DANGERS OF THE TROPICS

Overseas travel has become commonplace since large airliners have conquered the problem of distance. It is not surprising, then, that in the more temperate regions of the earth travel agents keep issuing glossy brochures and leaflets, tempting us to travel to far-distant exotic countries. If you live in an area where glittering snow and majestic mountains predominate, it is hard to resist the call to experience the peculiar charm of the tropics; to enjoy a walk in the balmy air under palm trees or amid banana trees, laze around in the shade of huge avocado trees, watch the crocodiles from a canoe, follow an elephant herd in a jeep driven by a watchful guide, or perhaps admire some lions roaming in absolute freedom. An added bonus would be the prospect of getting to know the customs, habits and life-style of the natives. In reality, travelling in tropical countries is often arduous and not always as pleasant as some might make us believe, even though it may be interesting. The people who encourage us to visit faraway places are usually so enthusiastic about them that it does not occur to them to alert us to the dangers the tropics can have in store for us. Not even the travel agencies see fit to do so, but as you will see from what follows below their suggested precautions and insurance are really not enough in every case.

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