September 3, 2014
Recently we’ve had a few guests express concerns over the cases of Ebola being reported in West Africa and how and if that might impact their trips with Africa Dream Safaris. First off, our hearts and prayers go out to the impacted individuals and their loved ones. To date there have 3,500 cases of Ebola reported in West Africa including 1,900 deaths.
We understand there is concern over these tragic events but we would like to assure our guests the affected areas in West Africa have had zero impact on East Africa including Tanzania, Kenya or Uganda. There is no Ebola in Tanzania or anywhere near the areas where we operate our safaris. Furthermore, we have not received any cancellations due to concerns about Ebola and rightfully so. Since there appears to be a a lot of myths and confusion on the Internet about Ebola, we have found this article by NBC News entitled “Why are Americans so scared of Ebola” to be very helpful.
Keep in mind that Ebola is not airborne nor is it transmitted casually (one has to have intimate contact with blood or body fluids). This is similar to the way AIDS is transmitted. There are more deaths in Africa attributable to AIDS during a single day then all the Ebola deaths combined since its inception in 1976. Sadly, over 1.2 million deaths in Africa from AIDS were reported in 2011.
Please note that the affected areas of West Africa are thousands of miles away from the famous safari circuits of Tanzania including the Serengeti National Park. Much of Europe is actually closer to the affected areas of West Africa then the Serengeti. The distance between Liberia and Arusha, Tanzania is 3,567 miles.
Furthermore, there is no viable land route from the affected areas to where we operate our safaris and there are no direct flights between the affected areas and Tanzania. Kenya Airways the primary airline that would connect East and West Africa, has suspended all flights to the infected countries through Nairobi-Kenya, the African Hub, out of an abundance of caution.
Please see the below map that illustrates the vastness of the African continent compared to other countries.
* Map Created by Cartographer Kenneth Field, Kingston University London
Per the World Health Organization, even if a safari did include the affected areas of West Africa (which they do not), the actual risk is incredibly low:
The World Health Organization (WHO) states: ‘The risk of a tourist or businessman/woman becoming infected with Ebola virus during a visit to the affected areas and developing disease after returning is extremely low, even if the visit included travel to the local areas from which primary cases have been reported. Transmission requires direct contact with blood, secretions, organs or other body fluids of infected living or dead persons or animal, all unlikely exposures for the average traveler’s.’
We do hope that some good will yet come out of this tragedy in West Africa in that the significant media attention may raise awareness on the greatly underfunded and inadequate medical facilities that exist in Africa. Though there is no denying the horrible situation in the affected Ebola areas of West Africa, the much larger humanitarian crisis in Africa still remains AIDS and many other widespread and easily treatable conditions and diseases.
See below for official notification of Ebola free status in Tanzania.