Beyond the lockdown, lies adventure in a safe haven
We’re making no exceptions to ensure we still go beyond the expected.
It’s no secret that the urge to travel is more so now than it has ever been. Lockdowns tend to ignite that in people.
Futurists have been highlighting for some time now that the trend for wanderlust seekers is to go back to nature. And the COVID epidemic has simply bolstered this. However, travelling now comes with certain stipulations, ones that we have taken very seriously to ensure the safety of our staff, surrounding communities, and guests.
Yes, our remote destinations, in iconic wilderness areas, will allow guests to combine physical distancing with the elation of discovery, by connecting to Mother Nature. BUT there are other expectations (other than keeping a safe distance), on accommodation and travel safety. We have carefully pre-empted these to ensure a journey with &Beyond is still extraordinary!
The health and safety of our guests, our staff and surrounding communities remains our top priority.
We have consulted with our medical advisors, Park Doctors, as well as referenced the World Health Organization, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), WTTC, and the regulations of each government of the countries where we operate; to develop detailed COVID-19 protocols for all aspects of our operations across 3 continents.
These standards will be reviewed and amended as the COVID-19 situation evolves. The protocols may also vary between our destinations based on local requirements / legislations.
Download our COVID-19 Protocol FAQ's
Caring for those who care for you.
&Beyond Life is our internal programme, which focuses on the tenets of Learn, Move and Give. This programme oversees the wellbeing of our staff and extends into the communities surrounding our destinations.
Under the LEARN tenet, our teams have been receiving our COVID-19 protocols training. All lodge teams, transfer hosts, guides, and field staff have been educated (extensively) on what COVID-19 is, how to identify the signs and symptoms of those infected, rules on personal hygiene, interaction with others, luggage handling, and cleaning and sanitation best practises.
Daily temperature checks will also be carried out before staff start working each day. We are also running an internal campaign that has staff watching out for each other.
Should anyone, guests or staff, show symptoms of COVID-19; we have a separate set of interventions at hand. &Beyonders also have access to an online consultation with a medical professional, if necessary.
We’re known for our cheery welcomes, hugs and handshakes…guests can still expect the warm hospitality from our &Beyonders; except…just from a little further away.
Our staff will also be ready to welcome guests with their traditional “hello waves” but strict physical distancing, as well as the &Beyond Life practices (mentioned above), will be adhered too.
From transfers and Private Travel to touring activities, we’re pulling out all the safety stops to ensure the &Beyond experience is carried throughout your journey
The &Beyond experience starts from the moment the guest leaves home to the moment they arrive home again, including the whole travel journey in between.
Our Meet and Greet teams at airports will still be there to accompany guests into private transfer vehicles, and all beverages and snack packaging etc. will be sanitised before being handed over.
Documentation/ Travel Journals – will be sent to guests electronically, unless hard copies have been requested to be handed over in person, in which case a strict process will be followed to ensure, as far as possible, that all documentation is sterilised and safe to be handed to the guest.
Where we operate sedan-type vehicles for road transfers between our lodges and camps or partner properties and tours, we will limit the number of guests to two per vehicle, and where we use utility vehicles for this purpose, we will limit the number of guests to four per vehicle (2 guests per row of seats).
While all our vehicles are already cleaned between transfers, these will now also be disinfected before each use.
Guides/drivers’ hands will be sanitised before and after handling luggage, and all bags and suitcases will be sanitised before being placed into the transfer vehicle.
Our vehicles will feature (individually-packed) spare masks and gloves for guests should they request them.
All 3rd party suppliers used for transfers and tours will have comprehensive, safety protocols in place, which match &Beyond’s stringent standards.
Previously, guests wanted the exclusivity of private travel. Now, they may see it as a necessity; and it is a luxury which we are happy to extend.
We have always offered private vehicles (at an additional cost and subject to availability); and for families and friends travelling together, we offer a range of private villas, sole-use lodges, family suites and cottages across our three continents.
