At Intrepid, the safety of our travellers, leaders and operators is a major priority.
Since our very first days as a tour operator, travelling responsibly and safely has been at the heart of everything we do. With this in mind, we monitor world events very closely. Intrepid makes operational decisions based on informed advice from a number of sources.
Current travel alerts
Panama is currently experiencing protests and demonstrations across the country in response to a new government-approved copper mine. Since 29 October protests have escalated, including extensive roadblocks, fuel and supply shortages, riots and looting. Foreign Travel Advice levels have not changed overall, with current advice that intercity travel and protests should be avoided.
As such, we have made the decision to cancel our Costa Rica & Panama Discovery departures up until and including 16 December 2023 (QVRC231216). Affected customers are in the process of being notified.
We are continuing to monitor the situation on the ground in Panama daily. While we are hopeful that the situation stabilizes and our future departures will be able to travel through Panama as planned, contingencies have been put in place in the event that our itineraries need to be rerouted and customers will be informed should any changes or cancellations be required.
An on-ground safety assessment was conducted the week of 13 November 2023, and we are pleased to advise that tours scheduled to depart from 1 December 2023 will operate as per their normal itinerary, and will no longer be rerouted away from the Atlas Mountains.
This includes the Mount Toubkal Winter Trek (XMXOW) which will recommence from 1 December 2023.
The political and security situation in Ethiopia remains uncertain due to civil unrest, particularly in the Tigray and neighboring regions, unfortunately without signs that the situation will improve in the near future. Government travel advisories from our key source markets continue to advise against travel to many of the destinations on our itinerary, and an alternative itinerary would require substantial rerouting and safety auditing.
We have made the decision to cancel all departures to Ethiopia until 31 August 2024. Customers booked to travel to Ethiopia on affected departures are in the process of being notified.
We will continue to closely monitor the situation with our on-ground team and will review our ability to operate tours in Ethiopia from September 2024 over the next few months.
CONFLICT IN ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES
There has been a major escalation in the long-running conflict between Israel and Palestine. All Intrepid travellers and tour leaders in the region have been confirmed safe. Due to ongoing safety concerns in the region, departures of the following trips will be cancelled commencing up to and including 1 March 2024:
ENSI Discover Israel & the Palestinian Territories
ENPI Premium Israel & the Palestinian Territories
ENYI Five Days in Israel & the Palestinian Territories
EUZF Real Food Adventure Israel & the Palestinian Territories
ENKI Classic Israel & the Palestinian Territories
All affected customers have been contacted to discuss options and to assist with travel arrangements.
All Private Group departures commencing up to and including 31 January 2024 will also be cancelled.
TRAVEL IN EGYPT AND JORDAN
Following incidents involving projectiles in Taba and Nuweiba on 27 October 2023, travel advice levels for some areas of the Sinai Peninsula have increased. We have made changes to Jordan & Egypt Express (EERJ) and Jordan & Egypt Uncovered (EERCC) to avoid affected areas. Customers travelling on these trips will be advised of these changes. There have been no changes to the overall travel advice levels for Egypt and Jordan.
All other Intrepid trips in Egypt & Jordan are running as scheduled. For other trips covering Egypt, Jordan and Israel & Palestinian Territories, the Egypt and Jordan section of the itinerary will run as scheduled. We have contacted all customers booked to travel before 1 March 2024 on combination trips in the region that include Israel & Palestinian Territories regarding revised travel arrangements.
On Friday 8 September an earthquake of magnitude 6.8 occurred with an epicentre 70km southwest of Marrakech. The earthquake was felt across multiple cities in Morocco, with the Atlas Mountains and the old city (medina) of Marrakech the most affected areas. Most of the country remains unaffected, with transport and other services continuing to operate as normal, including airports. All our travellers, leaders and staff are safe and accounted for. There have been no changes overall to foreign travel advice levels for Morocco, with governments advising to avoid affected areas.
Tours scheduled to depart from 13th September will operate, with the following adjustments for 2023 until further notice:
- Trips scheduled to visit the Atlas Mountains will be rerouted. We have updated the itineraries for each trip on our website with the current changes. The affected trips are:
Best of Morocco Family Holiday (XMFB) Day 8 Imlil
Morocco Family Holiday (XMFE) Day 2 Aroumd & Days 3-4 Taroudant
Premium Morocco in Depth (XMPE) Day 12 Ouirgane & Day 13 Tahanaout
Premium Morocco in Depth with Essaouira (XMPHC) Day 12 Ouirgane & Day 13 Tahanaout
Premium Morocco Explorer (XMPF) Days 8-9 Imlil
Premium Morocco Explorer with Essaouira (XMPFC) Days 8-9 Imlil
Best of Morocco (XMSC) Day 10 Aroumd
South Morocco Discovery (XMSF) Day 2 Aroumd, Day 6-7 Oulad Berhil & Taroudant
Morocco Encompassed (XMSQC) Day 10 Aroumd, Day 14-15 Oulad Berhil & Taroudant
Spain, Portugal & Morocco (ZMSQC) Day 16 Aroumd, Day 20-21 Oulad Berhil & Taroudant
Morocco: Hike & Bike (XMXM) Days 2-3 Imlil, Aroumd, Ouirgane
Five Days in Morocco (XMYB 2023) Day 2 Aroumd
Epic Morocco (XMYCC 2023) Day 9 High Atlas, Day 12 Aroumd
One Week in Morocco: Sahara & Todra Gorge (XMYD) Days 5-6 Aroumd
Real Morocco (XMYDC) Days 5-6 Aroumd
Essential Morocco (XMYM) Day 9 High Atlas
- Some Marrakech accommodation in the old city has been relocated to new areas of the city while safety assessments are being completed. Any additional accommodation will also be rebooked.
