Quarantine-free International and Local Travel Destinations for South Africans

In the past year, we’ve adjusted our lifestyles to make room for new health and safety protocols, which has also significantly affected our local and international travel. From the wearing of masks and sanitizing, to social distancing and greeting from a distance, the way we go about our days has changed and so has how we travel. 

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As we venture back into planning and enjoying our holidays, we at Thompsons understand that safety and security remains top of mind. That is why we will continue to reassure you and your family around airport safety measures, and promote hotels and resorts that are compliant with COVID-19 health protocols. While some overseas destinations do have quarantines in place, our focus is on providing South Africans with up to date travel information on where you can travel now, and assist in planning trips to your dream destination later in 2021. 

Here are some of the distinctive travel trends for 2021, which are conducive to peace of mind and travel safety: 

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Self-catering accommodation 

The ability to control the purchase and preparation of most of our meals gives travelers peace of mind, plus the benefit of having your accommodation all to yourself is hugely attractive. 

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Uncrowded destinations 

Smaller towns and boutique hotels are increasingly popular especially where outdoor activities are abundant, including hiking, cycling and horse riding.  

Destination hint: Escape to the magnificent Drakensberg. 

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Game lodges 

Social distancing is a natural by-product of being on a safari holiday. Minimal guests, open-air experiences like game drives and works, and spaced out amenities are key. 


Secluded beaches 

Smaller coastal towns and secluded beaches are in demand by travellers looking for safe, outdoor beach experiences with no crowds. 

Travel Tip: Explore the West Coast for a beach town holiday. 

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Drive vs Fly 

For those still concerned about air travel the alternative is to travel by car. You are not restricted to destinations close to home as you can make safe overnight stops in small towns. 

While quarantine periods do apply to certain destinations around the world, here’s a selection of top recommended places to travel without a mandatory quarantine (pending a negative PCR test). 

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South Africa 

Hotels and lodges are rapidly re-opening and there are excellent local deals available around South Africa. Become a tourist in your own country! 

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These tiny islands offer luxury accommodation with uncrowded beaches, and is a perfect escape for honeymooners, as a romantic getaway or simply for those wanting a truly secluded island holiday. 

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The Spice Island welcomes you to its luxury lodges, superb beaches and oodles of activities to keep the whole family happy. With top diving, local spice plantation tours and sunset dhow cruises, this is a top pick for South Africans. 

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The vast landscapes of Namibia are much underrated and offer natural social distancing in this multi-faceted country. Highlights include a safari in Etosha National Park and visting the largest dunes in the world at Sossusvlei. 

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Neighboring Botswana continues to be one of the greatest destinations in the world for game viewing, and top areas like the Okavango Delta (home to Xigera Safari Lodge) and Chobe National Park offer incredible safari opportunities.  

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Victoria Falls is a must-see wonder of the world right on our doorstep and the water flow is particularly spectacular this year after the excellent rains. Enjoy a variety of adrenalin activities, or sit back and relax on a sunset river cruise on the Zambezi. 

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The islands of Seychelles are home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and its sprinkling of islands include luxury, secluded resorts with private access. Nature is key in the Seychelles, with many exursions available.  

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For a unique game experience Kenya is just the ticket with its small game lodges and magnificent savannah vistas. Consider visiting the Masai Mara during the Great Migration, or head to Amboseli National Park for exceptional views of Mount Kilimanjaro. 

Contact Thompsons Holidays for opening specials to many destinations locally, into Africa and around the world, and get up to date information on safety during your holiday to ensure a carefree break in 2021. 

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