What is expected when traveling to South-Africa

Three major airports for international travel

South Africa has re-opened three major airports for international travel. These airports are Cape Town International, OR Tambo in Johannesburg and King Shaka International in Durban.

Expectations upon arrival

This welcome announcement has generated a lot of questions from travelers about the different requirements for traveling to South Africa.  This article answers any grey area questions and explains what you can expect upon arrival.

Adhere to procedures

On arrival in South Africa, all travelers will need to adhere to the following procedures:

  • Present a negative Covid-19 test result not older than 72 hours from time of departure; this includes infants and children.  Covid-19 tests must be from a registered health practitioner or laboratory.
  • Where a traveler has not done a Covid-19 test prior to departure, they will be required to remain in mandatory quarantine at their own cost for the period of ten (10) days.
  • All travelers will be subjected to screening by health officials upon arrival and departure.
  • All travelers detected with symptoms will be required to remain in mandatory quarantine facilities and have a repeat Covid-19 test conducted at their own cost. The approximate cost for a COVID test ranges from R850.00 to R1300.00 per person.
  • Every traveler must have mandatory travel insurance.
  • All travelers must complete a Traveler Health Questionnaire prior to arrival or upon arrival.
  • Beside the health protocols, travelers will still be subjected to other formal border processes. All travelers should wear masks at all times whilst in the controlled airport area and adhere to social distance as part of queue management protocol.
  • Travelers must travel with their accommodation confirmations.
  • Travelers must download the South African COVID Alert App.  The app uses Bluetooth contact-tracing technology to let people know if they have been in contact with someone who has Covid-19. It gives everyone the chance to understand their exposure to the virus.

Depending on the airline used, when departing from South Africa, travelers will require another Covid-19 test taken 48 to 72 hours prior to departure.

According to the World Health Organization guidelines, South Africa is travel ready with the majority of establishments putting strict health and safety measures in place. Travelers can take comfort in the knowledge that the South African tourism industry is reviving, and the safety of tourists is undoubtedly priority number one. Accepting that safety is a shared responsibility, South Africa welcomes back the many pleasure that tourists have missed for so long.


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South-African International Borders are Open

Continent of Africa welcome to visit

South Africa’s borders start to reopen for tourism on 1st October 2020. The good news is that Nigeria and the rest of the African continent are allowed to visit.

At the start flights are limited to the country’s main international airports; Cape Town airport, OR Tambo in Johannesburg and King Shaka in Durban.

The three international airports are ready to facilitate cross-border travel and will obey the measures and protocols that are in place for safe world travel.

SA Border Open

Easy entry requirements

For the safety of tourists, South Africa recommends and will ask travellers to download the ‘Covid Alert South Africa’ mobile app but this is not compulsory.

On arrival, travellers need to present a negative Covid-19 test result not older than 72 hours from time of departure.

All travellers will be screened on arrival and those who show symptoms will be required to have a Covid-19 test.  Where necessary, travellers will need to enter mandatory quarantine facilities at their own cost.

At the moment the United Kingdom, the United States, India, Russia, France and the Netherlands are considered high-risk countries and are not permitted entry into South Africa. The high-risk category is drawn up in terms of the World Health Organisation criteria and will be revised every two weeks.

Recovery of tourism

South Africa announced that they are really looking forward to welcoming visitors once again. The opening of borders is a major milestone towards the recovery of tourism on the African continent. South Africa is among the safest tourist destinations in the world.

After six months of lockdown, South Africa is eager to rejuvenate tourism and share the adventures, game drives, hiking and other unbelievable memorable tourism experiences that the country has to offer.

Amazing holiday destination

South Africa has astounding natural beauty and is more often than not picked as the most amazing holiday destination by tourists. Tourists love the beaches, the luxury accommodation and beautiful coastal drives.  South Africa also has an astonishing variety of marine life; it’s the best place in the world to view whales from beaches and to swim with great white sharks.

With some of the best national parks in the world, South Africa has been rated the finest wildlife destination on earth. It’s the perfect place to experience great sunsets with giraffes or elephants. The country has more species of large mammal than anywhere else in the world.

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Kenya’s Pink Flamingos returns to Lake Nakuru

Lake Nakuru sees a bright spot on the horizon

The long-missed pink flamingos have returned to Kenya’s Lake Nakuru.  Eight years ago, rising water levels at Lake Nakuru drove away the pink-coloured flamingos.  The flamingos are the park’s biggest attraction and now they’re back!

Flocks of flamingos

Flamingos are the most instantly recognizable wading birds in the world. They capture the hearts of bird lovers and non-bird lovers! Flocks of flamingos are seen looking for food in the lake’s turquoise waters, while others flap in a wave formation and a rhinoceros grazes nearby.

The return of the flamingos rekindles hopes of a gradual rebound in an area reliant on tourists. Caroline Mwebia, the park’s tourism warden said “with the increase of the number of flamingos we have started seeing visitors also increasing“.

The beautiful flamingos eat insect larvae and algae that gives them their pink hue. High water levels shrink the birds’ ideal breeding and feeding grounds.

Mwebia said “when Nakuru Lake first rose, flamingos left for nearby lakes like Bogoria and Baringo whose waters were shallower. But heavy rains in recent years have also flooded those lakes, forcing the birds to return to Nakuru, where they are an intrinsic attraction.”

The flamingos are so popular that the street leading up to the park is decorated with flamingo-shaped lampposts.

‘…they are an intrinsic attraction…’

Some Flamingo Trivia

  • There are only six species of flamingos in the world, they all belong to the bird family Phoenicopteridae, and they are the only members of that scientific bird family.
  • Flamingos are popular guests in many zoos, aviaries, aquariums, marine parks, and botanical gardens well outside their native ranges.
  • The word ‘flamingo’ comes from the Spanish and Latin word ‘flamenco’ which means fire, and refers to the bright colour of the birds’ feathers.
  • Not all flamingos are brightly coloured, some of the birds are mostly grey or white. The strength of a flamingo’s coloration comes from its diet. Younger birds also have less coloration.
  • While flamingos are considered wading birds, the same classification as herons, egrets, spoonbills, and cranes, they are most closely related to grebes genetically.
  • Flamingos are strong but rare swimmers and powerful fliers, even though they’re most often seen just wading. Flamingos do fly very well, however, many flamingos migrate or regularly fly between the best food sources and nesting grounds.
  • When flying in a flock, the top speed of a flamingo can be as high as 56 kilometres per hour.
  • Flamingos are monogamous birds that lay only a single egg each year. If that egg is lost, stolen, damaged, or does not hatch, they do not typically lay a replacement.
  • The pink, orange, or red colour of a flamingo’s feathers is caused by carotenoid pigments in their food. A wild flamingo’s diet includes shrimp, plankton, algae, and crustaceans skimmed from different water sources. In zoos and aviaries, captive flamingos are often fed a specialized diet that helps preserve and enhance their unique coloration.
  • Flamingos often stand on one leg to preserve body heat, tucking the other leg into their plumage so it is kept warm. They will alternate legs to regulate their body temperature.
  • A flock of flamingos is called a stand, colony, regiment, or flamboyance.
  • Flamingos have a wild lifespan of 20-30 years, but in captivity have been recorded as living up to 50 years or longer. Captive flamingos typically live longer because they are not subject to predators, poachers, or other threats.

Visitors to Lake Nakuru also enjoy the wide ecological diversity and varied habitats.  These include the lake itself, the surrounding escarpment and picturesque ridges.

‘…enjoy the wide ecological diversity…’

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