Level 1: What You Need To Know When Planning Your Next Holiday

Middle aged man looking out to landed plane

3.51min read

Published 4 October 2020


Turn dreaming into planning

If you are already dreaming of ringing in 2021 (goodbye 2020!), don’t let the rest of 2020 go to waste when it comes to travel opportunities. With the Level 1 announcement that borders are gradually opening for leisure travel, enjoy a local is lekker break, hop over the border for a bucket list adventure in Africa, pack your bags for a blissful island retreat, or start planning your 2021 holiday further afield today.

What to expect when travelling during Level 1

With the news that our borders are finally open, international travel is resuming with restrictions and that visitors from low and medium risk countries* will be allowed into South Africa (again, with provisions in place), things are definitely looking up. In fact, an international break might just be on the cards! Here’s what to expect when travelling during Level 1, both domestically and abroad:

- Allow for extra time throughout your holiday - be it getting through the airport, boarding or checking into your hotel.

- Wear a mask and bring extras.

- Don't go anywhere without travel insurance.

- Adhere to social distancing recommendations at all times.

* Note that some hotel facilities and attractions may be closed or only partially open (check with your Flight Centre Expert before you book).


Man wearing a mask on the plane

According to government regulations, travellers will need to adhere to the below protocols when arriving back in South Africa:

- Present a negative COVID-19 test result not older than 72 hours from time of departure.

- Where a traveller has not done a Covid-19 test prior to departure, they will be required to remain in mandatory quarantine at their own cost for a period of ten days.

- All travellers will be subjected to screening by Port Health Officials upon arrival and departure.

- All travellers detected with symptoms will be required to remain in quarantine until a repeat COVID-19 test is conducted at their own cost.

- Every traveller must have mandatory travel insurance.

- All travellers must complete the Traveller Health Questionnaire prior to arrival or upon arrival at the Port of Entry.

- Besides the health protocols, travellers will still be subjected to other formal border processes. All travellers should wear masks at all times whilst within the Ports of Entry controlled area; Port officials will ensure that port users adhere to social distance as part of queue management protocol.

Read more: The key to travelling with peace of mind during a pandemic


Men practicing social distancing at the airport

Where can South Africans travel to?

Wondering where you can travel to? While much is still up in the air, use this time to enjoy a Homegrown Holiday in Mzansi, a regional fling or plan that epic 2021 international holiday. Add these ultimate domestic holidays onto your 2020 travel list today:

- Soak up history and culture in historic Graaff Reinet.

- Get off the grid camping in the Augrabies Falls National Park.

- Road trip to the Lord of the Rings inspired mountain hamlet of Hogsback in the Eastern Cape.

- Glamp in the Kruger National Park or quench your thirst on Gauteng’s Beer Route, visiting no less than nine microbreweries in the Magaliesberg.

- Visit the Golden Gate National Park, with combos including Bloemfontein and Clarens.

- Journey along the sun-kissed KZN coast from north to south on epic nine- to ten-night road trips.

- Explore the timeless Garden Route or equally scenic Panorama Route.

- Eat your way through the best of Kalahari and Nama-Karoo cuisine as you meander along the Kokerboom Food and Wine Route.

- Explore more South African Homegrown Holidays here and travel with confidence with Flight Centre’s Moneyback Guarantee.


Explore Africa and its nearby islands

Victoria Falls

Marvel at the ‘Smoke that Thunders’ - One of the seven natural wonders of the world is just a two-hour flight from Johannesburg. Take in the famous ‘Smoke that Thunders’ exploring marvellous Victoria Falls.


Cruise Africa's last untouched wilderness - the Chobe River is a paradise for nature and wildlife enthusiasts and bird watchers. Hop onboard the Zambezi Queen houseboat for the most luxurious experience.


South Africans’ favourite Indian Ocean island, Mauritius is the best ‘allrounder’ destination to appeal to a wide range of interests, whether you’re a family, honeymoon couple or group of friends. With some of the best hospitality in the region, you’re spoilt for choice concerning accommodation.


Want to be lounging poolside in an exotic paradise and don’t want to fly far? In just under four hours flying time, you could be exploring the spice-scented streets of UNESCO-listed Stone Town or checking into one of the island’s many luxe resorts. Get your fill of Zanzibar's rich history, fascinating architecture, dhow cruises and spice farms.


Planning your 2021 trip? Consider these international favourites:


Thailand attracts thousands of South African holidaymakers with its Instagrammable beaches, delicious food, well-established tourist infrastructure and choice of accommodation and experiences for every type of traveller. 2021 is likely to be no different.


For crystal clear, every-shade-of-blue-imaginable water and dreamy overwater villas (an experience that screams luxury!), escape to the Maldives in 2021. Beautiful villas, exotic seaplane transfers and snorkelling in gin-clear waters are the order of the day here.


Seeking to recentre yourself and enjoy a self-care and wellness break? Bali has been a favourite ever since Julia Roberts enjoyed her Eat, Pray, Love moment in Bali in the 2010 movie. Who’s it for? Spiritual seekers, surfers, culture enthusiasts and beach lovers.


After the Bokke brought home the trophy from the Rugby World Cup last year in Japan, many a South African added the exciting tradition-meets-ultra modern country onto their travel wish list. Plan a visit now for spring 2021, from April, when the famous cherry blossom trees bloom.

For peace of mind, contact a Flight Centre Expert to guide you safely through the new and complex world of travel and enjoy that much anticipated holiday.


Please Note:

The list of identified high risk countries is fluid as data will be checked and adjustments made fortnightly. There still remains a grey area surrounding outbound travel for South Africans to high risk countries that would permit them entry. Countries may change risk levels at short notice. Visit https://www.fctgtravelnews.com/ for travel updates and information. Information is subject to change at short notice. Contact a Flight Centre Expert for the most up to date information, regulations, advice and more.


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