Travelling in COVID Times

We are living in unprecedented times.

Two years ago, who would have thought that the freedom of global travel could have been taken away from us? And that this least of our concerns would be so heavily overshadowed by the suffering and loss that COVID-19 has inflicted upon the entire world?

While the US is taking one step back for every two forwards, we are slowly reining in this pandemic and learning that life may never be quite the same again. We are also discovering that our immediate path forwards lies not in overcoming the virus but in adapting to a way of life that is both safe and sustainable, affording us our civil liberties, our ability to work and the opportunity to enjoy international travel.

From the very beginning, we at Rothschild Safaris have been monitoring the impact around the world, carefully assessing every aspect of the experiences we offer. This begins, of course, with addressing our very immediate predicament: is it safe for our clients to travel?

Singita COVID Policy
Just a portion of Singita‘s stringent COVID Policy implemented across its 15 venues.

Some countries have closed their borders to the rest of the world for the safety of their population. Others have been declared no-travel zones or deemed unsafe for visitors. Just as with other aspects of your travel safety, we are continually reviewing our destinations, and even our venues, to be able to assure your wellbeing. India, for example, is temporarily unavailable to our clients given its current COVID status. Some African countries too, including Malawi, Nigeria and Algeria, have closed to tourists, yet these are of a minority.

Some countries remain completely open and safe for US tourists, while others are given cautionary status. However, by crafting a bespoke travel itinerary for you, we are able to provide greater social distancing, avoidance of hotspots and ensure that you only visit regions that adhere to strict protocols to ensure your health.

With vaccination numbers continually growing, client safety is rapidly increasing. Our ability to explore the world hasn’t been more possible throughout the pandemic, yet neither has it been more necessary.

Londolozi Tree Camp
Socially-distanced dining at Londolozi Tree Camp.

With the media acutely focussed on sharing COVID-19’s ongoing facts and figures, with our ability to work and travel limited, and with more time available to dwell upon the negatives of this global crisis, our mental health is being significantly impacted. 

Some estimates suggest that occurrence of mental health issues has more than quadrupled since the beginning of the pandemic¹ and has no sign of abating. Fortunately, travel – and yes, it is possible – holds numerous significant benefits – for our mental health, but also for our ongoing resilience and adaptation to this brave new world in which we find ourselves.

Great Plains Riding Safari
Fortunately, the very nature of safari is to seek social distancing.
Photo: Great Plains Conservation

Forbes published an article² almost two years before COVID-19 even existed, yet it is significantly more poignant today than it was when released in January of 2018.
It stipulates five key areas of benefit provided by travel:


  1. Travel helps overcome stress. Dr. Tamara McClintock Greenberg suggests that our accumulative daily stress is alleviated when removing ourselves from our familiar and routine lifestyles. By taking a vacation and ‘unplugging’, we are afforded the opportunity to reset our stress levels, which in turn makes us better able to manage our mental health in these particularly challenging times.
  2. Travel allows for reassessment. I frequently hear of clients, friends and associates having reinvented themselves as a result of the pandemic. Sometimes, it has been through necessity, but others have taken advantage of increased free time to retrain and pursue passions that they may never have been able to indulge had life continued without the impact of COVID. Travel gives us the chance to reset and contemplate. We break from our formulaic routines and can view our world from afar, inspired by new horizons and new cultures, returning with a fresh perspective on the more significant aspects of our lives.
  3. Travel increases satisfaction. When meandering through our day-to-day schedules, it is easy to become complacent, to recognize all that we don’t have, yet fail to see many of the wonderful gifts we receive. The experience of travel gives us satisfaction in and of itself, but it also allows us to truly appreciate how blessed we are in our daily lives. Observing and appreciating our own good fortune vastly benefits our mental health.
  4. Travel increases resilience. Travel causes us to adapt and accept what is not within our control. While we can plan each and every aspect of our vacations, there will always be elements of it that are in the hands of fate. Embracing these circumstances as they occur and developing an ability and willingness to adapt accordingly can strengthen our mental resilience in every aspect of our lives.
  5. Travel is inspirational. Writers, artists, photographers and other creatives have frequently traveled the world to fuel their inspiration. Though your profession may include none of these talents, as a traveler, you rarely have a better or more inspirational opportunity to indulge your right-brain creativity. This can be wonderfully therapeutic and may even spark a continued creative practice.

Africa covid policy

covid rules africa

COVID safety africa
With staff fully vaccinated, masks worn at all times, sanitizing hand wash provided and stringent cleaning protocols in place, Alex Walker’s Serian is doing all it can to assure client safety and wellbeing.


Even with the expert organization of our Travel Designers, unexpected circumstances can occur. Fortunately we are available each and every minute of your vacation and are able to swiftly adapt and alter your itinerary accordingly, such as with one of our wonderful clients very recently:

“You guys did a fantastic job to arrange a once in a lifetime experience. Travelling during COVID offered potential for bumps in the road. We were bounced pretty hard with one of those bumps, but you guys were there and on top of it, offering amazing local and remote assistance to keep the journey moving forward. I can’t thank the Rothchild team enough for assisting to keep the journey alive.”

Each and every partner with which we book is also upholding stringent COVID protocol, not merely in alignment with their own governments’ advice but far beyond what is required, giving you peace of mind that you will be well cared for wherever you travel. Between venues and destinations, you will often be provided with either private or small charter transportation, avoiding larger travel terminals and interactions with larger crowds.

Each accommodation not only upholds preventative measures, it also fully sterilizes all rooms, continually monitors and and tests staff, provides sanitizer and other safety measures and many have also discontinued scenarios of high infection potential, such as buffets and larger group excursions.

Every possible step is taken to ensure your wellbeing, from your very first interaction to your return home. Your destinations and accommodations are scrutinized and volatile regions are vehemently avoided.

Londolozi Pioneer Camp
Solitude is safety at Londolozi Pioneer Camp

We recognize the plight of poorer nations and those inflicted with the impact of COVID-19, but in many regards, there has never been a better time to take a vacation. With reduced numbers of travelers, your journeys will be more expeditious and less crowded and will also provide valuable income to some of the nations most highly affected by the financial impact of COVID.

Your investment will also assist in conservation efforts, with many private reserves and sanctuaries heavily relying upon the kindness and investment of visitors.

But above all, now more than ever, you deserve a vacation. For almost two years you have had restrictions, limitations, fear, inconvenience and far worse imposed upon you. To invest now in a vacation is to alleviate the stress, breathe a relaxing sigh and enjoy the opportunity to simply lose yourself in the wonders of the world.

Contact your Travel Designer today to discuss your COVID-Safe vacation options.

[1] https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/issue-brief/the-implications-of-covid-19-for-mental-health-and-substance-use/
[2] https://www.forbes.com/sites/nomanazish/2018/01/22/five-reasons-why-travel-is-good-for-your-mental-health/

Header image: Londolozi