Covid Travel update for UK Travellers (4th Oct 2021)

International travel is becoming easier as the UK and other destinations around the world begin to ease the restrictions of the past 18 months.

• As of October 4th, fully vaccinated UK travellers will no longer need to obtain a Covid test 72 hours prior to returning home from abroad, unless they have travelled to a country on the FCO red list. Travellers are now required to take only a single PCR test once they have returned home.

• The FCO red list countries have been reduced in number – and the amber and green designations removed entirely – which has had the effect of opening up a number of non-European destinations to UK travellers. This includes several countries that we specialise in at Gane and Marshall, such as Oman and Kenya!

• A number of countries that have been restricting entry to overseas visitors since the beginning of the pandemic have begun to ease their travel restrictions, or announced plans to do so in the coming months. These include Canada (now fully open to vaccinated UK travellers), Australia, Japan, and Sri Lanka, amongst other destinations.

Where can UK residents travel this winter?
As a result of the above, UK travellers can now consider a much larger number of destinations for travel this winter and early 2022 that were not possible even a month ago. Much of Europe remains open to vaccinated travellers from the UK, including the Azores (Portugal), Iceland, Spain, and Norway. Beyond Europe, countries such as Canada, Oman and Morocco have now opened to vaccinated UK travellers, while parts of South East Asia are expected to soon follow. Most excitingly for us at Gane and Marshall, the removal of Kenya from the FCO red list, and the easing of restrictions on international arrivals on the Kenyan side, means that East Africa is for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic a realistic travel prospect for UK travellers, though most of the continent still remains on the FCO red list despite destinations such as Namibia, Rwanda, and Uganda reporting very low rates of Covid.

There are of course still many caveats to consider if you are considering travel this winter, with extra bureaucracy involved in travel to all destinations and a large number of countries still shut to overseas visitors. Many travellers will understandably prefer to defer their holiday plans to the second half of 2022 or beyond, either out of necessity or because they would rather enjoy their holiday at a time when Covid isn’t a consideration. But for those keen to get away in the coming months, the list of possible destinations is now much larger than it has been at any point since the beginning of the pandemic.

Holiday planning with Gane and Marshall – visit the UK, Europe and selected long haul destinations
If you are considering a holiday for either late this year or 2022, please consider getting in touch with our team on 01822 600 600 or info@ganeandmarshall.com. Throughout the pandemic, we have been offering our clients impartial advice on where they can and cannot travel, as well as guidance on how best to navigate the Covid restrictions, and we would be delighted to help you plan your winter escape!

Photos & highlights from the #walkingsbrilliant Coast to Coast Hadrian’s Wall Challenge

We completed the Coast to Coast Hadrian’s Wall Challenge last month, reaching the sea at Little Haven Beach, South Shields, on 18th July.

The #walkingsbrilliant group was amazing. Comprised of several ex-pro footballers and other folk connected to the world of football, the group trek was undertaken to support the W.A.T.C.H. non-profit organisation, which raises funds for mental health charities and the NHS.

The challenge was over five trekking days, with each day of the trek being around 30kms, or 18 to 19 miles, and of course we did this over 5 days back to back! The total distance covered was around 90 miles / 144kms. It was a tough and demanding walk, but the group were well-prepared.

Continue reading Photos & highlights from the #walkingsbrilliant Coast to Coast Hadrian’s Wall Challenge

the Hadrian’s Wall Coast to Coast Trek in support of W.A.T.C.H. sets off!

Today marked the first day of the Hadrian’s Wall Coast to Coast trek in support of W.A.T.C.H. The 5-day expedition will see a team of ex pro footballers trek 85 miles across some of the most beautiful regions of northern England over the course of 5 days, as they complete the classic route from Bowness-on-Solway, near Carlisle, to Newcastle. The team are walking under the banner of W.A.T.C.H., a non-profit that aims to raise awareness about mental health issues in ex-athletes, and will be raising money for NHS and Mental Health Charities.

Our own Jeremy Gane is completing the walk with the group, and sent us the following update from day 1 of the trek:

“Walkings Brilliant is their motto and 13 brilliant walkers they were. Led by ex pro football celebrities Mark “Big Norm” Crossley, Dean Windass, Nigel Jemson, Chris Kirkland, Steve Howey, Jon Parkin, and cheered on by comedian Gaz Marshall, the walkers managed the first day with energy, humour, and a few blisters, as they trekked 29.4kms from Bowness-on-Sea to Low Crosby. This first day of this tough trek gives a great indication of fitness levels, and the serious training they had done was evident. Tomorrow a tougher challenge with the 30kms undulating trek from Low Crosby to Cawfields Quarry. Tonight a beer and a chance to rest those aching legs.”

We’ll aim to have more updates, along with photos, on our blog as the group continue their journey through rural Cumbria and Northumberland towards Newcastle. You can also follow the group on social media at https://twitter.com/walkingsbrill and via #walkingsbrilliant!

Holidaying Abroad – your questions answered

The UK government has now removed the ban on international travel and reinstated a traffic light system, with different rules governing travel to and from countries depending on their status – green, amber or red. The reintroduction of the traffic light system has opened up the prospect of travel to a number of destinations, but it has also led to some confusion as to where and when UK travellers can travel this summer. Below, we have tried to answer some of the questions we have been receiving and to offer guidance on what is and isn’t permissible for British nationals looking to travel abroad in the coming months, based on the current advice from the UK foreign office.

