By Hilary Dubyk
As a guest of South African Tourism, our Africa specialist Hilary recently attended Africa’s Travel Indaba which is held every May in Durban, South Africa and is one of the largest tourism marketing events on the African calendar. It showcases the widest variety of Africa’s best tourism products and attracts international buyers and media from across the world.
With three days full of meetings and networking events, Hilary met with a huge number of new and existing suppliers in order to learn about exciting new product and developments in the industry as well as to strengthen existing relationships with our long standing partners. In the last year we have seen huge growth in the number of clients travelling to Africa and we are confident this will only continue as more Australians and New Zealanders are ready to experience this incredibly diverse and magical continent for themselves.
- Here are the top 5 things that Hilary took away from Africa’s Travel Indaba 2019:
- Most suppliers in the Africa travel industry, and particularly those operating safari camps, are now placing sustainability at the heart of their business. This is an important shift in priorities that hopes to combat worrying statistics like the fact that tourism as a global industry currently contributes 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to a focus on “going green”, many suppliers also have dedicated programs focused on community development, wildlife conservation, and other fantastic efforts to give back to the local areas in which they operate.
- Before arriving in Durban, Hilary discovered that the surrounding province of KwaZulu-Natal is an amazing destination on its own within South Africa. KZN is home to the stunning Drakensberg Mountains, historic 19th century Zulu/British/Boer battlefields, “Big Five” safari in the Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve, birding & boating in the St Lucia Wetlands, and the warm ocean beaches of the Dolphin Coast – not to forget the rich and vibrant Zulu culture that ties the entire trip together. Travellers can easily spend two weeks in this one province alone and have a wonderful, multi-faceted holiday which we would highly recommend.
- There is truly something for EVERYONE in Africa. Hilary saw everything from adventurous group overland tours to luxury private flying safaris, from rustic tented camps to luxury safari lodges, from charming boutique hotels to large family-friendly resorts. Whether you want to focus entirely on safari or enjoy a multifaceted holiday including beaches, mountains, rainforests, deserts, winelands, cosmopolitan cities, cultural interactions, archaeological treasures… the options are really endless. We pride ourselves on our passion for Africa which includes a deep knowledge of all of the product available, so we encourage you to have a chat with us to discuss the best options to fit your travel wish list and budget.
- It is important to consider the more off-the-beaten-track safari destinations which can offer equally great wildlife viewing with much fewer other people (making it a much better overall experience). Just because you haven’t heard of it doesn’t mean it isn’t as good! Most of the more remote safari areas are usually private game reserves which mean they offer a wider variety of activities compared to the national parks – off roading to get up close with the wildlife, guided bush walks with expert rangers, boating safaris along a meandering river, night drives with a spotlight to find nocturnal animals, bush dinners under the stars, and optional fly camping in the bush are some of the experiences you can expect. If you want to get off the well-worn safari path, we know some fantastic options to ensure you have the safari experience of your dreams.
- Hilary walked away from Africa’s Travel Indaba feeling confident and very happy that Eclipse Travel works with the best suppliers in the industry! We are very selective in choosing our partners on the ground to ensure that our clients are safe and have an incredible trip that exceeds their expectations. Our meetings this year validated our choices yet again, and in addition we are excited to have formed some new partnerships that expand our product offering to give our clients more choice in their holidays.
To chat to Hilary or one of our other Africa Africa specialists, please get in touch by the enquiry form below.