The development of the Covid-19 crisis is an unprecedented world event, which no one alive has experienced before. Rarely have we dealt with something which indiscriminately impacts all nations, all ages, races and economic groups without concern or favour. And while the basic health implications are going to be far-reaching, the broader economic and social ramifications will likely be hard felt for many years to come.
Looking out for those who need it
One of the greatest positive outcomes of any crisis, but especially around Covid-19, is that people tend to return to the basic humanitarian principle of looking out for one another. We have witnessed this in times of drought in Cape Town, the 9/11 attacks in New York and now the global crisis of Covid-19. Unfortunate as it may be, nothing connects or solidifies the concept of community like a crisis.
While we have seen panic and massive stockpiling of goods, we have also seen great sensitivity and care shown to those who need it the most. The elderly are being considered in ways never before seen; dedicated shopping hours, fast-tracking treatment and medication; neighbours speaking and connecting for the first time ever. How incredible to witness the human spirit at its finest! After all, we are all in this together. Let’s hope this poignant change in consciousness has lasting traction in society.
The Power of Community
We continue to see more and more travel restrictions imposed, as countries close their borders and towns and cities begin adhering to self-quarantine measures – day to day life as we know it will be very different for the foreseeable future.
For many big businesses, this will be a big knock in revenue and they will most likely ride it out for as long as they need to. For many small, entrepreneurial and family-owned businesses, Covid-19 will lead to a make or break time. While society shifts their focus to support those individuals who need it – we should also be making smart choices about supporting local and community-specific businesses where possible too, as these are the people most at economic risk during this turbulent time. The small bakery down the street who remains open trying to make an income – support them! The same can be said for the local barista, the florist, the fruit and veg shop owner and the family-run pizzeria – now is the time we all need to make a conscious effort to buy their goods and services to keep their businesses alive.
That being said, one of the industries being hit hardest, is travel. The global impact is only just beginning to come to light with jobs being immediately cut, large companies forcing unpaid sabbaticals and massive uncertainty around what the future might look like. The basic truth is that many travel companies, hotels and lodges will not be able to weather this storm – and the effect on all those individuals and their families will be catastrophic.
So how can you make a difference, how can one person try to stem the rot? Simple, every small step in the right direction makes a huge difference to the overall picture. Together we are stronger.
Don’t stop planning your trip to Africa
A trip to Africa is always a special one; and often has taken months of consulting with our Travel Experts to get it just right for you. What many people are not aware of is the very long chain of benefit this trip to Africa actually provides. By travelling consciously, as any trip with Rhino Africa is, it means that just one trip has enormous ramifications to many lives.
A guide or tracker, lodge chef or manager are often the sole providers for their families – and in the African culture, it is usually the extended family as well. So one lost job could directly impact around 10 people’s well-being and livelihood. We cannot allow this to happen – we need to be extraordinarily conscious of how our actions, or lack thereof, could impact and devastate many more lives.
To save the safari travel industry, we need to make sure we continue to plan and book for future travel. By booking (and paying deposits for future travel) you guarantee the livelihood of countless jobs and small businesses. Like with many crises in the past, we will come out of this, eventually, but what irreversible damage could we have mitigated in the meantime is an important factor to consider and try to solve. We know that insurance companies, airlines, hotels and lodges are all making drastic concessions on their usually stringent T&C’s to allow for client flexibility in travel and rebooking. This is an enormous win for all travellers and something to be excited about.
So now is definitely the time to continue to plan for your dream adventures; to dream of the magic of Africa and in so doing keeping the small businesses, the affected families and entire communities (who all rely on the travel industry to survive) alive and well. Be conscious of the knock-on effect of any fear-based action. At times of crisis, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, it is up to everyone to provide the hand of support and the voice of reason, every small bit counts. Together we will make a difference, together we will help those who need us the most, together we will rise stronger.
Dreaming of Africa
While we suggest you hold off on non-essential travel for the time being, now is the perfect time to get inspired by the magic of Africa.
- The Signature Southern Africa Safari
- The Great Migration: Safari in Style
- Why Botswana Should Be Next on your Bucket-List (in 2021)
- The Best Gorilla and Chimpanzee Trekking Adventure in Rwanda
- Africa Off The Beaten Track: Where You Need To Go
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