A spa in Cairo is offering a massage where snakes slither on the back of customers to help them relax.
The establishment, called Chill Out, uses two types of non-venomous snake per session, from a total of 29 non-venomous snakes in Egypt.
The session lasts for 2040 minutes and the owner claims the unorthodox practice boosts blood circulation.
“We first targeted our regular clients, we showed them photos of the session, as well as the benefits and safety. Most of them were interested and joined. It spread via word of mouth and then social media increased the momentum. I can see it gaining popularity. Our dream, to spread the culture of massage in Egypt and make people embrace it, started five years ago,” explained the owner Safwat Sedki.
The masseuse spreads oil on the body and allows the snakes to move around.
Some species, such as the Abu Sweir snakes, are known to be light and ticklish whereas the python is much larger and heavier, squeezing the clients.
Sedki believes that the practice also helps get rid of fear and tension, boosting hormones related to relaxation and happiness.
Fancy a snake massage?
African aviation recovers but needs cash injection Air traffic on the continent is recovering faster than in other regions around the world despite a devastating second wave of Covid-19, according to the African Airlines Association (AFRAA).
While a sharp increase in virus cases in several more developed markets has sparked a return to lockdowns, most African countries have kept their borders open, even as the continent suffers from increasing infections and a death rate above the global average.
Despite mounting concern over the severity of the second wave, travel within the region has continued at a reduced rate.
“The demand remains high and we have seen that intra-Africa traffic is starting to recover faster than in other regions globally,” says Abderahmane Berthé, AFRAA secretary general.
Domestic markets have been at the forefront of this recovery as local flights take up an increasing share of overall air travel. While large festive celebrations were impossible for many European and North American families over Christmas, Africans continued to travel within the region during the same period.
In January, AFRAA recorded that African airlines had resumed 68.4% of international routes, while passenger numbers were around 50% less than before 2020.
Despite a faster pace of recovery, industry losses have mounted to $10.4bn in January, according to AFRAA.
“Most African airlines were losing money even before the pandemic,” says Berthé. “Most of them risk going bankrupt if adequate support is not given as soon as possible.”
The African Union had proposed $25bn to bail out struggling African carriers last year.
The Chill Out spa in Cairo, Egypt uses non-venemous snakes for massage therapy Opposite: Workers clearing tiny Port Jackson trees from the slopes of Chapman Peak in Cape Town