The new offering from Roar Africa is lavish, even for the safari outfitter’s well-heeled, often well-known clientele. With Roar Privé, they can experience an eight-day safari in South Africa without coming into contact with another human—except for their private pilots, guide, butler, chef, and whomever they choose to bring along.

These very socially distant safaris start at $60,000 per person. Since early May, Roar has sold them to a half-dozen groups for the year-end “festive” season and beyond. 

“I would never have thought to put it out there [during normal times],” says Roar chief executive Deborah Calmeyer, because of the additional cost of the trips. But these are not normal times and, in this moment, the appeal goes beyond exclusivity. “I’m so fearful for our wildlife and the people dependent on travelers coming back. Whatever we have to create to make it safe, that’s what we’re going to do.” 

The coronavirus crisis has all but shut down travel around the world and across the board. The number of people going through U.S. Transportation Security Administration checkpoints has dropped by some 95% since the start of March. That month, private jet companies began turning away customers as international borders closed.

It’s still unclear when shuttered resorts, airports, and borders will reopen. But wealthy jetsetters are betting that by November or December, travel will be somewhat normal—and that spending additional dollars can keep them sufficiently safe.

“We had several weeks of crickets … not a single request,” says Brooke Lavery, co-owner of New York-based travel consultancy Local Foreigner. “Probably two weeks ago [in early May] is when it really started to come back.”

Some of the earliest requests are coming from clients who have the means to fly privately. Aside from being at reduced risk of infection, these travelers are also unaffected by flight cancellations or other airline disruptions. “At the drop of a hat, they could get themselves out if they needed it,” she explains. “They’re more free.”

Resorts that are set up to accommodate private aircraft, such as Petit Saint Vincent in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, are likely to see a corresponding boost. Almost all of the 22 cottages on the 115-acre private island are booked for the year-end holidays.

In the U.S., the 12-cabin Dunton Hot Springs resort in Dolores, Colo., near Telluride, is sold-out for Christmas. In Aspen, Colo., the Little Nell’s director of sales, Mark Elias, reports: “We currently have twice the number of rooms confirmed for the holiday week, Dec. 24 to Jan. 2, as we did at the same time last year.”

Auberge Resorts, which has hotels in Los Cabos in Mexico’s Baja California and in Napa Valley, Calif., has seen a 50% year-over-year increase in holiday booking inquiries. And while summer requests for yacht charters have been down at Northrop & Johnson, marketing manager Janine St. Denis says the 2020 winter season is matching the 2019 pace.

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