Covid-19 Protocols For Guests

Open-spaces, sunshine and fresh air is an excellent environment for avoiding Covid, making a safari one of the best activities to indulge in at this time. 

Issued 2nd June 2020.

At Governors’ we have assembled a Covid-19 Response Committee whose job it is to oversee our procedures, operations and the guest experience – ensuring health and safety are at the forefront. The team is headed by Dr Romi Grammaticas, Governors’ co-founder and UK-qualified GP, with representatives at all levels of operations and departments engaged to ensure smooth implementation in each property.

This document outlines the minimum of the policies and procedures we will have in place for the safety of our guests and our staff. Please find a PDF version of the document here for download.

Our team and responsiveness is designed to be agile and adaptive, monitoring and working with the latest available information from the WHO and government authorities. As such, practices indicated below may be adapted and changed as the situation evolves, with this document live and subject to change.

 

GOVERNORS’ CAMP PROPERTIES:

Welcome, Arrival and Check Out

  • On arrival, all of our guests will be fully briefed on the latest procedures and safety measures in place to protect them during their stay.
  • The check-in procedure will be done with no inter-person contact, and items of high touch will be replaced by digital means, or sanitized thoroughly between uses.
  • We will encourage use of credit card facilities over cash for all transactions, with the card machine sanitized between uses. Luggage will be handled with gloves and handles wiped with sanitizer.

Covid-19 Tests for our Guests

We will be guided by Health Ministry and Government Guidelines in each country we operate in for administering tests to our guests, as well as WHO and IATA recommendations. Covid-19 tests are available, if required, in various medical centres in Nairobi and Kigali.

Hygiene and Cleanliness in Public Areas

  • Handwashing and hand sanitizer stations will be set up around the public areas of our properties so that they are readily accessible to our guests. We will utilise auto-dispensers and touch-free taps to minimize contact with surfaces.
  • In public bathrooms instructions will be made available to all guests on how to minimize contact with surfaces, and best practices for washing and sanitizing.
  • Public areas will be cleaned regularly throughout the day with focus on high touch areas such as armrests, tables and books, and during and after higher levels of guest activity.

Facemasks

  • The WHO has advised that the use of barrier masks and medical masks help contain the spread of Covid-19 and many countries have enacted policies requiring their use in public.
  • Kenya and Rwanda both currently have these policies in place and we will require the same in the public areas of our properties. We will have personal barrier masks available for all our guests while in camp, and our laundry systems will ensure they are hygienically cared for between uses.
  • Our staff throughout our properties will be wearing masks, for their own safety and well-being as well as our guests.

Food and Service

  • At Governors’ our daytime meals have always been served outside under the trees (and amongst the warthogs and mongooses!) and we will continue this tradition daily, weather-permitting. Picnic meals while on game drives are encouraged – and of course are thoroughly enjoyable! Hand-washing facilities and hand-sanitizer will be available and hygiene strictly observed by your guide.
  • All meals will be plated and served individually, with no buffets for any meal. Dining times will be staggered as much as possible to avoid overcrowding and ensure social-distancing at mealtimes. Tables in dining rooms will be well-spaced. For those wanting it, room service will be offered.
  • We have always provided a dedicated waiter to our guests during their stay for their comfort and meeting their needs, and we’ll continue with this level of service as part of our Covid-19 policy. Menus will be presented verbally to each table, and then displayed by the waiter for the guests to make their choices – the guests will not need to handle it.
  • All service staff will use personal protective equipment, such as gloves and masks.

Housekeeping

  • Many of our protocols already in place work very well for handling Covid-19, and our Response Team will ensure that they are adhered to. Cleaning products will contain either 70% alcohol base or 0.1% sodium chlorite, and between guests, rooms will receive a deep clean with heightened focus on areas of frequent touch, such as light switches, taps, torches, handles, bedside tables and stationery.
  • Each room will have a dedicated housekeeper who will be the only person to enter the room during your stay.
  • Guests checking in will find a sign indicating that the room has been thoroughly sanitized, and also indicating their dedicated housekeeper.
  • Morning tea & coffee will continue to be delivered, and only by your dedicated housekeeper. Items will have been cleaned and sanitized in our kitchen.
  • All housekeeping staff will use personal protective equipment, such as gloves and masks. We are conscious of our environment and would like to minimize waste. Items, such as gloves, will be re-usable and disinfected thoroughly between each use.

