What we’re doing to minimise Covid-19 risks for our guests
Zanzibar tourism authorities are keen to get the island open again as so many local livelihoods depend on tourism. We need to establish a fine balance between having great days out but with a new sense of social responsibility and personal health risk awareness. Safari Blue is taking these risks and responsibilities seriously, not just for guests but also for the large number of local staff we employ on the island. We are making some changes to the way we operate and adding a new ‘bubble boat’ for those still being cautious about mixing in public. We’ve also equipped and re-trained our staff and teamed up with SteriScope from South Africa and developed our own unique Special Operating Procedures. There is nothing standard about the way we are working now.
Safari Blue Covid-19 safety measures:
- All boats and equipment will be disinfected with SteriScope, an extremely effective, environmentally friendly, marine safe and food safe disinfectant before and after each tour.
- We have reduced the maximum number of guests on our standard Safari Blue tour to 10
- We have added a ‘Bubble Boat‘ – the same Safari Blue tour but with the option for a group to have their own ‘social bubble’ boat. (aka no strangers just you and crew)
- Our food prep, service areas and restaurant area will be disinfected with SteriScope before and after guests arrive.
- We are providing more room between tables at lunch for social distancing
- Our lunch buffet will be staggered to allow for more distance between guests during service.
- There will be washing stations with soap available. Our staff have constructed foot operated washing stations which will be placed near the restaurant and toilet block.
- We’ve reached out to the local seaweed centre who are supplying us with Mwani, their locally made hand sanitiser. Guests may purchase this on the tour or bring their own hand sanitiser.
- We no longer offer re-usable cups or glasses either on the boats or at lunch, guests will be expected to bring their own re-usable water bottles or re-usable cup, or purchase one of our new Safari Blue drinking bottles.
- We are asking guests to bring and wear cloth face masks, this also helps us to keep our staff safe especially at check in. We will have locally made cloth masks on sale too.
- We are still offering snorkelling as an optional guided activity, however, anyone wishing to snorkel will need to bring their own snorkelling equipment. (We feel the risks of cross contamination on a boat are currently too high to be re-using snorkel masks and/or mouth pieces).
- Our staff have undergone special training and regular briefings to understand how to create the best experience for our guests while also minimising risks.
- We are doing our best to adapt and communicate to everyone, from point of booking onwards, on how we can continue to deliver our Safari Blue products and give our guests a fab day out with minimum risk, without adversely impacting our hard earned small environmental footprint and community focus.
Locally Sourced Hand Sanitizer
We have sourced our hand sanitizer from Mwani Zanzibar (formerly the Seaweed Center at Paje). ‘Mwani’ literally means ‘seaweed’ in Swahili.
Their sanitizer is approved by the Zanzibar Food and Drug Agency (ZFDA) and recommended by the World Health Organization. The formula has a high ethanol content (98% derived from cane sugar).
Hand Built Wash Stations
These wonderful hand crafted hand washing stations have been made by our furloughed staff. Filled with water, the tap is operated by a foot pedal and another pedal operates the soap dispenser. ‘No hands’ hand washing!
We have placed these close to our toilet block, restaurant and departure points.
Locally-made Face Masks
We are extremely happy to have found a local solution to our face mask needs. The lovely Doreen Mashika (‘DM’) will be supplying us with face masks made from Kitenge fabric (colourful, traditional bold waxed prints). What’s even better is that for every one we sell, DM will donate another to the local community. Masks are required – please bring your own, or purchase one of these on the day.
We realised that to give people confidence in our equipment, boats, food handling, tented restaurant and toilets, that we would need to go to the next level in cleaning and protection.
We needed to source something which was people, food and marine safe while offering maximum protection from Covid-19. Alongside new operating procedures, SteriScope is a simple, effective and environmentally friendly solution for our staff to manage.
Safari Blue Water Bottles
Sadly, gone are the days where we could offer reusable cups on our tours. We were already plastic free, but now we have to take it to the next level to protect everyone sufficiently.
Our new branded water bottles are available to purchase before or during your trip. We are happy if you bring your own too, but please no single-use plastic bottles. There will be no alternatives on board, so it really is essential you bring your own or buy one of ours.
We started training in early March and continued after our staff were furloughed. All staff have been given their own personal cloth face masks and been briefed on our new Covid-19 protocols.
We are having a dummy run towards the end of June, to trial the new procedures and to gain feedback on where we need to improve or change. It’s new territory for everyone but our staff have thankfully all been Covid-free and are eager to start making great days out again.