Ebola is an incredibly scary disease – the stuff of our worst Sci-Fi movie fears. It is now prevalent in the West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, it has a high fatality rate, and news reports in the US and Europe make it sound like the entire African continent is on the brink of collapse.
During the course of this outbreak, there have been cases reported in Nigeria, Senegal, Spain, the USA and Mali.
This is a time when one would consider being cautious when thinking about a holiday to Africa.
We live and work in Southern Africa, we have mortgages, families and children and we can completely understand your fears. So let’s take a look at the facts, rather than the hype, about Ebola.
The reality is that Ebola is actually affecting less than 1% of Africa’s land mass. Nigeria and Senegal have both been declared EBOLA-FREE after passing the stringent WHO (World Health Organisation) requirements of 6 weeks without a new case being reported.
If you take into account that Nigeria is more than twice the size of California and has a population of over 168 million people then you start realising just what a monumental feat the health authorities pulled off there. The WHO declared Nigeria’s success a “piece of world class epidemiological detective work”
Read more about it on the Dallas News Website.
- The Ebola outbreak is more than 4,500km/2,800mi away from Windhoek, Namibia’s capital city, where we live. That is the same distance that London and Rio de Janeiro are away from the outbreak.
- That is to say that the Ebola outbreak is further from us than Seattle is from New York City, and did you know that London is 2,800 miles from New York City as well. That starts to put things into perspective, doesn’t it?
- There have not now, nor have there EVER been any cases of Ebola reported in Namibia, the greater Southern African region or indeed any safari destination in Africa.
- Namibia, along with its Southern African neighbours closed their borders to travellers from the affected areas two months ago.
- There are no direct flights between any of the affected areas and Namibia; there are not any river, rail or road connections between Namibia and any of the affected areas.
- Namibia started medical checks and thermal scanning of all passengers at Namibian airports in August. The UK and USA have only just started introducing these measures.
So how do you contract this dreaded disease?
- You can only contract Ebola through DIRECT contact with the affected person’s bodily fluids.
- Ebola ONLY becomes contagious once the patient becomes symptomatic, so you cannot contract the disease from a healthy looking person.
- Ebola is not easily spread, it is 18 times less infectious than measles.
- No one has EVER contracted Ebola as a direct result of air travel.
At the moment the WHO is testing not one, but TWO possible vaccinations.
So what does this mean for you, as a traveller to Namibia?
A number of lodge groups in the Southern African region are so CONFIDENT that Ebola will never reach our shores that SHOULD clients cancel because of a CONFIRMED Ebola outbreak in the region, they are waiving their cancellation fees.
So there is ABSOLUTELY NO RISK to clients planning and booking a trip to Southern Africa.
The exchange rates are FANTASTIC at the moment; nearly 11 Namibian Dollars to the USD, just shy of 18 Namibian Dollars to the GBP and one Euro will get you 14 Namibian Dollars.
If nothing else, I leave you with this thought – ATI Holidays is an English owned company, David and Charlotte have been in Southern Africa for two decades. They have two kids in school here and even a dwarf hamster (yes, they are invested). All their family is in the UK. If they believed, for one second, that there was any danger in Namibia, they would most definitely not still be here!
If there are any questions or queries, if you would like to take the plunge and book that long overdue holiday to Southern Africa or you still need more convincing; we are here please feel free to contact us on our toll free numbers, and we look forward to welcoming you and sharing this amazing country!
UK: 0808 234 9378
USA: 1 888 333 3876