Going Somewhere?

Going Somewhere?

If you’re planning to take an airplane sometime in the next month or two… well, consider driving… or swimming … or just using your xBox. I didn’t mention trains, because in London anyway, they’re on strike.

I’m not talking about traveling to safaris, either – that’s another story. Safaris are not rebounding as expected. The turmoil in air travel is all in the U.S. and Europe.
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Not So Good

Not So Good

Things aren’t going well for tourism. It’s best in America where local travel has doubled over last year and is only about 15-20% below pre-pandemic levels. Europe is a close second. It’s really bad in Africa and the Middle East where current tourism is still only a third pre-pandemic levels. And the worst of all, of course, is Asia where China is learning the hard way that you can’t wipe out the virus like the Uyghurs.

Soon I return to Africa with 9 travelers, and as disappointed as I felt with the less than full safari my guys on the ground are ecstatic. At least I’m coming! Tourism in Africa isn’t anywhere near the level that was predicted, and this is leading to some very interesting stuff.
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Scared To Death

Scared To Death

It’s very hard to write in a public forum about anything other than the Ukrainian war. Referring to my own interests rooted deeply in Africa can’t assuage any of the guilt that we’re not doing enough to stop this monstrous conflict.

They say age increases paranoia: Thousands of memories of African dictators and gruesome conflicts sweep through my head, but nothing rises to the destruction in Ukraine. I don’t feel this way because Ukraine is a “white man’s war” or because Ukrainians seem to be more culturally and economically aligned with my own privileged ecosystem than the good citizens of Uganda fighting the LRA. That’s hogwash.
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Covid IV

Covid IV

Covid – IV
Traveling with Covid

We traveled when colds spread in airline cabins. We traveled when flu was all around us. So now we’ll travel with Covid, too. Americans, though, have additional hurdles others won’t have to face. But if you’re an American, you’ve got to face them. Don’t walk away from distant travel, because America’s Achilles heel – and the disabling personal anxiety in our individual souls – is an unique cowboy loneliness that will take us down awfully quick. Travel is our antidote.
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Covid III

Covid III

Part III :
Do I get my money back?

I lost all the investment on a personal holiday to Paris to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary because my wife tested positive for Covid. The great if unusually satisfying irony is that a hundred or so travelers EWT has sent mostly to Africa since last fall had not a single Covid disruption. Just us, the owners.

No, we didn’t get our money back.
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Covid II

Covid II

Part II:
Is it safe to … ???

We want an answer, now. Right now. Is it safe? Is Covid gone, or under control enough. Replace “…” above with anything:

“Is it safe go back to Africa, now?” “Is it safe to restart my Yoga classes?” “Is it safe to go to school without masking?” “Is it safe to go to a movie?”

My answer to my question, “Is it safe to go to Africa?” is “Yes.” No matter what? No. As safe as before Covid? Depends on where and when you’re going.
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Covid I

Covid I

My four-day trip to Dublin last Saturday was as complicated and stressful as any in my life. All the unlikely pandemic warnings that I level at my clients came true for my wife and myself. Analyzed with the three African safaris which EWT completed in the last several months a grim landscape emerges that I can only hope is a mural of the past, not of the future.
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Kingly Kicks

Kingly Kicks

As this (hopefully last) phase of the pandemic ends the tourism that’s left standing in the fields of Africa is fit for a king. In fact only kings. A safari post-pandemic will cost you twice what it was pre-pandemic.

EWT’s informal survey of 2022 safari prices in sub-Saharan Africa shows a dramatic price increase from 2020. Highest in Tanzania, lowest in South Africa but unbelievable everywhere. What’s going on and is this going to last or should you roll back on your heels and wait for sanity?
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QR Craziness

QR Craziness

If you’re a resident in one of the twenty Republican States that are currently prohibiting vaccine documentation you probably already know that it will be much more difficult for you to travel outside the country than before the pandemic.

I anticipated this, but not to the extent it’s happening. It’s ludicrous and is making America the laughing stock of the world.
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Covid Rant

Covid Rant

Travelers’ frustrations are growing. … What a stupidly simplistic statement: everybody’s frustrations are growing. But I’m talking about travel and I’m about to scold you if you travel.

Travelers are venting their anger on us, their suppliers. They want to know why they can’t get their money back for trips that the virus scuttled. This is my answer.
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Sibili

Sibili

EWT currently has one safari operating in Kenya and I will be leaving on the weekend to take another to Tanzania. These are the first safaris EWT has operated since the pandemic and we’re learning a lot about what travelers like me should expect and how radically different the business landscape has become.

There’s a lot for me to still learn but I have some very preliminary advice to persons considering traveling to East Africa. It boils down to money: Don’t go if you don’t spend a lot but don’t spend a lot without being very, very careful.
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Should You Go?

Should You Go?

What’s the greatest risk to an international traveler right now? Obviously, Covid, but NOT for the reason you think! A vaccinated traveler is very unlikely to get sick from Covid. More vaccinated travelers are going to get hurt and some die from slipping on the stairs of the jetway than from Covid. More vaccinated travelers headed into wild jungles (who are taking malaria pills) will still get sick from malaria than from Covid.

The Covid vaccine is as much a game changer as Delta. Its efficacy is better than all the vaccines before it, better than malaria pills, better than attending daily mass, better than practically anything! So what’s the problem?
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Masking Up

Masking Up

Here’s what yesterday’s CDC mask-wearing recommendation changes means for travelers:

For the foreseeable future if you travel most anywhere you’ll be significantly changing the way you traveled before: Mask wearing, social distancing and many other pandemic protection characteristics will now become the status quo when traveling, perhaps for years to come.
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