Lemala Camps and Lodges in East Africa is already seeing the impact of vaccine roll-out plans on suppressed demand and the resulting enquiries for safaris as soon as July.
“This applies to all source markets, even those that retain draconian advisories, which suggests that at least some segments of consumers are less concerned and fearful of international travel than their national governments,” says Lemala spokesperson, James Haigh.
Lemala is also finding that its guests are committed to lingering over each experience just a little longer these days.
“This is to relish each carefully measured experience, recognising that time and the space to enjoy it with friends and family is the ultimate luxury.”
Haigh says social distancing in the Serengeti comes easily. “People instinctively understand and relax when they reach the bush. Anecdotally, they remain nervous of their departure airport and any transit airport, but the airlines themselves appear to be doing a good job reassuring them about their protocols whilst in the air.”
He is also finding that many guests are choosing to combine fewer camps in their itineraries and to stay longer in each camp. “There’s certainly more interest in going slower and looking deeper – game walks and long, lingering bush meals with friends.”
Single-country trips that avoid the vulnerabilities built into crossing international borders are also popular, Haigh adds.