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Thread: Covid Testing

  1. #1
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    Default Covid Testing

    Thank you to everyone for their posts and sharing about the Covid regulations etc.

    we have a trip booked for August 2021. (Postponed from august 2020) and I am trying to finalize itinerary in terms of the Covid testing required on exit. Please could someone assist us with their advice.

    it seems that there is mixed information re the requirement of a rapid antigen or PCR test on re-entry into (SA). Does anyone have any updated information in this regard?

    48 hours before exit we will be in Kasane and 24 hours at Elephant Sands outside Nata. We will then exit at Martinsdrift. (Although we would prefer Stockport but unfortunately it is closed) It would be ideal to test in Kasane or Nata. Could anyone please advise on the location of testing sites in these two areas.

    I am also interested in how the test results get shared with you? As even with roaming accessing emails etc can be problematic. Would we need to return to the testing site to get the results?

    also are the testing sites open mon to Sunday or are their specific days and times?

    also how long does it take to get the PCR results?

    many thanks for the help

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Covid Testing

    I have similar questions so Iíll follow your replies. Iíve joined a Facebook group called DriveBots that has some information on pricing of tests etc

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    Default Re: Covid Testing

    My other half works for one of the Orange River Rafting companies. Reports from her customers is that at least the Vioolsdrift border post has an on-site mobile clinic, and requires you to do a rapid test there.

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  5. #4
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    Default Re: Covid Testing

    Same questions here. If my test is older than 72 hours will SA not let us in or can we do a rapid antigen test and if negative then good to go?

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    Default Re: Covid Testing

    Also been trying to get clarity on this, and we planning to go in a weeks time. Even on drive bots there isnít a straight answer, which is odd, because surely people are making the crossing at Martinís drift every day.

    We are working on the assumption that rapid testing at the border is still all that is required to return to SA. If not, we will just stay an extra day and drive back to Palapye or so to be tested.

    There are no testing facilities at Nata as far as I could ascertain. Travelling south from Kasane to Martinís Drift, you only options are Kasane or Francis town.

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    Default Entering and exiting KTP from Namibia (Mata Mata)

    Hi guys,

    hope you can help me on this...

    If I enter KTP from Mata Mata and would exit again from Mata Mata, does the 2 nights rule apply? I'm wondering because on one hand I'm not transiting from one country to another and on the other hand Namibia is not part of KTP.
    Should I only spend one night (assuming I can), do I have to report at Twee Rivieren for SA migration? I guess yes but...not sure. that's why I'm asking.

    Am I even allowed to enter from Namibia right now with Covid regulations? I heard that the Mata Mata border was closed...and if I'm allowed to enter, I guess I have to show a negative PCR at TR, is that correct?

    Thank's for any feedback


    P.S. sorry guys, I actually wanted to open a separate thread, but can't manage to delete the post from here and re-edit.
    Last edited by Nambots; 2021/04/23 at 10:38 PM.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Covid Testing

    So many threads.

    But do any of the KTP guys know, if we would like to go to rooiputs and then onto polenstwa for a night or three, entering and exiting via twee rivieren, would we need a PCR test to enter ? We are staying within the KTP, but want to make sure.

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    Default Re: Covid Testing

    Quote Originally Posted by Slowones View Post
    So many threads.

    But do any of the KTP guys know, if we would like to go to rooiputs and then onto polenstwa for a night or three, entering and exiting via twee rivieren, would we need a PCR test to enter ? We are staying within the KTP, but want to make sure.

    We have just returned from Rooiputs, in / out at Twee Rivieren. The official position is that you would require
    a 72hr valid PCR test for entrance procedures at the Botswana desk, and we promptly complied and arrived with out tests
    in hand...hhmm, no interest from the Health Official on Botswana side..she did not even want to see the test. She prepared
    her outside medical station and performed Rapid Tests that took 15 minutes for a result . SWAMBO was not happy with
    that 2nd procedure in 48 hrs, but futile....sit and take it like a lady.....That was our experience...with my luck, if I arrived
    without a test, they would have required it.
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    Default Re: Covid Testing

    Quote Originally Posted by Slowones View Post
    So many threads.

    But do any of the KTP guys know, if we would like to go to rooiputs and then onto polenstwa for a night or three, entering and exiting via twee rivieren, would we need a PCR test to enter ? We are staying within the KTP, but want to make sure.
    You definitely need the PCR test and you will be given the rapid test at no cost. The debatable part is whether you need a paper copy or a PDF on your phone is acceptable, seems to depend on the individual staff members.

    The day we arrived, 26th March, 2 vehicles with 4 people, who had a booking for Mabua and the Mabua trail were denied entry to Bots as they did not have a PCR test. The problem was compounded as it was a Friday and Pathcare in Upington is closed over the weekend.
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    Default Re: Covid Testing

    Thank you all.

    We will stick to the South African side. I dont think our 11 yr old fancies to many nasal swabs. Actually, I dont think she fancies any nasal swabs.

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    Default Re: Covid Testing

    We just returned from Botswana yesterday and can confirm that you need a PCR test coming back in to South Africa.

