COVID-19 Protocols

The South African tourism industry has developed comprehensive protocols for the operation of all types of tourism businesses and facilities in times of the COVID-19 pandemic.


The protocols align with the latest Disaster Management and Department of Employment and Labour (DoEL) Regulations, and the World Health Organisation (WHO), National Institute for Communicable Disease (NICD), and Department of health (DoH) guidelines and advice, as well as the Health & Safety Act. The protocols will be updated as required on an on-going basis in line with the risk adjusted economic activity allowed and the pandemic status.


These protocols will be revised to facilitate increased capacity and recovery of the tourism industry and should only remain in force for as long as the declaration of a national disaster published in Government Gazette 43096 on 15 March 2020 remains in force.


Panthera Photo Safaris PTY LTD is a facilitator of safaris; we provide clients with travel and/or other services either itself or acting as agents for principals engaged in or associated with the travel industry. Panthera Photo Safaris represent such principles as agents only accordingly and accept no liability for loss, damage, injury or death which any client may suffer as a result of any act or omission on the part of or the failure of such principals to fulfill their obligations, whether in relation to travel arrangements, accommodation or otherwise. The contract in use by such principals (which is often constituted by the ticket issued by the principal), shall constitute the sole contract between the principal and the client and any right of recourse the client may have, will be solely against the principal. Your health and safety are our main priority, and we will ensure crucial areas of concern from our lodge partners as well as the following;

Persons with Higher Risk


  1. It is strongly advisable for persons above the age of 65 and or persons with underlying health issues to be healthy when travelling; acknowledge that he/she is well acquainted and fully aware of the risks involved travelling in South Africa and recognize that he/she are at a higher risk of contracting any infectious or contagious disease in Africa including but not limited to Covid-19.
  2. It is strongly advisable for persons to pre-book a private vehicle while staying at one of our lodge partner properties.

Limit risk of Transmission as a Result of Travelling Between Districts and Regions


  1. To travel from home to/from our lodge partners – proof of booking must be carried, plus it is recommended that directions or a map of clear route also be carried
  2. It is recommended to only stop to purchase fuel or other items at petrol station or other permitted retail operation en route.

Ability to Trace Contacts in the Event of Someone Testing Positive for COVID-19


  1. All operating lodge partners will keep clients details plus recent and planned travel information

All clients will be required to complete a medical and travel declaration. This will be done prior to arrival in addition to arrival at our lodge partners. Special screening stations are in place as per government requirements for entry points. All Guests must complete the form, not just the contracting party. This means, passengers in hired vehicles, people sharing bedrooms in properties, etc must complete the declaration. The completion and acceptance of the form acts as access acceptance into our properties and/or vehicles. While the declaration must be signed on arrival/check-in/ boarding/pick-up to ensure it is up to date, our lodge partners may opt to ask some/all of the questions upon initial booking/reservation and may suggest that high-risk individuals might want to postpone their trip, or our lodge partners may decline such reservations.

Declaration form to include:


  • General health, chronic or other conditions, and medication
  • Physical impairments
  • Symptoms prior 30 days
  • Smoker status and fitness level
  • COVID-19 history
  • COVID-19 status disclosure signed off
  • Record of trip – full current trip itinerary for tracing purposes
  • Recent travel history other than this trip – one month
  • Next of Kin/Friend not travelling with GVPC – name and contact details
  • Nationality
  • ID or passport number
  • Travel insurance declaration and proof (international guests)


The form will clearly state the client’s details may be shared with local health authorities if any other guests or staff member they may have been in contact with while in our lodge partner properties/vehicles becomes ill with COVID-19. If they will not agree to this, they cannot proceed. The guest declaration form must be linked by annotation to the room/vehicle the guests used where this is relevant. Where a third party is conveying guests to/from another property or attraction, copies of the guest medical and travel declaration taken by us can be passed onto the facility as long as guests’ temperatures are taken again at point/time of transfer.


