Missed Connection

Missed Connection

The week following Labor Day is always a chaotic one for the travel industry and African tourism in particular, and this one was no exception! Does that mean that the pandemic is over and everyone’s packing their bags?

Not exactly, but … close. The Delta variant is a game changer. Problem is that we really don’t know how much of game changer yet. And while uncertainty is often travel’s greatest nemesis, it just doesn’t seem to be the case, today. I really sense that the educated – especially veteran travelers – believe they understand more about the pandemic than they don’t, nudging uncertainty only a tad into the spotlight.
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Travel Tanks

Travel Tanks

African tourism has tanked. A decline was predicted off the promising numbers of June but nothing like we’re seeing, now. The nosedive is exactly inversely proportional to the rates of virus spread, which both in the west Africa are much higher than had been predicted.

It means that travelers who had paid deposits and possibly even full payments are bailing. Since travel insurance no longer covers itinerary impacts from covid, these represent difficult decisions from a lot of angry travelers.
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Thar She Goes!

Thar She Goes!

Many of you have sent me a copy of last weekend’s NYTimes article, “Who Needs a Whirlwind Trip When You Can Take It Slow?” Thanks. But no thanks.

A lot of people need, enjoy and prosper with a whirlwind trip, including me. Among the others: those who aren’t super rich, those who don’t get unlimited time off, those who are exceptionally curious, those who are savvy enough to know that four days is usually no better than two and those who recognize that at the current moment “slow travel” is about the biggest come-on I’ve seen in my half century in this industry.

I can think of two reasons this might make any sense.
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Delta Details

Delta Details

Travelers are growing weary of Delta and I’m not referring to the airline. What exactly is your risk, especially if you’re contemplating a far-away journey?

Voluntary travel is rarely determined by facts, alone: It’s how you “feel” about the trip. But the more you’ve invested the more you need to understand the facts. If you cleared your calendar, made a deposit, bought airline tickets – well, then, go a little bit further than just how you might feel after watching the evening news.

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When To Go

When To Go

Everyone in sub-Saharan Africa is gearing up for an expected surge in tourists in just a few weeks. Oh how they’ll be disappointed.

The uncertainty of airline schedules, the flux in which European airports in particular continue to alter their in-and-out rules, much less the reliability of lodge and hotel services following more than 14 months of closure will make those travelers who actually have booked early departures balk before stepping on the plane.

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Dgc Etc

Dgc Etc

Like an archaeological dig with a thousand pieces slowly and painstakingly pieced together, we are discovering the image of Covid-19. For anxious travelers there’s definitely more hope than ever, but one big piece, India, dangerously eludes our grasp.

Vaccine passports requiring every single traveler to have her own cell phone, natural African herd immunity and a dangerous virus fuse in India are all center point.

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Covid Covering

Covid Covering

Traveling to Africa this year? Tanzania, South Africa, Egypt? Start right now looking for the perfect mask. If you find the perfect fit, when wearing and when not wearing glasses, travel to Africa later this year can achieve a level of acceptable safety. But it will not be like it was before the virus.

EWT’s safaris later this year include South Africa, Egypt/Jordan/Israel and Tanzania, so this blog refers mostly to those destinations. Here’s what I see coming for all EWT travelers.

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Ban The Virus

Ban The Virus

On January 25 President Biden issued a travel ban on the UK, Ireland, Brazil, most of Europe and South Africa. What does this mean?

For travelers with confirmed arrangements to any of these places this summer or later: nothing. You should disregard the notice, except that you should not make any additional arrangements – such as changes in your itinerary, airline reservations or extensions. For persons who were planning yet confirmed arrangements, you now need to wait.

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Vaccinated!

Vaccinated!

This blog is for old people who want to travel to Africa or similar places. Since old people are often spunkier and certainly smarter than young people, young’uns wouldn’t be wasting any time reading it, too. Just get your macchiato or Glenfiddich, whichever relaxes you best, find a rocking chair or bean bag then take a deep breath. Some brain scratching required.

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Covid Certification

Covid Certification

Travelers beware. As vaccinations ramp up and we all rush to get the shots you might be leaving yourself in the cold if you plan to travel abroad, especially to remote places like Africa.

Vaccination will come much later to developing countries even as the virus continues to rage there. Authorities will require travelers arriving from abroad to prove they have a valid vaccination.

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Not Yet!

Not Yet!

Kenya reports 3,458 Americans have so far entered the country as “tourists” this year. Down from a normal 225,000 Americans annually. The 3400 seems high; the statistic is tentative.

Following Moderna’s announcement this weekend of a second highly efficacious vaccine, my internet cable was cut by workmen but not until a ridiculous number of clients contacted me about booking flights. My reply? Patience. The time has not come yet.

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Traveling Empty

Traveling Empty

Hey, You Northern Hemispheric Dude! Remember when spring turned to summer and for brief periods you forgot about the virus? Unmasked walks and picnics with friends?

Despite that not being such a good idea, your friends on the other side of the world are going through that right now, and just like you they’re pretending.

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