Keeping you inspired and informed as we navigate COVID-19 together
When humankind rallies in the face of adversity; we have proved our resourcefulness, our courage and, most of all, the ability to showcase the empathy that defines our humanity.
The spread of COVID-19 (the coronavirus) has once again tested our resilience, and we would like to take this opportunity to extend our thoughts to those who have been affected. The rapidly changing situation with regards to COVID-19 has affected people, businesses and economies everywhere.
It is difficult not to be overwhelmed with impact on such a massive scale and our thoughts go out to all those affected, whether in terms of health or their daily income.
In troubling times such as this, we can take to heart that we have faced challenges like coronavirus before – and we have prevailed.
So, how do we move forward and continue to provide extraordinary travel experiences?
In this context, &Beyond’s priority remains the wellbeing and safety of all our guests and staff, as well as the communities surrounding our lodges. While is difficult to plan in the long term as things remain in a constant state of flux, we have put together a plan that we believe allows our guests a measure of certainty for the future, while still allowing us to care for the land, wildlife and people who depend on us.
Bringing Travel Home
With our lodges operations temporarily suspended for the month of April, we have found a few ways to bring our luxury travel offerings to you.
We’re inviting you to embark on a journey to Africa, Asia and South America, from the comfort of your armchair or kitchen! In the next few weeks, we will be rolling out a series of newsletters, which will hopefully ignite your senses and tickle your wanderlust; taking you beyond your four walls to a continent and its people who can’t wait to welcome you back!
Missing Africa – Please join us as we bring the tastes, smells, sounds and sights of Africa to you on our Bringing Africa Home pages.
Our hope is that we will soon once again be able to welcome guests into our lodges for a reminder of how beautiful the world can be.
We're bringing the wilderness to you
Future booking with &Beyond
CONFIRMED BOOKINGS TRAVELLING FROM 31 MARCH TO 31 JULY 2020
In order to accommodate this recognised Global Force Majeure* event and the resulting varying worldwide travel restrictions, we have amended our standard terms to allow guests to postpone travel up to a year after the original travel date and carry forward 100% of the booking’s value to the future booking as per our Covid-19 terms and conditions (last revised 1 April 2020).
Should a guest elect to cancel the booking then our standard cancellation policy applies.
We are communicating with all affected guests and trade partners to advise them on government restrictions on travel.
CONFIRMED BOOKINGS THAT ARE DUE TO TRAVEL AFTER 1 AUGUST 2020
Given the fluidity of global events, we recommend guests wait until the 15th JUNE 2020 to make a decision to postpone or continue travel after 1 AUGUST 2020. Should guests elect to cancel or postpone the booking prior to 15 JUNE 2020 then &Beyond’s standard terms and conditions apply.
Should the same global conditions (varying worldwide travel restrictions) exist at 15 JUNE 2020, then guests may consider postponing their bookings travelling between 1 AUGUST 2020 to the 1 OCTOBER 2020 up to a year after the original travel date and carry forward 100% of the booking’s value (as per our Covid-19 terms and conditions) to the future booking.
*Against the backdrop of various restrictive interventions that have recently been imposed by not only the South African government but also various governments within our source markets in an attempt to stem the spread of COVID-19, all of which measures fall entirely beyond the control of &Beyond (i.e. border closures, restrictions on international flight schedules, travel bans and lockdowns), &Beyond has had no option other than to invoke the provisions of force majeure under its trading terms resulting in the suspension of all obligations by the parties under the trading terms until such time that the force majeure events have been lifted or cancelled by the various governments.
Our guests around the world are feeling the effects of various restrictions imposed by an increasing number of governments to stem the spread of COVID-19, including border closures, restrictions on international flights, travel bans and lockdowns. In the face of these events, all of which are beyond our control, we are currently unable to accept guests at any of our African lodges between 01 and 30 April 2020.
A core team of staff will remain at each lodge and will continue to carry out training and maintenance, as well as work on any current refurbishment projects. Conservation activities will also carry on as normal. All other lodge staff will be placed on fully paid leave until the end of April.
Community Resilience to COVID-19
COVID-19 is on the move – at warp speed – and Africa’s vulnerable communities need our help: none more so than those situated in the remote areas surrounding our lodges. We are supporting our community development partner, Africa Foundation, in its call for assistance.
The various restrictions imposed by the countries where we operate in the context of COVID-19 have forced most of our projects with Africa Foundation to be temporarily suspended. While these will restart as soon as possible, we believe that, in the meantime, it is critical to increase the resilience of rural communities to the threat posted by COVID-19. For this reason, they have re-prioritized a number of projects, particularly those to do with the provision of water. We are also supporting Africa Foundation with their fundraising efforts for:
- Borehole creation, which will provide clean, safe and accessible water
- The provision of Hippo Water Rollers, 90 litre barrels that roll easily over the ground, providing an easy means of transport and storage for large volumes of fresh water
- The provision of basic supplies to clinics in rural areas
To find out more about these initiatives and to donate please click here
While we believe that protecting rural communities is one of the best things that we can currently do to protect the land and the wildlife, the wildlife-management and conservation activities are continuing at &Beyond lodges during the COVID-19 crisis.
Many of our lodges throughout Africa are situated within national parks, which are run according to government regulations. Recognizing that the security of these reserves will be one of the main challenges faced during this time, we have retained skeleton staff at all our &Beyond lodges and camps. While strict social distancing measures are being applied to ensure the health of these staff members, their presence in the field serves a vital security function. With no tourists and far fewer numbers of vehicles moving through the reserves at the moment, there is currently a far higher risk of poaching, something that we can go a long way towards offsetting by keeping a basic number of staff moving around the reserve.
At private reserves such as Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa, where the land is owned and managed by &Beyond, additional security measures have been implemented. In addition our teams are working closely with local community leaders to bring accessible, clean water to rural clinics, orphans and vulnerable children, care centres and homes.
It’s important that you get the latest information from reputable sources. The World Health Organisation’s Situation Reports are our resources for all things COVID-19 related.
For your convenience, please bookmark the following useful reference for the latest Travel Advisories from Global Rescue – our travel insurance provider
TALK TO US IF YOU ARE CONCERNED
This page will be kept updated