April Safaris

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Feb 1st, 2003, 07:15 AM
  #1
LizFrazier
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April Safaris

Didn't know quite what to title this, but are there any other travellers from the U.S. scheduled to depart in April for travel to Africa? If so, are you proceeding with your plans or do you have contingency plans. Thank you. Liz
 
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Feb 1st, 2003, 10:46 AM
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I'm going in March. I guess the best thing you can do is to check out travel insurance.
In my naive opinion, I don't think that travel to Africa, especially the Southern portion,will be adversely affected. Bt then again what do I know?
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Feb 1st, 2003, 11:07 AM
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LizFrazier
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Lisa-
I think Waverly is Lisa Waverly, right?
I checked with Travelguard which is the insurance we bought last July. So sorry but do not cover any acts of war or terrorism.
My concern is not what happens when we are physically in Botswana or Namibia. My concern is suppose we attack Iraq the end of February. Would you want to take off by air on a months jaunt, not knowing if all flights would be grounded, etc. Once we pay the final payment we cannot back out without losing a lot!
Do you not have insurance yet? Surely you've already made your final payment haven't you? The picture changes when you find out insurance is worthless. Any other comments? Thanks, Liz
 
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Feb 1st, 2003, 12:09 PM
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Liz
As per our emails...
I don't think that Southern Africa will be affected by what Bush instigates in the Middle East.
I understand your concern is more about being grounded away from home (as per those Americans who were overseas on 9/11.
My feeling is that we can't predict everything nor be completely guaranteed that everything will go right.
But we could be run over by a bus or hit by lightning tomorrow. (Or, living in London as I do, caught in a bomb attack by one terrorist group or another).
So while I am still able to do so, I want to live my dreams and go to Africa. I don't mean take silly risks but... to continue as much as possible.
My husband and I are scheduled to leave for Jordan next week. Now that's a little hairier in terms of physical danger but, as of now, we're still going.
Good luck, whichever way you decide, dear Liz.
Kavey
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Feb 1st, 2003, 12:52 PM
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LizFrazier
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Thanks you guys.

Anyone else who might be leaving soon care to comment? Liz
 
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Feb 1st, 2003, 03:07 PM
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Hi Liz:
My wife and I are leaving to go to Botswana on April 30. I have wondered what sort of impact current and future events will have. However, at the moment, I am definitely planning on going. I don't mean to sound callous, but I don't think there is much that will deter me from going on safari.
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Feb 2nd, 2003, 09:13 AM
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If I were stranded in southern Africa, I would be concerned for my life here -- I have some responsibilities with deadlines, just as we all do -- and I would miss my family and friends, and worry about their safety. But I would think about that teriffic movie "Tea with Mussolini", where those enchanting Englishwomen were stranded in Italy in World War II. They made the best of it, and I would try to do the same.

We're going in May.
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Feb 4th, 2003, 09:31 PM
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Hi Liz,
We have an international meeting in Cape Town in late March. Then we are going to Namibia on April 1 for 8 days then Botswana for 3. Our full pmt was due last week. Knowing the non-coverage for war clause in the insurance policies, I asked our operator what the consequences would be if all travel shut down. They said that they would do their best to reschedule or get something back for us. I'm not too worried about traveling to this part of the world even if their is a war in the mideast. We flew on the first flight to Australia (then Thailand) after 9-11 much to the chagrin of many friends and family. I am planning to buy insurance anyway for other unforeseen possiblities but it's the 1st time I've ever done so.

Say, for those of you who were following my Kwetsani thread last month, we are going to spend the 3 Botswana days at Little Vumbura. The Namibia trip is Sossosvlei (2), Damaraland (2) Ongava tented at Etosha (3), Windhoek (1). Can't wait.
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Feb 6th, 2003, 05:09 AM
  #9
LizFrazier
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Thanks to all who responded! We really were very concerned being out there with no insurance, but I have again talked to our travel insurance folks and they will allow us to delay the trip if it is required and most importantly, Wilderness Safaris changed their policy on cancellations related to our current was situation. This gives us the comfort zone we need to proceed with our plans. I can't thank these industrious people enough to understand that different people take different appraches to danger. We can gamble on a few bucks, but when you get to the price of a new car? I don't think so. Anyways you all have again proved why this is such a good thread. You are all very real and very special to me. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts. Liz
 
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Feb 6th, 2003, 09:16 PM
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Hi Liz,
What did you mean about Wilderness Safaris changing their policy on cancellations with regard to the current events situation? And who is your travel insurer, if you don't mind my asking? Thanks.
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Feb 7th, 2003, 02:34 AM
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Liz
I am so delighted you've been able to find a way to continue your plans.
I don't take lightly the possibility of losing such a large amount - it's a huge investment isn't it?
But I also don't like to give up my dreams or even put them on hold unless I really have to!
Just really happy you can still make yours come true again...

