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Impact of Ebola on safari bookings?

Ebola Africa Zaire

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#41 Michael Lorentz

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 06:32 AM

This is an interesting letter from David Ryan, CEO of Rhino Africa on the Ebola issue and it potential collateral damage: http://www.tourismup...px?newsId=74374


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#42 madaboutcheetah

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 06:44 AM

Nothing I've seen in the news associates the other countries with the Ebola epidemic ........... Problem is people broadbrush, "Africa" ....... I guess the media too with statements like, "First Ebola related death outside Africa" etc etc.,

 


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#43 COSMIC RHINO

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 07:11 AM

People are over generalising too much, it is confined to a few countries in West Africa, perhaps some of the people who are thinking all of Africa  is under threat are those who call Africa a country.

 

this being said  the situation is serious

 

WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told a top-level forum in Washington, D.C., that the Ebola outbreak is unlike anything he’s seen since the AIDS epidemic.

“I would say that in the 30 years I’ve been working in public health, the only thing like this has been AIDS,” Frieden said before the heads of the United Nations, World Bank and International Monetary Fund, according to AFP.

 

Frieden added: “We have to work now so that it is not the world’s next AIDS.”

http://washington.cb...rlds-next-aids/

 

there is no general risk, you have to be exposed to some who has the condition, move dead bodies and eating bush meat is not a good idea

 

It needs a whold lot of resources in a hurry to get it under control. 

 

A volunteer Red Cross nurse in Australia  who had worked in clinics with emola patients had a fever on rteturn home, was isolated in a hospital and has been cleared by a pathology test.

 

When al is said and done the greatest risk associated with safari travel is probably getting rundown by aggressive cars in the city nairobi, Jhburg, Cape Town etc when you arrived a day or so early before going onto wildlife reserves.   

 

here are some other reports 

 

EBOLA, THE AFRICAN UNION AND BIOECONOMIC WARFARE
Health questions and the challenges for Africa
Horace G. Campbell

Comprehensive public education about Ebola is required, including its possible links to biological warfare research in the West. As for the response to the present outbreak in West Africa, the AU and ECOWAS have horribly failed the people of that region and Africa.
http://www.pambazuka.../features/93093
******


WANTED: FAR-SIGHTED AFRICAN LEADERSHIP AGAINST EBOLA
Akong Charles Ndika

The Ebola outbreak is a "Rwanda moment" for Africa. But leadership on this issue from around the continent has been at best too little too late, exposing Africa external militarization of responses to the epidemic that could creep into other important policy spheres like the economy or upset the regional geopolitical balance
http://www.pambazuka.../features/93106
******

 


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#44 ngoko

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 01:07 PM

@ngoko

 

 

 

My personal view is that we should all get on with our lives and continue to book safaris for next year. If for any reason the analysis is wrong and Ebola has gone globally viral by next year I think we will all have bigger things to worry about than a cancelled safari. 

 Cancelling a trip is an expensive option...You dont get 100% of your money back if you cancel a trip and going on safari is for many people a very expensive trip

 

There is probably an overreaction but on the other side, it should not be underestimated. I wonder sometimes how much is really known about this virus 

http://www.dailymail...ily-fluids.html but maybe we should start another topic to discuss specifically about general news related Ebola

 

To come back to the main topic, I see lots of special offers (stay 3, pay 2...) already for July-October 2015 in top camps, something i don t remember to have seen in the past at this time of the year. 

I certainly didn't mean to come across as blasé about the cost of safaris and the potential for cancellation fees. I am extremely aware that safaris are often very expensive and for many will be a once in a lifetime event. It was a slightly flippant point that if Ebola has spread throughout Africa by next year then I'm sure it will also be a similar situation in the US, Europe and the rest of the world. So we will indeed have rather more serious concerns.