Our Private Jet experience is fully-customisable for guests’ needs, and will ensure limited exposure at airports as well as unnecessary interactions with other travellers along the way. We have also aligned ourselves with a selection of partner properties that can be accessed to create a tailor-made, exclusive-use journey across all our destinations of operation.
We specialise in tailor-made experiences and, as a result, our touring activities are mostly exclusive – with each booking allocated to its own vehicle and guide.
Our touring vehicles will be disinfected after each outing and will contain individually packed masks and gloves should guests request them. For guests sharing transportation, we have limited the numbers per vehicle in the same manner as we have for our transfers.
Protocols surrounding each of our customised tours will vary depending on guests’ interests but also on the individual attractions. Our guides will recommend the best times of day to visit the attractions to limit the number of people they may encounter as well as assist with physical distancing.
The welfare of our guests, our staff and surrounding communities remains our top priority. We’ve implemented the required safety protocols while ensuring an extraordinary stay.
Guests will have access to protective gear to keep them safe, such as a mask, hand sanitiser, and gloves; should they choose to use them. The safety of our guests and staff is paramount.
When it comes to our health and wellness facilities, strict protocols have been implemented i.e. time slots will need to be booked for our fitness areas to ensure physical distancing and time to sanitise equipment in between. Massages will be permitted at our treatment centres (under strict conditions) as well as offered in-room. Pool areas will be checked and sanitised twice a day and guests will have access to a disinfection spray.
Dining will still be a delectable and show-stopping affair but more intimate and thoroughly thought out in terms of sanitation practices.
We anticipate that our guests will request more in-room dining opportunities. Given that most of our in-room dining venues are outside, on a veranda or balcony of the guest room, we will continue to provide a full room service offering, combined with a dedicated butler. All good hygiene practices and disinfecting procedures will take place.
We will not be closing off or eliminating any public spaces in our camps and lodges. In contrast, where possible, we will increase the size of these public areas by taking advantage of their setting.
We will continue to offer multiple dining options at all lodges, which will help us to ensure that the correct physical distancing measures are in place. These will include outdoor dining venues, private room dining, terraces, gardens, settings around our swimming pools and other secluded places at our lodges.
When buffets are served, they will follow the same strict guidelines, and will be served by a butler or chef.
Our butler service has always been attentive but unobtrusive. Butlers will only wear protective equipment, if regulated by government laws.
The strictest food preparation protocols have always been practised in our kitchens. However, we have made sure that no sanitisation rules have been missed in our COVID-ready implementations.
Safaris and other activities
The very nature of game drives being held outdoors (as with most of our other lodge activities) means that they are considered “safe”. This doesn’t mean we aren’t taking all the expected precautions.
All vehicles will be sanitised, and a maximum of six guests will be allowed in our safari vehicles. Each room will receive their own Adventure Kit, which includes a Guides’ Journal and lodge fold-out map as well as a pair of Swarovski binoculars (specific to African safari lodges only and sanitised on check-out).
Refreshments served during activities (at stops and along the way) will follow the same food preparation guidelines at our lodges and strict sanitation procedures will be adhered to.
Our WILDchild activities will still be available, with added sanitation protocols and social distancing.
For our culture and adventure activities, which involve transportation, we have adopted the same protocols as our transfers in the “Getting There” section above.
As the rural communities surrounding our lodges are extremely vulnerable, we will be working very closely with community leaders and will take our lead from them as to when they feel comfortable to resume with guest visits, without compromising community members. Once both sides are satisfied that visits can go ahead without undue risk, community members and visitors will need to follow strict protocols. The exact nature of these is still under discussion with community leaders.
Guests at &Beyond lodges will still be able to support the local communities by making a donation to community and conservation projects supported by &Beyond or by buying locally produced crafts online.
Our staff are eagerly expecting you
Going beyond the expected is what our trade partners and guests have known and come to love about &Beyond. We promise to uphold this expectation by delivering a safe experience. Our &Beyond teams are eagerly waiting to welcome guests “home” and showcase the vibrant cultures, spectacular landscapes, and fascinating wildlife of Africa, Asia and South America.