COVID-19 VACCINATIONS ROLL OUT - UGANDA & RWANDA (March 2021).

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The global race for a vaccine against the novel coronavirus that literally brought the world to a stop has been closely followed with interest by possibly every global citizen.

 

Joining other countries in Africa and around the world, Uganda and Rwanda are now vaccinating their citizens against the coronavirus as most of the East African region remains on its toes following an accelerated rollout of vaccines across the globe.

Realistically, with rollouts of this vaccine and further relaxation of restrictions especially in the areas where our travellers come from, Adventure Consults believes that travel will continue to heal and resume and safaris made smoother in the next few months.

Rwanda got just under 400,000 doses - some via the Covax scheme and some donated by India. It has been carrying out countrywide vaccinations over the past two weeks.

The country’s president, Paul Kagame and First Lady Jeannette Kagame got their first jabs of the COVID-19 vaccines on Thursday 11th March 2021 at the King Faisal Hospital in Kigali leading more than 320,000 who have so far been vaccinated.

Uganda received an initial batch of 864,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from the Serum Institute of India on 5th of March 2021 with the first shots being taken on 10th March 2021 following a national launch on 8th March 2021.

“From the 18 million doses ordered of the AstraZeneca vaccines, the first batch will be received in mid-March 2021, while the rest will be received in the course of the year,” Uganda’s Minister of Health, Jane Ruth Aceng confirmed.  She added that a tentative donation of 17,872,037 doses from the COVAX facility would be received during the course of 2021.

Uganda has prior to the vaccination rollout been applauded as one of the most successful countries in managing the coronavirus spread. The Ministry of Health in its latest statement, reports that cumulative COVID-19 cases stand at 40,367, recoveries at 14,989 and validated COVID-19 deaths at 334.

This is not the first time that the country is attracting worldwide applause for its response to threats like a disease.  

COVID-19 infections are also decreasing in Uganda’s neighbouring Rwanda; with 89 new infections reported on average each day. The country has reported about 20,681 infections and 287 coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic began. Adventure Consults runs cross border trips like the Ultimate Uganda and Rwanda , so when both countries’ citizens & guides are safe, means our travelers are equally safe! 

Both countries’ approaches against COVID-19 involved an early implementation of preventive measures which included restrictions to all non-essential travel and lockdowns during which the Governments assessed the threat and reacted aptly. Many of these restrictions have since been relaxed but substituted with necessary Standard Operating Procedures and guidelines to ensure the continued safety of travellers as well as the locals and the destinations they visit.

Obviously the COVID-19 pandemic like in many parts of the world has had a significant blow on Africa's 12.4-billion-dollar tourism industry, the wildlife areas which rely on this tourism revenue, as well as the local people who are employed in the safari business and in DMCs like Adventure Consults.

What is at stake here isn’t only the question of whether international tourists get to delight in a guided game drive in search of some of the tree-climbing lions in Uganda’s Ishasha, Queen Elizabeth National Park or enjoy a sip of wine or coffee from their private luxurious terrace at the edge of Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

Tourism in East Africa is a very key towards livelihoods of so many, providing both direct and indirect employment and attracting a significant percentage to Gross Domestic Product, given its varied value chain and strong multiplier effect, that supports and complements many other sectors.

Safari destinations have been especially hard hit by the breakdown of tourism, with poaching on the rise in national parks, and economic damage for those working in lodges.

The vaccination paints a ray of hope for tourists, destinations, communities, and wildlife conservation.

In the context of worldwide pressure on the vaccine stocks available, Uganda will follow a phased vaccination of priority groups guided by the occupational risks of infection, risk of development of the severe disease, the threat of death from COVID-19 as well as the population characteristics.

Both in Uganda and Rwanda, the high-risk groups including healthcare workers, drivers, elderly people above 65 years of age, people living with underlying health conditions, among others and frontline workers have received their first doses of the vaccines.

The ‘Pearl of Africa’, as Uganda is often referred to, and Rwanda, ‘The Land of A Thousand Hills’ remain on high alert with the general public and visitors required to religiously follow the Standard Operating Procedures in light of the continued prevention of the infection and spread of COVID-19.

Both East African country’s tourism authorities by the end of 2020 had published a set of similar SOPs for tourism-related services and facilities, and a full list of summarized guidelines is available and we will continue to regularly update with new and relevant information.  

Obviously with vaccinations taking place around the world, there is hope that the careworn travel industry will immediately get a boost, as airline companies republicize flight fares and we also begin to see slow but steady upticks in searches and bookings for the rest of 2021 and 2022. The vaccine is a very exciting step -- the initial brick in rejuvenating everything

So, you've just got your jab, and are carrying your COVID-19 negative certificate -- what next?

Well, you might be away to enjoy the trip of a lifetime!

The big discussion is around the hope that as doses increase around the world, we will be able to travel the way we enjoyed and preferred to, post-vaccine. Adventure Consults’ pioneer travellers had a wonderful trip in November 202o when No one was ready to travel. Check out;

Tourism in Uganda and Rwanda has in recent months been dominated by domestic travellers with citizens and foreign residents enjoying much-needed breakaways from the gloom of the lockdown episode.

In both countries, the number of inquiries from international travellers is picking up gradually. In Uganda, this journey to recovery has specifically been met with exciting discounts like the very attractive close-to 50% slash in the rate for perhaps the country’s most-prized tourism product, gorilla tracking, and chimpanzee trekking between December 2020 and June 30, 2021. Check out Uganda Discounts Gorilla permits and Africans to pay 500$ for Rwanda Gorilla permits.  

There’s need for flexibility and as Adventure Consults, we guarantee that to all our clients. We appreciate all partners’ involvement in ensuring that travellers who opted to postpone their trips do not lose deposits but rather move forward their credit to a time when they are ready to travel. Please get in touch with our sales team (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for assistance in case you need to make changes in travel dates as a result of covid-19.  We have relaxed our cancellation terms, and we treat each case as it comes. 

  

The first safari after being locked up for over 12 months will have to be as special as it can be; we know that the demand for something out of the ordinary is so strong, and that’s our forte at Adventure Consults. Instead of merely hopping around, we believe that all travellers deserve to really immerse themselves in some life-changing experiences.

We just can’t wait to welcome you back soon – www.adventureconsults.com

Uganda Contact

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