We’re experiencing a moment unlike any that a person living today has ever witnessed. We have all read about The Great Plague of the bible, American Polio epidemic, Spanish Flue, AIDS pandemic and epidemic: 1981-present day, H1N1 Swine Flu pandemic: 2009-2010, West African Ebola epidemic: 2014-2016 and now Covid 19. I never thought in my lifetime we would witness this much devastation and be a part of a lockdown in South Africa. Like many of you, I’ve been gripped by anxiety and sometimes outright fear, worrying about the safety of my friends, family, and colleagues. I’ve watched in disbelief as people in China, Iran, Italy, the US, and beyond have fallen victim to this new virus.
With the rapid spread of COVID-19, we’re seeing radical changes being taken on a global scale. People are closing businesses. Schools are closed and there is a global travel ban. People are staying home and turning their lives upside down to protect themselves and their families. It is amazing to see people from every level of government and every walk of life working together to restrain this virus.
We know that the global halt we’re witnessing means that many workers and families are facing hardship and uncertainty, and our hearts goes out to all of you who are struggling right now — either because they can’t work, or because they have no choice but to work, even with the risks.
Still, there’s something about the scale of the response that gives me hope, because we know that we will need everyone to fight this virus. And right now, we are seeing that unprecedented mobilization on a global scale is possible. That people are able and willing to undertake challenging and fundamental shifts head on and help each other, when they are moved to do so.
We’re also seeing a beautiful outpouring of kindness and generosity. Neighbours helping neighbours, strangers helping the most vulnerable in our communities. It is exactly this kind of caring connection that will bring us through the crisis unfolding today, and through these next challenging years.
I have witnessed firsthand my career as a Tourist Guide fall apart as one tour after the other gets cancelled with the tourism and hospitality industry being hit very hard by this natural disaster. Our small family owned business has also been hit hard by Covid 19, but we are fighting and hanging in there and we are indeed open for business. Everyone needs something to look forward too and what a great time to make enquiries about your South African adventure now, let us answer your questions and help you plan so that you have something to look forward to when we get through this!
In an address to the nation on Thursday night (9 April), president Cyril Ramaphosa said while it is still too early to gauge the real effect of the lockdown on the spread of the coronavirus in South Africa, initial data shows that it is definitely having an impact. President Ramaphosa first declared the coronavirus pandemic a national disaster on 15 March, and announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown a few days later on 23 March. South Africa’s lockdown has since been extended by another two extra weeks until (at least) the end of April.
South African National Parks have closed all tourism facilities in support of national lockdown. Guests will not be allowed to enter any national park, including Kruger, whether as day or overnight visitors from Wednesday, 25 March 2020, until further notice. Our business, being heavily reliant on the Kruger National Park being open, has no choice but to wait for this to happen before we can in turn make any bookings involving a Kruger experience.
Clients are welcome to contact us to make enquiries for bookings as from 1 May 2020. All enquiries will be treated as provisional until we are sure that we can offer the services our clients are enquiring about. We work solely with third party service providers and our booking and cancellation policies are directly linked to the specific service provider in question when it comes to client’s bookings.
Our normal booking procedure involves a 25% non-refundable deposit payment payable at the time of booking to secure any/all services, with the balance payable no later than 30 days prior to arrival, bookings made less than 30 days before departure are normally required to pay the full amount at the time of booking.
Our reliability on third party service providers is likely to prevent us from offering clients the possibility of transferring their non-refundable deposit payment to a future dated booking without the specific service provider in question in return being in agreement and we would like to be transparent about the risks involved when making provisional bookings with us during this time.
Kruger South Safaris Cancellation policy: Please note that the deposit payment is non-refundable (and non-transferable to a future date). Cancellation 30 days prior to arrival date and/or commencement of Safari/Tour/Activity - deposit plus 25% of total bill; 14 to 29 days - deposit plus 50% of total bill; 0 to 13 days - 100% of total bill.
We look forward to hearing from you and assist in planning your holiday to our wonderful country. I believe that we will get through this and like a phoenix we will rise through the ashes and devastation that Covid 19 will leave behind and we will rise, and we will better than ever before.
Felicity Carey on behalf of the Kruger South Safari’s Team
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