Well, will it?
By most people’s reckoning, 2014 was not a good year for Africa. It was a year when the continent was constantly in the news but for all the wrong reasons.
With the headlines shouting out about deadly viruses and repeated attacks by Islamic militants across the continent, it was no real surprise that most travellers sought alternative destinations.
What about 2015?
So will 2015 be any different and, with the benefit of hindsight, how much of a risk would you really have been taking if you’d gone on safari in 2014?
Perhaps I’m not the best person to answer that as I went to Africa in 2014. In fact I went several times.
The big scare was Ebola. It caused an unprecedented level of holiday cancellations across the whole continent but the fear was irrational; most of Africa’s safari destinations are further away from the West African epicentre of the virus than almost every European capital.
Once again it simply illustrated just how poor some people’s grasp of geography is. To them it is as if Africa one vast single country, not a continent with 55 recognised individual states.
So when Islamic terrorists commit atrocities in Kenya and Nigeria, much of East and West Africa is tarnished with the same brush.
Kenya, one of Africa’s most iconic safari destinations, had a dreadful year; local tour operators reported that bookings fell by as much as 70%. Yet even Kenya was, for the most part, a safe place to travel and those that did visit were able to enjoy the parks and their magnificent wildlife in rare tranquillity; even in peak season.
So what about 2015?
Ebola is no longer in the headlines. That doesn’t mean it has gone away, it hasn’t. People are still dying but now that we have a much better understanding of the virus and how to tackle it, perhaps we have finally started to view it in a more rational light.
Of course the threat from Islamic militants still exists but their activities are not confined to any geographical area. 2014 ended with an attack in Sydney and 2015 has begun with a terrible atrocity in the heart of Paris yet most of us would have no hesitation in visiting either city.
I will certainly be returning to Africa in 2015 and I sincerely hope that you’ll make 2015 the year that you visit Africa too. There’s nowhere in the world quite like it and there are some great deals out there to entice you. Take advantage of them.
If you would like to chat with other travellers to find out more about what it is like travelling in Africa then why not visit SAFARITALK.NET. The wealth of information and advice you’ll find here is incredible.