Where to go on vacation on the African continent? It is sometimes difficult to navigate. The rules differ from country to country and change from week to week. Small recap… Let’s start with some good news: Cape Verde, an Atlantic archipelago popular with tourists, reopened its borders, which 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 will have to present a negative PCR test, within 72 hours. Commercial, pleasure craft 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 as the country “strengthens the means of screening“, explained the minister.
Sal and Boa Vista, the two main tourist destinations, 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 provider of jobs. There was therefore an emergency, the high season corresponding to winter in Europe.
All travelers, except children under 6 years old, are required to present a negative PCR test carried out within 72 hours of 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 with several hours of waiting. A possibility not recommended by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE).
Travelers wishing to travel to Kenya must show a negative Covid test within 96 hours. They will then be exempt from quarantine if they do not show any symptoms on arrival or during the flight (temperature checks in particular). Passengers must also complete a form that will allow them to be contacted if a contact case should be detected. In major cities across the country, a curfew begins at 11 p.m. and ends at 4 a.m. Restaurants and bars must close by 10 p.m. at the latest.
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 no more than 48 hours) upon boarding. The serological test is no longer compulsory.
Travelers arriving in Namibia must show a negative PCR result less than 7 days upon entry. Foreign travelers entering Namibia on a tourist visa must provide upon arrival a completed form, established by the Namibian authorities and indicate their full itinerary. These travelers must also have travel insurance covering possible medical expenses.
Tanzania’s air borders are open to European travelers. The issuance of e-Visas is handled by the authorities of Tanzania. The requirement of a negative test of less than 72 hours only applies to passengers whose airline company, or the country of origin, requires this test on boarding. They will then have to produce it on arrival. All online purchases of tourist services (transport, safaris, etc.) in the country are strongly discouraged. Only French travel agencies can guarantee the reality of the services, according to the advice of the MAE. The Zanzibar destination is open, but only by direct flight. Since August 1, Kenya Airways flights between Kenya (Nairobi) and Tanzania (Dar Es Salaam / Kilimanjaro / Zanzibar) have been suspended until further notice.
It is also possible to go to Tunisia, the airlines ask for 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 in three zones (green, orange and other countries), according to the circulation of the epidemic and the risk of Covid-19 contamination. But French visitors with a package purchased at a travel agency are exempt from these formalities. In addition, the Tunisian authorities have tightened control over the wearing of masks in closed public spaces and transport, limited gatherings and established a curfew in several governorates.
Senegal is currently only reserved for Senegalese nationals. South Africa and its animal parks is 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 MFA specifies that it is important before leaving to check whether its repatriation insurance fully covers the risk of Covid-19. Given the saturation of 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 am and return before 9 pm, except on the basis of the ticket, French curfew requires.