Ebola Outbreak – an update

The outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa has understandably caused major concern with travelers planning safaris to Africa. However at the time of writing there have been no cases of Ebola in Southern and East Africa; this includes Tanzania, Kenya, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa.

It is worth noting that Africa is larger than the United States, China, India, Europe and Japan combined. The main safari destinations are in Southern and East Africa, which are further away from the Ebola outbreaks in West Africa than parts of Europe and South America.

Most African nations have restricted entry to travelers that visited affected West African countries. It should be noted that the Botswana and Zambian Ministries of Health have announced new measures to prevent the spread of Ebola. Any tourists who have been to an Ebola infected area (Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria or Liberia) in the past 30 days will be denied entry into Botswana and Zambia and returning residents from Zambia and Botswana may be subject to quarantine if they have travelled through high risk countries. Please note the list of high risk countries may increase should circumstances change.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO):

“The risk of a traveller becoming infected with the Ebola virus during a visit to the affected countries and developing disease after returning is very low, even if the visit includes travel to areas in which cases have been reported. 

The risk of transmission of Ebola virus disease during air travel is low. Unlike infections such as influenza or tuberculosis, Ebola is not spread by breathing air (and the airborne particles it contains) from an infected person. Transmission requires direct contact with blood, secretions, organs or other body fluids of infected living or dead persons or animals, all unlikely exposures for the average traveller.

At this stage we cannot see any situation where clients would actually be at risk, though obviously we are continuing to monitor the situation closely and will advise our guests should anything change. We are committed to the safe travel of all of our guests.