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'My time in Africa gave me confidence in the positivity of tourism'

Anita Powell, managing director of Small World Marketing, has "pined to be back on African soil" since the start of the pandemic. She recounts her recent work trip to Zambia and shares her hopes for tourism to the continent to restart in earnest next year.

The health logistics

In what may become the norm of travel globally for a bit, all visitors to Zambia must prove they have tested negative for Covid-19 within 14 days prior to arrival. The process of the PCR test was very easy.

 

Due to the tight turnaround (I decided to travel just three days before departure) I opted for a drive-in clinic locally rather than a postal test and l received my results 20 hours later. Insurance was also relatively straight forward, and I used the company Battleface, which covers all destinations including those under Foreign Office (FCDO) government essential and non-essential travel advisories, which Zambia currently is.

 

The long-haul experience

We flew on Ethiopian Airlines and the plane was at circa 15% capacity, which meant plenty of room to stretch out. I was apprehensive about transiting through Addis Ababa, as I knew from experience it can be very busy.

 

However, with their new terminal, there was so much space, with hand sanitiser everywhere, clear signage about social distancing and seats blocked off to help ensure this.

 

Like Addis, at Lusaka airport (Zambia’s largest), protocols were efficient and smooth. We had to show our PCR test, sanitise, have our temperatures taken and then head through the visa queue. All in all, to my pleasure, transiting through Africa was a very orderly and reassuring experience.

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