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Our COVID-19 Policies


Samara’s first priority is the health, safety and well-being of our guests and staff members. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic we have implemented new protocols designed to give you peace of mind without compromising on Samara’s authentic Karoo hospitality. These procedures are based on recommendations by the following leading authorities: the World Health Organisation, the South African Department of Health and the Tourism Business Council of South Africa.

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  • Hand sanitiser and soap dispenser stations in strategic areas throughout the lodges
  • All bathrooms equipped with sanitiser and soap
  • High-touch surfaces regularly sanitised e.g. door handles, counter tops & card terminals
  • Bedrooms thoroughly sanitised before check-in
  • Regular aeration of rooms through natural ventilation (opening doors and windows)
  • Strict protocols for laundry, including handling and washing at high temperatures
  • All guests to sign Health Declaration on arrival in accordance with government requirements. This information is treated as confidential but may be shared with local public health authorities on request
  • Temperature discreetly taken on arrival with no-touch thermal scanner
  • Hand sanitiser & soap available on arrival
  • Luggage sanitised on arrival in suite
  • Health & safety briefing on arrival and signage on display in strategic areas
  • Guests required to adhere to social distancing and mask-wearing in common indoor areas
  • Masks for sale in the curio shop
  • Dedicated qualified Health & Safety Officer overseeing implementation of protocols
  • Staff temperature taken daily
  • Staff screened daily for symptoms
  • Staff equipped with function-appropriate PPE
  • Ongoing training in hand hygiene, mask-wearing, COVID-19 symptoms and social distancing
  • Maximum of 6 guests per vehicle, except in the case of larger parties travelling together in the same ‘bubble’
  • Wherever possible, 4 guests allocated to each vehicle to ensure an empty middle row
  • Vehicles sanitised between game drives with a focus on high-touch surfaces
  • Ponchos, blankets and hot water bottles allocated to guests for the duration of their stay and laundered/sanitised (as appropriate) after use
  • Individually-packed game drive snacks
  • Hand sanitiser provided on vehicle and during bush walks
  • All meals cooked to order and served plated
  • Individually-packed picnic food
  • 2+ metre spacing between tables
  • Prioritisation of private and outdoor dinners
  • Standard operating procedures for staff/guests with symptoms, including isolation suites
  • Emergency medical evacuation by helicopter available

COVID-19 Booking & Cancellation Policy

In recognition of the uncertainty posed by COVID-19, Samara has amended its booking and cancellation policy. The below COVID-19 Policy supersedes Samara’s Standard Policy until further notice.

  • For international guests, the 50% deposit requirement is waived and full payment of the total accommodation amount, conservation contribution and any air/road transfers organised by Samara is due 30 days prior to arrival.
  • For South African resident guests, the 50% deposit requirement remains in place and the remaining 50% is due 30 days prior to arrival.
  • Should a guest be unable to redeem their confirmed and paid for booking due to a COVID-19 related reason, the guest shall be entitled to postpone their travel dates for up to 36 months (3 years) from original date of travel without incurring cancellation fees.
  • Date changes will be permitted 3 times per postponed booking, within the 36-month time-frame.
  • The postponed booking will be honoured at the rate at which the original reservation was made, subject to the new dates falling into the same season (high, low or peak) as the original booking.
  • Should the postponed booking be rescheduled for new dates which fall into a different rate season to the original booking, or for a different accommodation type, guests will be liable for the difference in rate associated with the new booking. In the event that the postponed booking rate is less than the original booking, the guest will benefit from a credit of the difference to be spent at Samara.
  • Please note that guests staying on the South African Residents Special of R3,750 pppn are entitled to postpone their travel dates at the same rate and without charge until 1 November 2022. Thereafter we reserve the right to implement a reasonable rate increase.
  • Bookings cancelled for a legitimate COVID-19-related reason up to 72 hours before arrival will be refunded at 100% of the total booking value, with the following provisos:
    • Bookings already paid for will incur a 5% fee of the amount already paid to cover credit card/bank fees.
    • Bookings for peak season (Christmas & New Year) will be processed in accordance with Samara’s Standard Policy.

These may include:

  • The government of a guest’s home country restricts all but essential travel.
  • The government of a guest’s home country imposes a national or regional lockdown that prevents guests from travelling.
  • The government of a guest’s home country bans travel to South Africa.
  • The South African government imposes a lockdown that prohibits guests from travelling to or within the country.
  • The South African government imposes a ban on all international travellers or a ban on travellers from the guest’s home country.
  • International flights are cancelled, leaving no route for the guest to reach South Africa.
  • The guest contracts COVID-19 and is unable to travel as a result.
  • Please note the following:
    • Samara reserves the right to ask for written evidence to support the legitimacy of a guest’s reason for cancellation.
    • Cancellation for any non-COVID-19-related reason will be processed in accordance with Samara’s Standard Policy.
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