Terrorism, Ebola - no more please

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Aug 9th, 2014, 07:40 PM
  #1
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Terrorism, Ebola - no more please

11 years ago we had our trip to China cancelled by the tour company because of Sars. We went 6 months later and had a fabulous time. Now I have a trip to Kenya planned for November. Non refundable deposit already paid. I got over the terrorism attack fears and was excited about the Kenya game drive trip. Now it's Ebola. I know it's not in Kenya but will it come? Who knows? My family does not want me to go. And really, who wants to bring back Ebola to Thanksgiving dinner (I'm doing the cooking)

Final deposit is due in September. To pay or not to pay? The travel insurance at this time has no provisions for Ebola fear cancellation unless the tour company cancels. I would be out $3500 if I chickened out. And yes, I've looked at a map and know Ebola is on the other side of the continent, but darn that evening news. It's scaring the heck out of me.

Anyone else out there having these second thoughts. Tell me I'm not alone............
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Aug 10th, 2014, 03:40 AM
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Since I've already been to Kenya and am not planning a trip at the moment, I'm not in your position. But if I was, honestly, I would go right on with my trip. i think you have logic and emotional fear playing out here. Only you can decide what your comfort level is and make the decision to go or bail out. The chances of a tourist getting Ebola in Kenya is extraordinarily small, so in my mind logic wins. Maybe you could stop watching the evening news ;-)
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Aug 10th, 2014, 08:13 AM
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I am going to Kenya and Tanzania in Oct and have had some concerns but have talked to longtime Africa travelers who are encouraging me to go so I guess I am.

I know my family is concerned but I think tour operator will cancel if it is unsafe to travel in those areas. Even my ex-husband is worried about me- ha. That is kind of funny!
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Aug 10th, 2014, 12:48 PM
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Since you've already advised family where you're traveling, too late to do as I do - never mention to anyone other than the person collecting my mail 'where to.' Just advise that I'll be out of town and will show them the pics on my return.

I'm in process of starting to plan visit to both TNZ & KEN for anytime between mid-Oct - mid-Dec and so be it.

Less than 5/yrs ago there was a small outbreak of Ebola in Uganda and even with Kenya right next door, there was no advice not to travel. Nor is there such a travel warning right now for visits to East Africa.

As comments above, stop watching/listening to the news as even they are alarmist and often have no idea what they're talking about. When it comes to the news media - print or TV - 'if it bleeds, it leads' = same with Ebola that got it's 1-/days worth of headlines and they're now onto what's happening in Iraq.

Though not the same type of disease, there have been major outbreaks of whooping cough on the West Coast, US... so does that mean you wouldn't travel to NYC or Chicago? Doubt it.

Personally, I'd go with your already made plans and remit your final payment when due. In the end, still your decision.
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Aug 10th, 2014, 02:15 PM
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Sandi's right, discussing travel plans with others can often lead to a whole bunch of negative reactions. I flew internationally right after 9/11, only to hear beforehand a chorus of 'What are you thinking'? I had a great time at my destination.

I suggest that you do some reading/research into Ebola, keying on where the disease is usually found, how the disease spreads (i.e., how transmissible the disease is or isn't) and the likelihood of its making its way to your destination, which is widely separated from the affected areas. Weigh in, too, whether health organizations such as WHO or the CDC, which tend to be CYA, have issued any travel warnings. I believe if you perform due diligence on this you'll find your chance of getting that disease is incredibly remote. Whether it's terrorism, disease outbreaks or vaccinations/prophylaxis, travelers should learn as much about the issue as possible, assess the risk and decide whether that risk is acceptable to them.
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Aug 11th, 2014, 05:18 AM
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There are two things at play when people respond like that. The first is media hype. Let's be honest, this Ebola story makes a great headline. Then the media doesn't do the responsible thing and explain how unlikely it is you'll be doing anything risky to contract it once you're in Africa.

The second thing at play is people's general ignorance over how big Africa is, or how far from where you're going the Ebola is. This map is pretty eye opening for those who don't know. The land area of "Africa" can actually hold all the other continents within it. I think sometimes people react as if it's the size of Rhode Island.
http://tinyurl.com/7prm2bk

If *YOU* are comfortable going after reading up on what you need to, go and enjoy.
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Aug 14th, 2014, 08:03 AM
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An inspiring post from Dereck Joubert ( just prior to the Ebola scare)

http://www.greatplainsconservation.com/bushbuzz/?p=9528
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Aug 14th, 2014, 11:28 AM
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Goodness, that BBC link is pure scare tactics.

AKR1 - Thanks for this great posting by Dereck Joubert. If I knew they planned to be in NYC and though the subways are really easy to navigate, I would have been pleased to have been their Tour Director and then serve them a cuppa Kenyan coffee at my table.

