Flexible booking terms for 2020 travel

The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the global travel industry into uncertainty. We will continue to try and be as flexible and adaptive as possible, to ensure that when the time is right for you to travel again, you can book your next trip with confidence and peace of mind.

We continue to hear from volunteers, who have questions about their future bookings and from those who want to book to travel again as soon as it is safe to do so and restrictions are lifted. The health and safety of our volunteers, interns and students is always our top priority. As soon as situations change in our countries of operation, we will let you know.

Africa will need you more than ever

Something we know you will hear a lot, is how Africa will need volunteers more than ever after the pandemic has passed. It really is true. Our projects rely almost entirely on volunteer support, tourism and overseas donations to continue their successful operations. Your contributions of time and energy are sorely missed in your absence – work takes longer to complete and some has to be put on hold without funding and willing hands. Your project fees are used to pay staff salaries, maintain equipment and carry out training, and without these fees, difficult decisions have to be made.

“This time has brought to light how deeply we rely on volunteer assistance and tourism to keep Imire afloat. The hours are long without extra hands, and of course we worry about how our operations will continue without tourism to fund our conservation work.”
– Reilly Travers, Conservancy Manager – Imire: Rhino & Wildlife Conservation, Zimbabwe

At the time of writing, Sub-Saharan African nations are at the early stages of what we hope is a short and mild COVID-19 journey. With few cases being reported, wide open spaces, early lockdown measures and often lower population density, we hope that their experiences are less serious than those seen in Europe and North America.

30% of Africa’s population is classed as ‘severely food insecure’, and 4 million Zimbabweans already rely on food aid to survive (source: World Food Programme)

Factors such as a lack of access to medical equipment, severe drought, food and water insecurity, lack of sanitation and extreme poverty combined with a highly transmittable virus, means the impact of a pandemic such as COVID-19 could be catastrophic. Even a short period of essential lockdown, where workers will not be paid or receive government support, will have a devastating effect on rural communities who are already struggling.


In times of great uncertainty, it’s important that we are as flexible as possible. Future bookings are essential so that our project partners can plan ahead and ensure they are able to survive a lean period, while still protecting, supporting and feeding their wildlife and communities.

We have relaxed our booking terms and conditions, kept deposits low, and adjusted our payment terms. This means that if you book a project and have any hesitation, or if travel advice changes, you can change your dates, project or destination without being charged any fees. We want you to have peace of mind over your booking from start to end.

Our booking and payment terms summary (for full details please visit our updated terms and conditions page):

  • Projects can be booked and confirmed upon payment of either a $300 non-refundable (transferable) deposit or a 50% refundable (or transferable) deposit;
  • Projects can be postponed up to the day prior to travel;
  • Credits are available for travel within the next 12 months.

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Should I still book a project with Conservation Travel Africa?
At the time of writing, taking into account travel restrictions worldwide, we advise you to book your project to start after 1st June 2020. Please chat to us for updated advice as the situation remains fluid. Travel restrictions are in place to contain the spread of COVID-19 and ensure your safety. From industry analysis and experience, we hope and anticipate that our projects will be running normally during summer 2020.

I have already booked a project. Can I cancel or postpone my trip?

Yes you can, and we advise all volunteers to postpone their trips to after 1st June 2020 (chat to us for the latest advice). Should you wish to change your project dates, this is free of charge and can be done at any time prior to travel. Should you wish to cancel your trip, please take a look at our cancellation terms and conditions.

For more FAQs, please visit our Coronavirus Updates page.

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We would love to hear from you and look forward to planning your dream African adventure. Please get in touch for more information about any of our projects, visit our project pages, or click to book your place!

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