#TravelTomorrow Policies & Procedures

Lockdown “a decisive measure to save millions of South Africans from infection” President Ramaphosa

Policies and Procedures during this time:

President Ramaphosa has called for a nationwide lockdown in South Africa from midnight on 26 March 2020 to midnight on 30 April 2020, “a decisive measure to save millions of South Africans from infection and save the lives of hundreds of thousands of people”, which Nambiti Plains Private Game Lodge fully supports. During this lockdown time, we will be temporarily closed to the public, although our staff all chose to stay onsite to ensure the upkeep, general maintenance and security of the Lodge. We support all initiatives as part of a coordinated response to this pandemic and remains well-positioned to re-open on very short notice as circumstances improve.

We are doing all we can to protect our guests, staff and community during this challenging time. We have implemented comprehensive policies and procedures to minimize the risks of spreading the coronavirus while taking measures to ensure the sustainability of our business so that we can continue to provide employment for the team at the Lodge. During the lockdown period, our office staff will continue to operate and all booking channels, including our website, will remain open for reservations post the lockdown period.

The COVID-19 protocol that we have put in place, for the safety and reassurance of staff and guests, will be continued. We are actively monitoring and following all the global, national and local recommendations regarding precautions to be taken and are continually updating this.

The COVID-19 protocol includes but is not limited to:

Screening of guests on arrival

We trust that guests will all use common sense and will not travel, especially not to remote areas, when they are not feeling well.

At the Gate:

  • Guests should arrive wearing a face mask.
  • The gate guard will take the guests’ temperature readings 3 times to maintain an accurate average.
  • Guests will be required to complete a screening questionnaire as well as an indemnity form.
  • Should a guest’s temperature consistently (even after a waiting period) test above 37.5 degrees C, they will be required to go to La Verna Hospital in Ladysmith for further testing and clearance.
  • The Reserve will refuse entry to any guest that display symptoms or high temperatures.

At the Lodge:

We will have a thermal scanner should we feel there is a need / concern to take a guest’s temperature again.

  • Guests will be asked to complete and sign a questionnaire if not done at the gate.
  • Guests will allow their temperature to be scanned with a thermal scanner if Management request.

Should a guest’s temperature register as high and/or they have symptoms of the virus they will be referred to a medical facility in Ladysmith and they will not be allowed to stay at the lodge.

Educating and screening staff

Educating: Ongoing – daily eduction on what the virus is; where the disease outbreak began; ways in which it is transmitted; symptoms to look out for; and daily measures to prevent contamination and spread of viruses in personal, operational and guest spaces.

Screening: Staff returning from time off will be placed in quarantine for the  recommended time before returning to work. Any staff on the property will have their temperatures taken twice a day and recorded.

Hand sanitisers

70% + alcohol based have been handed out to each staff member in February already and is refilled on a regular basis. We have implemented sanitisers in back of house areas (such as kitchen, office, laundry, staff restaurant and bathrooms) as well as front of house guest areas (such as reception desk, bar, restaurant and lounge). Sanitisers are available to guests upon check in as well as in the safari vehicles.

Guest hand and surface sanitisers

70% + alcohol based are placed in each guest suite for the ease of mind of all our guests. This comes with a notice encouraging regular use as well as a little explanation as to how it works and which areas it can be used on.

Personal hygiene

Personal hygiene is being reiterated, including the importance of washing hands frequently and thoroughly; avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth; practicing respiratory hygiene (sneezing and coughing into a tissue that is safely discarded or the crook of the elbow), and avoiding touching one’s face

Routine Cleaning

Continual and Regular Routine Cleaning of public areas such as restrooms, light switches, table tops and other surfaces in the public areas, restaurant table tops and chairs, bar counters and chairs, door knobs and handles, water dispenser,  Coffee machines and urns, radios, kitchen counter tops and all back office surfaces, speed point machines and the front desk counter top are sprayed wiped down on a regular routine throughout the day (before and after every service).

In addition to regular routine cleaning in the main areas we also implement the same strict measures to our guest suites. Door handles and knobs, door keys, furniture and counter tops, taps, bathrooms, showers, light switches, plug points, hairdryers, adaptors, mini bars, coffee stations and kettles are cleaned with the same 70% + alcohol-based sanitisers twice a day (unless guests specify that they do not want anyone in their rooms).

Rooms are thoroughly cleaned upon check out and where possible left open for a period of time before the next check in.

Protective wear

As per government regulations all staff received two sets of face masks as well as face shields where required. Protective wear such as protective gloves are issued to housekeeping when on duty and cleaning equipment.

Facemasks

Facemasks are not required while staying at the lodge, although we recommend wearing them or keeping a safe distance. Our team will be equipped with either masks or shields for your safety as well as their own.

We are following the advice of Discovery Health, the CDC, WHO, NICD and other health industry advisors which is: The global recommendations are for face masks to be worn only by those who have potential or confirmed cases of COVID-19 or other respiratory illnesses. Facemasks do not seem to prevent the contraction of the illness, though definitely mitigate the spread from individuals who are ill. 

During travel to and from the lodge, guests and staff are required to wear masks, as well wearing masks or shields during safari drives.

Avoiding close contact

Avoiding close contact with anyone who is coughing, sneezing and feverish.  Anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness to be reported to the hotel’s general manager for further action to take place, such as contacting the NICD hotline.

The NICD Hotline

The NICD Hotline is available to all staff and guests. In the event that anyone feels ill after travelling from countries with coronavirus, the South African Department of Health advises first phoning the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) helpline rather than going straight to a medical facility, to prevent potential contamination. The NICD hotline number is 080 002 9999.

Travel Flexibility

Due to various countries implementing travel bans (South Africa being one of them) to ensure the safety of their citizens as well as that of the rest of the world, we understand that date changes and or cancellations are inevitable. We have therefore updated our cancellation policy. We want to put forward an urgent plea with our guests to rather move their selected holiday dates as appose to cancelling it. We offer a penalty-free, rate increase free move up to 20 months from now (until 11 December 2021) in order to try and accommodate our guests and to ensure the continual running of our small lodge. Should this not be possible we revert to our cancellation policy were guests can then claim the cancellation fee from their travel insurance, as most comprehensive insurance policies have a clause for “cancelling for any reason”. If our reservations team can assist with this, we will gladly provide documentation for our guests. Please contact the team on info@nambitiplains.com

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While no one can predict the path of this virus, we are continuously monitoring developments and doing all we can to reduce the risk of potential contamination or spread of disease. A heartfelt thank you to our loyal guests, staff and suppliers for your continual support and understanding while we work together to get through these uncertain times. We are eagerly awaiting the day when we can host you again. We urge you not to stop dreaming about your breakaway, the fresh bush air, the great outdoors, the wide-open spaces and the beauty of mother nature where wildlife still roams free. Our reservation team is on hand to answer any questions or help plan your next trip in the near future. But for now, stay home, stay safe and keep dreaming, as are we…