Although many safari and lodging companies have Black African guides and staff, the African Travel and Tourism Association estimates that 15 percent of its 600-plus members are Black owners, something that locals say plays a part in the feeling that they are not welcome.
“These luxury resorts and companies that focus on foreigners are finally being friendly to local Tanzanians and that’s good,” Mr. Mahiga said. “But since Covid started I’ve found myself wondering, ‘Why don’t I support really local business, especially when the foreign ones never wanted my money before?’”
For their part, companies say that locals tend to plan their trips later than foreign visitors, so that usually when they inquire, they are already booked.
Frequently Asked Questions
Updated September 1, 2020
Why is it safer to spend time together outside?
- Outdoor gatherings lower risk because wind disperses viral droplets, and sunlight can kill some of the virus. Open spaces prevent the virus from building up in concentrated amounts and being inhaled, which can happen when infected people exhale in a confined space for long stretches of time, said Dr. Julian W. Tang, a virologist at the University of Leicester.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
- In the beginning, the coronavirus seemed like it was primarily a respiratory illness — many patients had fever and chills, were weak and tired, and coughed a lot, though some people don’t show many symptoms at all. Those who seemed sickest had pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome and received supplemental oxygen. By now, doctors have identified many more symptoms and syndromes. In April, the C.D.C. added to the list of early signs sore throat, fever, chills and muscle aches. Gastrointestinal upset, such as diarrhea and nausea, has also been observed. Another telltale sign of infection may be a sudden, profound diminution of one’s sense of smell and taste. Teenagers and young adults in some cases have developed painful red and purple lesions on their fingers and toes — nicknamed “Covid toe” — but few other serious symptoms.
Why does standing six feet away from others help?
- The coronavirus spreads primarily through droplets from your mouth and nose, especially when you cough or sneeze. The C.D.C., one of the organizations using that measure, bases its recommendation of six feet on the idea that most large droplets that people expel when they cough or sneeze will fall to the ground within six feet. But six feet has never been a magic number that guarantees complete protection. Sneezes, for instance, can launch droplets a lot farther than six feet, according to a recent study. It’s a rule of thumb: You should be safest standing six feet apart outside, especially when it’s windy. But keep a mask on at all times, even when you think you’re far enough apart.
I have antibodies. Am I now immune?
- As of right now, that seems likely, for at least several months. There have been frightening accounts of people suffering what seems to be a second bout of Covid-19. But experts say these patients may have a drawn-out course of infection, with the virus taking a slow toll weeks to months after initial exposure. People infected with the coronavirus typically produce immune molecules called antibodies, which are protective proteins made in response to an infection. These antibodies may last in the body only two to three months, which may seem worrisome, but that’s perfectly normal after an acute infection subsides, said Dr. Michael Mina, an immunologist at Harvard University. It may be possible to get the coronavirus again, but it’s highly unlikely that it would be possible in a short window of time from initial infection or make people sicker the second time.
For Beks Ndlovu, the founder of African Bush Camps, an independently owned safari company, promoting local rates has always been a key part of operating a business in any country. Mr. Ndlovu’s company has 15 luxury tented camps and lodges in Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia, and has, for years, offered advantageous local rates to residents of countries that are part of the Southern African Development Community, a regional economic community. For foreign guests, depending on the season, a stay can run between $400 and $950 per person per night, but for locals and people from the region it is $250 to $380 per person per night.
“This is not something that’s new to us,” he said. “We’ve actively promoted our offerings and the rate we offer is very favorable to locals because we understand the earnings in this part of the world are different from that of the international traveler.”
Mr. Ndlovu, who is Zimbabwean, said that offering local rates isn’t enough; he believes that his company has been successful among locals in the countries where it has camps because locals are treated as well as Europeans and Americans are — something that goes a long way, he said.
Some people, like Lelo Boyana, who works in finance in Johannesburg and hosts the travel podcast Chica Travel, worry that the push for local guests won’t last past the pandemic. Ms. Boyana said that although she has taken advantage of local rates throughout South Africa this year, she remains skeptical of how much of the money spent by travelers goes to locals, another common criticism of safari companies. Travelers, she said, need to ask more questions about where their money is going and companies need to do more than discount stays.