Tauck just released this for trips to South Africa for August 2021

Requirements to Enter Zambia:
• Visas can be purchased on arrival and is what we recommend. $50 for single entry visa.
• Passports must have two consecutive open pages and valid at least six months after travel for entrance into Zambia and South Africa.
• A negative PCR test will be needed within 72-hours in advance of their arrival into Zambia. Currently it has to be a PCR test, not a rapid test.
• Temperature check upon arrival (must be under 100 degrees F).
• Guests have to fill in a contact tracing document on arrival.

  • Passport information and travel details are all that is required to fill out form

• We stay two nights at the Royal Livingstone. Dining has all been changed to a la carte. The fitness room is open by reservation only. The pool is open with chairs spaced for social distancing.
• The Royal Livingstone train has limited operations, requiring a minimum of 30 guests onboard to operate. If we cannot hold our welcome reception and dinner onboard, we will book a private reception and dinner on the deck at the Royal Livingstone overlooking the Zambezi River.
• Our walk-with-rhinos is a private excursion for just our group on Day 2. Guests will be asked to social distance on the walking paths around Victoria Falls.
• Our lunch on the Lady Livingstone boat will be a served buffet and will operate as normal.

Requirements to Enter Botswana:
• Botswana does not require visas for US citizens.
• A negative PCR test will be needed within 72-hours in advance of their arrival into Botswana. Guests will stop for their PCR test upon arrival in Livingstone on Day 1 for our crossing into Botswana on Day 3.

  • Cost of the PCR test is $120pp paid in USD only, credit cards not accepted.
    • Temperature check upon arrival (must be under 100 degrees F).
    • Guests have to fill in a contact tracing document on arrival.

  • Passport information and travel details are all that is required to fill out form
    • We spend two nights at Khwai River Lodge, two nights at Eagle Island lodge, and two nights at Camp Kalahari. All are in remote locations only accessible by plane.
    • All safaris will go as planned and are in private vehicles for Tauck guests.
    • All buffet meals have been turned into a la carte or with staff serving guests from the buffet.

Requirements to Enter/Exit South Africa:
• South Africa does not require visas for US citizens.
• A negative PCR test will be needed within 72-hours in advance of their arrival into South Africa. Our flight on Day 7 between Eagle Island and Camp Kalahari will stop in the city of Maun where guests get their PCR test from Pharma Group at the airport for our Day 9 travel to Cape Town.

  • Cost of the PCR test is BWP 999 (approximately $95pp USD – the high cost is because samples have to be flown to a lab in Gaberone, Botswana). Payment can only be made in local Botswana (Pula) currency or by credit card.
    • Temperature check upon arrival (must be under 100 degrees F).
    • For exit from South Africa to their home, guests will test at our hotel, One & Only Cape Town on Day 11 for flights out on Day 12. Rapid tests are fine for transit through Europe and entry into USA.

  • Cost is R400 South Africa Rand (approximately $28 USD). If a PCR test is needed, they can do that at the hotel as well for R950 (approximately $68 USD). Guests can pay in USD, South African Rand, or by credit card.
    • Guests will also have to fill out an entrance and exit questionnaire at https://sa-covid-19-travel.info/entryq/downloads
    • We spend three nights at the One & Only in Cape Town. All tours to Table Mountain, District 6 Museum, Cape Point, and our Seal Island cruise will proceed as planned and will require wearing a mask.
    • Our meals at the One & Only, Two Oceans for lunch, as well as our Chef dinner in a private home will all be conducted as published.

The tour has not been cancelled, but if your clients decide not to travel in August, they can transfer to any other tour in 2021 or 2022 with no change fees.

Bottom line: $100 for visas per couple (anticipated) + $ 566 for PCR test per couple. (Incremental). Impact to the experience?



  • edited May 28

    Rob - Is the $100 for visas a new requirement?

    I know the $566 for PCR tests is. So you have to pay (per person) for testing as follows:
    a) PCR test to enter Zambia - $TBD, which is in addition to the $283 pp ($566 per couple you mention)
    b) PCR test to enter Botswana - $120 pp
    c) PCR test to enter South Africa - $95 pp
    d) PCR test (maybe, depending on US requirements at time of travel) to return to the US - $68 pp

    b, c, d are arranged/made available by Tauck, paid by the traveler
    a has to be arranged and paid for on your own, prior to leaving the states

  • edited May 28

    We have taken this tour and would take it again in a heartbeat.
    Thought Tauck has been saying they will pay for all Covid tests between countries but not for the one to return to the US. Has this now changed?
    I see the only impact is the cost of all the tests which we were being told they would pay for.
    The train ride, it’s mostly dark so you can’t see anything anyway It stops on the bridge and a number of locals try to sell you what turned out to be low quality wooden animals etc. we bought some because we like to support the people and it was nice chatting to them. You can get better animals etc on other parts of the journey. My hippo lost a leg because it was only glued on to the main carved piece. So no, missing the train would be no problem for me, amd the meal instead with the view of the river should be wonderful….but wear bug spray!
    The payment for the visa into Zambia is not new from what I remember.

