Today's traveler want the opportunity to truly connect and experience a totally new and exciting way of life, the effects of which will last long after they return home.
I just returned from Zoom Egypt with a small group and the question on everyone's mind is whether we/I felt safe.
I would say without any hesitation that we were safe in many ways. From a security perspective, given recent history the government has taken extra measures to secure all points of travel as well as tourist sites and areas. As an American we were made to feel welcome. We were often asked "where are you from?" as a way to start conversation, and invariably they would say "welcome!".
Despite the rhetoric about traveling in the Middle East as a gay person, I also felt very welcome and safe. It was a non issue. In fact, on our first day in Cairo I spend the day visiting at the beautiful home of an Egyptian couple I first met in Mykonos about 20 years ago. They have been together for 37 years and explained that gay life in Egypt is alive and well, although it's practiced differently than in the US.
We had a question come into the office the other day that I thought I would answer for other readers as well.
I live in San Diego and we have an awesome zoo here. Why do you recommend doing a safari in Africa?
That is a great question! This is like saying that you have a subscription to a gourmet food magazine, so why would you eat. Traveling to Africa and seeing the Big Five up close and in their natural habitat is something everyone should experience at least once in their life. It is sheer magic. Every moment is unpredictable, just like nature. You never know if you will see a lion and lioness mating, a leopard taking down an impala, a pair of zebra frolicking, or a baby rhino curiously approaching your vehicle.
But it's not just about the animals. The landscape plays just as much a role in the magic. On June 22, UNESCO declared the Okavango Delta its 1000 World Heritage site. One of the unique characteristics of the Delta is that the annual flooding from the river Okavango occurs during the dry season, with the result that the native plants and animals have synchronized their biological cycles with these seasonal rains and floods. It is an exceptional example of the interaction between climatic, hydrological and biological processes.
The Okavango Delta is home to some of the world's most endangered species of large mammal, such as the cheetah, white rhinoceros, black rhinoceros, African wild dog and lion. I am headed back to southern Africa with a group in literally just days to experience South Africa, Zambia and Botswana again, and I just cannot wait! Let the magic begin!