- After safety assessment, Marrakech medina & old city walking tours have now resumed, avoiding sights that were affected by the earthquake.
The following trips have been cancelled for the remainder of 2023 due to primarily visiting impacted areas in the Atlas Mountains. Affected customers have been contacted:
Mount Toubkal Trek (XMXO)
Morocco Retreat (XMLO)
Mount Toubkal Winter Trek (XMXOW) - An on-ground safety assessment was conducted the week of 13 November 2023 and this trip has been deemed safe to proceed from 1 December 2023.
There have been ongoing protests across many cities and towns in Iran since September 2022. The response of security forces has been severe, and many protesters and bystanders have been detained or killed. There's been an increase in the number of foreign nationals arrested. Foreign travel advisories from the USA, Australia, UK and Canada continue to recommend against travel to Iran, based on ongoing safety concerns.
The safety of our travellers is of paramount importance and based on this advice we have cancelled all 2023 & 2024 departures to Iran. Customers booked to travel in 2024 are in the process of being notified. We will continue to review the safety of operating tours to Iran in the future on an ongoing basis.
Since September 2022 there have been continuing disputes and conflict in the border regions between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Travel within each country remains unaffected, but due to the ongoing tensions and security situation, crossing the border is not currently possible.
All Intrepid trips that include crossing the Kyrgyzstan/Tajikistan border have been cancelled until further notice. We will review the possibility of resuming this route in 2024 should there be progress made between the two countries on restoring relations and border demarcation.
All other trips to Central Asia continue to operate as normal, including the Five Stans Express, which enters Tajikistan by crossing overland from Uzbekistan and exits with a flight to Almaty in Kazakhstan.
The Myanmar military assumed control of the country and declared a state of emergency on 1 February 2021. There has been a significant increase in violence with many deaths, injuries and arrests. Intrepid Travel strongly condemns the ongoing violence and human rights abuses in Myanmar. Due to the continuing civil unrest and armed conflict, we have halted all travel to Myanmar until 2024. The decision to resume operations in Myanmar will be based on the safety of travellers, staff and local communities and will next be reviewed in late 2023.
After a period of civil unrest following the change of government in December 2022, which resulted in the suspension of our tours to Peru temporarily. All Intrepid tours have resumed from 1 March 2023. Some tensions remain, with Puno continuing to experience some occasional ongoing political unrest. With safety always our priority, on some departures, we may need to use alternative transportation to avoid affected areas. Travellers will be informed by their local tour leader in country should any specific changes to transport or the itinerary be required.
UKRAINE, RUSSIA, BELARUS & MOLDOVA
Our thoughts and hearts are with the people of Ukraine, including our own team members, tour leaders and their families, who have been deeply impacted by the senseless war and invasion of Ukraine. The Intrepid Foundation launched an emergency appeal in partnership with Australian Red Cross to provide support (food, water, shelter & medicine) within Ukraine and assistance for displaced people in surrounding counties. The appeal raised over $150,000 AUD.
Due to the war, Intrepid is not currently operating any tours to Ukraine, Russia, Belarus & Moldova, and tours in these countries have been cancelled for the foreseeable future. We condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the Russian government’s aggression toward Ukraine and its people.
Any future decisions to resume operations in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus & Moldova will be based not only on the safety of our travelers and the communities we visit, but the stability of Europe and a clear path to peace for all innocent and oppressed people who have fallen victim to this violence. We hope for a peaceful path out of this crisis and are continuing to monitor the situation closely.
Intrepid follows government travel advisories from our key traveller markets when making decisions about operating trips in destinations. As the advice may differ depending on your location, it is important to consult your own local foreign travel advisory when considering if travel to a destination is permitted or appropriate for you.
Canada: Travel Advice and Advisories
New Zealand: SafeTravel
United Kingdom: Foreign Travel Advice
United States: US Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs
Entry, health and visa requirements
Get the latest information on travel documents and visa requirements, plus local government COVID-19 vaccination and quarantine policies around the world.
How we monitor safety on our trips
We constantly monitor global issues, ensuring we have an in-depth understanding of the areas we visit. With multiple operational offices around the world in a variety of destinations, Intrepid has access to real-time safety updates and information within the countries we travel to. These staff are available to provide support to travellers on the ground if required.
Get in touch
If you have any concerns, you can contact our support team online or over the phone.
Writing a story? Find official company statements on global incidents by visiting the Intrepid Newsroom.