    No question about it, there is a lot of misleading info saying a rapid test is fine and we spoke with people at the border that had come in to SA with a rapid test previously but it will not get you in. We took the risk with the rapid test and fortunately got a nice enough official at the port of health check but he made it very clear it has to be a PCR test.

    Another interesting point is that children under 5 years old don't need tests going into Botswana or coming back into SA.
    We did not know that going in and had him tested but they didn't even look at it and said it wasn't necessary.

    Also driving through Gabarone there are a few signs and banners indicating test facility for PCR, some of them are open till midnight.
    Last edited by Jay_B; 2021/05/04 at 11:19 AM.

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    Default Re: Covid Testing

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay_B View Post
    We just returned from Botswana yesterday and can confirm that you need a PCR test coming back in to South Africa.

    No question about it, there is a lot of misleading info saying a rapid test is fine and we spoke with people at the border that had come in to SA with a rapid test previously but it will not get you in. We took the risk with the rapid test and fortunately got a nice enough official at the port of health check but he made it very clear it has to be a PCR test.

    Another interesting point is that children under 5 years old don't need tests going into Botswana or coming back into SA.
    We did not know that going in and had him tested but they didn't even look at it and said it wasn't necessary.

    Also driving through Gabarone there are a few signs and banners indicating test facility for PCR, some of them are open till midnight.
    That is great info thank you. Can you remember which facilities are open till midnight for testing?
    Also, what will happen if the test is +- 12hrs too old? Will they not let you in or just do a rapid test? At OR Tambo they do a rapid test if your PCR is a little bit over the time but donít know the cut off.
    Also, SA takes from reporting time and not testing time? Is this correct?

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    Default Re: Covid Testing

    Hi all, my colleague needs to get into bots (Gabs) on friday, literally an in and out trip. Im trying to work out what is required. So far we're planning to get him tested at ampath this afternoon or tomorrow morning. Will he be ok with this to get in and out?
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    Default Re: Covid Testing

    Quote Originally Posted by Kudus View Post
    That is great info thank you. Can you remember which facilities are open till midnight for testing?
    Also, what will happen if the test is +- 12hrs too old? Will they not let you in or just do a rapid test? At OR Tambo they do a rapid test if your PCR is a little bit over the time but donít know the cut off.
    Also, SA takes from reporting time and not testing time? Is this correct?
    If test is too old they will in all likely hood send you away to be retested.
    There was no testing facility at the border that I could see.

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    Default Re: Covid Testing

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham View Post
    Hi all, my colleague needs to get into bots (Gabs) on friday, literally an in and out trip. Im trying to work out what is required. So far we're planning to get him tested at ampath this afternoon or tomorrow morning. Will he be ok with this to get in and out?
    PCR test - do it on Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning so he can be in and out within the 72 hour window.
    All my tests for work, if i get the test in the morning i have the result later that night.

    For more info, Zimbabwe time window is only 48 hours not 72.

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  18. #16
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    Red face Re: Covid Testing

    May I suggest testing at Kasane ( Diagnofirm Kazungula Lab ) 12 pm. Overnight in Kasane ( day 1 ) (Wednesday )
    Overnight at Elephant Sands ( 24 hours later ) ( day 2 )
    Overnight at Khama Rhino Reserve ( 48 hours ) (day 3)
    Collect results at Diagnofirm ( Palapye ) before exit at Martin's Drift ( before 12 pm will be within 72 hours window period ) (Saturday)

    That is our plan for our upcoming trip in July

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    Default Re: Covid Testing

    Thank you all for the advice and information it is much appreciated.

    I have also contacted the lab and they are willing to email tests to the lodge you are staying at, (obviously if thatís the case and not a camp). This then bypasses the need to collect results at the lab in the same or different town.

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    Default Re: Covid Testing

    Quote Originally Posted by Scheepers85 View Post
    Also been trying to get clarity on this, and we planning to go in a weeks time. Even on drive bots there isn’t a straight answer, which is odd, because surely people are making the crossing at Martin’s drift every day.

    We are working on the assumption that rapid testing at the border is still all that is required to return to SA. If not, we will just stay an extra day and drive back to Palapye or so to be tested.

    There are no testing facilities at Nata as far as I could ascertain. Travelling south from Kasane to Martin’s Drift, you only options are Kasane or Francis town.
    I would not bet that a rapid test is sufficient and get one.
    Just go to a Diagnofirm lab and get it done. Pick up in a lab nearest to the border.

    The Diagnofirm contact details and opening hours http://diagnofirm.co.bw/about-us/contact-us/
    Last edited by Southerndreams; 2021/05/05 at 06:34 AM.

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  22. #19
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    Default Re: Covid Testing

    If we have our PCR tests done in Maun (Diagofirm) and continue on to Shakawe...... Will printed results be acceptable to exit Botswana at Mohembo (within the 72 hour period)?
    Diagofirm have confirmed that they will email the results within 24hours.

  23. #20
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    Default Re: Covid Testing

    Yes

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