Covid-19 Health & Safety Protocols

Covid 19: Staying Safe on Safari at Tongole Wilderness Retreat

The safety of our guests, staff and the community is very important to us.  To meet the new health and safety challenges of Covid-19, Tongole Wilderness Retreat has a ‘Safe on Safari’ practice. We are keeping abreast of COVID-19 protocols in line with the national and World Health Organization protocols to ensure a safe and protected stay with us.

Preparing for a safe stay

  • In-house Training – Our lodge team is getting ongoing training on the prevention and spread of infectious diseases.
  • Enhanced Hygiene Protocols – Cleanliness and hygiene is our top priority. Detailed guidelines are in place to ensure your safety and our staff. These include disinfecting all guest areas and rooms and ventilating them prior to your arrival.
  • Social Distancing – Limited interactions and social distancing is encouraged.

What to expect when visiting us

At Tongole Wilderness Retreat

  • Temperatures checked on arrival and departure – Guest and staff arriving and departing will be screened for symptoms.
  • Clear signage – Clear signage is present to educate and inform guests and staff about our health and safety protocols
  • Water hand washing stations around the lodge as well as hand sanitizer in the rooms and guest relaxation areas.
  • Practicing social distancing – We offer private dining and lots of fresh air and outdoor spaces. Very few people travelling makes it the perfect time to visit Tongole Wilderness Retreat.
  • Masks – Our staff wear mask when in the lodge, engaging with guests. Guests can wear their masks or not in the open-air main relaxation areas, that comprise much of the lodge and depending on the number of guests.
  • Dining – We prepare and serve food and beverages in a clean and safe manner. We promote social distancing and minimising human contact. All our dining areas are in the open, guests can wear their masks or not, depending on the number of guests. When dining, masks can be removed. Hand sanitizer is also available when dining and at the bar area.
  • General hygiene – Our main guest relaxation areas are disinfected regularly.
  • First aid kit – Contains a thermometer, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, gloves, pain relief and masks.

On nature activities:

  • Limited numbers – Guest numbers on activities are limited to small groups.
  • General Hygiene – Vehicles and canoes are disinfected before and after each activity. Hand sanitiser is available for guests and guides.

Symptom Plan

If a guest shows symptoms of COVID-19 ie. coughing, sneezing, headache, diarrhoea, shortness of breath, sudden loss of taste or smell or presents with a fever, they will be asked to self-isolate in their room and may not participate in activities or meals. They will be served at a safe distance by a staff member in their room and one staff member will be assigned as the point person for the suspected case.

If the guest is a potential COVID-19 infection, the Tongole team will assist with the logistical arrangements to an official testing site at the Nkhota Kota District Hospital, 35 km from the lodge.  Walk in tests are conducted during the day and results are usually in 48 hours. If we need to assist in evacuating an ill guest, we will do so in our vehicles and work with the booking tour operator/in country DMC, as we would in any emergency, to co-ordinate medical help for the patient and their group. 

Travel Insurance

It is the guest’s responsibility to please ensure they are aware of and take any necessary health precautions recommended for travel to Malawi, as well as to declare their medical status in relation to COVID-19 or any other Communicable Diseases.  It is the guests’ responsibility to please ensure that they have adequate and suitable comprehensive travel and medical insurance in place to cover themselves, as well as any dependents or travelling companions.

Third Party Services

Guests will be charged directly by the relevant third party service providers for any emergency services they may require. The Tongole team will offer support to our guest’s and work with the booking tour operator/in country DMC, to co-ordinate medical help for the patient and their group.  Please note we cannot be held liable for any third party service providers.