Ebola has certainly had an affect on the luxury safari industry even though the West African countries are actually closer to London and Europe than they are to popular safari destinations such as Kenya and Tanzania. Everyone in the world is watching Africa to see how every country copes with trying to contain or prevent the disease from spreading – we all like to think we live in countries that would have gotten the epidemic under control by now but with something as highly contagious and aggressive as this are we simply living in a dream world. Would first world countries have been able to contain the disease – we are about to find out since ebola has already made it’s way to Spain, the States and the UK.
There have been rumblings in the safari industry about losing clients, cancellations and a slightly slower couple of months on the enquiry front. Of course it is completely ridiculous for a number of reasons, the main one being that on a luxury safari you wouldn’t go into a region where ebola was rife anyway – and of course ebola is completely curable for those of us lucky enough to live in countries with fantastic medical care – you wouldn’t contract the disease until you were back at home anyway by which point you will probably be very close to a world class hospital.
West Africa is currently being completely pillaged by this disease and we have much admiration for the hundreds of volunteers who have bravely headed straight out there to do their part when it comes to trying to help the very sick. It really shows the good nature of many people, and restores faith in the human race – it is a truly selfless thing to do. Africa by nature is wild, unpredictable and dramatic – she will throw diseases, famine and horror at you for a long time, before bestowing you with great fertility or joy – everything in Africa belongs to her and one must never start to feel as if you own any of this amazing continent yourself, you’re only ever borrowing it.
It is Africa’s dramatic nature with draws people in and which makes them become completely addicted to her unreliable ways – there’s something reckless about her and that only adds to her beauty. Of course many luxury safari clients have been put off by ebola but one has to pose the question, are they Africa people anyway? Africa people are brave, adventurous and intelligent – they are concerned for their safety but not precious about it, they want the raw wild beauty and don’t mind if there’s a journey to get it. Africa draws in some of the most exciting kinds of people in the world and the ones that return again and again know how to extract what they need from the wilderness, and know how to give it back. Africa will always throw new and bemusing challenges at its inhabitants and those that work hard to promote it, but it will always draw in some of the most charismatic and fascinating people – that will never change.
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