Temperature of all guests will be taken upon arrival/boarding/pick-up/check-in etc. For multiple day stays, daily temperature should be recorded (when arriving for breakfast or departing property each day). For other experiences longer than two hours, leaving property, disembarking vehicle, etc temperature should be retaken. The staff member taking the initial temperature reading must annotate the medical declaration form indicating either the actual temperature recorded, or that it was taken, and it was in normal range. As far as possible any subsequent readings during a stay, and the check-out/drop-off/disembarking etc, reading should be also noted on the same record. All staff members temperatures, including management or visiting staff from other properties/office, etc will be recorded on arrival for duty and on departure again. These will be recorded on an appropriate manual. All temperatures will be taken with a non-contact thermometer. Any temperature outside the normal ranger (above 37.5C) requires action to be taken.


Guests will need extensive information and briefings on the COVID-19 protocols. The information and briefings must emphasize that all measures are for guests and staff safety, and should cover:

  • Hand sanitizing and correct hand washing
  • Footwear sanitizing where applicable
  • Surface sanitizing
  • Physical distancing – spacing and queues
  • Use of masks – detail on proper use and specifically what is expected when eating and drinking
  • Brief explanation of procedures if someone has high temperatures or COVID-19 symptoms
  • Access to medical services and pharmacies
  • Other detail per company or industry – such as room cleaning and linen change frequently; food service options, dedicated vehicle seat and vehicle entry and exit procedures (which entrance/exit, not to touch doors or seats except one seat and seat belt) etc.

It is mandatory for all guests to wear masks, with the following exceptions:


  • They are in their private guest rooms
  • They are a small group in their vehicle
  • They are eating or drinking


All guests are required to arrive with their own masks. Acceptable masks are cloth masks, surgical masks and N95 respirators. There is limited current information on removing masks to eat or drink. Recommended practice is to use a flat brown paper bag which the mask will slide into. The bag should be marked on one side ‘outside’ and the outside of the mask should always be against that side of the bag. A new bag is required each day and must be disposed of in a compliant manner.

Frequent hand sanitizing


Frequent guest and staff sanitizing and/or hand washing is critical along with frequent proper sanitizing of surfaces and these together are the key defence against COVID-19. All clients will be required to sanitize their hands-on initial arrival at our lodge partner properties, check in counter, pick up area or vehicle. Staff members can administer the sanitizer, or it can be self-administered but observed. For property guests, use walk off mats on arrival to clean shoes should be considered. Thereafter sanitizers and wipes for guests to use will be available for pens, phones, wallets, etc when used e.g. on exit, boarding or disembarking, entering or leaving a facility, area or vehicle, using bathrooms. Guests hand sanitizer or hand washing area must be widely available i.e. on hand for or carried by key staff in contact with guests and available throughout properties, in vehicles, etc. Staff must wash hands before and immediately after entering the properties or vehicles, after changing into service uniforms and frequently throughout their service times, particularly after touching items or surfaces. Appropriate bins should be available for disposal of wipes if wipes are provided.


The space between any persons in public areas and back of house areas should be a minimum of 1.5m at all times. Exceptions are when one person is if there is a shield of Perspex between two people, but highly unlikely in a ‘safari’ scenario. Guests from the same small family/friend group who share a room or vehicle can be close to each other. The properties must maximise the use of any type of non-contact processing to reduce the need for proximity of people.

On arrival but before check-in


  • If a guest has symptoms on arrival before checking-in, before pick-up etc, the guest may be asked to return home where possible and asked to contact their healthcare professional and self-isolate and monitor their symptoms. This is unless symptoms are already severe, in which case a medical professional should be consulted immediately.
  • In the case where they are not in their own vehicle, they should be assisted to organize an appropriate safe transport home where possible. Any vehicle used to transport them should be deep cleaned afterwards. If they cannot fly for any reason (i.e./ they are not in their hometown) return home, then they must be moved to a designated COVID-19 holding room/sick bay or a designated COVID-19 room.
  • In the case of the property, they can be checked in. In the case of transport, restaurant, if they are already checked-in at the property in the area, they should, with consultation with the property, be returned to that facility or isolation and monitoring. Any vehicle used to transport them should be deep cleaned afterwards.
  • If they are due to check-in that evening, the property concerned must be contacted and asked if they have self-isolation room which the guest can check-in to. If not, they should be assisted to move into an identified self-isolation accommodation.

Clients with symptoms


Based on the medical professional’s recommendation the clients should be either:

  • Referred for a COVID-19 test
  • Examined (in room or using safe transport to a GP) by a GP
  • Recommended to continue self-isolating – with or without medication
  • Referred directly to a hospital or clinic for admission
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