Ebola and My Trip to Africa

Illustration of the Ebola virus

I’ve been asked numerous times this week whether or not I’m afraid to go on my upcoming trip to Namibia and South Africa with the current Ebola outbreak on the African continent. My answer is no, for the following reasons.

I spoke with Ian from the Africa Adventure Company yesterday to finalize a few details on my trip. I asked him what impact they have been seeing. At this time, he isn’t aware of any travelers who have cancelled their plans, but people are asking if there are specific things they should be aware of while they travel.

Many countries in Africa rely heavily on tourism and if the ebola virus spreads or if travelers panic and refuse to visit, it will be a financial catastrophe for each of those countries. I’m not surprised they are taking it seriously. Not just because of the financial implications, but because they want to protect their citizens.

Will I be taking some precautions? Yes.

  • I’ll be wiping down hard surfaces on the airplane with anti-bacterial wipes. I’m still doing research on which wipes I’ll purchase. I’m not sure if it will help, but it certainly won’t hurt.
  • As always, I’ll be vigilant about washing my hands throughout the trip.
  • There are experts in all these countries that have far more knowledge than I do, so I’ll be listening and acting on the instructions provided at the airport and other locations.

I can’t even begin to imagine the horror and sadness of those impacted by the Ebola Virus in Sierre Leon, Guinea and Liberia. Just following the headlines will tell some of the story. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone suffering from this terrible virus.

Ebola Outbreak Instills Terror in West African Families

As I write about my trip, I’ll be including what I’m seeing and experiencing relating to the impact of this outbreak in the countries I’m visiting. Please sign up to be notified of new posts if you are interesting in following along. 

Cathy Chester

I can’t wait to hear all about your trip, Jennifer. This is a Bucket List item for me, and after reading Lois Alter Mark’s trip to an elephant sanctuary and her trip to Africa, I want to see those fabulous animals (and all the others.) Safe travels and looking forward to your posts.

jasteck

I’m so excited, Cathy. I love Africa and am thrilled to be visiting again ten years after the first time. Reading about Lois’s trip just amplified the anticipation. 🙂

jasteck

Thanks Emelyn. I love following you on all your amazing travels. Your photos have been magnificent!!

Kathy

Enjoy your trip. Can’t wait to read about it. As far as the hand-wipes, I would like to suggest hospital grade. My fiance works in a medical lab and the ones they use kill everything within seconds. Safe trip!

Doreen McGettigan

I am looking forward to hearing about your trip too, travel safely!
Last night I heard from a friend that works in a lab that there is a case of Ebola in Philadelphia (where I live) and the CDC arrived last night.
So scary but we will be taking extra precautions too.

jasteck

That is frightening Doreen, but not unexpected. Maybe this will focus energy and money on treatment options so that there are options for treatment available.

jasteck

Thanks Kathy. That’s what I will look for. I know most of them are to weak to really help. I appreciate the great advice!!

Kristi Campbell

I think your attitude is perfect and I’d LOVE to go to Africa. It’s definitely on my dream list of “travel to in this life” places. The thing about horrible diseases and other horrible things that can kill us, is that they can get us anyway. I mean the woman hiding in her home and never leaving it could be the home that an airplane crashes into right? So why not live life (with precautions such as not going INTO the infected areas) as fully as possible? Also, I’m way impressed that they have detectors to scan for higher than normal body temperatures. Ebola is so scary and my heart breaks for those affected by it. I can’t wait to hear about your trip!!

jasteck

You are so right, Kristi. I want to live life and plan to keep moving forward. I’m so excited. Now I just need to pack and charge all my camera batteries. 🙂

jasteck

Thanks for stopping by, Dena. That’s my mantra pretty much. I’m a believer that when my time comes, it won’t matter where I am. 🙂

Considerer

It sounds like you’re taking every precaution possible, and I really hope that you’re not impacted AT ALL by this on your trip, having already had to postpone it once. Can’t wait to hear all about it 🙂

Mandi

You seem to have the right attitude. We can’t all live in fear, and it sounds like a trip of a life time. I’ll have to come back and read about it.

AlwaysARedhead

I have a friend who lives in South Africa, she is originally from the UK and she is not the least bit worried about the Ebola crisis because she is no where near the infected areas.

jasteck

My plan is to blog as I have internet, Lizzi. I’ve bought plenty of memory cards for my camera so there will be lots of pictures too. 🙂

jasteck

It will be the trip of a lifetime, Mandi. I’m definitely on countdown and eager to get going. Still, I’m watching the news just so I’m aware of what’s going on.

jasteck

Thanks for stopping by, Catherine! That’s great news. I love South Africa and plan to spend at least a month there after I retire. I understand why your friend has chosen to live there.

Carol Cassara

There’s no end to the things that can hurt us in the world and I admire your willingness to go. I would not go. For me even a small risk for a dissease without a cure is too big a risk. Africa is on our list, but there are other places we’ll go while this one sorts itself out. I hope you have a wonderful, safe and healthy trip.

sarah lee

i am traveling to Namibia in two weeks time, everyone is asking me if im worried as well, after reading your post i m not. thank you and keep posting

enjoy your holiday 🙂

jasteck

Everyone has to decide the best course of action for themselves, Carol. Hopefully they will find a treatment and cure soon. You’ll love Africa when the time is right to go. I’ll let you know how things appear on the ground.

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