Yet again in Tanzania we encountered the same issue as in the Serengeti – a lack of tourists. We are staying in a lovely hotel which is half empty. We went on a Reef Tour this afternoon (more later) Snd the guys taking us tell that this is supposed to be the busy time of the year.
The reason yet again is Ebola! Not it’s presence.
THERE IS NO EBOLA IN TANZANIA!!
It is the FEAR OF EBOLA.
Westerners are being frightened off by irrational fears! Ebola is closer to London than Zanzibar and is nowhere near East Africa. Geographical ignorance is ruining the industry here. Europeans and Americans are staying away even though the risk is greater in their own countries than here. The poor people are suffering for no reason. So get out your Atlases and research properly before turning your back on a continent which could swallow USA, Europe, India and China with room to spare.
There is no Ebola in Tanzania. Africa is a big continent and Ebola is in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. To put this in context it is as far from Tanzania as London is from Toronto.
From the map you will see that the vast majority of countries are green – i.e. no confirmed Ebola. The red area in the west represents the outbreak – many thousands of miles from here
However, to here this disease being reported you get the idea that the whole of Africa is affected. People don’t generally travel from West Africa to East Africa and at the moment most countries are imposing restrictions on those that do. There have been isolated cases in the Democratic Republic of Congo (an enormous country which borders Tanzania) but the government here has imposed restriction on people’s movements and on the lakes which share the border the lakes which form part of the border fishermen face travel restrictions. On arrival in August we were scanned at the airport for signs of fever as we entered Dar Es Salaam airport. So they are certainly taking things seriously here. But there is no Ebola in Tanzania unlike in the US where people have died of the disease.
The problem is that countries without Ebola are being lumped together in one great big pot and so tourism is suffering. On safari last week our guide and others told us of the big downturn in visitors and that many were cancelling or delaying their holidays fearing Ebola. These decisions stem from a lack of understanding of Geography. Remember Africa is bigger than Europe and US put together.
Africa vs Europe and US
There is probably more chance of Ebola in London than here in Mwanza and it would be sad if the tourism industry died here because of unwarranted fears.