The greatest beauty always lies in the greatest clarity. Quoting Gotthold Ephraim Lessing.
We remain concerned about the Ebola virus and its far-reaching effects, and related perceptions, on the travel and tourism sector in Africa. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the most severely affected countries are Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, however, the Africa tourism industry has felt stark repercussions across the continent through economic losses, cancelled flights and bookings, closed borders, and negative perceptions. These impacts reach far beyond the borders of those affected countries.
Since the last couple of months, the continent of Africa is more and more linked to the word ‘Ebola’, which is frightening many people. Understandable. The deadly virus has killed at least 4,000 in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Having that said, Africa is more than only the western part. It’s the world second largest continent and contains 54 different countries. Countries that are all suffering from the impact of the Ebola outbreak, especially West Africa.
For travelers there is virtually no risk of contracting the deadly virus when going on safari in Uganda, Kenya or Tanzania. It would be a shame if all the panic over Ebola and the confusion about geography kept them from visiting a vast, varied and beautiful continent.
We will give you 5 reasons why Uganda (and other East African destinations) are completely safe:
1. Africa is a continent, not a country
As already explained, Africa contains more than 50 individual countries. It is over 30 million sq km, a size that can fit the entire Europe, United States, Alaska and China!
The current outbreak is largely confined to a region that is closer to Europe than it is to most of the popular safari destinations. In fact, Paris in France is closer to the outbreak area as Uganda’s capital city Kampala.
3. Actual cases of Ebola
Currently Uganda has fewer cases of Ebola (zero!) than the USA or Spain; it’s completely free!
4. Risk of transmission
The deadly virus can be contracted only through direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of a person who is already showing the symptoms. Ebola is not spread through the air, by water or by food.
5. Experience & Precautionary measures
The Ugandan Ministry of Health has dealt with Ebola cases in the past and has gained experience in controlling such calamities. This can be drawn from the recent example when the country was sharing its experience at the UN conference addressing the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
The government has intensified campaigns to educate the public on the virus and how to manage a possible outbreak in the country. They provide updates on the status of Ebola in West Africa and remind people to be alert and vigilant, and advise to postpone all travel to Ebola affected countries. The Ugandan government has recently also intensified screening of travellers coming into the country at its main airport and other border ports.
The East African community stands together against Ebola and other countries have introduced similar measures.
Statistically, the chance of contracting Ebola on safari is effectively zero. You are significantly more likely to be killed by a falling coconut!
Or attract a completely other type of virus, also known as the “Africa virus” which makes you want to come back to Africa again and again. Definitely very dangerous and contagious!
References & source of information.
4. World Health Organization (WHO): http://www.who.int/csr/disease/ebola/en
5.Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola
6.Kuamka Tours and Travel: http://www.kuamkasafaris.com/