Coronavirus update

Andy Tucker
By Andy Tucker
General Manager
Updated: 6th January 2022
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Covid-19: Will my tour go ahead as planned?

Following the latest Government announcement on 5th January, Naturetrek very much welcomes the move to abolish pre-departure testing to travel to England, and the switch from day 2 PCR testing to the much less expensive lateral flow test. See full details here.

We do now anticipate operating the vast majority of our planned holidays.

Tours to any country to which i) the FCDO advises against non-essential travel, or ii) in which quarantine is mandatory upon arrival or is otherwise closed to British tourists, will be cancelled in due course and participants will be offered a full refund or a transfer.

Each country has its own entry criteria which can be studied on the FCDO website.

Click the links below to view rules for entry into:

Please be assured that, as a Naturetrek client, you will not be left unassisted with your travel plans this year. If you are booked on a tour with us, our operations team will be in touch with you every step of the way, advising on any required testing and providing links to any necessary forms.

Payments: Please send your final payment to us by the date shown on your invoice, unless your holiday falls under i) or ii) above, in which case our operations team will be in touch to discuss.

Should you book a holiday and the FCDO advice change to advise against all non-essential travel to that destination, we would offer you a full refund amongst other options.

All holidays and Day Trips within the United Kingdom will proceed as planned, adhering to Government rules and guidance at all times. If you are booked on a tour within the UK, please send us your final balance when due.

Our Covid-19 Cancellation Promise

  • Please be assured that if we ultimately have to cancel a tour due to a National Lockdown in the UK or Foreign Office (FCDO) Travel Advice, we will offer you a full cash refund or the option to transfer to a different departure. 
  • If you choose to cancel your holiday before we officially cancel a tour, our booking conditions will apply, although you may be able to claim back our cancellation charge from your insurer.
  • If you are unable to travel on your Naturetrek holiday because you, or your travelling companion, has tested positive for Covid-19 or due to UK government travel restrictions affecting your local area, we would ask you first to approach your travel insurer. If your claim is ultimately unsuccessful, we will offer you a full cash refund less any non-recoverable costs of your holiday. Our non-recoverable costs vary from tour to tour, but are likely to be limited to non-refundable flight costs (in which case a voucher may be available) and occasional hotel deposit payments.
  • Day trips are fully refundable for any of the above reasons up to and including the day of travel.

We hope this provides some clarity and reassurance.

Keeping you safe on holiday

We have adopted a series of important measures to keep our clients safe on tour. Your health and safety is our top priority, and so we are pleased to publish these guidelines to provide insight on what we will be doing on every Naturetrek tour to keep you safe. At all times we will be closely monitoring and adopting government advice and guidelines, and industry best practice, and regularly updating this policy accordingly. Of course, the vast majority of our holidays visit remote areas, well away from crowds of people, and once we have negotiated airports and got out of the cities, we rarely see many people at all!


Adaptations on Naturetrek Day Trips

  • Group transport is not provided on our Day Trips. As such, group members will need to use their own vehicles to move short distances between sites, if required.
  • Please bring your own lunch unless stated in your trip joining instructions/information. 
  • Please bring plenty of water, plus a thermos of hot drink if you wish, snacks, hand sanitiser, tissues, your own face mask (this will not be compulsory whilst we are out in the fresh air and wide open spaces throughout much of the day, but may be required on occasion e.g. inside visitor centres, using public toilets) along with anything else that you might need for the day. Suitable footwear (walking shoes or walking boots) will be essential, along with sensible layers, waterproofs and warm hats/gloves, sunhat/suncream etc. depending on the weather forecast. Binoculars are a must, and a telescope will be useful if you have one. You will need to be able to carry everything yourself.
  • Wherever possible, we will try to arrange comfort breaks during the day. More and more public toilets are now open again; please be stringent with hygiene when using public facilities.

Adaptations on multi-day Naturetrek Tours

  • We have been working closely with our accommodation providers around the world, and you will see many adaptations in place as a result, including amended arrival and check-out processes, enhanced cleaning measures, and changes to restaurant set ups. We will adhere to government regulations and guidance in our destination at all times, as well as respecting local etiquette.
  • When travelling by 9-seater minibus, we will be adhering to the current government rules regarding safe travel. You will be asked to keep to the same seat during the course of each day and to then rotate the following day. Your leader will clean the vehicle thoroughly at the end of each day (as well as sanitising door handles etc. during the course of the day). Social distancing requirements at the time of travel may mean that you will be required to wear a face covering during minibus travel.
  • Hand sanitiser will be available throughout all of our tours (though please ensure you bring a good supply yourself too, of at least 65% alcohol content), and we will enable regular hand-washing during the course of the day wherever possible. 
  • We are pleased to be able to provide room share arrangements again from 21st June, although our standard single room supplement will be charged if we are later unable to offer room sharing under Covid guidance and regulations.

Prior to departure…

Prior to travel, we will let you know of any specific requirements for travel or in your destination country. We will also let you know of expected screening requirements at arrival and departure airports, and of any specific health requirements relating to Covid-19 in your destination. If you have tested positive for Covid-19 (on a PCR or LFD test), you MUST NOT TRAVEL under any circumstances. This applies in the 10 days prior to departure, unless you have had two negative LFD tests, taken 24 hours apart, on Day 6 and Day 7 of your isolation period. Our cancellation policy, outlined above, would apply in these circumstances, but please do contact us in the Naturetrek office as soon as possible to discuss your booking.

