PANGOLIN COVID-19 FAQs
Please refer to the IATA website for information on all the countries that you are going to visit. This is a reliable and regularly updated source of information on their current Covid-19 travel restrictions.
You can find the website here: https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/world.php
When you arrive in Botswana you will undergo a lateral flow test at the airport which presents results in around 30 minutes. This is the Botswana Government being very cautious and seeing as you have a negative PCR should not worry you. Should the result on the rapid flow test be positive (and there is always going to be a small percentage of false positives) then you will be required to do another PCR test at your own expense.
There is no cost to you for the rapid flow test.
Likewise, if you display an above-average temperature upon arrival in the terminal you will be isolated in a room for 30 minutes and have your temperature taken again along with taking a rapid flow test. If your temperature is still high and the rapid flow returns a positive result then you will be required to take a PCR test at your own expense.
If, when you are staying with us, you start to display Covid-19 symptoms (cough, loss of sense of smell, high temperature etc) we will organise a PCR test for you for your own account to confirm whether or not it is in fact Covid-19.
While you wait for the results which should take no longer than 24 hours you will quarantine in your room/cabin/tent. All meals will be brought to you there. If the test is negative you can rejoin the other guests on activities and at meals.
If the test result is positive we will have to notify the local authorities and you will be asked to return to your room where you will undergo 14 days of quarantine or shorter should you then have a negative result from subsequent tests. We have a special long-stay rate are which will apply and you will be well taken care of during your recovery with medical attention a phone call away.
Most insurance policies now cover you for delays due to a positive Covid-19 result so please make sure you have adequate travel insurance that covers this eventuality as there will be costs associated with the quarantine stay.
- Each day we will be testing your temperature several times. Should you display a higher than normal temperature we will ask you to return to your room for 30 minutes when we will conduct a second check. Should your temperature be back to normal you will be free to rejoin the other guests. If your temperature remains high we will take you for a PCT test straight away. This will be for your own account.
- Throughout our properties, we have placed hand sanitising stations and we ask our guests to make use of them throughout their stay.
- All of our staff are temperature checked throughout the day and wear their masks at all times as well as sanitising regularly
- Should you wish you can leave the do not disturb sign on your door and no member of staff will enter during your stay.
- During mealtimes, we have increased the spaces between guests at the tables to maintain social distancing. We tend to keep the same people from the same groups and activities on the same tables wherever possible.
- As many touchpoints from the hotel have been removed as possible. We now have digital versions of our check-in forms and in-room information which you can access from your own mobile devices.
- We have limits to the number of guests allowed into the enclosed areas such as the editing suite and underground hide at The Pangolin Chobe Hotel.
The vaccine rollout has started in Botswana although a little slowly due to the limited supply through GAVI (Covax) which was expecting a large delivery from India before they restricted exports. The Botswana Government has negotiated vaccine deals outside of COVAX with several suppliers including Pfizer and Moderna.
Luckily Botswana (and Namibia for that matter) have very small populations of just over 2 million people each so reaching herd immunity when the vaccines are available should be far quicker than most countries. There is a real chance that both Botswana and Namibia could be the first countries in Africa to vaccinate their entire adult populations.
We use only open-air game viewers and boats on all our activities which allows us to enjoy plenty of fresh air. We do our utmost to divide the guests equally between the available boats and vehicles during activities. We encourage our guests to wear their masks during the activities.
In between game drives and cruises, the vehicles and boats are disinfected as are the cameras and lenses. We allocate one numbered camera and lens to each guest for their use during the stay with us (does not apply to Pangolin Voyager where cameras and lenses are not supplied unless part of a workshop).
The Botswana government have indicated that workers in the tourism sector will be prioritised after the most vulnerable (over 60s) have been vaccinated. With a relatively small and young population, this should be very soon.