Cheesemans' Ecology Safaris
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
Page Updated: December 27, 2021
While we have successfully operated a few group trips this year amid COVID, it’s very clear that the travel landscape will be affected by the pandemic for the foreseeable future. We continue to value you as members of our extended family, so your safety, security, and overall experience has and always will be our top priority.
For us to continue to focus on delivering trips in which we know we can keep everyone as safe as possible amid the ongoing pandemic, we are keeping our eyes on all the latest scientific information and safety procedures and making decisions based on that information. This means things will continue to change as time goes on.
We understand that each of you have your own risk tolerance, and the new travel landscape is such that you will never be in a zero-exposure situation. So we ask that before you book a trip, assess if you can remain flexible amid this new travel landscape with constantly changing international entry and exit requirements and no guarantee of complete immunity to COVID exposure.
We want to help you enjoy your trip to the fullest and we are doing our best each and every day to keep you up to date on your destination country’s requirements, as well as entry requirements to the US. However, as we’ve seen, things change with limited notice, so it is ultimately you who must stay up to date on any requirements based on your travel route including, but not limited to, layover locations.
To help ease your mind for potential travel issues, we strongly recommend that you buy travel insurance for each of your trips to cover some situations that may arise before and during your travel. Travelex has a great summary of what coverages you may be eligible for based on the policies they offer; please also see our Travel Insurance webpage for more information on travel insurance.
COVID Vaccination Status – All of our travelers, leaders, and ship’s crew and staff must be fully vaccinated. “Fully vaccinated” is as defined by the CDC here.
Country Entry Requirements – These are still in flux, so we recommend the following to help you before and during your trip:
- US Citizens should enroll in STEP (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program) to get updates on any changes.
- US Citizens should also check the US Embassy for your destination country and your flight route as your trip approaches.
- Check Sherpa to find current travel restrictions.
- Go through the travel checklist most airlines provide to make sure you have met all your travel requirements and download their app to get updates and important messages.
- When you check in for your flight, check with the airline representative that you have all the necessary items for your route of travel and destination. They travel these routes consistently so are your best source of current info.
- Check for any special requirements based on the type of COVID vaccine you received on the US Embassy site for your destination country or your route of travel.
Travel Restrictions – If destination countries have a travel ban or required quarantine, we will not operate our trip. We can discuss options with you should you decide you still would like to travel to that destination.
Booking Flights – Because the entry and exit requirements for countries are in constant flux, if you decide to book flights early, please book a ticket that you can change should the requirements change.
COVID Tests for your Destination Country – When looking for where to get your COVID test before you depart for your trip, you can check airline and airport websites, or Google for places around you. We hope at some point there will be a nationwide or worldwide database of testing labs.
COVID Tests for US Entry – As of right now, the US entry requirements state that you need a COVID test the day before you board your flight back to the US. It does not have to be within 24 hours of your departure flight, just anytime the day before you fly. For example, if you fly to the US tomorrow, you need to take your COVID test today, or tomorrow at the latest. When required for return to the US, we will work to schedule your test before departure or tell you where to get tested, depending on the trip (which usually costs extra).
If the destination for your trip has a border closure or quarantine in effect, we will assess the likelihood of this changing closer to the time when your final payment is due. At that time, we will let you know what our decision process looks like.
This will be the new normal, so we greatly appreciate your patience as we do our best to keep you updated!
Gina, Elizabeth, and Adam
The Cheesemans’ Ecology Safaris Team