The main symptoms of Covid-19 are:

  • A high temperature
  • A new, continuous cough
  • A loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste

Travel Insurance

We thoroughly recommend that you have adequate insurance in place that covers you for the following Covid-19 related scenarios:

  • If you are unable to travel because you or your travelling companion test positive for Covid-19. 
  • Emergency medical treatment if you test positive for Covid-19 overseas.
  • Additional accommodation and travel costs should you or your travelling companion test positive for Covid-19 and have to quarantine overseas. 

What to expect during air travel

For detailed guidance, please visit the FCDO’s safer air travel guidance for passengers web page prior to departure. Do remember that this way of travel is new to everyone! If you are unsure about anything or feel uneasy, just ask your tour leader or a member of the airport staff. They are there to help.

After your day trip or tour

As an additional precautionary measure we are operating our own Track & Trace system for all of our day trips and multi-day tours. If you test positive for Covid-19 test within 4 days of your trip, please let us know immediately, so that we can inform the other members of the group, asking them to also take a test.

A final word…

During the pandemic, thoughts of our network of wonderful guides and lodge/hotel owners around the world, spell-binding wildlife, stunning scenery, and friendships made while on tour continued to keep our spirits up. Far from ceasing communication online and in print, we have continued to work as normal and keep extremely busy with our Virtual Tours, Online Roadshows and social media updates, hoping that your day might be brightened by a presentation from one of our leaders, a live birding tour from somewhere around the world or a beautiful gallery of images. Do check our Twitter feedInstagram and Facebook page, for our latest news, and do please sign up to our e-news from the link on our homepage here if you do not already receive it. 

Since March 2020, we have been touched by so many messages of solidarity and support from Naturetrek clients and friends. We thank you all so much for your kind and supportive words throughout this time. The examples below are typical. 

With very best wishes from all the team here in Hampshire,
Andy Tucker (General Manager) and the Naturetrek Team


I would like to thank you most sincerely for the way Naturetrek has, and is, dealing with the Covid pandemic. The way that Naturetrek has returned our payments without any argument suggests that Naturetrek is a first class company. Being over 80 in my case I felt that we should request our payments back (one never knows!) and this was accepted without comment, though we hope to going on Naturetrek holidays for some years to come.

The contrast with other holiday makers, where constant disputes take place between airlines, travel companies, agencies and holiday insurance companies who try to retrospectively adjust their terms and conditions is quite staggering. "Which" and the daily papers are full of complaints about the underhand and "buck passing" tactics of the holiday industry, where innocent holiday makers are left thousands of pounds out of pocket.

Again many thanks for your efforts,

EG (booked to travel to Spain and Italy)


I cannot tell you how much respect I have for you and your company in allowing me to transfer my deposit to the other tours in this time of great upheaval. I did not expect this kindness and am immeasurably grateful. I consider you my tour company of choice despite living in Southern California and will continue to do so. I hope I will be able to reschedule the Peru trip when feasible and greatly hope things have settled by May 2021 for my next scheduled European tours with you.

Sincerely yours and with much appreciation,

GP (booked to travel to Peru)


I would like to thank Naturetrek as a company for the automatic refund of the payment for this year’s trip. I was expecting Naturetrek to hold on to the payment as early settlement for the new booking in order to help company cashflow. At a time of such upheaval within the travel industry as well as to all of our personal lives I think it is an indication of the professionalism and integrity of the company to be returning client money even though we have transferred our booking. I do hope it is also an indication of Naturetrek’s financial stability and resilience to withstand the current situation. We have high regard for the company and for each and every employee we have dealt with, and will certainly try and do a little to help the recovery by booking future trips with you. (Any excuse!)

I would be grateful if you would pass these comments on to your senior team.

IM (booked to travel to Spitsbergen)


I have been thinking a lot about you and all your colleagues at Naturetrek in these worrying and very challenging times. You have all worked so hard over so many years to give me and my fellow travellers truly wonderful experiences around the world. I will always be grateful to you all for giving me these holidays of a lifetime. Naturetrek is a great company full of friendly, enthusiastic, and ever-helpful people. You have helped support people, flora and fauna, and their environments worldwide. I’m looking forward to the holidays I’ve booked with Naturetrek and hope to have many more in the future.



Thank you for your email and the refund that we have received. We would like to say thank you to all of you at Naturetrek for the way you have handled the cancellation of our holiday (originally China and then rebooked to California!). All the way through, you have kept us informed, given us reasonable timescales, reassured us that we would receive our money and dealt with us in such a calm and friendly manner considering what an awful situation this is for all businesses. We have travelled with Naturetrek for quite a few years now. Occasionally there may have been things that didn't go to plan but we have always thoroughly enjoyed our trips. This experience has certainly left us with a sense that we are dealing with a trustworthy company that cares about being fair to its customers.

RM (booked to travel to China and California)


Thank you very much for all the work that you and others have done in clawing back our money for the cancelled trip... needless to say, we appreciate it very much!  Naturetrek is clearly a first-rate firm in every way, and we are already compiling the Naturetrek tours we want to take just as soon as it is once again safe to travel… we are your customers for the duration.

All the very best to you all… stay safe,

DM (booked to travel to India)


Many thanks for the refund for our cancelled holiday.  I’d also like to take this opportunity to say thank you for the way you, and Naturetrek, have handled this very difficult situation. There has not been a single point at which we have been worried that you would you would not look after us or treat us fairly and with all the reports in the press that cannot be said of all other travel agents.  It gives us even more confidence in Naturetrek as a company and we very much hope we will be able to travel with you in the future (hopefully this trip). In the meantime we’d like to say THANK YOU and ask that you pass our thanks and best wishes to everyone at Naturetrek.

Best wishes,

JD and AC (booked to travel to Italy)