If anyone has seen the decrease/slaughter of game in Africa, over the 20/yrs that he and Beverly have been providing us the most amazing films on wildlife, they sure do... yet can still appreciate and love (even with tears in their eyes) what is still available for visitors these days.

This is what has to be saved for our children and grand-kids, or else we'll only be left with pictures to show them. So we all have to get involved with the various organizations trying to save the many species. The first step is by visiting to see for yourselves.
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Aug 14th, 2014, 12:00 PM
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I don't see the bbc link as a scare tactic. Aren't they just reporting what information WHO has put out? I'm the OP and while I have traveled to many places that others would consider "scary", Ebola is just making me uneasy, more so for the plane and airports than the actual safari. We still have not made our final decision and have a few more weeks before our final is due.
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Aug 17th, 2014, 01:46 PM
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Just got back from Kenya. No problems at all. The Ebola virus is a very long way away from Kenya and it is not an airborne virus. If you stay away from the coast, there is no terrorist threat. Security in Nairobi is high--you go through an airport like metal detector going into your hotel. The driver told me it's like that for all public buildings in Nairobi. I felt safer on safari than in a big city in the States. It was wonderful and I'm already planning a trip back.
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Aug 18th, 2014, 02:03 AM
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Hi, Kindly note that The Ebola virus has affected countries in West Africa. I think it is quite safe for you to travel and return home for Thanksgiving with only the best experience!
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Aug 18th, 2014, 02:12 PM
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... and if it wasn't for the two Americans who took ill and having their church organization arrange for their transport home, how long would it have taken WHO to have notified the rest of the world? Ebola had already been detected for 4-5/months before we learned of it.
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Oct 13th, 2014, 06:09 PM
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sandi writes:
Though not the same type of disease, there have been major outbreaks of whooping cough on the West Coast, US... so does that mean you wouldn't travel to NYC or Chicago? Doubt it.

Well, I have had whooping cough as an adult, and while it is uncomfortable and somewhat frightening, there is no comparison whatsoever between its symptoms and those of Ebola. The only people whose lives are threatened by whooping cough are infants and young children - and there is a cure via antibiotics. I think sandi is comparing apples and oranges in the extreme.
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Oct 14th, 2014, 05:33 AM
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This site has the map I referenced above:
http://www.safaribookings.com/blog/180

Paris, London, Rome and Madrid are all closer to the Ebola outbreaks than the safari areas of TZ and Kenya. If you're going or not going based on proximity, you should at least have the facts straight. Unfortunately the media isn't reporting on this side of things and the safari business suffers for it.

I wonder if the OP cancelled or not?
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Oct 15th, 2014, 04:04 PM
  #16
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OP back with the decision. Yes, we did decide to cancel. As I said, we are not "chicken" travelers but our families and friends are happy. I still have Kenya on the list of places to visit but will wait till next year and see what happens. I would like to mention that we booked with Lion World Travel and they were very understanding. We did have a $1500 non refundable deposit paid but they did refund us $700 which we were very satisfied with. (Travel insurance didn't cover this.) I will definitely use them when we do go. We are now going to Germany to visit the Christmas markets on a river cruise. So we traded tents for a balcony cabin and nice weather for snow!
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Oct 15th, 2014, 06:25 PM
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No right or wrong with your decision. You alone determine what risks you're willing to assume. Have a great trip.
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Oct 15th, 2014, 09:19 PM
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As sdb2 stated,your decision to cancel is yours alone.I hope that you are able to return to East Africa someday.My brother-in -law and I are getting excited about our mid-November trip to the wilds of southern Tanzania walking with Kichaka in Ruaha for seven days,and visiting Selous Impala for another four days.For us our main health concerns would be ensuring adequate protection from sun , heat and insects,as well as taking our malaria prophylaxis ( although I believe the risk is not that great in November)
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Oct 16th, 2014, 09:56 AM
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I'm departing Sunday 19th Oct for TNZ (9/days) and then balance in/around KEN... total time in-country about 3+/weeks. Didn't once give a thought about terrorism, Ebola or anything else. Only thought was "I'm going/returning to Afree-kah."

In '98 visited both countries a few weeks after the Embassy bombings; and in '01, a few weeks after 9/11 we were off to South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana. As mentioned previously, 'unless there is an all-out war with bombs falling and the possibility of metal flying past my ears, I find no reason to stay home.'

In the end, such decisions have to be personal.
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Oct 16th, 2014, 05:36 PM
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I don't judge you for your concerns. If I was flying to Africa the same concerns would pop into my head. if I was going to fly in America right now I might be a little leery sitting so close to other people on the plane. It would pop into my head to worry. That said, I think you should still go. It's really no more likely that you would get it in Kenya since it there's been no cases in that country than that you would get it here in the United States right now.
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