African Cowardice

African Cowardice

“We must complete our recovery from the embers of dead empires in a way that does not plunge us back into new forms of domination and oppression.”

When Kenya’s Martin Kimani, ambassador to the UN, concluded his lambasting of Russia in the UN Security Council last Tuesday we waited for the rest of Africa to follow suit. They didn’t.

My surprise has turned to anger. A life of empathy with Africa’s condition riles my intellect. What the hell is wrong with Africa, the part of the world that has suffered more from foreign occupation than any other?
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Unholy Alliance

Unholy Alliance

South Africa’s repugnant refusal to condemn Russia is a dangerous over estimation of the importance of its BRICS trade alliance. As a leader of much of the African world, it’s cultish suicide.

Attempts to frame the Ukrainian invasion as just another dispute among us rich and powerful is shameful. The South African Rand plunged today. Apparently the Rand understands.
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Presses & Pandas

Presses & Pandas

Some of us took advantage of the one-two punch of Trump + Pandemic. With alternate mixtures of anger, depression and irresolvable feelings of capture we were motivated to learn a little bit about past U.S. pandemics and presidents.

My fascination with early man never reached the point of exchanging empathy with an Australopithecine, but boy do I feel brotherly closeness to the Republican reconstructionists and Boston priests and doctors conscripted for forced vaccinations! With a longer view of America than one lifetime there’s no democracy among angels. It’s been a sludge fest the whole way.
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Relax & Enjoy

Relax & Enjoy

Imagine at long last! You wiggle happily into your preferred economy seat that you agonized over buying. Not bad. As the stream of pushing and shoving passengers push down the aisle to the back of the plane you smile quietly nodding your head to yourself. Preferred economy was undoubtedly the first right decision. Sighing you just hope that all the other decisions will prove just as good!

Vacations were never as important. As problematic. As uncertain. The long time since you last left home because of the pandemic grew so depressing that it was difficult to spring out of! The first difficult decision was just to do it! And you did! Congratulations!
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Damn The Dark!

Damn The Dark!

I am so fortunate to have so many memories that when I sit down for tea with my bride of fifty years each morning squeezing out an arthritic knee or two, I wonder how the hell I’ve been to all those places! But you know no matter how depressed or infirmed or isolated I might feel under this era of darkness, when you stop making new memories the old ones start to wither away. So I won’t be posting several blogs in the next week or so, because I’ve got to make some new memories quick!

Email me and maybe join me soon to discover some fantastic memories waiting just over that horizon. It’s not as far away as you think. jimh@ewtravel.com

In The Darkness

In The Darkness

Britain’s House of Lords isn’t normally a cauldron for news. Scheduled tea breaks would likely prevail over debate of the imminent apocalypse of an asteroid racing towards Westminster. But Wednesday Lord Peter Hain managed to step onto the world stage to – with not quite these words – warn America of what has just happened in South Africa.

I’ve often connected South Africa and former President Zuma, with America and former President Trump. Well, move Mitt Romney into the mix, now. Something’s very depressing about all of this.
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On The March

On The March

Western fixation with terrorism at the expense of poverty and basic human rights is finally coming home to roost in Africa.

New or reinvigorated democracies supported by the U.S. and France are imploding. Military coups are rearranging the rubble. A decade or so ago this would have represented serious political backwardness. But now it’s quite different. I’m surprised to find myself saying so, but these military coups look a lot better than the regimes they’re toppling.
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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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Ngami Pandemic

Ngami Pandemic

Shortly after crossing the parched deserts of what is now southern Namibia the explorer Charles John Andersson collapsed onto the embankment of the Hountop stream that ultimately led into the mighty Orange River. Dangerously relieved he almost fell asleep rather than drink some life-saving water. He had “made it through,” according to his book, Lake Ngami.

“But I was soon destined to experience a greater calamity… I was seized by a violent shivering fit which lasted three hours, then came the fever, of almost as long duration, accompanied by racking headache and profuse perspiration.”

These are classic symptoms of malaria. It was April just after the rains when malaria is most severe. But this was long before malaria was known and Andersson was convinced it was a pandemic.
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Klassy Kruger

Klassy Kruger

Kruger National Park in South Africa remains the best managed large wilderness on earth. (Yellowstone is close but suffers from too little regulation because consumer demand is so high and ranchers so powerful.) But “best managed” does not mean most “spectacular” or “awe-inspiring” and definitely not “wildest.” Those attributes belong absolutely to the Serengeti.

And it’s the reason the Serengeti is so much more threatened than Kruger. The wildness of the Serengeti just doesn’t fit in with modern life.

Poorly managed and under-resourced kids are still being trampled by elephants, farmers are victimized by diseases like hoof-and-mouth and yellow fever that run rampant in a truly wild environment, and necessary dams and structured catchments essential for agriculture can’t be implemented without random destruction to the wild.
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Dream Away

Dream Away

I was 15 years old, wasting the last bits of summer wandering with my dog alone in the forests behind my house and the prairies behind the forests returning late for cold dinners.

“I have a dream,” Martin Luther King said as I was wandering on August 28, 1963, at the opening of the “March on Washington” in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

I always got home in time for Walter Cronkite at 6 p.m. Walter had just started with the “March on Washington” when my local Memphis affiliate cut out of the newscast to run a car dealership ad three times in a row before shifting early to local weather!
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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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Divy Up

Divy Up

Minutes after Biden’s speech ended the media of sub-Sahara Africa fired up. No matter they were all ending their day: “Biden tears into Trump,” Nigeria’s Independent online newspaper proclaimed. South Africa’s Business Insider focused on Barak Obama’s praise of the speech.

“Democracy is at a greater risk,” Business Insider concluded.

You have to go outside America to see what the speech means. No matter how historical or consequential the speech may be for Democrats and progressives, it doesn’t exist for Trumpians.
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Wars Woke

Wars Woke

I love Biden but boy do I wish Bernie were President. So do progressives throughout Africa and much of the rest of the world, including … Canada.

“The American polity is cracked, and might collapse. … some experts believe it could descend into civil war. What should Canada do then?” This is not social media garbage; it’s the editorial board of Canada’s biggest newspaper.
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