Pangolin Photo Safaris Covid-19 Protocol
As we are emerging from the depths of the pandemic we are constantly revising our Covid-19 protocols for guests arriving at the Pangolin Chobe Hotel and Pangolin Voyager Houseboat.
These are based on the current guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Botswana Government and will be subject to change as the guidelines also adapt to the ever-changing understanding of the virus.
The vast majority of our guests and staff have been fully vaccinated allowing us to relax these protocols somewhat.
It is our absolute intention to maintain the highest standards and make sure that we cause as little inconvenience to you, at all times, wherever possible.
Latest Update: 6th October 2021
Arrival at Kasane Airport
Upon arrival you will be met by one of our employees who will be wearing a mask and carrying a board with your names on it. Rest assured that behind the fabric there is a beaming smile!
It’s a very short drive to the hotel (5 mins) in an 8 seater minibus plus the driver. Where we can, a private transfer can be arranged, subject to availability.
Check in at The Pangolin Chobe Hotel
We have a contactless check-in process whereby guests can do so using their own cell phone or tablets on our free Wi-Fi. This should be very quick to do. If you need assistance then there will be one tablet, which has been thoroughly disinfected, for you to use.
Upon arrival at the hotel, your temperature will be taken by a member of staff.
During your stay, all the guests and staff will have their temperature taken twice daily. For the staff, it will be at the start and end of their shifts. The number of staff on duty will be limited so as to ensure our guests come into contact with as few people as possible.
For the guests, it will before the morning game drive and again just before dinner – and certainly before you spend any time in the sunken fire pit as it can get toasty warm in there and we don’t want false readings.
Communal Areas of the Pangolin Chobe Hotel and Pangolin Voyager
We have positioned hand sanitiser stations around the hotel/houseboat for your use. The communal spaces such as the gallery, public restrooms, bar area and indoor dining room, sun deck (Voyager) will receive regular disinfection and cleaning when the guests are out on activities focusing on all contact points within the property.
The editing suite at the Pangolin Chobe Hotel will be open for use but limited to eight guests and one host (capacity is double that) at any one time. Set times will be allocated to groups. Should guests not want to use the editing room there is plenty of space up in the bar.
It is recommended that guests bring their own masks which are compliant, in standard and quality. to the recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO) at the time of travel.
Game Activities (Photo Safaris)
With the majority (estimated at 97%) of our clients being fully vaccinated as well as our staff we have relaxed the social distancing on the photo safari activities. We will have one dedicated seat per person on the photo boats with an approximate face to face distance of 1.5m.
On the game viewers, we don’t have a middle seat to the same distancing applies. Everyone has a window seat and the vehicles are open as opposed to enclosed.
The cameras are all numbered, and you will use the same camera throughout your stay. At the end of a game activity, the photo host will wipe down your camera with a disinfectant wipe and place it in a sealed camera case. This will not be reopened until your next activity where the same camera will be returned to you.
During the activities, the guides and photo host will wear masks and you should feel free to do so too.
Drinks and snacks will be prepared before the game activity by your photo hosts and taken from a fridge storing cans and bottles that have previously been wiped down before being refrigerated. Tea and coffee in the mornings will be made fresh on the game drives by the photo hosts. Each guest will be given their own water bottle to use during their stay.
Your room at The Pangolin Chobe Hotel
Before your arrival, each room will be given a deep clean and made ready for you. The in-room information has been removed and replaced with an app where all the information pertaining to your stay will be available on your phone or tablet. Air conditioning will be given a full clean upon each guest’s check out.
We are bringing in the option to have a sealed room during your stay where housekeeping nor maintenance staff will enter your room unless in an emergency. You can elect for this to be the case for your room upon arrival during check-in. In this instance, your room will not be made up or cleaned. If you would like your wastepaper basket emptied you can leave it outside your door and it will be emptied, disinfected and returned to the outside of your door. We will make sure that you have enough toilet paper and other amenities to see you through your stay inside the room.
Your cabin on the Pangolin Voyager Houseboat
As with the hotel, you can elect whether or not you would like your cabin to be cleaned on a daily basis or not. As the houseboat is booked on an exclusive basis for groups and families travelling together or attending a workshop this will be easy to manage. For groups staying longer than four nights, and electing not to have their rooms cleaned we will organise a full day of the houseboat on day five, on an extended game activity, as the cleaning staff enter the rooms, change the linen, replenish the amenities and perform a deep clean of the rooms.
Mealtimes at the Pangolin Chobe Hotel
This protocol is designed to reduce the number of touchpoints – especially communal serving utensils. Condiments will be served in multiple serving vessels distributed on the tables.
Brunch at the hotel, which is traditionally a self-service buffet, will now be served by members of staff wearing masks and gloves. The cooked breakfast is always plated and will continue to be done so. Coffee and tea will be served and replenished at the table by a suitably attired member of staff.
The high tea snacks are self-served and refreshments are served at the table.
Dinner will either be plated or served, by a member of staff, at the buffet depending on the menu. You will tend to be seated with the same people that you were on a photo safari activity with. Should you wish to have a private table this can be arranged.
We have enough tables in the hotel to manage this with one sitting only. The food handlers will be required to wash their hands with soap and water for 20 secs as often as possible.
Mealtimes on the Pangolin Voyager
All meals on the Pangolin Voyager will be plated and brought from the kitchen where the staff will be wearing protective face-masks and gloves while they cook. The guests will be able to help themselves from the bar throughout their stay, as per normal. Wine (red and white) will be opened and placed on the table as required for self-service during mealtimes.
As The Pangolin Voyager is limited, as far as extra dining areas is concerned, all meals will be taken around the large dining table with all the sliding windows open for extra cross ventilation of the room.
The Pangolin Bar at The Pangolin Chobe Hotel
The Pangolin Bar is open all day and a member of staff, wearing a mask, will be on hand to serve you whatever you desire. The rates at The Pangolin Chobe Hotel are all-inclusive so there is no need to pay for individual items – which is another transactional touchpoint we can happily avoid.
Although maintenance will need to be performed, whilst guests are on activity, we will limit this to the only very essential work in order to keep the communal areas as free from people as possible.
Groups travelling together
For photographic groups (up to eight guests with a tour leader) travelling together, we will defer to the decision of how these guidelines are implemented. Should the group wish to be on the same photo boat and vehicle they are free to do so.
Please note: As we learn more, globally, about the virus and how it is transmitted and treated these protocols will adapt accordingly.