Dear Dashir Friends
Well, well, well. Here we are, a long ways from my last blog. My apologies for being quiet since then. I’ll spare you the excuses, so without further ado, here we go! 🙂
At Dashir, we are doing very well. We are incredibly happy that COVID-19 has had little effect in Africa so far, as compared to many other countries. Hard to know why, but suffice to say we are ever so grateful. So far, there are no known cases in our Dashir staff families of 45 employees and casual workers, and also none in our Kikwe village community. The city of Arusha was hit hard for a few weeks and now it has died down completely (we have our Arusha people who can provide us with accurate inside information). We are continuing to provide half work and salary for our 30 employees for as long as we are able. Our workers are learning to practice distancing, hand washing, and sanitizing procedures.
Of course tourism has been virtually non-existent in Tanzania for the past two months, having a drastic effect on the economy in our Arusha area, which is largely dependent on tourism. We do not expect any business or worker subsidies from the government. On June 1st, most of the safari hotels and lodges opened up in Tanzania, under strict health protocols. Our international airport opened on May 18th, with no quarantine if guests pass screening. Qatar, Ethiopian, and Turkish are some airlines which have started regular flights each week to Tanzania. Several hundred tourists are on safari already and more are coming. As some quip, “distancing is easy in the expansive Serengeti plains”!
At Dashir, we will open July 1st for guests who are able to come; those who would be the “early safari adopters” during COVID-19. We believe that Dashir and safari can be done in a very safe fashion, with much of the experience being outdoors, even at meal times. Drivers will have regular testing, while lodges and vehicles will be continuously and thoroughly sanitized.
One thing I have done almost every day in the past two months is a post to our Facebook page, featuring current safari videos and life at Dashir. Have a look to see what’s been happening. https://web.facebook.com/dashirlodge/
We are excited to have started a new chat session series – candid, fun, informative, and uncut – with the four of us who toured Canada last year: Darryl, Shirley, Simon, and Jeremiah. The episodes will air each week on Facebook and YouTube. Check out the pilot episode we shot in one take with no prep at the end of May.
Ok, that it’s for now. Glad to finally get back on track with a regular blog. We are currently working on some exciting initiatives to benefit our staff and community, and will inform you about those soon. In addition, we are offering a nice discount on future safaris for those who are interested and able. More details on that also coming soon on Facebook and our Website.
In the meantime, stay well, enjoy the outdoors, and feel free to drop us a note any time.
Have a nice day.
Darryl, for Shirley and our Dashir Family