Gamedrives

  • We will offer a maximum of 4 pax per 6-seater open-vehicle, with the middle seats kept free as a buffer. One group traveling together or family larger than 4 pax will be accommodated in a vehicle as per seating capacity.
  • Each of our guides has their own vehicle that they look after, and is responsible for ensuring the hygienic cleanliness of the vehicle before and after each game drive. This includes cleaning areas of high frequency touch, such as door handles and side armrests. Seat steaming-cleaning or alcohol-sprays will be used to clean fabric covers between uses. A no-touch hand sanitizer dispenser will be available in each car.
  • Your guide will be wearing a mask throughout your journey with them, for both their safety and that of the guest. The mask will be designed to not interfere with their guiding and ability to speak with their clients.

Swimming pools at Governors’ Mugie House and Loldia House

The WHO has indicated that pools that are well-kept with chlorine levels between 1-3mg/l, with the pH between 6.8-7.4 are safe. Guest numbers at the pools will be limited, and poolside furniture will be regularly cleaned between uses and will be well-spaced.

Massages and Spa Treatments

Massage treatments are currently not allowed in the countries in which we operate, and so will not be available until further notice.

Health of Governors’ Staff

  • We will be implementing daily health checks of our staff, including temperature checks and symptom reporting, for all staff. All our staff will live on site while on duty, thus limiting exposure possibilities.
  • Rotational systems will be enacted for staff leave, ensuring that an essential period of quarantine in a separate area of the camp will be mandatory for staff returning to work.
  • All staff that you interact with will be wearing masks, for their safety as well as our guests’ safety.

Guests with illness symptoms

We have a robust medical management team who will consult with the patient and staff, advise the relevant health officials and guide actions based on the Ministry of Health requirements in each country we operate. The safety and comfort of all guests is of the highest priority, and all our staff have received training in handling suspected cases.

 

GOVERNORS’ BALLOON SAFARIS:

Pick up and Check-In

  • As per our other areas of operation within Governors’ Collection facemasks, gloves, washing stations and hand sanitizer will be provided and readily available to all our passengers along each leg of the Balloon Safari Experience, and our staff will be equipped with the same.
  • We will pick up guests with a max of 4 people per 6-seater car, unless it is a family or group travelling together.
  • The pilot briefing prior to flying will include information on the latest Covid-19 safety protocols.

Flying and Bush Breakfast

  • Balloons will be limited to 2 pax per compartment (with a max of 8 pax per basket) unless they are families or groups travelling together.
  • The pilot will use rotation of the basket to ensure all passengers enjoy views and to avoid the need to lean nearer other guests.
  • The traditional bush breakfast will be served with adequate spacing or on individual tables per couple and group. Individual service will be used including for items normally shared, such as condiments and seasoning.

 

GOVERNORS’ AVIATION:

Stringent safety measures have been applied, based on IATA and WHO recommendations for aircraft travel.

Waiting Lounge and Check-in Experience

  • Check-in and our waiting lounge will be social-distancing friendly. Our staff will greet you with face visors. All hard surfaces will be regularly disinfected, and soft surfaces will be disinfected with alcohol spray. No-touch alcohol-based hand sanitizers will be available throughout.
  • Passengers will be required to take and pass a body temperature check with a laser thermometer to be able to continue with their journey.
  • Physical distance markers will be placed on the ground in the waiting areas to help passengers maintain social distance.
  • During the check in process, guests will be able to read out and display their passports/ID rather than handing it over to our staff.
  • Our bathroom facilities will be very regularly cleaned throughout the day, and particularly during and between guest check ins, with special attention to high touch areas.
  • Safety briefing information will be communicated at check-in and be available in the lounge areas.
  • Boarding passes, which were previously plastic tokens will be replaced by disposable colored paper.

Airplanes and Flying

  • The pilot will provide a briefing to guests that will include measures in place to protect guests and our staff from Covid-19.
  • Our aircrafts will carry a maximum of 12 passengers – with an exception of a group or family travelling together who take up all the seats. Only travelling companions will be seated next to each other, otherwise spare seat spacing will be used. Masks during flight will be mandatory and provided if our guests do not have their own.
  • Between each flight the planes will be cleaned and disinfected, with focus on areas of high frequency touch (i.e. armrests, window edges, safety cards, seats and seatbelts).
  • Alcohol based sanitizers will be available on each aircraft for use by guests.
  • Any snacks and drinks will be pre-packaged, sanitized and placed in each passenger seat ready.

 

GOVERNORS’ MEET & GREET NAIROBI SERVICES:

Please do check on the latest government requirements for travel prior to departure. We highly recommend applying for an E-Visa where possible.

Our driver will be waiting for you at the arrivals gate with your name displayed on a sign. They will be wearing a mask and gloves for handling your luggage, and will keep an adequate distance. Our car will have been thoroughly sanitized with cleaning agents, alcohol and steamers for the seats and seatbelts prior to your arrival.