Africa – the world’s 2nd largest continent and at 30 million square kilometers, comfortably large enough to fit the whole of the United States inside of it 3 times over!

Ebola outbreak South Africa Safaris
A map detailing the distances between the initial outbreak and major global tourist centres.

The recent outbreak of Ebola has been highly publicised throughout this year across all forms of media – be it electronic or printed, you are no doubt already aware of the seriousness of the disease currently affecting the countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea in coastal West Africa resulting in the people most at risk from the disease being the residents of this region and the selfless health workers caring for affected people.

Much has been vaunted regarding the potential concerns for travellers wishing to visit other parts of Africa, particularly volunteers and visitors looking forward to a safari on this amazing continent due to the proximity of their location to the outbreak – the actual facts may surprise you!  If you are visiting Africa, for safari, to volunteer or for general tourism, chances are that your chosen destination will actually be further away from the original outbreak than your home town or country – particularly for European visitors!

Below are listed locations that are actually closer to the Ebola outbreak than Africas tourist hotspots and the popular safari countries such as South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana and so on:

London, England – 2 924 miles / 4 707km from Ebola

Paris, France – 2 780 miles / 4 474km from Ebola

Rome, Italy – 2 794 miles / 4 497km from Ebola

Barcelona, Spain – 2 292 miles / 3 688km from Ebola

Would Ebola stop you from travelling to these places?  For comparison, Cape Town, the jewel of Africas Tourism Crown is situated over 3300 miles from the outbreak affected region – much further away than London, Paris, Rome or Barcelona and as of the date of this post, South Africa as a country remains free of any reported cases of the disease.

Volunteer World International always recommends ‘knowledgable travel’ and to ‘know before you go’, for peace of mind and for further up to date information for anyone with concerns and considering a trip to Africa, please visit the FCO website for a comprehensive overview of the current status.