South Africa is open for international travellers. This upcoming summer season we are ready to welcome guests to South Africa’s great outdoors and wide open spaces to participate in our naturally distant hiking and cycling activities. With the assistance of our tourism organisations SATSA and Cape Town Tourism,  AWOL Tours have compiled a list of all visitors need to know about visiting our shores regarding the Covid19 travel regulations.

On arrival: All international travellers arriving into South Africa must provide a valid certificate of a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test certificate not older than 72 hours from the time of departure from the country of origin to South Africa. In addition to the PCR test, international travellers are required to have a mandatory travel insurance to cover their COVID-19 test and quarantine costs.

Wearing a mask in public is mandatory. All Travellers are required to observe social distancing of 1.5 metres, ensure hand washing and sanitise regularly.

 South African authorities reserve the right to verify the authenticity of test certificates

  • Children below the age of 5 years do not need to provide a PCR test. Children over 5 years must produce a negative PCR test to enter South Africa. Should your child display positive symptoms or a parent tests positive while in South Africa, children below 6 years old may self-isolate with the parent without needing a test. Children under 2 years old do not have to wear masks on airplanes.
  • Any traveller who exhibits Covid-19 symptoms when screened upon arrival will be required to take a Covid-19 test at their own expense. Should the test display positive results, travellers will be subject to mandatory quarantine for 10 days at their own expense.
  • Travellers must show proof of accommodation or address in South Africa in the event self-quarantine is required.
  • Visitors can go to any hospital but at their own expense.

What if you become covid positive whilst in South Africa? There are numerous covid testing sites in Cape Town and throughout South Africa. Patients suspected of having covid need to get tested. If positive then the person is required to self-isolate/quarantine at own cost for 10 days. It’s a requirement to get travel insurance to cover all medical and quarantine costs. Please visit for a list of hotels that provide quarantine services in South Africa. Only chronic covid patients are hospitalised.

Can international visitors use the national health care system services for COVID-19  treatment? 

No, International travellers are required to have travel insurance and its highly recommended to be accommodated in a private medical facility.

Travelling to South Africa After Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

It still remains a grey area if travellers who have had the COVID-19 vaccine are still required to provide a negative PCR covid test. We are keeping abreast of developments in travelling after being vaccinated and will provide updates when we have clear and conclusive information.

What AWOL Tours has done to ensure safety of guests to reduce risks of Covid transmission

All tourism establishments that we utilize abide by the TBCSA safety protocols for ensuring people adhere to health and safety guidelines.

AWOL Tours has cleanliness practices and protocols along with social distancing guidelines aimed at enhancing the safety of both our guests and staff.

Staff training: All staff are trained on preventative measures and hygiene protocols. Staff will undergo screening and temperature tests and will be provided with the necessary protective equipment in line with regulations to ensure that they are safe and ready to engage with our guests. Warm smiles and elbow nods will replace the familiar handshake as a friendly greeting upon arrival and during your stay with us.

Capacity: AWOL Tours will only be operating private guided tours for couples and small groups until it is safe to resume scheduled departures. All outdoor activities will be done out of peak hours away from the crowds to avoid germs.

Hiking and Cycling tours are naturally socially distant as cyclists need to keep 1.5 m apart to prevent crashing into each other.

The same vehicle and driver will be reserved where possible for entire duration of privately guided group tours to limit the exposure to guests

Hygiene of equipment: Hand sanitizer at the office and in all vehicles available for guests to use before and after tour. All vehicles and bikes to be wiped down after each tour to ensure no spreading of germs

No Gathering: Gatherings of big tour groups are the biggest cause of transmission of COVID-19.  AWOL Tours therefore now only does private tours for individuals or small groups limited to four participants. We avoid the crowds and the busiest peak periods and prefer to spend time outdoors in remote places.

Food and drinks: AWOL provide bottled water. Please bring own snacks.

Arrival Procedures: The following safety measures are in place and will be enforced before participating on any AWOL Tour:

  • Face masks required by all participants and tour guides
  • Hand sanitizer available to participants and staff
  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Everyone encouraged to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
  • There will be a series of 8 questions as below. Any positive answers will indicate the person is a risk and will not be allowed access.
      • Do you have a cough?
      • Do you have shortness of breath?
      • Do you have a sore throat?
      • Have you had any nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea in the past 24 hours?
      • Do you have a loss of smell or taste?
      • Do you have redness in your eyes? (observation)
      • Do you have any body aches?
      • Have you been in contact with someone known to have contracted COVID-19 within the past 14 days?
      • Names and contact details of all participants will be logged on participating in the experience as part of the requirements. Immediate contact will be made with the client and AWOL Tours if any positive infections become known
  • If on an educational tour, we will request that parents please observe social distancing. Parents please wait until your child has passed the check before departing in case, they do not pass the checks and must return home.
  • During the activity, all participants must observe 1.5 meter social distancing and avoid doing things such as shaking hands, hugging etc. I understand that this is difficult for children and we will kindly encourage them to keep safe distances from each other

AWOL Tours is able to provide flexible booking terms and can commit to:

  • No cancellation fees and 100% refundable deposit on 24-hour notification on Cape Town day tours and 30 days multi day reservations
  • If guests opt to postpone travel plans we will defer the tour booking to a future date at current season rates