Ebola Risk and your African Safari

Many of our clients are asking about Ebola and how it might affect their safari plans… fortunately it probably won’t.

Africa is Huge

Did you know that Africa is made up of 54 countries and that you can fit the United States, China, India, Western Europe and several more countries inside the African continent? The Peterson Projection map below shows much more correct sizing than the Mercator map that is commonly used in US schools. The second map is titled “The True Size of Africa”.

Map Showing Correct Perspective    True Size of Africa

Would you postpone a grizzly bear viewing trip to Kodiak, Alaska if there was a disease outbreak in Miami, Florida? Would you cancel a trip to Paris, France if there was a disease outbreak in Karachi, Pakistan?

Probably not. Most people would not hesitate to continue with their vacation plans to the above areas… The reality is that in Africa the distance from the center of the Ebola outbreak in Monrovia, Liberia (in West Africa) to Kruger National Park in South Africa or Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania  (East Africa) is the same as between the above mentioned destinations – roughly 4,000 miles!

Safari Travelers are not at Risk

This outbreak has been ongoing for 6 months and tens of thousands of travelers have been on safari throughout both Eastern and Southern Africa (where it has been high season) without incident. Of the 22 Ebola outbreaks in West and Central Africa since 1976 no safari tourist has ever been infected.

Ebola is Hard to Get

Ebola is not easy to catch. It spreads through body fluids similar to HIV / AIDS… you do not get it by sitting in a plane or car or restaurant. Ebola is much less contagious than many other more common diseases and good infection-control practices easily stop its spread.

In short the threat presented by the media (and Hollywood) differs greatly from the reality.

Stay well,

Ian's Signature

Ian Proctor
Ultimate Africa founder and president

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