel from January through March 2021, during our Secret Season. Also, Kids Stay Free!


The details:

Hand sanitizer Covid-19 Health  Procedures & Medical Evacuations - African Bush Camps Safari Beks Ndlovu