Travel has Changed - 10 Reasons to Choose a Safari in Africa

African Bush Camps - Jen Southwell • 7 February 2021

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In 2020, terms like 'unprecedented' and 'new normal' have earned their places in the dictionary. After this time of overwhelmingly instant change, and the anxiety that comes with micro-decisions for everyday actions, you need a break. I’m here to tell you why it should be in Africa. You can have a guilt-free escape; spending your time in wide-open spaces and disconnecting from the turbulence and trepidation of it all.

We all crave real human connection - something that isn't done through a computer screen. Families, couples and those venturing on a solo trip. For years, people have chosen to come on safari to disconnect from the fast-paced life and unwind in the stillness of Africa. Gathering around a crackling fire with no distractions aside from the sound of crickets in the background. Now, more than ever, we need a break.  The rejuvenation that comes with an escape to nature is good for the body and soul!

Africa awards you with vast spaces and time to reconnect to the stillness of nature. It can be pretty stressful being anywhere close to big crowds (and for good reason). At the African Bush Camps properties, you get the chance to swap your current home for vast hectarages. The benefit of feeling like you are the only guests in an area this size is amazingly luxurious. We are seeing a trend of less travellers committing to overcrowded destinations in urban areas and more people feeling the need to venture out into the great outdoors.

The sense of place you feel in these wilderness areas is unparalleled. Our accommodation is well spaced out and private. The only peeking neighbour you may have is an elephant looking over at your private deck. As far as cleaning is concerned, strict COVID-19 compliant measures are in place at all properties.  Guests need to vacate rooms by 8 AM on their dates of departure. Arriving guests may enter their rooms from 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.

During the pandemic, we learn something every day. Studies show that the coronavirus transmits more easily indoors than outdoors. Our outdoor dining counters this with the massive African outdoors. Rest assured, all our staff will be wearing masks during this time and at mealtimes, guests’ seating will be arranged according to social distancing guidelines as provided by the WHO and government recommendations. Breakfast menus, braai nights, traditional nights, etc., will have no self-service and are structured to avoid any direct guest contact with uncooked food. Sanitiser dispensers and sanitary wipes will be available on each guest table during mealtimes. Kitchen staff will sanitise before handling food or drinks. Our staff will always wear gloves and facemasks during food preparation.

When you're on safari, the environment is your playground - you can enjoy activities and meals in the open, limiting interaction and the possible spread of COVID-19. Game drives are considered open-air activities and are, therefore, relatively safe. A game drive is unlikely to result in the passing of any respiratory and airborne germs. We will, however, adhere to all standard preventive measures. Game drive vehicles will be limited to a maximum of six guests unless all guests are travelling in a group. Guided walks will be restricted to people within the same group with no more than six guests. Canoes will be restricted to a maximum of two people. Hand sanitiser 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 won’t be provided.

ABC staff will go above and beyond to ensure you feel relaxed, safe, and enjoying your well-deserved holiday. We have appointed and trained members of staff in camps who’ll serve as the 'Health Liaison Officer' and is in charge of enforcing procedures. Guest water bottles are provided in their original packaging, and water dispensers will be available in common areas for guests to refill their own bottles.

African Bush Camps employ specialists for all medical concerns or emergencies. Because all our camps are in remote areas, we need to have procedures in place in case of emergencies. Many urban hotels simply do not have the same level of experience and preparedness that our camps have cultivated over the years.

This incident reporting system is needed for our core business due to the remote location of operation and useful to repurpose for real-time medical risk assessments. During the pandemic, we are required to follow country-specific government procedures to limit the potential spread of the virus and provide treatment to people who may carry the disease. Such procedures change regularly, and our expert operational teams keep abreast of the alterations and adjust our processes. Current requirements can be found on the respective government websites or available from us on request.

Currently, our teams have been serving as guardians of wildlife, patrolling the lands on foot, and waiting for your return. The presence of a safari camp in a National Park area is important to ensure safety of wildlife. While travelling in your game vehicle, you add to the number of boots on the ground by deferring any poachers coming into the area.

At African Bush Camps, we donate $10 per guest bed night to our Foundation in order to cover operational costs. Annually, 2,5 percent of ABC's turnover goes towards the Foundation. When you come to Africa, you are investing in more than just a relaxing holiday, you can help better the lives of those in need and help in the process of self-empowerment through collaboration. Interconnected activities such as community empowerment, conservation support and education are supported by our Foundation in the areas in which we operate.

 

We are most grateful to Jen Southwell for this African Bush Camps article which is edited slightly for space.  The original can be viewed in full on African Bush Camps website HERE.

 

 

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