The third most visited country on the continent after Morocco and Egypt, South Africa depends on tourism for 9.1% of total employment and 7% of GDP. Therefore, he will almost certainly be eager to make up for lost time and attract travelers this year with as few obstacles as possible. The signs are good. It lifted most of its nationwide restrictions on February 1, leaving masks and the requirement to take a PCR test before you visit (regardless of vaccination status) the only obvious relics of the pandemic.
Travel writer Simon Parker, currently based in Cape Town, said: ‘Overall, South Africa feels as normal as it has ever felt, with the only notable exceptions being masks in shops and the lack of fans at major sporting events. By October, however, the last restrictions should be long gone, and spring, when Cape Town blooms with wildflowers and humpback whales can be spotted from the shores around Hermanus, is a great time to visit. .
How to do
Audley’s Grape Escape: Cape Town & Winelands self-guided tour does what it says on the box, providing plenty of time to explore Telegraph Travel readers’ favorite city and sample the wine delights of Franschhoek. From £2,315 per person. See audleytravel.com.
The Caribbean, perhaps the most tourism-dependent region in the world, was understandably keen to bring sun-seekers in and, after briefly closing in the spring of 2020, cities like Saint Lucia and Barbados have remained open ever since. There are still restrictions, however. Testing remains mandatory for visiting most islands, and unvaccinated visitors face some hurdles (in Jamaica, for example, they can only visit certain resorts and go on approved excursions). Additionally, bars and restaurants on some islands are still operating with reduced capacity and shorter opening hours. Next winter, however, the party should have started again.
Paul Charles, CEO of travel consultancy The PC Agency, praised the region’s calm handling of the pandemic, adding: “Testing in the Caribbean will be phased out by next winter as the threat of Covid is still diluted. It looks like one of the most appealing long-haul options for a winter sun vacation.
How to do
A seven-night stay at St Lucia’s luxurious Sugar Beach resort, set between the island’s photogenic Pitons, costs from £2,942 pp, including flights from Gatwick, with Kuoni. Based on November 11 departure. See kuoni.co.uk.