Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Page Updated: March 18, 2020
Dear fellow travelers,
Cheesemans’ Ecology Safaris has always been a small, family-run business, and we exist to share the world’s wildlife with you and to help protect nature in the process. As you are deeply valued members of our extended family, your safety, security, and overall experience has and always will be our top priority. We’ve faced challenges — political upheavals, injuries, bankruptcy of local companies — but COVID-19 may overshadow them all.
We understand that with this global health crisis comes economic hardship for many people, from travelers like you, to companies like us, to local travel partners in regions we visit who have seen their livelihoods evaporate along with the tourists that normally support their economies. Thank you for bearing with us as we work to ensure that we do what is best for all parties. We feel that it is important we all take steps to be a part of the solution to this pandemic and help “flatten the curve” by minimizing the opportunity for the COVID-19 to spread, giving medical systems a chance to catch up to the growing demand. Our most immediate question to face is, how do we at Cheesemans’ Ecology Safaris do right by you?
We are cancelling all of our trips scheduled to depart before May 15, 2020. What does this mean for you? We know you travel for the same reasons we do: for the experience and the love of nature. If you will look forward to future travels with us, we are offering 110% of your cancelled destination’s trip cost to be transferred to one of our trips that departs before May 15, 2022. If not, we will send you a full refund, but we hope that you’ll consider rebooking to help support local communities and Cheesemans’ during this challenging time.
We will inform you as rapidly as possible about our late May and onward trips as the course of this pandemic unfolds; we are monitoring the situation daily. Thank you so much for your patience during this challenging time and please contact us if you have any questions or concerns for trips departing after May 15.
We are grateful for your patience as we adapt to this ever-changing situation. We hope that in the end this will bring us all closer together and that we can continue to provide you with life-changing experiences for many years to come.
To keep you informed of the latest news about the coronavirus outbreak, we’ve created this page with the latest information relevant to our upcoming trips. As this is an evolving situation, we will periodically email our travelers with important updates that may affect their trips, but please revisit this page for resources and to stay up to date. For current outbreak updates, prevention, and travel recommendations, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website and the World Health Organization website.
The CDC is issuing Travel Advisories, using a 1 through 3 Warning Level system. The WHO continues not to recommend travel restrictions based on the current information available, including public health threats and local risk assessments. We are also including links to US embassies for upcoming trips; please note that the US Department of State has its own 1 through 4 Travel Advisory system that takes into account crime, natural disasters, civil unrest, etc. that may not have to do with the COVID-19 outbreak.
For individual country updates
Many airlines are adjusting their change and cancellation policies. Forbes is updating policy changes as quickly as possible but airlines are asking you to delay contacting them to change your flights unless you are flying in the next 72 hours. If you have concerns about your purchased flights, please contact your airline directly.
If you purchased an insurance policy for a cancelled trip, check with your insurance company to see if they will let you change the policy to cover you for a future trip if you’re rebooking. Unless you have added a “cancel for any reason” upgrade, most insurance policies will not cover your cancellation because of fear of travel or government travel advisories or bans. For an example, you can read Travelex’s policy in regards to the current outbreak. If you have concerns about your purchased coverage or want to purchase coverage, please contact your insurance company directly.
Svalbard Archipelago, Norway
Beluga Camp, Canada
Tips to Stay Healthy
Cheesemans’ would like to remind you that the most effective way to stay healthy and minimize the spread of infectious disease is to practice good hygiene. From the CDC:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask. CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website.