Kavey

(Leaving for Jordan in 2 days - how scarey is THAT!?!)
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Feb 7th, 2003, 07:48 AM
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LizFrazier
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Mary-
We were told that Wilderness Safaris had changed their policy on 2/1/03, so that if war is declared in Iraq before we leave, we would be allowed to delay our trip for up to one year and then to go on the same trip at the same cost. Travelguard, our insurer, said they also would delay the dates to when we would be going. We had purchased our insurance when we put a deposit down last July. As I understand it, the trip is delayed when war is actually declared. I have emailed our agent, Fish Eagle Safaris, for more information about that, but with this information, we recalled our cancellation and agreed to proceed since we really want this trip. Right now that is all I have. But I have it in writing (email), and I completely trust Bert. Some people say they can buy their trips cheaper through agents located in Africa. Whether they get this same service I don't know. I only know it applies to us. I also know I will only deal through US based agents. Liz
 
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Feb 7th, 2003, 11:52 AM
  #13
LizFrazier
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Hi Kavey-
Quite scary if you ask me. You must get different travel warnings than we do in the US. We are on a high level alert now, and warnings were issued for US citizens traveling abroad. Yours must be different.
My prayers are with you. Be safe girl!
A friend, Liz
 
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Feb 7th, 2003, 02:06 PM
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Perhaps Wilderness are willing to be more accommodating to ensure the confidence of potential American customers? After all - it's not in their interest to be too strict about cancellation - they'd lose too much business. I also get the impression they really are an ethical operator.

Bert struck me the same way - very trustworthy. If his prices had matched UK agents I would have booked with him in a heartbeat.
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Feb 7th, 2003, 02:25 PM
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We dont get quite as, erm, our warnings aren't quite as frantic as the ones currently issued by the American govt but there are certainly warnings up on the UK Foreign Office site. As it stands they are not warning Brits not to go to Jordan, just to take care.
We will take as much care as we can - trust me, I've had to promise my sister to be veeeery careful!
Right now, I think Americans need to be very careful travelling to the Middle East. Brits aren't hugely much more popular as our PM follows the lead of your Pres but I think it should be OK.
Anyway, this is YOUR thread...
So, back to WOO HOO and glad you're still on for Africa!!!
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Feb 7th, 2003, 05:23 PM
  #16
LizFrazier
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Kavey-
You're priceless!
Don't ever worry about who's thread it is, you are always welcome. I don't know if Wilderness' offer is only good for US or what. I always add where we are in case others want to know the details. Please post upon your return so we can all breathe easier. Liz
 
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Feb 8th, 2003, 03:39 AM
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Liz, I will do that, I promise.
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Feb 8th, 2003, 04:33 PM
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I am likely to be going to Africa in late April and my only contingency plan is to hold off on buying my airfare until the first missile is fired so that I may save a few hundred dollars on my airfare.

Personally, I think President Bush is acting like a playground bully and unnecessarily putting the lives of his own citizens at risk. I would be lying if I said that I will not be a little uncomfortable with the vast Muslim population in Cape Town, given the past bombing campaigns they waged in Cape Town. But, then again, what's to say that I would be any safer at home than I would be in South Africa???

I am also a little concerned since I likely may stopover in Europe for three or four nights, likely in Madrid or Amsterdam, to run a marathon prior to beginning my African holiday. Again though, American opponents have proved that they are now able to penetrate American borders and attack on American soil.

I know it is minor in comparison, but I was in Zimbabwe less than a week after the sham reelection of Mugabe last year, and although it was in the seemingly safe city of Victoria Falls, my wife and I were scared for our lives, as was our taxi driver, when about 300 Mugabe supporters, out looking for a fight, armed with sticks and other weapons, marched down the street and scared just about everybody off the street.

Before we knew it, these Mugabe supporters were on each side of the cab, our windows were wide open, my wife's purse was in full view as was my new digital camera and all I could think of was that these some of these same people were likely responsible for the killing of white farmers (or at the very minimum supportive of it). Still remember the tragic story of the farmer with the Jack Russell dog that was killed. As a Jack Russell owner, it really struck a cord with me when it was disclosed that the dog refused to leave his body.

Anyway, I was fully expecting to at least get punched in the face and to have my wife's purse and my camera taken but my fears were unfounded as they eventually all passed after what seemed like five minutes.

The cab driver didn't dare move the cab in that time as that would have been a sign of disrespect and may have incited the mob. After that incident, we were happy to be staying at Matetsi Game Lodge, 40 miles outside of Victoria Falls.

An even lesser incident occurred when the American spy plane collided with a Chinese fighter jet a couple years ago and the Americans were being held in China. My wife and I were in Beijing at the time of the incident but despite the numerous western news crews and the intense media coverage, we never had a single problem and found the Chinese people to be very warm hosts.

Originally I had thought about going to Jordan in April, to run my first ultramarathon, the Dead Sea Marathon, but didn't feel like running with Scud missiles flying over my head between Iraq and Israel. So, going to Africa and possibly Europe will seem like a cakewalk, in comparison.
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Feb 9th, 2003, 02:28 AM
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"Originally I had thought about going to Jordan in April, to run my first ultramarathon, the Dead Sea Marathon, but didn't feel like running with Scud missiles flying over my head between Iraq and Israel. So, going to Africa and possibly Europe will seem like a cakewalk, in comparison."

Hey! Way to make me feel good!!!



We're due to leave in an hour or two but husband is feeling very very poorly so I don't know... it looks like we'll have to cancel.

If we do I'll be back today, if not I'll be back in just over a week.
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Feb 9th, 2003, 04:05 AM
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Do you have any thoughts of Kenya? I haven't made reservations yet but family members are concerned because of the world affairs and the safety of tourists in Kenya specifically.

I was also thinking of a day or two in Amsterdam on the way back. I'll be traveling alone. Will join the Gameventures tour group on a Monday morning in Nairobi.
Can you tell me what you think please?

Thanks
Cindy
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