The Importance of a Travel Specialist

May 20, 2021
Tswalu - family photo on safari

In a time of shifting safety protocols, where few can or dare to travel, it is a point of pride for me that since September last year, more than 50 ROAR AFRICA families and couples have trusted us enough to come to Africa! Thank you! The confidence and commitment of those brave and beautiful souls who traveled with us in the last eight months (and those who will be traveling with us in the months ahead), has undoubtedly contributed to the survival of our wildlife and given hope to the communities and people working in the lodges and hotels who have welcomed our clients.

However, let’s face it, travel in this new pandemic era is not for the faint hearted. It comes with its own complicated set of logistics, legislation, red-tape and much uncertainty. Which is why having a travel expert is no longer a nice-to-have, but an absolute necessity.

Over the last few months, I’ve watched with pride as my indomitable team have developed what I like to call a ‘navy seal’ tenacity for dealing with the constant mental gymnastics of changes, be it flights, itineraries, covid protocols, test result timing and the dreaded ‘false positives’. All while ensuring our usual VIP airport access is smooth and seamless and PCR fly in testing is done at the safari lodge pre departure.

Technicians are flown into the lodges to administer Covid testing for our clients.

Our on going commitment to going above and beyond the call of duty has resulted in us partnering with COVAC GLOBAL, the first indemnified evacuation and repatriation membership program designed for Covid-19. By purchasing a membership with them, should you test positive for Covid while traveling, they will bring you home! However, we are proud to report that we have not had a single covid case on any of our trips.

I have personally taken over 18 international flights since November. I can confirm that the first time I arrived at JFK all alone to board a flight to Kenya, I was nervous, had to push back the tears and work hard to reassure my questioning mind. At the time I wasn't vaccinated and was still riddled with fear of the unknown and all the ''what ifs''. However, once I was on the plane my fear dissolved and the thrill of flying and my sense of purpose kicked in. Travel is a risk, but what is at stake for our wildlife and the people who protect it and for all of us really, is far greater. We have got to keep on going.

Deborah arriving in Kenya covid protocols
Since November last year, I have taken 18 international flights

I have just returned from Rwanda and I honestly cannot believe how organized and together that country is. It is an example for the world. The cleanest and safest and most well oiled machine in Africa. With everyone in tourism vaccinated, sophisticated protocols beyond any I have seen, and a spotless airport that even has robots running around to tell you to put your mask on or social distance!

There is honestly NO better time to go, it will never be like this again and what's more - its about giving a damn - Africa needs you now more than ever. I relish the opportunity to bring you back to Africa and revel in the excitement, relief, wonderment and appreciation that pilots, drivers, rangers, guides and lodge staff, as well as the local communities, express at seeing you return. 

Watch reel here

I relish the opportunity to bring you back to Africa and revel in the excitement, relief, wonderment and appreciation that pilots, drivers, rangers, guides and lodge staff, as well as the local communities, express at seeing you return. 

Remember this, in the African wilderness, social distancing comes naturally with an abundance of isolated stretches of 'nothingness' that equate to pretty much 'everything' that is important in this brave new world of ours. I believe, that the greatest threat to our wildlife, is thinking someone else will save it.

So my hope is that what we have just lived through this past year will make us more considerate, more sensitive and more aware. Perhaps we will learn a new rhythm, something a little slower that has us taking the time to observe and absorb and not waste. I hope we will consider where we go, how we get there, and what impact we have when we arrive. It is also my wish that people treasure the new friends and relationships they have, and come to realize that so much of who we are is shaped by where we have been and who we have met along the way.

Here are a few quotes from clients who traveled with us recently…

'Traveling with ROAR AFRICA was the most seamless experience I've ever had — and I've traveled a lot. To navigate airports, visas, paperwork, etc. in times of COVID is no joke. ROAR held my hand throughout and ensured no 't' was left uncrossed. Aside from the incomparably beautiful accommodation at Segera, wildlife experiences, culture and food, I felt I could really relax because I knew ROAR's experienced team would shepherd me through the airport and ensure I had all the proper testing done. The ROAR roster of properties and relationships on the ground throughout Africa results in an authentic, deeply bespoke experience you won't find with anyone else."
Rachael McKeon, Travel Editor, Goop.

"I cannot find any words that truly express our feelings appropriately. We truly left our hearts in Rwanda and find it hard to describe to our family and friends the utter pleasure and privilege to have been there. Roar Africa has made the whole process, from booking to our time there, seamless. Being seasoned travelers, we understand the difficulties that comes from moving from one place to another in a short amount of time. In this trip, we did not feel this burden. Everything went smoothly and effortlessly that we were able to truly enjoy the views, the people, the activities and the place. We loved the fact that every detail was taken care of and are in awe with the services Roar Africa provides. You now have Roarers for life! We are already planning our next trip to Africa so you will be hearing from us very soon! "
Client requested to remain anonymous

ROAR AFRICA is simply the best. Everyone on the team is dedicated to ensuring that clients have a safe, unforgettable experience. Loved every minute of our incredible journey together.'
Kathy Eldon, Film Producer and Journalist

'We traveled with ROAR AFRICA in February this year and found them professional and genuine from the first call with Merritt until the final goodbye with Steve & George at the airport in Nairobi. Each and every day was a unique experience and a reminder that life is still an adventure and beautiful. All safety measures were taken and we felt safer in the open air of the bush then if we were going to the supermarket in the U.S.!! In many instances, we had entire camps to ourselves for a few nights which was surreal. If you are hesitant about traveling for Safari all I can say is GO NOW. The animals are active and out with the very small amount of visitors and jeeps. ROAR's ( Lisa & Lee) assistance with getting our Covid test authenticated for entry to Kenya and arranging for Covid test in our hotel in Nairobi to return to the states – took away our every stress. Their use of the app also allows communication, uploading of important documents and updates. I am a strong believer in word of mouth and will be recommending ROAR to friends/family traveling to Africa. We look forward to returning again and having ROAR's team plan another amazing journey for us."
Amy Westerfer, New York

I look forward to seeing you back in Africa soon.


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