In an attempt to stay calm, bit by bit, we’re piecing together what our plans will be going forward now that it’s confirmed by Little Governor’s Camp that they will be closed during the new Kenyan 60 day lockdown. This morning we received an email from the rep to inform us of the news.
Now the process of planning our next move begins today. We’ve definitely decided we’ll be returning to the US to see family and get our Covid-19 vaccines, preferably the one jab, so that we can carry on with our plans. Since we don’t know the exact dates, we’ll be able to get the one jab. We’re not booking any flights beyond getting to Minnesota, where we’ll be vaccinated. South Africa won’t have a sufficient vaccine supply for us as non-citizens to eventually be vaccinated.
We’ll return to South Africa in about four to six weeks. From there, we’ll head to Nevada, where we’ll spend another week or two visiting sons, Richard, take care of any necessary business tasks, and then carry on. At this point, we are ok not knowing the date we’ll return when it is entirely based on the dates and type of vaccine we’ll be able to get.
I want to state at this point emphatically: We are not stopping our world travels by returning to the US for the vaccines and family visits. This was the most logical way to get a new 90-day visa stamp for South Africa, see family, and get the vaccines, a multi-purpose trip now that we cannot go to Kenya due to their new Covid-19 lockdown.
Also, while we are in the US, we will continue to post daily, as we always have, hopefully adding photos along the way. Before we know it, we’ll be back in Marloth Park, hopefully to this same house in the bush, and once again, seeing our favorite wildlife and human friends.
As of this moment, we have canceled all the hotels we had booked except the one near the Nelspruit/Mpumalanga/Kruger Airport. Also, we’ll still take the same flight we’d already booked to Johannesburg, But we won’t be making the return flight from Johannesburg on April 14. We’ll try for a refund for the return portion of the flight, but I doubt we’ll get that.
I already spent 30 minutes on hold with Kenya Airways to cancel our flight to Kenya and back due to the Kenyan lockdown. Their website isn’t user-friendly, and there are 404 messages on the refund page. We’ll try calling again later today and continue to work on attempting to get a refund.
If Kenya Airways doesn’t provide the refund, we’ll have no choice but to contact our credit card company, who will assist in processing the refund. We had to do this in 2019, and they were beneficial, promptly providing us with the refund, especially now in light of Covid-19.
As of this moment, we had canceled two hotel bookings, Little Governor’s Camp and the car rental we’d booked for April 14 when we were scheduled to return to South Africa. We’ll have lost the cost we paid for our Kenya visas, for which we paid over US $200, ZAR 3005. There is nothing we can do about that. If that is all the losses we incur due to the cancellation of the trip to Kenya, we can accept that.
Today, we’ll book the hotel in Minneapolis but wait to book a hotel in Las Vegas until we know what date we can leave Minnesota to head to Nevada. Right now, we are working on booking the flight, which is all over the place with pricing and hidden charges, extra charges for basic seats, and baggage in some cases.
Tom just finished booking the flights, which comprised of three flights with a 28 hour travel time. We’ll have to wait at the airport in Johannesburg for almost 8 hours before the first leg takes off, resulting in a 36 hour travel time with nowhere to sleep in between. We’ve done this before.
Tomorrow morning, we’ll visit Louise and Danie to tell them what’s happening and that we may not be back until May. Undoubtedly, all of this isn’t very reassuring, but it’s the way it is, especially in times of Covid-19. We are both doing ok, and we’ll be relieved when all the bookings and refunds are resolved.
Whew! Life goes on.
Photo from one year ago today, March 28, 2020: