As South Africa's vaccine roll-out is gaining momentum, many vaccinated travellers are venturing abroad to visit countries accepting vaccinated travellers. Europe destinations like France, Norway, Estonia, Ukraine, Romania, among others, are permitting South Africans who are vaccinated.
And, if you are having travel FOMO and not yet vaccinated, some destinations are allowing you to visit.
Andrew Stark, Flight Centre Travel Group’s managing director for Middle East and Africa, said: "If you have yet to be granted the opportunity to get vaccinated, it does not mean that international travel is completely off the cards. In many countries, entry is open, and quarantine is not required as long as South Africans get a RT-PCR Covid test done before arriving."
These countries include:
According to Skyscanner, South African travellers will require a negative PCR test, taken 72 hours before their trip. Digital certificates are not accepted. Therefore, it needs to be a paper copy. Furthermore, travellers are subject to health screenings upon arrival and face masks must be worn in public. Once there, visit Mount Ljuboten, kayak Matka Canyon and spot wildlife at Mavrovo National Park.
Egypt does not require quarantine. However, a public health card needs to be presented to immigration when you arrive. Travellers need to show a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken 72 hours before their arrival. Travellers need to complete a health declaration form before boarding and on arrival. In some instances, travel insurance is required. See The Great Pyramid of Giza, cruise along the Nile River and visit cities like Luxor and Aswan.
In late April, the Maldives announced that they would be opening their borders to South Africans.
Known for its idyllic white beaches and crystal-clear turquoise sea, the Maldives compromises 26 atolls, which are made up of more than 1 000 coral islands – many still uninhabited. The destination makes the ultimate place for sea fanatics and watersports lovers. Activities include jet-skiing, wake boarding, diving, snorkelling, kite surfing and parasailing.
Zanzibar does not require quarantine for South Africans. Travellers need to show a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken 72 hours before their arrival. Zanzibar is a fast-selling destination for South African travellers for its affordable prices and impressive offerings.
Once you land, escape to a private resort, indulge in tantalising cuisine and soak up the sun. Be sure to explore Stone Town, Nungwi Beach and go on a spice tour.
Botswana does not require quarantine. However, travellers need to show a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken 72 hours before arrival. This doesn’t apply to passengers younger than 5 years old.
Botswana should be on your radar if you want to immerse yourself in its culture and history and see wildlife. Known for its stunning safari attractions.
A top place to visit is the Okavango Delta, one of Africa’s last remaining wildlife habitats. Cuisine like seswaa and ditloo beans are worth a try.
Namibia does not require tourists to quarantine. However, travellers need to show a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken 72 hours before arrival.
Travellers require travel insurance should any medical costs arise, and face masks are mandatory in public places.
Visit Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, for its history and culture, or escape to Walvis Bay, where you can take a boat trip to see seals and pelicans. Or you can visit Moon Landscape, about 30km from Swakopmund, which would make you feel like you walking on the moon.
Factors to consider
Speak with a travel professional before making any trips.
If you are travelling, ensure that you wear a mask, use sanitiser when touching surfaces, practice social distancing and self-isolate for 10 days and monitor for Covid systems after arriving back at home.
"It is also wise to get another Covid test 3 – 5 days after returning home," added Stark.