 

You mention cancellation fees and that is an important point. I suspect very few of us would be covered on our travel insurance for cancellation due to Ebola, but it is perhaps worth asking the question. However if cancellation was due to a government travel advisory against travel to the country I would be very surprised if tour operators, travel agents, airlines or camps actually imposed their cancellation terms. In my experience the industry is normally as flexible as possible, and the costs in such situations are largely borne by the suppliers. I doubt very much that at this stage any operators would be prepared to announce a policy in the event of Ebola becoming an issue but it may be worth asking the question, you might find that you can book your safari with less onerous cancellation terms or a specific clause in respect of Ebola. Just a thought... 


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#45 Game Warden

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 01:10 PM

@ngoko Very good point Fiona re the cancellation fees and ebola. Are clients / potential clients expressing this concern?


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#46 predator

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 01:42 PM

It doesnt surprise me that people are panicking but anyone with common sense will realise you're a lot more likely to be killed crossing the road than you are to get Ebola.  Flu kills huge numbers every year - Ebola manages a fraction of that and people worry about it to extremes yet don't give flu a second thought.  Similarly Malaria is a much bigger killer than Ebola.  The sad fact is that sensational stories sell newspapers and get audience figures on tv, so thats what the press give us.

 

While I can see Kenya and Tanzania suffering as people are put off places with lots of visitors - and they do seem to focus on high visitor number tourism, places like Botswana and Namibia have low poipluation densities and lower visitor numbers, so I'd argue it's a good time to go there on safari - you'll come into contact with less people in a month there than you will in a few days in a city in the UK or US



#47 ngoko

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 02:03 PM

@ngoko Very good point Fiona re the cancellation fees and ebola. Are clients / potential clients expressing this concern?

I have only had two clients so far expressing concern about Ebola. One was a Chinese group who were very panicked in the very early stages of the Ebola crisis. They still traveled (to South Africa) but I suspect it would be different now. The other was one of our regular US guests travelling to Tanzania who wanted reassurance for her family who were worried about her trip (although she had no concerns personally). I haven't experienced any clients not booking due to Ebola concerns or asking about cancellation fees but new enquiries are perhaps a bit slower than normal...this may or may not be Ebola related.


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#48 madaboutcheetah

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 02:15 PM

@predator - Kenya and Tanzania can also be done the Botswana/Namibia way ...... One can easily avoided the crowded parks/zones with better planning. I'm a huge Botswana fan too ....... I don't think Kenya has anything lacking by any stretch.  Sorry, that was going off-topic .......

 

Thinking of @ngoko s comment above ....... The chinese are all over Africa at the moment - I hope they send back a positive message home.


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#49 ngoko

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 03:45 PM

@predator - Kenya and Tanzania can also be done the Botswana/Namibia way ...... One can easily avoided the crowded parks/zones with better planning. I'm a huge Botswana fan too ....... I don't think Kenya has anything lacking by any stretch.  Sorry, that was going off-topic .......

 

Thinking of @ngoko s comment above ....... The chinese are all over Africa at the moment - I hope they send back a positive message home.

Sadly in my case they absconded from their wonderful safari lodge in order to go to Sun City for a night :(. I've never had any of my guests "escape" whilst on safari before!!! 


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#50 inyathi

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 11:48 PM

Is it any wonder people are concerned when a huge part of the problem is irresponsible journalism.

 

The Front page headline in Friday’s Daily Telegraph ‘Ebola may have reached the UK’ what provoked this frightening statement is the death of a British man in Macedonia who died while suffering from internal bleeding, diarrhoea and vomiting all symptoms of the virus. The Macedonian authorities immediately locked down and quarantined the hotel in Skopje where the man had been staying and isolated his companion. His companion stated that neither of them had been to West Africa and they had arrived in Macedonia straight from the UK leading journalists to conclude that he could have become infected in the UK. Samples from the dead man were sent to Germany for analysis but the results have not yet come back so officially his death is from causes unknown, however this has not stopped some newspapers and TV channels from reporting that he died from Ebola.

