Africa is known throughout the West as the Mysterious Continent or the Dark Continent. There are tons of myths and misconceptions about Africa which can affect your enjoyment of a safari trip. They may even might discourage people from taking a safari, which can be one of the most thrilling experiences of a life. Here are some of the most common myths as they relate to safari trips.
Africa is Dangerous
When people watch the world news, all they see of Africa are wars, revolutions, pirates, disease and death. It’s no wonder that the continent holds such a dark reputation. Consider, however, the American news that hits the world outlets — people could think that the U.S. is a war zone with the violence shown on the nightly news! The truth is, bad news sells, but Africa overall is not more dangerous than any other place in the world. Sure, there are hot spots, but violence against tourists is exceptionally rare, and guided safaris are quite safe.
Poverty and Disease
How many times have you seen commercials about “adopting” African children “for the price of a cup of coffee,” or about some celebrity “raising awareness” of the need for Africa to “develop?” It’s not surprising that people think Africa is a poor, disease-ridden continent. It is true that the level of poverty in Africa dwarfs that you see in most Western nations, but there are also middle-class people, and areas that have great education, bouncing nightlife and advanced healthcare. Some African countries, in fact, are wealthier statistically than some European ones!
A Lack of History
Too many people view Africa’s history and culture as being one of recent industrialization and squabbling tribes battling in unforgiving climates. They don’t stop to consider the Great Pyramids in Egypt, the incredible Ethiopian churches, stunning rock-carved statues and more which are the cultural legacy and rich history of this region. If you are fascinated by ancient history and the monuments of those who came before, you could not ask for a better vacation than an African safari trip.
People think that safari trips are exceptionally dangerous due to vast herds of rampaging and unchecked wild animals. The truth is, most safaris take place on game preserves which have been specially created to foster the habitat of these creatures and even help with the rejuvenation of endangered species. Certainly, some animals do encroach on human cities (and vice-versa), but consider that even in New York City coyotes have been seen wandering at night!
It’s a Hot Place
People assume that Africa is sweltering hot all the time. The truth is, it’s a vast continent and while some areas are always hot and even desert-like, there are also areas that receive all four seasons. It just depends on where in Africa you decide to visit. Did you know that you can even see penguins in the southern regions?
Are you ready to take an exotic, dream vacation where you will experience and see things you cannot anywhere else in the world? Take a look at the safari trips we have to offer, and give us a call to get started today!
Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa