Giraffes seen during safari in the Okavango Delta

Safety, security and assurance are all words you want to hear when your travel planning begins. What Covid-19 has highlighted is how vital these three components are to any well-crafted itinerary. Not always the glamorous side to planning an African adventure, but especially given our current travel environment, it is important that you travel with a company who is giving full attention to these areas. 

safe as a leopard and cub

Safe & secure in Africa, Photo Credit: Katharina Riebesel

Rhino Africa was founded on the principle that every single client is expertly looked after before, during and after their travel. Holidays, especially those to Africa, are for experiencing as much as possible, connecting with loved ones and trying to take in as much as you can in. We make sure we take care of all the details so every client experiences a perfect African holiday.

Travel Security during Covid-19 

The travel landscape has shifted through the Covid-19 pandemic and, at Rhino Africa, we have made sure that we are providing even more security for our travellers: going the extra mile so each holiday can be booked with confidence. 

These are the 3 reasons why travelling with Rhino Africa provides you with piece of mind: 

Increased flexibility with adjusted Covid-19 Terms & Conditions;
Comprehensive Covid-19 Travel Protection & Insurance Services;
Free Covid-19 testing for clients departing from South Africa.

Increased Flexibility in our Terms & Conditions

With Covid-19 thoroughly raining on our travel plans for 2020, it has given us the opportunity to amend our Terms & Conditions. We now offer 100% free cancellation with new bookings made before 31 Decembers 2020, with a travel date of March 2021 onwards. You may also cancel your trip 60 days prior to departure and get 100% of your deposit back! This guarantee is applicable to an inability to travel due to possible complications associated with Covid-19, such as travel bans and quarantine requirements which prevent travel from taking place.

Breakfast with giraffes at Giraffe Manor

Breakfast with a difference, Photo Credit: Giraffe Manor

Comprehensive Travel Protection and Insurance Services

Rhino Africa has partnered with the best in the business, Global Rescue, to make sure that all holiday investments are safe and secure. Global Rescue offers medical and security advisory and evacuation services. They have an exclusive partnership with the Johns Hopkins Emergency Medicine Division of Special Operations, in addition to partnerships with Elite Medical Group and Partners HealthCare, the Harvard Medical School affiliate.

With five operations centres in five countries, Global Rescue is staffed 24/7/365 by experienced nurses, critical care trained paramedics to assist members in any situation. With international travel being an uncertain landscape for the foreseeable future, ensuring you have travel protection is as important as booking the perfect safari lodge.

Lion Sands River Lodge is located in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve

The earthy hues of the luxurious exteriors of River Lodge.Photo Credit: Lion Sands River Lodge

Why do more than one million members trust Global Rescue? 

Medical and security advisory services; 
Emergency assistance 24/7/365; 
Medical and security evacuation services; 
Detailed destination reports and real-time event alerts; 
My Global Rescue Mobile AppSM; 
Access to travel insurance.

Learn more about Global Rescue’s travel services. 

What about Travel Insurance?

With some African countries specifying travel insurance as a prerequisite for entry, we have taken the hard work out of sourcing your own travel insurance and made it part of the booking process through Global Rescue. Travel insurance includes:

Up to $100 000 medical expense & emergency assistance cover;
Up to 150% of the trip cost reimbursed for unforeseen Trip Interruptions;  
Up to $100 000 cancelation cover including claims arising from Covid-19;
Cancelation for any reason benefit – up to 75% of non-refundable trip costs (upgrade)

Free Covid-19 Testing if departing from South Africa

A unique service for our Rhino Africa clients, this provides peace of mind when completing your trip and starting the process of getting back home. Our Travel Experts will arrange it all, making sure it is complete and your test results are returned to you before your departure date. For guests travelling outside of South Africa, our Travel Experts will also ensure that all appropriate testing is conducted accordingly. 

Morning sunrise in Cape Town with Table Mountain

The first rays of sunlight tinge clouds with red colours above the world famous Table Mountain in the Cape.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Travel Protection & Travel Insurance

Is travel insurance worth it? 

This is a question we get asked a lot and our answer is always the same. Investing in comprehensive travel insurance makes absolute sense when travelling to Africa. With the ongoing travel uncertainties, having the confidence to book knowing you will be reimbursed should you not be able to travel, is worth the investment. Africa is generally considered a long-haul destination and as a rule of thumb, the longer it takes you to get to your destination, the more your trip needs travel insurance

What Covid-19 cover is included in Global Rescue Travel Insurance? 

Covid-19 is treated the same as any other illness, which might affect travel of any nature. This includes: 

Trip Cancellation 
Trip Interruption 
Accident & Sickness Medical Expense 

In short, you are covered for any Covid-19 related travel complication. 

Am I covered if I decide to travel against travel restrictions/advice?

Yes, assuming you are not committing a felony or crime by doing so. However, if the traveller incurs a loss as a direct result of an event which occurs prior to the travel insurance effective date, benefits would not be available. 

Does my policy cover me if I am diagnosed with Covid-19 whilst travelling overseas? 

Yes. Covid-19 is treated the same as any other sickness. 

Am I covered for cancellation if I am diagnosed with Covid-19 before I travel? 

Yes, but also fully depends on the plan option selected by the client. This can include trip cancellation, interruptions or accident and sickness medical expenses. 

Sunset in Africa

Sunsets in Africa – pure magic

For any further questions, our Travel Experts are always ready and eager to assist. Africa is open for travel and we can’t wait to welcome everyone back to Africa soon.

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Need a little Aloha in your life? I feel you! Hawaii is one of my favorite go-to’s for more reasons that I can count and as soon as we can be travelling again, I’ll be booking a flight.

This ultimate Hawaiian packing list will make sure you leave nothing behind – as well as help you find where to pick up the things you don’t have.

In the mean time we can dream of planing our trip to Hawaii to swim in gin clear water and picture-perfect beaches relaxing just to think about, let alone stroll along or jump into. But I’m also in love with the culture – the Hawaiian people take great pride in their state and are the embodiment of what true hospitality should look and function like. 

So whether you’re craving luaus or waterfalls, shopping in Waikiki, heading out to the Big Island or visiting the best beaches on Oahu, this packing list for Hawaii will prep you for your much needed vacation!

*Note, this post contains affiliate links to products and places I like and think you might like too.

Cocktail on the beachPick a flower for your hair!

1. Light, comfortable clothing

You don’t need your entire closet for an adventure in Hawaii. Let’s face it: you’ll be spending most of your time in the water or on the beach, so think resort wear. Pack a couple of nice dresses for dinner, but for the most part, you’ll be wearing tops, shorts, skirts, and swimsuits.

My personal easy-to-pack beachy look is 3/4 leggings/pants and a breezy top (that hides a multitude of sins!) with a sunhat that I can easily fold into my luggage. Pro tip: if your sunhat doesn’t fold up, pack it in your suitcase first and fill it with clothes taking care to retain its shape.

I also love a wrap/pashmina or poncho. They’re great to wear on the plane and easy to throw on of an evening.

I’m pretty ruthless when it comes to taking shoes on vacation and Hawaii is even easier. Take no more than three pairs of shoes. I usually only take two pairs on a beach vacation. Truly, you won’t need more than that! I take a pair of sandals/flip flops for the beach and mine are so cute I can also wear them to the mall. And a pair of shoes to wear to dinner. Done. Unless you plan on outdoor activities like a hike, then pack hiking boots.

A light rain jacket is always a good idea. Hawaii is tropical, so rain is fairly common.

Download my free packing checklist here >

2. Waterproof phone case

If you’re like me, most of your Hawaii memories will be photos on your phone. A waterproof phone case is a must, especially if you want to capture those epic shots while kayaking, paddle boarding or jet skiing. Add a flotation strap to your case, just in case your phone ends up in the water. This prevents it from sinking and makes it easier to grab.

3. Daytime essentials

No one goes to Hawaii to sit indoors! Whether you stay in the water, on the golf course, or do extreme adventures, you’ll need the following outdoor gear:

UV-protective sunglassesReef-safe sunscreenLip balm (with SPF)BackpackWater bottleSmall umbrellaBug spraySun hat

4. Mesh water shoes

If you know you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the water, I highly recommend mesh water shoes. These shoes are made for getting wet. They offer more grip than sandals and are more breathable than sneakers. 

I have a pair of Omega shoes and they are quick drying and look good to wearing on land and sea. You can read my review of them here.

5. Dry bag

If you’re planning on any water sports, a dry bag can protect your belongings from waves or accidental drops in the water as well as being super handy for a day at the beach as a general hold all for all the essentials above.

6. Sand-resistant beach towel

The magic is real, there really are sand-resistant beach towels. The fibers are woven in a way that doesn’t trap sand. Just shake it out and fold it up. PS these make great gift ideas too!

7. Underwater camera

If you have some extra money to put toward your trip, I highly recommend an underwater camera. Hawaii is just as beautiful below the water as it is above, and the entire island chain is brimming with unique sea life. Best of all, you don’t have to dive deep to get great shots. 

8. Rash shirt

Long-sleeve rash guards can be lifesavers under the brutal Hawaii sun, especially for the kids, and even in the winter. These are ideal for anyone with fair skin and it reduces your chance of sunburn and doesn’t require you to lather up with sunscreen every 30 minutes. Wear it as a swimsuit top or over your swimsuit.

9. Clutch/Wrist wallet

If you’re like me and spend most of your day outside, the last thing you want to do is carry a heavy purse or bag on your sun kissed shoulders. Bring a wristlet or clutch purse to give your shoulders a break. 

Swimming in WaikikiWaikiki is all sun, sand and sea!

10. Beach bag

Stash your book, suntan lotion, sunglasses, towel, water bottle, snacks and any other little necessities into a stylish beach bag. It makes time at the pool or beach a breeze.

11. Packing Cubes

Packing cubes have been game changers for my travels around the world. They’ve not only freed up space in my suitcase, but also make me more mindful (or should I say picky?) about what I pack. I assign a cube to each “category” of items (e.g. one for daytime clothes, one for bathroom stuff, etc.). If it doesn’t fit in the cube, it doesn’t go. It also keeps my suitcase super organized. When I need something, I just grab that cube and crack it open. Easy peasy.

12. Empty Space

This one is so easy to overlook, but leave room in your suitcase! Hawaii is a bevy of souvenirs, and I’m not talking about your typical little trinkets and magnets. Not to mention the fabulous Ala Moana shopping centre which is worth a visit (or two). You will thank yourself for leaving enough to bring home a few “show and tells”.

Other Essentials

There are some things you’ll need to put on your Hawaii packing list that are so obvious you might forget them. Consider this your Public Service Announcement to include basic yet super important things in your suitcase:

Toiletries, such as shampoo, conditioner, lotion, hand sanitizer, toothpaste, toothbrush, makeup, and soap. Travel documents, including travel insurance papers (if applicable), passport, ID, emergency contact information, itineraries, flight information, and hotel booking confirmation.Electronics chargers for cell phones, tablets, laptops, and other devices. Emergency cash.Prescription medications, as well as over-the-counter medications for allergies, motion sickness, or headaches.Something to read while you relax and unwind

I hope this packing list for Hawaii is helpful. What have I missed?

Download my free packing checklist!

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The beauty of Africa eventually captivates us all

Is Africa open for travel, especially now with Covid-19, and how safe is it really? These are question we get quite frequently and our answer is a resounding, YES! Africa is open for travel and YES it is an incredibly safe destination for someone looking to get away from crowded spaces and the stress of this Covid-19 pandemic. With Rhino Africa’s new Covid-19 related T&C’s as well as our partnership with the world’s best travel insurance company, not only is your safety guaranteed but your holiday investment is in very safe hands as well. 

Since August, East Africa has been open for travel and we have had numerous guests who have been astounded by the immense beauty of both Kenya and Tanzania. They have been amazed at how quiet it all is and how much they loved their “private safari experience”. One such client has just completed a magical trip to Tanzania and Zanzibar, this is what he had to say about it all.  

Couple enjoys colorful sunrise in Tanzania

A magical sunrise in Tanzania, Photo Credit: Natasha Alden

The Perfect Tanzania Safari

Our senior Travel Expert, Tara, put together this tailor-made itinerary for one of her clients which included Arusha, Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Crater & Serengeti National Park before winding down on the beaches of Zanzibar. This is what her client, Vijay thought about their East Africa adventure.

“The Rhino Africa team did an incredible job in looking after us.”

– Vijay

Tarangire National Park

2 nights – Olivers Camp

Utter peace at Oliver's Camp in the Serengeti

Indulgent Tranquility at Oliver’s Camp, Photo Credit: Olivers Camp

Oliver’s Camp in Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park embraces a back-to-basics safari experience in a remote corner of East Africa. While there is no shortage of comforts, the camp promises a refreshing wilderness experience that is lacking in the more well-known reserves to the north. 

“There were very few tourists and it felt like we were on a private safari! Overall, the trip was seamless and the timing was excellent.”

– Vijay


Ngorongoro Crater

2 nights – Highlands Safari Camp

The glorious views from Highlands Safari Lodge in Tanzania

The incredible views from Highlands Safari Lodge, Photo Credit: Highlands Safari Lodge

The Highlands Safari Camp is high-end leisure and low-impact luxury in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.  This impressive camp is surrounded by forrest offering both seclusion as well as a hub of ecological sustainability.

“Hi Tara, we just got picked up by Asilia tour guide and he seems to be great. Thanks a lot for checking in on us.”

– Vijay


Serengeti National Park 

4 nights – Sayari Camp


The romance of Sayari Camp in Tanzania

One of the most romantic settings – Tanzania’s Sayari Camp, Photo Credit: Sayari Camp


Resting against a hillside with panoramic views of the Serengeti plains and Mara River in the distance, Sayari Camp effortlessly combines luxurious living and the wonder of the African landscape at its most natural. 

“The flights, airport procedures, road transport and onsite protocols related to Covid were all very satisfactory.”

– Vijay


4 nights – The Residence

Maximum luxury in this island paradise in Zanzibar

Maximum luxury in this island paradise, Photo Credit: The Residence

The Residence Zanzibar combines various influences of the island’s African, Omani and European heritage to create an ambience of rare splendour and enchanting elegance. 

“We got home safely. The trip was absolutely outstanding and is now our best vacation ever!”

– Vijay

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Pitbull traveling on a paddleboard

You love your dog, so it’s only natural that you want to take him along on vacation. Unfortunately, if you have a pitbull, breed discrimination can make that difficult. Below we’ll share our tips for traveling with pitbulls so you’re ready to hit the road!

But it’s also important to be aware that breed specific legislation affects more than just pitbulls. These laws, passed in jurisdictions across the country, target more than 100 breeds. But the breeds most often discriminated against are pitbulls, Rottweilers, Dobermans, German Shepherds, and Huskies — whether they’re purebred or mixed breeds. And the effects of these laws range from frustrating to devastating. So it’s important to know the rules and remedies before you go.

Pitbull traveling on a paddleboard


Tips for Traveling With Pitbulls

I didn’t know much about breed specific discrimination until after I adopted two pitties. Cool Whip and Hercules are perfect examples of the stereotypical description of “pitbull-type dogs.” Especially Hercules with his big blocky head, thick neck, muscular build, and that set of cropped ears!

While both dogs get a lot of compliments when we’re out and about, they also get nervous looks. Believing the hype, people cross to the opposite side of the street. Parents pull their kids behind them. And some places have passed laws to keep them away.

Breed Specific Legislation

Breed-specific legislation (BSL) are laws banning or restricting certain dog breeds from a location or activity.  And the punishment for breaking one of these laws ranges from a fine to confiscation and execution of the dog. For us, knowing which places to avoid is literally a matter of life and death.

But don’t be discouraged! Though traveling with pitbulls — or any targeted breed — can be intimidating, we make it work, and so can you! Herc, CW, and I have covered thousands of miles. We’ve visited almost every state west of the Mississippi River and four Canadian provinces. If you ignore my poor sense of direction, our travels have always gone well. It just takes a little extra preparation.


Use BSL Resources to Map Your Route

The first thing to do is get familiar with the resources that will help keep you safe. For travels in the U.S., I count on the interactive breed specific legislation map from the Animal Farm Foundation. For Canada, the entire Province of Ontario bans pitbulls, but beyond there the Justice for Bullies Bullies map is my go-to. Both of these websites clearly identify areas that have (or have had) BSL and give an overview of the specific rules for you to review.

To start planning a trip, grab your atlas and lay out your route. Then pull up the BSL websites and circle any places you need to avoid in red. From there you can adjust your itinerary, sticking to places where your dog is welcome.

Be sure to take your atlas on your trip, so you can easily refresh your memory on places that discriminate against your dog.

READ MORE ⇒  Ruka the Pitbull’s Road Trip from Alaska to Pennsylvania

Protect Yourself and Your Dog from Breed Discrimination Laws

When deciding whether to travel through or stay in an area with BSL, make sure you understand the specifics of the local laws. Are your dogs allowed to stop in the area for potty breaks? Can you stay overnight with your dog? Does your dog have to be muzzled or meet any other requirements while out in public?

Here are some steps you can take to avoid any possible conflicts while traveling with a pitbull:

If you will be traveling to or through a jurisdiction with a breed specific law, call the local animal control office to get the most current information about the restrictions and requirements.
If your dog looks like one of the affected breeds, you might consider carrying DNA results from your vet proving your dog’s lineage.
Remember that websites might not be completely current as the laws are changing constantly, so plan for the unexpected. If your dog is an affected breed, or could be mistaken for one, always be prepared to comply with muzzle, leash, and proof of insurance requirements.
If you find that you have inadvertently violated a breed-specific law, be polite and do your best to bring yourself and your dog into compliance – even if that means immediately leaving the jurisdiction immediately.

Once you know the rules, you can make plans to safely navigate through or around areas with BSL. Typically, I choose to bypass these places altogether. I’d rather spend my time and money in destinations that happily welcome my dogs.


Call Ahead to Confirm Pet Polices

Keep in mind that discrimination doesn’t always stop at the state or city level. Some pet friendly businesses impose their own breed bans. For example, there are hotels, vacation rentals, and campgrounds that don’t allow certain dog breeds. Other lodgings take a less obvious approach, using weight limits to weed out larger dogs.

The same goes for boarding and daycare facilities. I was finalizing the details of a daycare reservation when I happened to ask if it mattered that my dogs were pitties. It turned out that the facility’s insurance did not cover pitbulls, so I had to find another option. It sometimes takes a little extra digging, but asking the most obvious questions can save you a lot of stress once you’re on the road.

At GoPetFriendly, we collect detailed pet polices for the businesses listed on our website, so you’ll know whether your dog is welcome. Just remember to call before leaving home to confirm that the pet policies haven’t changed.

If you’re looking for places to stay where your dog will always be welcome, watch for government-owned campgrounds. Whether it’s a national park, national forest, Army Corp of Engineers campground, or state park, you’ll never run into breed restrictions! The Kimpton hotel chain also welcomes pets of all breeds and sizes, and they never charge a pet fee.

READ MORE ⇒  State Parks With Pet Friendly Cabins, Campgrounds, Beaches And More 

Be An Ambassador

I completely understand how frustrating and disheartening it is when your dog is not welcomed because of his breed or how she looks. Traveling with pitbulls requires additional research to ensure your dog is greeted kindly, but you CAN get out there and have fun together. And, when you do, you and your dog have the opportunity to be ambassadors for your breed. Show the world that all dogs deserve to be treated fairly!


Cool Whip and Hercules love meeting people, and I’m happy to let people pet them and experience what pitbulls are really like. Aggressive bully breeds? Nah. The white one will promptly plant her bum on your feet hoping for scratches. And that squirrely brown fella with little ear nubs thinks he’s a 70-pound lap dog; he gets so excited to see people that he can’t stop licking things.

My hope is that by having a positive interaction with my dogs people will realize that every dog is an individual. They should be judged by their character and behavior, not with stereotypes and assumptions. In a way, breed discrimination inspires me to take my dogs traveling even more. If my dogs can break down even just one negative assumption, the extra effort is worth it!


We at GoPetFriendly strongly oppose Breed-Specific Laws.

Laws that discriminate against particular breeds of dogs are completely unacceptable. There is no evidence that breed specific laws are effective in preventing dog bites, but there is evidence that they have resulted in the senseless killing of thousands of homeless animals and beloved pets. We believe that enacting aggressive dog laws that are not biased toward a specific breed result in more enforceability and are less prejudicial. We are particularly opposed any law resulting in the confiscation and execution of a dog that has done no harm.

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