 

Searching the Internet for more information on this story I found the following headlines

 

Channel 4 News – ‘British man dies of Ebola in Macedonia’

 

And from Australia News.com.au – ‘UK man dies from Ebola in Macedonia’

 

Most of the other headlines have been slightly more responsible only suggesting that it might have been Ebola.

 

The Daily Mail – ‘British man dies of suspected Ebola in Macedonia’

 

The Independent – ‘British man dies of deadly virus in Macedonia’  

 

The Mirror – ‘Ebola: British victim suspected of dying from killer virus in Macedonia named’

 

The latest news from the Macedonian health authorities is that they do not think that he died from Ebola, once they have the results (on Saturday) this should hopefully confirm that it was not Ebola. The Mirror article was from Friday afternoon after it was reported on the radio that the Macedonians do not think the man died from Ebola.

 

In Dallas a sheriff’s deputy Michael Monnig who visited the late Mr Duncan’s apartment and had some contact with members of his family but none with Mr Duncan himself, took himself to an Urgent Care Clinic complaining of fatigue and a stomach ache, he didn’t think that he had Ebola. However not wanting to repeat the blunder made with Mr Duncan they immediately had him taken to hospital by paramedics wearing hazmat suits so that he could be tested for Ebola. The deputy’s son has said that his father was not suffering from a fever or from vomiting or diarrhoea and health officials and the CDC have said it’s very unlikely that he has Ebola and that he was not one of the people being monitored none of whom in any case have shown any signs of having Ebola.

 

Yet various news reports suggested that he was taken to hospital with symptoms of Ebola, if he had caught Ebola this would suggest that the virus can be spread without direct contact indicating that the experts don’t know enough about how the virus is spread or if you’re a conspiracy theorist that they are telling lies. As a result apparently lots of people got into panic about this quite unnecessarily as Mr Monnig’s test results have come back showing surprise, surprise that he doesn’t have Ebola. 

 

Assurances Are Given and a Deputy Goes Home, but Ebola Fears Persist

 

Is it any wonder that people are in a panic over this disease when journalists are so irresponsible over what they report? The following story from the UK illustrates that when it comes to parents wanting to protect their children ignorance will always triumph over reason.

 

Schoolboy 'treated like a leper': British primary school bans healthy nine-year-old from Sierra Leone to ease ebola fears of 'hysterical' parents

 

It’s far easier to just take no chances than do some research and find what if any actual risk there is, especially when you’re reading misleading news reports that seem to suggest that what we are being told about Ebola may not be entirely true and that not enough is none about this virus. You also might be forgiven for thinking that Ebola is spreading outside of West Africa when really it’s not, cases seem to be popping up around Europe and elsewhere but these are either false alarms as in France recently and is likely in Macedonia or unfortunate health workers who’ve been flown home from West Africa. Thankfully an Australian nurse who after returning to Queensland developed a mild fever has tested negative, though she will likely be tested again to be absolutely sure. Certainly over here Ebola is in the news almost all the time so it’s quite easy to see why anyone who had been thinking of taking their children on safari might just decide that it’s better not to take any chances at all and not go anywhere near Africa.

 

While there have been no cases at all in Eastern or Southern Africa there has been an Ebola scare in Zimbabwe, a hospital in Harare was closed and quarantined after a young woman thought to be from the DRC (where there is a separate outbreak going on) was admitted who was vomiting and had a nose bleed however tests confirmed that she has malaria.   Will people remember that this and other suspected cases were just false alarms? Or will some people now wrongly think that Ebola has reached Zimbabwe.

 

I am afraid the media is not going to suddenly start acting responsibly and wait for actual confirmation before declaring that someone has Ebola, there will be more sensationalist scare stories because that’s what sells newspapers. Which will only serve to increase the fear and I’ve no doubt this will have a negative impact on safari bookings.

 


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#51 TheSafariCo.