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Climbing Kilimanjaro

CLIMBING AND TREKKING IN EAST AFRICA – where, how and why.
Part Three – Climbing Kilimanjaro

In the third of our blogs on climbing and trekking in East Africa, Jeremy Gane looks back fondly on 30 years of leading and organising Kilimanjaro climbs.

I often think of the vast, wild, high slopes of Kilimanjaro. Volcanic rock broken down by millennia of cold and wind to become a moonscape of fractured pinnacles and high-altitude desert. I love so much those higher slopes when I climb Kilimanjaro, these wild and wonderful places, where solitary raptors soar above, shy antelope, and occasionally even a leopard may cross the trail. It is peaceful there.

Continue reading Climbing Kilimanjaro

Trekking and climbing in kenya

CLIMBING AND TREKKING IN EAST AFRICA – where, how and why.
Part Two – Trekking and climbing in Kenya

South of Ethiopia is found Africa’s original safari destination and also a mecca for rock climbers, mountaineers and trekkers. My first visit to Kenya was in the late Nineties when the famous climber Mark Savage helped me organise a trek on Mount Kenya to Point Lenana – the trekkers’ peak . I recall a leaky tent, awful food and reaching Point Lenana in a heavy snowstorm. Yet, the incredible beauty of the Mount Kenya massif enthralled me. In particular the twin peaks of Nelion and Batian – the technical summits of the mountain. Back then I had no experience of rock climbing and those awesome peaks were totally off limits for me. Much later in 2015 and 2016 I was to return to attempt the technical summits of Mount Kenya – Batian and Nelion. My first and poor attempt on Batian was followed by a happier climb up to Nelion Peak and the Gate of Mists.

Continue reading Trekking and climbing in kenya

TREKKING IN Ethiopia

CLIMBING AND TREKKING IN EAST AFRICA – where, how and why.
Part One – The Rift Valley and Trekking in Ethiopia

The Great African Rift is a set of wonderful geological features that can be seen from space. The Rift Valley connects Arabia to Ethiopia to Kenya to Tanzania, and so onwards south to Mozambique.

Fom the lands around the African Rift Valley come our ancestors, the earliest known hominids to walk the earth. To go full circle and to return there is a privilege which asks in return our respect for the many eco-systems of Africa.

Continue reading TREKKING IN Ethiopia

FROM KILIMANJARO TO THE MATTERHORN – By Jeremy Gane

In almost 30 years of working in adventure travel – from 1991 to 2020 – I have had the luck to climb across East Africa, in the Himalayas, in South America, in Europe and the UK. I learned to climb and trek at high altitude when I was middle-aged, and even now in old age I hope to carry on climbing for as long as possible. In fact, a return to Kilimanjaro and a third crack at Mawenzi – little known, but still Africa’s third highest peak – is next on my list! In this series of posts, I will look back on some of my climbing experiences so far. In doing so, I hope to illustrate how middle and old age need not be a barrier to climbing, and how anyone can also climb and trek these wonderful worldwide peaks. The posts will also look forward to after Corona, when climbing and trekking peaks will once again be open – and wild and beautiful as ever.

Continue reading FROM KILIMANJARO TO THE MATTERHORN – By Jeremy Gane

Client Feedback: Rhodedendrons in bloom in the Annapurna Himalayas

Phil and Patti travelled with us to Nepal in March-April of this year on a lodge-based trek in the Annapurna region – their third such journey with Gane and Marshall! They were kind enough to share with us some of their photos, which really capture the beauty of the Annapurna region at this time of year – a time associated with blue skies and the spectacular rhododendron bloom.

Many thanks to Phil and Patti!

Client Feedback: Tanzania Family Safari VLOG, by Amy and Sofia Daniels

Amy and Sofia Daniels travelled to Tanzania with us in July on a family safari, covering the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire and Lake Manyara.

Whilst there, Amy and Sofia “vlogged” their entire trip, uploading a 4-part series of their travels to youtube. The in-depth videos, which we’re delighted to share on our blog, highlight wonderfully the appeal of northern Tanzania at this time of year, and the experience of a family safari.

You can find the individual videos embedded below, and also on Amy’s youtube channel.

Part 1: TANZANIA VLOG | AMY DANIELS & SOFIA DANIELS

Travel there, Rivertrees Country Lodge, and half day drive in Lake Manyara National Park

Part 2: TANZANIA VLOG | AMY DANIELS & SOFIA DANIELS

Tour of tents in the Serengeti, half day and full day drives in the Serengeti, special footage of elephants at the end of the day when we were super up close

Part 3: TANZANIA VLOG | AMY DANIELS & SOFIA DANIELS

Leaving the Serengeti, mini tour of our room and view at Marera Valley Lodge, full day drive in Ngorongoro Crater

Part 4: TANZANIA VLOG | AMY DANIELS & SOFIA DANIELS

Tour of accommodation at Roika Tented Lodges in Tarangire, afternoon game drive in Tarangire, really up close with elephants again, final day at Arusha Country Lodge, tour of Shanga social enterprise

Thank you to Amy and Sofia for sharing with us their footage!