I’d Fly To S. Africa Amid Ebola Fears But…

a screenshot of a social media postLast night I came across a couple of interesting tweets from my friend Rene, author of sites such as Delta Points and Delta Mileage Runs.

The first tweet was about a post for a favorable airfare from Toronto to Cape Town, South Africa for $975. Probably a very solid price but not something I’d be interested in. Since I travel with Kim and Lucas, $975 would then become $2,925 for the three of us. Plus, I’d still have to get us from NYC to Toronto.

I’m also not really looking to go to South Africa at the moment since Kim and I have been there twice (although we did not get  to visit the famous Kruger Park).

a man sitting on a rock
Table Mountain, Cape Town

During our visits we used South Africa as a start/ end point for our trips. We really loved Cape Town visiting sites like Table Mountain, Robben Island, the Cape Peninsula, went shark cage diving and more. We got to know Johannesburg by taking a township tour, visiting a local school and taking a day trip to the De Wildt- Ann Van Dyke Cheetah Center.

Other than South Africa, Kim and I have also been to Namibia, Kenya and Uganda. (We’ve also been to Egypt but I don’t consider it in the same classification as the Africa I am referring to…)

In Rene’s other tweet (shown above) he had a “Serious question”.

“Anyone afraid to visit South Africa over #Ebola that is in West Africa?”

Rene also included an Ebola map in his tweet and his post:

a map of africa with different colored areas
image from Delta Mileage Run post

The countries shaded green have no confirmed cases of Ebola, those shaded yellow have confirmed cases and red means confirmed outbreaks.

I absolutely love Africa. My trips there are some of my favorite travel moments (among many others).

So would I visit South Africa now with a worldwide fear of Ebola around the region?

I have what I’d best describe as a two-pronged answer.

I am not afraid to visit South Africa due to Ebola and would fly there right now if the price was too good to pass up. However I would not go near West Africa.

For those of you unsure of where South Africa is on the map shown above, it is the country at the very bottom of the continent. The closest country to South Africa with a confirmed case of Ebola is the Democratic Republic of Congo which is a little under 2,000 miles away.

What this means is that living in New York puts me closer to a person with Ebola that it does a person in South Africa.

I don’t want people to think that I am reckless. Although I am not afraid of catching Ebola in South Africa, I wouldn’t want to get much closer to the countries that are affected.

This is all hypothetical here. In the end I wouldn’t go to Africa for a very different reason than Ebola. When visiting Africa, you are supposed to take antimalarial drugs. (Kim and I took them for both of our trips.)

Since Lucas travels with us on pretty much all of our trips (we left him home for the first time recently), I am not ready to give a 2.5 year old antimalarial pills. Trips to Africa usually tend to be a bit longer and we’re also not about to leave him home for 2+ weeks.

So once again, I’m not afraid to go to South Africa due to Ebola but probably would not go due to other reasons…

What are your thoughts on traveling to Africa due to Ebola? Are you afraid to go or would you just be sure to avoid certain parts of the region?

6 thoughts on “I’d Fly To S. Africa Amid Ebola Fears But…

  1. Al- I know. Awful…

    Joey- Might be safer than here at the moment.

    Texquill- It’s getting a little scary in Dallas. Be safe.

    Beck- Right. During our trips to Africa, the Americans seemed to all be on Malaria meds while some of the Europeans weren’t. I’d rather be safe than sorry.

    TopGunner- Great points! I do want to go back to Africa when Lucas is a little bit older. For us, it’s not the right time yet.

  2. The whole of Africa, or even SA, does not require malaria prophylaxis. It depends on the region and time of year. I took my three kids to Kruger, a confirmed malaria zone, but because it was winter we did not take any meds. No mosquitoes anywhere.

    1. Beck is right, it’s amazing how much bad medicine is practiced in the US. You only need malaria prophylaxis in certain cases, which are well defined by the WHO. It is ignorance that has so many people taking powerful drugs when they are at almost no risk for malaria for their visit. It contributes to the upcoming crisis in this class of drugs and antibiotics as well.

      So Michael, you shouldn’t worry about the drugs as a limitation on visiting SA or most of Africa on a whim or with the little one. The only thing, if you are travelling in central/eastern Africa, is to get your Yellow Fever vaccination.

  3. Michael, I agree. If the fare is attractive, we’d go back to south Africa in a heartbeat. We live in Dallas, so we’re overexposed to the media coverage of ebola; however, I understand the difference between south Africa and west Africa!

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