From time to time travel conditions in the countries we operate in can and do change. The safety and well being of our clients and staff is always of paramount importance to us and there are times when we are called upon to consider either cancelling trips or making changes to our itineraries to avoid problem areas.
- Peregrine makes these decisions based on information obtained from the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT) travel advisory and our own Local Operators, who are able to provide us with up to the minute information on the mood and feel within Country. Other important sources of information we consider include travel advisories from other foreign government websites including:
- New Zealand
- United States
- World Health Organisation
- Peregrine will not operate tours when the Australian Government travel advisory reaches level 4 ‘Do Not Travel’.
- Where possible and safe to do so, Peregrine will reroute itineraries to avoid the areas concerned and additional costs may be incurred.
- Decisions to cancel or re-route upcoming tours are made on a rolling basis, as situations and DFAT advice can change at any time. Where the advice is temporarily at ‘Do Not Travel’, we will review the status of our tours approximately 2 weeks prior to departure.
On the 12th of September, a 6.5 magnitude Earthquake hit the area of Puntarenas in Costa Rica, (which is about 60 miles southwest of the capital of San Jose).
So far, there have been no reports of injuries, deaths or major infrastructure damage. We had no Peregrine groups in this area and all local staff are safe. Our trips will continue to run as scheduled. Our next Peregrine departure is not until the 18th November (Amazing Costa Rica – PSCR). Please contact your booking agent if you have any specific question in this regard.
Madagascar is experiencing a new plague outbreak which has been ongoing since August 2017. Plague is endemic in Madagascar and cases have been reported nearly every year since 1980, between the months of September and April.
Two forms of plague are present in Madagascar: the bubonic plague and the pneumonic plague. The first one is transmitted from animals to human beings via flea bites. The second one is transmitted from person to person by inhaling infectious droplets. In both cases, the illness can be cured with standard antibiotics, available in the country.
WHO advises against any restriction on travel or trade on Madagascar based on the available information. It recommends travellers take some basic precautions which our outlined on their website: http://www.who.int/csr/don/02-october-2017-plague-madagascar/en/
The Australian Government’s level of travel advice for Madagascar has not changed. Similarly they recommend that travellers practice good hygiene and speak to their health provider before travelling.
Based on this advice Peregrine will not be cancelling any of our departures. We will however be suspending any city center market visits in Antananarivo, and Tamatave. In addition we recommend travellers have their meals in tourist hotels and restaurants where the sanitary conditions are strictly controlled.
We will continue to monitor the situation closely via our local operations team, and government advice. Should there be any changes we will update this page.
There have been reports that a number of diplomats became ill after a suspected sonic attack against US government officials in Havana recently. These attacks reportedly occurred in both the homes of government officials and in hotels where American diplomats were staying. No Peregrine travellers have been affected by the incident and all Peregrine itineraries in Cuba are currently operating as normal.
A 7.1 Earthquake hit the city of Puebla yesterday, 19th September, also damaging Mexico City and surrounding cities.
Flights were suspended into the capital until the Mexico City airport infrastructure was evaluated, but has since reopened at 5pm local time on the 19th and flights have resumed. Will are still collecting reports from our ground team and local authorities but so far all our hotels in Mexico have reported undamaged and unaffected.
We had no groups in this area and all of local staff are safe. At this stage all of our trips will continue to run as scheduled. Our next Peregrine departure is not until the 30th September (Mexico in Depth – PSMI). Please contact your booking agent if you have any specific question in this regard.
All information we have now received from our on ground team as well as local authorities indicate that Cuba is very much up and running as normal once more after the pass of Hurricane Irma.
Due to attacks in northern Rakhine State, and increased tensions in Rakhine State overall, many travel advisories warn against travel to this area.
No Peregrine tours visit or travel near Rakhine State. We continue to monitor the situation through official travel advisories and our local operations team. If there should be any changes to the situation you will be advised immediately. We recommend that you check your Government's advice for their latest travel information.
There has been much media attention on the Korean peninsula following a series of North Korean missile tests in 2016 and 2017, including a recent nuclear test on 3rd September 2017. We are working closely with local embassies and government authorities, including Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT) to monitor and react to any changes in their current travel advice for this region. All Peregrine trips in north east Asia, including Japan and China are currently continuing to operate as normal and in accordance with our usual safety and risk procedures.
Indian authorities recently announced that all 500 and 1,000 rupee banknotes were to be withdrawn from circulation, effective immediately.
This change in currency has led to the removal of around 80% of the currency in circulation. Please do not rely on ATM’s or the bank to withdrawn money in India at this time.
We suggest all travellers bring foreign currency to change upon arrival in India.
Please also use ATM’s at the airport on arrival. There is a reported limit of inr2500 per card per day. Banks have a reported limit of inr4000 per day. This amount can change daily.
Our leaders are assisting travellers by using restaurants and café’s that accept credit card.
Until new notes are issued, you should not accept any denomination higher than 100 rupees (around AUD 2).
Please note that this is a nationwide issue in India at the moment. Reports from the Indian Government suggest that there could be flow on effects for several weeks until all ATM’s are reconfigured to accept new inr500 and inr2000 notes.
Please keep up to date with your countries travel advice page for India.
Recent reports advise there has been ongoing transmission of Zika virus in areas of the Philippines and Vietnam.
This advice covers all regions affected by the Zika virus.
The World Health Organization (WHO), has confirmed an outbreak of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in several parts of Central and South America, and is also reporting the ongoing spread of the virus to other parts of the world, including Asia.
WHO does not consider Zika to be a pandemic, like SARS or Ebola. Based on available evidence, the WHO is not recommending any travel or trade restrictions related to Zika virus disease.
Specific areas affected
Central, South America and the Caribbean – All countries other than Cuba, Argentina and Chile.
Asia & the Pacific – American Samoa, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam & Singapore.
Symptoms & Treatment
The symptoms of Zika may include fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise, and headache. These symptoms are usually mild and last for 2-7 days. Zika virus disease is usually relatively mild and requires no specific treatment.
Zika virus diagnosis can only be confirmed by laboratory testing.
People sick with Zika virus should get plenty of rest, drink enough fluids, and treat pain and fever with common medicines. If symptoms worsen, they should seek medical care and advice. There is currently no vaccine available.
According to the WHO, Zika is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito and generally not spread person to person; however there is currently no vaccine or preventative drug available against this virus.
The best way to prevent Zika is to avoid mosquito bites by:
- Wearing long sleeves and pants (preferably light coloured)
- Use insect repellents when outdoors
Health authorities have confirmed the link between Zika virus in pregnant women and microcephaly (a smaller than normal skull) in their babies. Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should take extra care to protect themselves from mosquito bites.
In line with the above health warnings, Peregrine recommends all women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant to consult with their doctors before booking their trip to a region affected by the Zika virus.
Changes to bookings
The following change and cancellation fees apply to pregnant women currently booked to travel on a trip to a region affected by the Zika virus (as listed at the top of this advice).
- To transfer funds to another trip to another region an no extra fee*
- To postpone trip dates at no extra fee*
- Cancellations within 30 days from departure: loss of deposit applies to cover unrecoverable on ground costs (a note from a doctor confirming pregnancy is required)*
- Cancellations outside 30 days from departure: no cancellation fees apply (a note from a doctor confirming pregnancy is required)*
*exceptions may apply to Antarctica bookings.
Please contact your booking agent for more information in this regard and to make any amendments to your booking.
More information on the Zika virus can be found at the following links –
World Health Organisation: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/zika/en/
Centers for Disease, Control and Prevention: http://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00385.asp