  • Sam, as far as I know Visa for entry of US citizens into Zambia has been a long term requirement.

    British, from my interpretation of the Tauck guidance above, all PCR tests are traveler funded and not paid by Tauck. But it looks like the trip is "On" which is counter to your earlier comments.

  • It is a miracle. Please post a review when you get back to help others. It’s a good time of year to go because mask I always find mask wearing so much easier when it is cold. This past couple of weeks when it has been in the nineties here at home it’s been making me feel so hot. I remember having to bundle up on the early morning safaris, I think it was August when we went.

  • This still appears on the Tauck website

    Will Tauck assist guests and cover the cost of any testing that may be required for transiting between countries while on tour?

    Yes, Tauck will arrange tests and cover the cost of this on-tour expense.

  • The logistics of getting the Africa entry PCR tests is becoming problematic.

    Here is my routing FLL - ATL - JNB leaving the US on 8/25 and arriving JNB on 8/26
    Overnight in JNB and arrive in Zambia 8/27. I will need a PCR test to get into Zambia that needs to be done no later than 8/24 to be valid. The PCR test takes 1-2 days to come back from the lab.

    So I have to launch on this trip with no test in hand hoping that it shows up in time to make the whole entry process smooth.

    Seems like a challenge I may not be willing to take given the effort and trip investment expense involved. I can't think I am the only one. All US travelers will face a similar challenge I fear.

  • edited May 29

    These are the problems we were looking at for our long haul trips. That’s one reason why we were relieved to have all our tours canceled this year in the hopes that it might be easier next year.
    Our our relatively short Scandinavia tour, Tauck re-routed our flight thru Germany and even though you don’t leave airside, a test was required that involved being taken a very short time before arrival and it would have been impossibly to do because of the time difference. The Tauck agent was totally unawares of that when we questioned her about it....so we were glad it was canceled.
    Rwilso, did you also see the quote from Tauck about them paying for all on tour Covid testing, it’s still there. I would call and question them. A thousand dollar difference in you case is not insignificant.
    I wonder how many people will rebook for this year. All the dates are open. I wonder at what point Tauck might consolidate on dates. In 2019, they cancelled one of our tour dates for a 2020 tour because there were not enough people booked on the tour and asked us to join a different date, we were compensated, but of course the tour was cancelled in 2020 because of Covid. We are now schedule in 2022

  • Thanks, British. I am assuming that the personal email to me from Tauck is more current than the infrequently updated web site and consequently Tauck is indicating that the traveler is responsible for the test cost. I may be wrong but that is my interpretation of the flow of the information. Looks like I may "punt" on this year and book for next August, which is already in short supply. (BTW, I am British too, but from the better half, north of Hadrian's wall. :):)

  • edited May 29

    Hey, lived in Glasgow for three years!
    To have two very different answers to a possible thousand dollar difference is false advertising

  • Well my 8/28 Botswana trip just got cancelled. I think I am more relived than disappointed as I was having significant issues juggling timing for PCR tests and arrival in Zambia so that all the necessary paperwork was in place at the right time. Oh well, let's start looking forward to Sept next year when travel and entry requirements will be hopefully much smother.

  • Looking for some guidance from experienced Tauck travelers.....We have done 10+ Tauck tours, so we pretty much know what to expect with land, small ship and river boat cruises. We are trying to decide between safaris for Sept 2022. We are in between The " Mountain Gorilla Safari: Tanzania, Zanzibar and Rwanda" and "Zambia, Botswana and South Africa". We would appreciate all opinions!
    thank you all so much!

  • Love it!!!! cannot wait for 2022.

  • edited August 20

    I took the other Gorilla tour, with the K and T tour but I have also taken the Botswana Zambia and S A tour.
    The big difference is the Gorilla trek, which can be extremely challenging for most people of the usual Tauck spectrum. You might be hiking for up to three hours or more at 10,000 feet in extreme humidity or rain. We were lucky, it took only about an hour to get to our gorilla family, it was a tough pretty fast hike with a narrow muddy trail and stinging nettles. I generally walk four or five miles a day, swim daily for about six months of the year and take one or two fitness classes a week. All the other Africa tours, there is very little exercise at all apart from getting in and out of Safari vehicles
    I’ve also taken the Tanzania Zanzibar tour years ago.

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