Where to go on vacation on the African continent? It is sometimes difficult to find your way around. The rules differ from country to country and change from week to week. A quick recap… Let’s start with some good news, Cape Verde, an Atlantic archipelago popular with tourists, reopened its borders that had been closed for more than six months on October 12, 2020.
To be able to board a flight to Praia, Santiago or Sal, visitors must present a negative PCR test, less than 72 hours old. Commercial, pleasure and cruise ships will also be allowed to dock, according to the Minister of Tourism and Transport Carlos Santos. The reopening of borders, essential for the country’s economy, comes at a time when the country “strengthens the means of screening“, explained the minister.
Sal and Boa Vista, the two main destinations for tourists, have certified testing centers, he said. In most islands, compliance with the rules of physical distancing, including wearing a mask in closed public places, is mandatory. The former Portuguese colony, independent since 1975, derives some 25% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from tourism, a major job provider. It was therefore urgent, the high season corresponding to winter in Europe.
All travellers, with the exception of children under 6, are required to present a negative PCR test carried out within 72 hours before arrival. Tourists arriving directly in Sharm el-Sheikh, Taba, Hurghada, Marsa Alam and Marsa Matrouh, without a PCR test before their departure, can do so on site subject to several hours of waiting. A possibility not recommended by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE).
Travelers wishing to travel to Kenya must present a negative Covid test of less than 96 hours. They will then be exempt from quarantine if they show no symptoms on arrival or during the flight (temperature checks in particular). Passengers must also complete a form which will allow them to be contacted if a contact case should be detected. In the country’s major cities, a curfew begins at 11 p.m. and ends at 4 a.m. Restaurants and bars must close no later than 10 p.m.
Morocco has postponed the opening of the country to European tourists for several weeks due to the still difficult health situation. Since September 6, however, the kingdom has been accessible to foreign citizens going there for an official mission or to a private company, but also to European tourists who have a confirmed reservation in a hotel establishment. All people traveling to Morocco must present a negative PCR test of less than 72 hours (and not more than 48 hours) when boarding. The serological test is no longer compulsory.
Travelers arriving in Namibia must present a negative PCR test result that is less than 7 days old at the time of entry. Foreign travelers entering Namibian territory with a tourist visa must provide a completed form on arrival, established by the Namibian authorities and indicate their complete itinerary. These travelers must also have travel insurance covering possible medical expenses.
Tanzania’s air borders are open to European travellers. The issuance of e-Visas is ensured by the authorities of Tanzania. The requirement of a negative test within 72 hours only applies to passengers whose airline or country of origin requires this test on boarding. They will then have to produce it on arrival. All purchases of tourist services online (transport, safaris, etc.) in the country are strongly discouraged. Only French travel agencies can guarantee you the reality of the services, according to the advice of the MAE. The Zanzibar destination is open, but only by direct flight. As of August 1, Kenya Airways flights between Kenya (Nairobi) and Tanzania (Dar Es Salaam/Kilimanjaro/Zanzibar) are suspended until further notice.
It is also possible to go to Tunisia, the airlines require a simple negative PCR test of 72 hours, with the exception of children under 12 years old. In addition to this test, entry into Tunisian territory is accompanied by self-isolation measures determined according to a classification of the countries of origin into three zones (green, orange and other countries), according to the circulation of the epidemic and the risk of contamination with Covid-19. But French visitors with a pass purchased from a travel agency are exempt from these formalities. In addition, the Tunisian authorities have reinforced the control of the wearing of masks in closed public spaces and transport, limited gatherings and introduced a curfew in several governorates.
Senegal is currently only reserved for Senegalese nationals. South Africa and its animal parks are not open to France, considered to be a risk zone. For Mauritius, it will be necessary to observe a fortnight in a hotel approved by the authorities.
Countries like Côte d’Ivoire remain open to tourists but there is a risk of a complicated electoral period in the coming weeks. A political risk shared by other African countries.
Everywhere the MAE specifies that it is important before leaving to check whether your repatriation insurance fully covers the risk of Covid-19. Given the saturation of the analysis laboratories and knowing that tourists are not considered a priority, it is sometimes difficult to obtain a result in 48 hours for their Covid test. Many tourists have been forced to postpone or cancel their trips. In addition, they will have to leave after 6 a.m. and return before 9 p.m., except on proof of the ticket, French curfew obliges.