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Obama visit to africa


Do American Presidents fear African wild animals?

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Do American Presidents fear African wild animals?
President Obama on previous visit to Africa / Image via nation.co.ke

By Apolinari Tario, eTN Correspondent, reporting from Tanzania | Jun 16, 2013

(eTN) - Just a couple of weeks before US President Barack Obama lands in Africa for a week-long official visit, interesting stories and news about his historic visit to this continent are coming up every day.

News about Obama’s cancellation of a two-hour safari (trip) to Tanzania’s southern tourist wildlife park of Mikumi, had so far, attracted most newspaper and online readers across East Africa.

A leading newspaper in East Africa, Kenya’s Daily Nation, covered the story quoting the Washington Post over the weekend, about the White House decision to cancel Obama’s safari to a Tanzanian wildlife park.

Both the two newspapers reported of big spending to be incurred if Obama has to visit the Tanzanian wildlife park, quoting a source in the White House as saying the President would require more resources to beef up his security in case he gets attacked by lions, cheetahs, or other wild animals.

“The safari would have required the President's special counterassault team to carry sniper rifles with high-caliber rounds that could neutralize cheetahs, lions, or other animals if they became a threat," the document made available to the Washington Post said.

The preparations even included sniper teams with high-powered rifles that would shadow the first family on a safari in Tanzania, ready to kill any animal that might become a threat.

The safari, however, was canceled "in favor of a trip to Robben Island off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa, where Nelson Mandela was held as a political prisoner," the Washington Post reported.

Reacting to the published report, various readers proved how misinformed Americans are about Africa, a reason which probably scare them from visiting this tourist-rich continent.

Most Americans believe that Africa is a wild continent, doomed with poverty, diseases, and wars which could jeopardize their holidays here, the same thinking which the White House took into account to cancel Obama’s safari to Mikumi National Park in Tanzania, a trip that would cost the White House nothing.

Dozens of vehicles will also be brought to the three countries by military transport planes, along with sheets of bulletproof glass to cover the windows of the hotels where the Obamas stay.

When Obama jets down in Tanzania, not necessary to transport all the way from the United States, three trucks loaded with sheets of bulletproof glass will be used to cover the windows of the hotels where the first family will stay because tight security will be mounted near all hotels, similar to the visit of George Bush in Dar es Salaam and Arusha years back.

All those, among other negative thinking by Americans about Africa, would cost the White House more money to foot Obama’s visit to his ancestral continent.

Readers as well, proved wrong the White House comment that Obama needed special agents and guns with high-caliber rounds to kill animals that would tempt to attack the US President.

“They failed to know that wild animals in African-protected tourist parks like the one Obama was planning to visit are very friendly to humans and could attack only when disturbed,” said a reader of the Obama visit to Africa news.

“I don’t [think] Obama will be attacked by lions and cheetahs because [there is] no available record telling us of such attacks. Americans should know that tourists from [the] US make walking safaris and night trips safely inside our tourist parks,” said another follower of Obama’s trip to Africa.

“You should get a Maasai to deal with that. Bow and arrows or spears are enough to protect you, Mr. Obama. We do not use riffles in Africa,” another reader said in his comment to the Daily Nation.

“Mr. President, just come to Tanzania. Let your security team take care of the airspace, we Maasai shall do rest. We can mobilize an army of about five thousand in a very short time for your safety. We assure you, no beast shall come near you,” commented a reader of the Daily Nation.



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