ADVENTURE CONSULTS (Uganda and Rwanda) – COVID-19 FAQ.
Adventure greetings from Uganda and Rwanda!
We hope you are staying safe during this difficult time. As a travel family, we are experiencing the COVID impact together and our thoughts go out to you all!
The pandemic has created the loudest silence ever known to the tourism industry. All planned holidays are cancelled or postponed, tour consultants and experts are working from home and luxury safari vehicles are parked in the basements and garages. Hotels and resorts the world over are only open for cleaning and ensuring the linens do not get stuffy. All this is happening because we value life. With no question and careful steps, we will soon get back to work, travel and enjoy the beautiful world!
All wild secrets are kept intact and simply waiting to head back to the unfiltered wilderness. We look forward to the bush walks, boat rides, primate tracking, game drives, nature photography and of course, the unrivaled African hospitality!
In addition to Uganda and Rwanda’s governments and World Health Organization widely shared updates on the COVID-19 pandemic, we have compiled 10 common Questions with brief Answers about conservation, travel plans and rescheduling your trips in order to address your travel concerns as we wait for this storm to end .
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
Question 1: Are flights in and out of Uganda/Rwanda operational?
Answer: No, most airlines worldwide suspended passenger flights as a way to curb the spread of the Corona pandemic. It’s therefore not just a decision by the governments of Uganda and Rwanda but rather an international move to deal with the world wide spread virus.
Question 2: Are hotels, lodges and resorts in Uganda and Rwanda open/operational?
Answer: Given that all forms of transport were suspended, the only option was to temporarily keep the hotels closed. All hotels have only kept key staff members such as top managerial staff, a sizable housekeeping staff, maintenance staff and reservations to update bookings.
Question 3: Can wild animals, primates in particular contract COVID-19?
Answer: While it is unknown if wild animals can contract COVID-19, Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzees are known to be susceptible to infection with human respiratory pathogens. Therefore, all tourism and research activities in the primate parks and centers were temporarily suspended as a measure to protect Gorillas and Chimpanzees from the deadly COVID.
Question 4: Does the COVID-19 pandemic affect conservation programs?
Answer: Yes, it does! Conservation work is largely facilitated by funds from gate collections, permit sales as well as donations from partners. When everyone is not traveling there is less cash to fund conservation programs.
Additionally, when safaris are running in the National parks, the visitors, guides and rangers are indirectly carrying out monitoring work, so when there are no activities, there is less supervision. Did you know that by visiting our National Parks, you are indirectly involved in the Wildlife conservation monitoring?
Question 5: What have the relevant authorities done to ensure Wildlife is kept safe during this period when the world is quiet and shut?
Answer: Wildlife Authority field staff (both in Uganda and Rwanda) never stopped working. The major units (monitoring and conservation) are 100% in full control and operational.
Question 6: What is Adventure Consults’ advice to clients who have been booked travel plans but might be forced to forgo their trip due to the uncertainty of the pandemic?
Answer: Adventure Consults recommends that you postpone your travel plans and we at Adventure Consults will do all it takes to ensure there are no extra costs due to these changes.
Question 7: What have the Authorities or Adventure Consults done to ensure that clients who booked travel do not lose their deposits/payments as a result of postponing the initial planned dates?
- Uganda: All permits for confirmed trips can be rescheduled to a future date at no extra cost; new permit dates MUST be within a period of one year from the date of initial booking of travel. Note that this is subject to availability and no more than 2 reschedules shall be allowed.
- Rwanda: All permits for postponed trips can be rescheduled to new dates, at no extra cost; new permit dates MUST be within a period of two years from the date of initial booking of travel. Note that this is subject to availability and no more than 1 reschedule/change shall be allowed.
Question 8: When should one declare intentions to postpone the trip? Is there a deadline beyond which one might be denied an opportunity to do so?
Secondly, rescheduling new trip dates shall be subject to availability of permits, rooms, and domestic flights, seats where applicable.
Question 9: How will trip postponement affect the final cost of the clients’ planned trip/holiday?
A: All bookings that have been confirmed with a deposit/full payment, shall be postponed at No Additional cost. If, however, there are any substantial tariff changes due to factors such as new Government taxes for the year 2021 or any other conditions that may affect the final cost of your safari beyond our control, such costs shall be passed on accordingly.
Question 10; Do the measures put in place as a result of COVID-19 affect the standard cancellation/booking terms and conditions?
A: No, all cancellation/booking terms and conditions remain unchanged. Adventure Consults however, is and will be very lenient and consider each request on a case by case approach to minimize unavoidable costs (if any) on both sides (clients and company) due to cancellations that might arise. Therefore, we do not have a general cancellation/rescheduling document to provide and ask that you please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for advice on each confirmed booking with a deposit/full payment.
Note that the above are temporary and exceptional terms subject to change depending on how the situation unfolds!
Once again, we promise to keep you updated. We encourage you to postpone, don’t cancel your trip!
Adventure Consults’ Team.