South Africa in Corona Times: 5 Info & Tips

View of Cape Town, South Africa

Renate Kindl-Rutgers is a travel specialist at ASI Reisen and is currently in South Africa with her husband. The two of them tested traveling in Corona times on a road trip (Cape Town – Panorama Route – Kruger National Park – Drakensberg – East Coast – back via the Garden Route). Experience first hand the current situation in South Africa regarding Corona and how the local people are doing. Fantastic pictures from your personal photo album may not be missing of course!

Big country & small accommodations

South Africa is a very large country (about 1.220.000 km² area) and is not very populated compared to Germany. On our ASI tours we explore the country actively and mostly off the beaten track. The accommodations we chose are small, family-run guesthouses, so we don't have to deal with crowds of people in the accommodation either.

If you are planning an active, nature-oriented vacation, South Africa is a fantastic choice. Due to the vastness of the country we can safely discover the country even in Corona times.

The risk in South Africa

The infection figures in South Africa have (as of February 2021) strongly decreased. The risk of infection on ASI trips is also extremely low, since we will be traveling a lot in nature and will have little contact with other people. The higher numbers of infections are mainly found in the larger cities and the townships.

For the latest information on the country's Corona status, visit the German Foreign Office website.

2. The entry to South Africa

The entry for tourist purposes to South Africa is basically allowed.

Prerequisite for your entry into South Africa is a negative PCR test (Corona test), which must not be older than 72 hours since the test. It is also necessary to fill out a health form (handed out on the plane) and it is recommended to download the Covid Alert South Africa app.

The flight to South Africa

Basically, air travel is the same as usual. The biggest difference you will notice is that you have to wear a mask. This is the case on all flights worldwide.

Special features of the entry

Travelers need insurance to cover the cost of quarantine, isolation or treatment in the event of a Corona infection. Covid insurance is included in both ASI travel insurance packages, for example.

3. Situation on the ground

What is the situation in the accommodations, how is the local population doing and what happens if you get infected locally?

Accommodation in South Africa

Of course there are also big hotels and hotel chains in South Africa. But we prefer the small, fine guesthouses and B&Bs (to be compared with our 3-4 star hotels), which make the South Africa vacation even more special. Attention to detail and nature is evident in all our accommodations and we will experience hospitality and warmth.

In times like these, hotel owners and their staff are even more happy about guests and try even harder to make the stay as nice as possible.

Situation of the people in South Africa

Due to the measures taken to contain the virus (months of "hard lockdown"), the country has fallen into a deep economic crisis. Corruption is unfortunately also an issue and contributes to the widening gap between rich and poor.

With a few exceptions, almost all sectors of the economy have been affected by the crisis, including tourism. In South Africa it is not common to receive a monthly salary, but to be paid daily or weekly. The income is the basis of survival for many families, only a few have savings.

There is almost no governmental support for the population in South Africa. With the help of (international) fundraising campaigns, for example, soup kitchens have been set up to help people in need.

In the meantime, the problem has been recognized by the government and the important economic sectors are no longer directly affected by the lockdown. South Africa is definitely ready for tourists and is more than ever happy about international guests.

4. Safety measures in South Africa

In South Africa, masks are compulsory in public places, including supermarkets, restaurants (you can take off your mask at the table) and accommodations. Disinfectant is available at all entrances.

Furthermore, in restaurants, accommodations and national parks, the temperature of every visitor is measured and contact information is stored in case of emergency.

In nature

For sporting activities (such as hiking), the mask can be removed and care is taken to keep a safe distance from other nature lovers.

Medical care in South Africa

Medical care in South Africa is very good and comparable to the European standard. Hospitals and doctors are available in every major location.

If you have to go to a hospital in South Africa for any reason during your ASI trip, you don't have to worry: Hospitalizations (even in private hospitals) are covered in every foreign travel insurance policy.

On an ASI South Africa trip you also have your guide at your side, who is trained in medical first aid and will initiate further steps.

In case of a Corona infection in the country

Due to the negative PCR test before entering the country, it is very unlikely that a Corona infection will occur during the trip.

If you test positive for Corona in South Africa, you will initially be quarantined. On a group trip, all other participants are also tested. Should you develop a severe Covid-19 course, you will also be treated intensively in South Africa. Thanks to the high medical standards z. B. in Cape Town you will be well taken care of.

We are looking forward to introduce this fascinating country to our guests (maybe you too) as soon as possible?) to show. Until then, feel free to browse through our South Africa trips and get inspired for your adventure under the African sun!

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