If you ask me, the moment Ukip MEP Godfrey Bloom opened his mouth and said British aid should not go to “Bongo-Bongo Land” I knew we were in for it; that there would be a tide of moral outrage of the kind that could last almost a full 48 hours, before another, different tide of moral outrage swept everyone away elsewhere. They are exhausting, these waves, and often so hysterical they’re all reaction without any thought.
Is Mr Bloom simply a racist idiot? Or might there be something in what he said?
First, I need to say my family and I have visited Bongo-Bongo Land on several occasions, as arranged by the specialists, Bongo-Bongo Adventures (www.BongoBongoAdventures.com), so can report, first-hand, that it is not a mythical destination, devised as a means of referring to Third World countries in a derogatory and patronisingly colonial way.
It is a real place with a fantastic landscape, and great beaches, but I would not advise visiting without an expert guide. Bongo-Bongo Adventures can arrange this, and it will ensure you’re met at the airport and immediately transferred via jeep or people carrier to a nice hotel – the Bongo-Bongo Hilton, usually – without seeing anything of the real people or the real city, which would be a drag.
Your final destination will be up to you, but we have always stayed at Lake Bongo-Bongo Lodge, which is right on the edge of Lake Bongo-Bongo in the middle of the country’s national park, and foreign-owned, so they understand our quirky First World ways, like wanting a proper toilet. There’s tons to do. You can go on safari, and disturb wildlife, or take a day trip to a local town, shopping in the market for local-made goods so dirt cheap it’s like: No wonder they can’t afford to send their own children to school!
In the evening, you’ll be so pooped it’ll be all you can do to sit on the veranda, sip a pina colada as served by your personal butler, and watch the sun going down while thinking: “This is the life! They should be sending cash to the UK, not the other way round!” Our personal butler is always Joseph, who has worked at the lodge since he was seven years old and loves it so much he’d rather sleep on a bare patch of ground out back than ever leave the place!
So, you know, I just wish people would think a little more before they shoot their mouths off about “racism”, or patronising colonialism, and also I hope they’ll visit Bongo-Bongo Land, although one last word of advice: never leave tips. They’ll only waste the money on something silly and unnecessary, like fancy sunglasses, so it’s for their own good, really. Yes, it is.