Why a local safari is the perfect post-lockdown holiday

Tags: Safari, lockdown, local

If recent events have brought holiday plans to a halt and you are wondering where to go after lockdown restrictions are relaxed. Why not consider a local bush break as an alternative to ease your way back into leisure travel? At mtbeds, we've partnered with the country's top safari destinations to offer holidaymakers bush breaks at incredible rates. To get your holiday plans back on track, check out the reasons why a bush break ticks all the boxes for the perfect post-lockdown holiday and get bonus tips on how to be COVID-safe when travelling to your destination.

Fresh air and wide-open spaces 

Bush breaks are socially distant by design, providing wide, open spaces, fresh air and tranquillity. South Africa is home to some of Africa's most renowned national parks and reserves, where you can experience incredible animal encounters and retreat into the secluded wilderness of nature. Choose from a plethora of game lodges to make your experience extra special with accommodation to suit your budget, guided game drives in open vehicles, bush walks, hikes and other outdoor activities. 

Escape the crowded tourist traps 

An authentic bush break experience will generally cater to fewer crowds. Compared to the standard hotel, game lodges are smaller in size, come with the benefit of spacious accommodation and breathtaking views of the bushveld without compromising on opulence and comfort. Better yet, there’s no better time to discover the lesser-known game reserves - home to some of the most exclusive lodges in the country. Kariega Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape and Madikwe Game Reserve in the North West are among the hidden gems where you'll find boutique lodges that provide immersive and personalised experiences to delight their guests. Think warm hospitality, intimate bush breakfasts, dinners around a campfire, a personal field guide, world-class spa retreats, close wildlife encounters, Big Five viewings and so much more.

Go slow with road trips on scenic routes along the way

After a long period of home confinement, you’ll want to get the most out of your holiday. So why not make the journey to your bush break destination an additional adventure? Long or short drives are required to access South Africa’s spectacular savannas. No wildlife destination is the same, with experiences varying across regions, making it an excellent occasion to explore the scenic routes on a self-drive along the way. The Kruger National Park is renowned for its Big Five sightings and connects to scenic routes from Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Free State. If some bush, fun and entertainment are what you’re after, Pilanesberg is just a quick drive away from Gauteng and nearby regions. Not to mention the coastal routes that make for a scenic self-drive when blending beach and bush at some of the national parks and reserves in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern- and Western Cape. If you’re looking for something more specific, chat with us to find out how we can help you.

Bolster nature conservation and tourism efforts

We all know about the devastating effects of the pandemic on all sectors of society. Its ripple effects on nature conservation, largely dependent on tourist activities for funding, cannot be ignored. If you’re up for a holiday with a purpose, know that a bush break not only helps you unwind but makes a positive contribution towards anti-poaching activities, protecting endangered species, combating unemployment and providing outreach to impoverished rural communities.

BONUS tips: How to be COVID-safe when going on a bush break

#1 Research on lodge measures ahead of time

Before choosing a bush break destination, find out what measures have been put in place to give guests the ultimate peace of mind during these uncertain times. Our partners are not only COVID-19 compliant to protect guests and staff but have gone the extra mile with flexible booking options that enable you to adapt to unforeseen circumstances. 

#2 Ensure you are healthy enough to travel

Vaccination rollouts may be underway to provide immunity against severe COVID-19. But, if you haven’t yet gotten the jab, take extra measures to ensure you’re in tip-top shape before your bush break. Avoid large social gatherings or situations that put you at risk of exposure in the days leading up to your trip. Postpone your holiday if you're not feeling at your best. If you’re pregnant or suffering from a chronic condition, consult with a health professional for further advice before travelling. 

#3 Pack COVID-19 essential items

Packing binoculars and windbreakers are a "must" for a safari adventure but so are COVID-19 essentials. These include extra masks, hand sanitisers to maintain your hand hygiene, a thermometer to monitor your temperature if ill, ziplock bags to separate clean and dirty items and tissues to blow your nose. Be sure to include a first aid kit with remedies that relieve headaches, sinus, sore throat, coughs, sneezes and nausea. 

#4 Adhere to safety protocols and government regulations

Whether vaccinated or not, wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing is a legal requirement in all public spaces. Statistics have shown that a well-fitted mask covering your nose and mouth and social distancing where possible can significantly reduce COVID-19 transmissions, protecting yourself and others. 

#5 Practice healthy habits while on holiday

Getting the basics right already gives you significant protection against the COVID-19 virus. Wash your hands with soap and water after an outing, before eating and after using the restroom. Avoid touching your mouth and nose with unwashed hands. Use a hand sanitiser if you have no access to soap and water. Ensure that you stay well hydrated by carrying a water bottle on your game drives as water flushes out toxins and staves off infections. Eat a well-balanced diet, get enough sleep and stay active by taking in the fresh bushveld air to keep your immune system in check. 

Get your holidays plans back on track by booking your first post-lockdown holiday with mtbeds. 

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