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Ebola is killing the safari industry

An extensive survey among 500 safari tour operators concluded that about half are receiving 20 to 70% less bookings due to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The impact is more noticeable in East than in southern Africa.

THE NETHERLANDS – SafariBookings.com, an online marketplace for African safari tours, conducted a survey among 500 safari tour operators to measure the impact of the Ebola crisis on the safari industry. The survey showed that about half have experienced a staggering 20 to 70% decrease in bookings. The impact is more noticeable in East than in southern Africa. It is a heavy blow for the industry and the numerous wildlife reserves that rely on its revenue.

Tour operators reported that many tourists view Africa as a single country when it comes to risk assessment. They don’t realize that East and southern Africa, where most safaris are conducted, are just as far from the outbreak area as Europe or South America. The Ebola virus is not airborne and only spreads if people come in contact with the bodily fluids (such as blood, sweat and saliva) of an infected person. As there are no confirmed Ebola cases in any major safari countries, the current risk is very low.

All safari countries observe strict precautionary measures, comparable to countries in Europe and North America. Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa and Zambia have banned entry of travelers from Ebola affected countries. Tanzania and Uganda have implemented health screening at all major airports and border posts. Zimbabwe implemented 21-day health surveillance for travelers from affected countries.

The overall low risk and strict precaution measures taken by the safari countries make the negative impact on the industry quite unnecessary and unfortunate.

What precautionary measures have been enacted?

This info is accurate as of September 22nd 2014. For recent developments please contact the Embassy of the country in question.
– Botswana
Entry has been suspended for travelers who have visited Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria and Sierra Leone in the last 30 days.
– Kenya
With the exception of Kenyan citizens and doctors or health care professionals supporting the containment of the outbreak, entry has been suspended for people traveling through or from the countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
– Namibia
Entry has been suspended for all of those travelling from countries affected by the Ebola virus, with the exception of Namibian citizens.
– Rwanda
Entry is not allowed to any travelers who have visited Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone within 22 days. Health screening is in place at all border posts. Non-residents registering a fever will not be allowed entry to Rwanda.
– South Africa
South Africa will not allow admittance to any foreign citizens arriving from Ebola affected countries in west Africa. South African citizens will be allowed to re-enter, but only after being subject to strict screening.
– Tanzania
All major border posts have mandatory health screening in place, including all international airports. Emergency isolation centers have been set aside for suspected cases.
– Uganda
People traveling from affected west African countries and the DR Congo must undergo health screening at Entebbe Airport. An isolation center has been established at the airport for any suspected Ebola cases.
– Zambia
Zambia has banned entrance to all travelers from affected west African countries.
– Zimbabwe
Travelers from affected countries must undergo mandated 21-day health surveillance for Ebola symptoms.

Theodore Koumelis
Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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