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Posted 11 October 2014 - 01:36 PM

The media's sensationalist approach to the ebola outbreak is a massive mountain to climb, but every bit helps. We designed this infographic about ebola to help travelers make an informed decision to fight the negative effect one traveler at a time. All tour operators are welcome to send this infographic to their clients when the ebola questions come up. Some have already posted it on their blogs to spread the word. Please feel free to use it as a means to 'educate' travelers planning to visit Africa. We'll gladly add your branding if you'd like. Just let us know. 

Matt, let me know if this infographic should be moved elsewhere on the forum.

 

ebola_infographic_631.gif

 

Here's the link to the article associated with this infographic: http://thesafaricomp...sk-infographic/

 

Hope it helps!


Edited by TheSafariCo., 11 October 2014 - 01:55 PM.

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#52 Game Warden

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Posted 11 October 2014 - 01:42 PM

@TheSafariCo. This is the perfect place for it. Glad to have you aboard and thanks for your contribution to the topic. Don't forget to intoduce yourself to forum members here.

 

Have you been affected by client concerns? Cancellations, slow down in bookings etc? 

 

Matt.


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#53 TheSafariCo.

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Posted 11 October 2014 - 01:47 PM

@Game Warden, some of our partners have had cancellations and lots of questions by clients planning to visit Africa. This brought about the infographic. I've been following SafariTalk for years but haven't posted yet. This is a great forum and I will definitely be more active in the future!

 

Cheers,

 

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Edited by TheSafariCo., 11 October 2014 - 01:55 PM.

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#54 optig

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Posted 11 October 2014 - 02:55 PM

We need members like you who want to post the truth, and encourage people to visit Africa.



#55 inyathi

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Posted 11 October 2014 - 04:52 PM

Just as I suspected would prove to be the case.

 

Ebola: Briton who died in Macedonia did not have deadly virus, officials say

 

Health officials have said that the Briton who died in Macedonia on Thursday did not succumb to Ebola.

 

 

 

 

 

“We have just received the results from the lab in Hamburg and they are negative for Ebola, which means that the patient did not have the Ebola virus,” Dr Jovanka Kostovska from Macedonia’s Health Ministry's commission for infectious diseases said.

 

 

Will all of the newspapers, news channels etc around that world that stated that this man died from Ebola now apologies for all of the entirely unnecessary fear that they have caused, I won’t hold my breath. :angry:


Edited by inyathi, 11 October 2014 - 04:52 PM.

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#56 lmonmm

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 05:28 PM

I was wondering when this thread would show up here :)  And now that it has....just read through all of the posts and agree with pretty much everything here. I try to travel to Africa every year- my favorite place on the planet. I had pretty much set my sights on Zimbabwe for next year, but have not planned anything at this time because of this mess. I have been telling people that it's not because I'm afraid of catching Ebola, I'm more afraid of how I'll be treated when I get home. The hysteria here in the US is off the charts. I have a finite amount of money to spend on my trips (which I have to work hard to save for each year) and it would be a huge bummer if I had to cancel and lose money because the land of the afraid and paranoid decided to close their borders to any Africa travel. Read any report and then look at the comments- they are screaming for that. I love Africa and my heart breaks with every story I read. If only the international community had done their job and helped from the very beginning this thread would never have been written. I'm still hoping to go, but waiting to book for now.



#57 Game Warden

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 05:57 PM

Just back from Zim myself :)


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#58 lmonmm

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 06:01 PM

And had a fabulous time I assume- my plan is Mana, Hwange and Karibe- been to Vic falls already so didn't feel the need to repeat that  :)


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#59 Game Warden

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Posted 13 October 2014 - 06:12 PM

Hwange and Mana Pools with @Safaridude. Trip report forthcoming...


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#60 Zambezi Safaris

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Posted 14 October 2014 - 12:05 PM

The outbreak started in December 2013 at a small town in southern Guinea near the Sierra Leone and Liberian borders. The Zaire strain is the most deadly and the Ebola 2014 outbreak is the biggest... read more

 


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