How Africa is opening up to tourism, and where you can go

Greg Dickinson
·16-min read
Africa is slowly opening up to tourists - Getty
Africa is slowly opening up to tourists - Getty
LOGO: Unlock Long Haul
LOGO: Unlock Long Haul

The UK Government has announced new travel corridors with Rwanda and Namibia, giving Britons the chance of a quarantine-free post-lockdown holiday. 

In total, there are four African countries that you can visit without needing to go into quarantine on your return – Rwanda, Namibia, Seychelles and Mauritius (shaded green on the map below).  However, you cannot currently fly to Namibia without transiting in a red-listed country (such as South Africa), meaning there are just three viable quarantine-free holiday options in Africa right now.

There are still more travel corridors that could be added on the continent. As part of our Unlock Long Haul campaign, we are urging the Government to lift restrictions to destinations with a lower Covid rate than the UK (that’s all of them, in the case of the African continent). We’ve had some early success, with eight new corridors announced on November 12 and a further eight on November 19.

Aside from our travel corridors, there are 33 African countries that you can enter right now, including safari favourites like Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa. You can see which non-corridor countries are open to British holidaymakers (shaded orange) on the map below. The red countries are not open to tourists. All other countries had FCDO travel restrictions in place prior to the pandemic.

Where can I go? Africa
Where can I go? Africa

Algeria

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 15.1 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? No

Angola

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 3.1 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? No

Benin

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 1.8 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? No

Botswana

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 56.3 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: Arrivals must present proof of a negative Covid PCR test taken no more than 72 hours prior to your departure. After arrival, you must self-monitor for symptoms.

How to get there: No non-stop flights from the UK. British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have flights via Johannesburg; Ethiopian has flights via Addis Ababa.

Burkina Faso

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 0.3 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? No

Burundi

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 0.2 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? No

Cameroon

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 1.9 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? No

Cape Verde

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 80.1 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: You’ll  need to take a Covid nasal PCR swab up to 72 hours before arrival. Health screening on arrival.

How to get there: Tui is operating direct flights from Gatwick to Sal in Cape Verde.

Tui is selling holidays to Cape Verde  - Getty
Tui is selling holidays to Cape Verde - Getty

Central African Republic

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 0.3 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? No

Chad

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 0.3 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? No

Comoros

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 2.6 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: The FCDO does not give specific Covid-19 travel advice for Comoros.

How to get there: Flying to Comoros requires multiple changeovers.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 2.6 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? No

Djibouti

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 2.4 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: Provide negative PCR test certificate, taken 72 hours before you travel. A second Covid-19 test is required on arrival – if negative, you can proceed. If positive, you must remain in quarantine until you test negative.

How to get there: There are no non-stop flights to Djibouti. Turkish Airlines operates limited flights via Istanbul.

Egypt

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 1.8 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: Arrive with a negative PCR test certificate, taken no more than 96 hours before departure (from Heathrow) or 72 hours from all other airports.

How to get there: EasyJet is operating non-stop flights from Gatwick to Sharm el Sheikh. Tui and easyJet are operating flights from Gatwick to Hurghada. British Airways and Egyptair have flights from Heathrow to Cairo.

Egypt has preferential rules for arrivals coming in from Heathrow - Getty
Egypt has preferential rules for arrivals coming in from Heathrow - Getty

Equatorial Guinea

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 1.5 cases per 100,000 

Open to British tourists? No

Eritrea

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 0.8 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? No

Eswatini (formerly Swaziland)

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 8.8 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: Provide negative PCR Covid result, taken 72 hours before travel. Health screening on arrival, and a possible 14-day quarantine. You must also take a test up to 72 hours before departing eSwatini.

How to get there: No direct flights are available from the UK to eSwatini.

Ethiopia

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 2.9 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: Proof of negative Covid PCR result, taken within the previous 120 hours (5 days). Arrivals must go into mandatory quarantine on entering Ethiopia. Health screening on arrival.

How to get there: Ethiopian operates direct flights from Heathrow to Addis Ababa.

Gabon

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 1.7 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: All arrivals must take a Covid test at Libreville Airport. Passengers must then self-isolate for 48 hours while the result is being processed. If negative, you will receive a certificate valid for 14 days, after which a second test must be taken. If negative, you must go into self-isolation.

How to get there: No non-stop flights to Gabon. Turkish Airlines operate flights from Heathrow, with a changeover in Istanbul.

The Gambia

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 0.3 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: Provide negative PCR Covid result, taken 72 hours before travel. Further health screening on arrival.

How to get there: Tui and Titan Airways are operating non-stop direct flights from Gatwick to Banjul.

Ghana

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 3.9 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? No

Guinea

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 1.6 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: Provide negative Covid-19 PCR test result, taken within five days of your flight. Further health screening on arrival.

How to get there: Royal Air Maroc operates flights from Heathrow to Conakry, with a changeover in Casablanca. 

Guinea-Bissau

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 0.1 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: Provide negative PCR Covid result, taken 72 hours before travel. Health screening on arrival.

How to get there: Flights are running via Lisbon – see TAP Air Portugal for options.

Ivory Coast

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 0.8 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: Provide evidence of negative Covid-19 PCR test result, taken a maximum of seven days prior to travel. Complete a DDVA form prior to travel, and comply with monitoring procedures on arrival.

How to get there: Royal Air Maroc is running flights from Heathrow to Abidjan via Casablanca. Brussels Airlines and Air France have routes from Manchester to Abidjan via Brussels and Paris, respectively. 

Kenya

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 15.8 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: Arrivals must carry evidence of a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 96 hours of flying. Health screening on arrival.

How to get there: Kenya Airways and British Airways are running direct, non-stop flights from Heathrow to Nairobi.

Kenya eagerly awaits the return of tourists
Kenya eagerly awaits the return of tourists

Lesotho

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 1.5 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? No

Liberia

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 1.4 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: Present negative PCR Covid result taken 72 hours prior to travel.

How to get there: No direct flights. Royal Maroc Air has flights via Casablanca.

Libya

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 68.6 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? No

Madagascar

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 0.3 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? No

Malawi

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 0.2 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: Provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within 10 days of arrival. Another test on arrival, at your expense – you must remain at the testing centre until results are known (maximum 24 hours).

How to get there: Kenya Airways fly from Heathrow to Lilongwe via Nairobi. Ethiopian Airways have flights via Addis Ababa.

Mali

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 1.5 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? No

Mauritania

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 3.7 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? No

Mauritius is a good option for winter sun, so long as you don't mind staying in your hotel
Mauritius is a good option for winter sun, so long as you don't mind staying in your hotel

Mauritius

Travel corridor? Yes

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 3.2 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: Take PCR Covid-19 test no more than seven days before departure. Take further tests on days seven and 14 of your trip. Quarantine in a government-approved hotel for first 14 days.

How to get there: British Airways is operating flights from Gatwick to Mauritius.

Morocco

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 100.9 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? No

Mozambique

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 2.2 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: Arrive with a negative Covid-19 PCR result, no more than 72 hours before arrival. 

How to get there: Ethiopian run flights from Heathrow to Maputo via Addis Ababa.

Namibia

Travel corridor? Yes

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 14.6 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: Arrive with a negative Covid PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before travel. If your test result is between 72 hours and seven days old, you will need to quarantine for seven days on arrival.

How to get there: The catch to the new travel corridor is that you can’t fly into Namibia without going via a country that is off the UK’s travel corridor list, meaning you will need to go into quarantine on your return to the UK. Ethiopian fly from Heathrow to Windhoek via Addis Ababa. Lufthansa operate flights via Frankfurt. Airlink and Virgin Atlantic fly via Johannesburg.

The UK has a travel corridor with Namibia – although with no direct flights, you will still need to quarantine on your return to the UK - Getty
The UK has a travel corridor with Namibia – although with no direct flights, you will still need to quarantine on your return to the UK - Getty

Niger

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 0.3 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? No

Nigeria

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 0.7 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: Arrivals must present a negative Covid result taken within 120 hours of their departure. You must then book and pay for a second PCR test for day seven after arrival, and self-isolate for that week.

How to get there: Virgin Atlantic and British Airways are flying to Lagos from Heathrow.

Republic of the Congo

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): N/A

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: Arrivals must present a negative Covid PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel. Health screening on arrival.

How to get there: No flights available without multiple changeovers.

Rwanda

Travel corridor? Yes

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 1.9 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: Negative PCR test result taken 120 hours prior to departure. Health screening on arrival. Second test on arrival, during which you must self-isolate at a designated hotel while waiting for results (US$50). Exit screening for all departures.

How to get there: Turkish Airlines operate flights via Istanbul. KLM operate flights via Amsterdam.  Ethipoian operate flights via Addis Ababa. Rwandair operate flights via Brussels.

Rwanda has the green light - Getty
Rwanda has the green light - Getty

Sao Tome and Principe

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 2.4 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: Proof of negative Covid-19 PCR test taken in the 72 hours prior to arrival.

How to get there: No viable flights available.

Senegal

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 0.6 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: You must provide a negative test dated no more than five days before departure. You may need to provide a letter of support from the Senegalese Embassy in London before boarding your flight (contact senegalembassy@hotmail.co.uk).

How to get there: No direct flights. Air France has flights via Paris, TAP has flights via Lisbon, Iberia has flights via Madrid

Seychelles

Travel corridor? Yes

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 2.1 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: Arrive with a PCR Covid test taken no more than 48 hours before departure. Self-isolate on arrival for five days. A second Covid test taken on the fifth day of your stay.

How to get there: British Airways has direct flights from Heathrow to Mahe.

The Seychelles requires a test before arrival, and a second test taken five days after arrival - Getty
The Seychelles requires a test before arrival, and a second test taken five days after arrival - Getty

Sierra Leone

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 0.1 cases per 100,000  

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: Proof of a negative PCR Covid result taken less than seven days before arrival. Further testing on arrival.

How to get there: No direct flights. Brussels Airlines has flights via Brussels, Royal Air Maroc has flights via Casablanca.

Somalia

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 0.5 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? No

South Africa

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 25.5 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: South Africa now permits international travel to and from all countries. On arrival, show evidence of a negative PCR Covid test taken less than 72 hours before travel. Health screening on arrival.

How to get there: British Airways and Virgin have direct flights from Heathrow to Johannesburg. British Airways flies direct from Heathrow to Cape Town.

South Sudan

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 0.5 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? No

Sudan

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 2.1 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: Prove negative PCR Covid result taken less than 72 hours before arrival. Temperature check before departure.

How to get there: No direct flights. Turkish Airlines flies via Istanbul. Egyptair flies via Cairo.

Tanzania

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): N/A (no cases declared since May 8)

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: Temperature screening on arrival. PCR test required if you show symptoms. 

How to get there: No direct flights. Qatar flies via Doha, which has a travel corridor with the UK. Kenya Airways flies via Nairobi. KLM flies via Amsterdam. Turkish fly via Istanbul.

Togo

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 2.5 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: Test on arrival (£55), organised prior to travel via the Government’s online immigration and health form. Self isolate until results are in, around 24 hours later.

How to get there: No direct flights from the UK. Air France has flights via Paris; Egyptair has flights via Addis Ababa.

Tunisia

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 80 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: PCR test taken between 72 hours and 120 hours before travel, and show evidence of the negative result. Complete short questionnaire before travel, then self-isolate on arrival for 14 days at your own expense. Authorities may assess your accommodation to check if it’s suitable for quarantine.

How to get there: Tunisair operates direct flights from Heathrow to Tunis.

Uganda

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 4.5 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: Arrivals must present a negative Covid-19 test certificate, issued no more than 72 hours before boarding the aircraft. Those without will be denied entry. Temperature checks on arrival. 

How to get there: No direct flights from the UK, but Ethiopian Airlines flies from London Heathrow to Entebbe via Addis Ababa. 

Zambia

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 1.4 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: All visitors must have proof of a negative Covid-19 test in the 14 days before arrival. Temperature checks on arrival; if you register a temperature higher than 38 degrees Celsius you will be tested, and if found positive taken to government facilities for treatment and quarantine. 

How to get there: No direct flights from the UK, but capital Lusaka can be reached from Heathrow with Ethiopian Airlines via Addis Ababa and Harare, or via Istanbul (reached from London Heathrow with Turkish Airlines).

Zimbabwe

Travel corridor? No

Seven-day case rate (Nov 19): 2.6 cases per 100,000

Open to British tourists? Yes

Entry rules: Overseas arrivals are now able to skip quarantine if they present evidence of a negative test no more than 48 hours old (if the test has expired, they can take one at the airport for $60 – the results usually arrive in a couple of hours). If you test positive you will be required to isolate at a state facility for 14 days. 

How to get there: No direct flights from the UK but capital Harare can be reached with Ethiopian Airlines from London Heathrow via Addis Ababa.