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Earth Day 2022

April 22nd, 2022, by Jonathan Brannan

This Earth Day we celebrate the beauty of our planet and raising awareness of conservation and climate change.

This year's theme is 'Invest in Our Planet' and everyone is encouraged to act (boldly), innovate (broadly), and implement (equitably). We understand that it is going to take all of us to preserve and protect our health, our families, and our livelihoods.

Next-Level Sustainable Experiences

Electric vehicles at Cheetah Plains are an advance towards zero-emission game viewing

At African Travel, we recognize the importance of conservation, a green future is a prosperous future. In partnership with The TreadRight Foundation, we support three pillars: people, wildlife and the planet.

Visiting Africa is all about the memorable experiences you make with its people, culture, and wildlife while also learning about the importance of preserving and rejuvenating what makes the continent so special.

The world’s wildlife population is balancing on a dangerous precipice. We have partnered with leading wildlife organizations to work to protect and rehabilitate elephant, rhino, and big cat populations around the world to restore nature and build a healthy planet for our children and their children. 

We have highlighted some next-level experiences that connect guests with Africa’s people, environment, and wildlife and leave a positive impact on local communities. Every safari includes a donation to wildlife conservation or a child's education. In East Africa, we invest in future conservation leaders, supporting a local child’s participation in the Life & Land Wildlife Warrior Program. This program aims to educate the next generation of conservationists - who live in prominent wildlife areas - about the importance of wildlife conservation and tourism.

 

Net Zero Goals

Bisate Lodge’s vision of reforestation and rehabilitation means that each guest contributes to biodiversity conservation and local community uplift.

Travel has great power to do good, but we must also recognize the role it plays in climate change – the greatest risk to our planet. As a travel company, we do not shy away from our responsibility. 

Along with our parent company, The Travel Corporation, we have taken the next step in our collective net zero journey and have committed to science-based reduction targets. TTC has developed company-wide emission reduction targets that are currently under review by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and will be announced later this year. Science-based targets ensure we reduce our emissions in line with keeping the global temperature well below a warming of 1.5 C by mid-century.  

We have continued to accelerate our climate action efforts in response to the glaring threat of climate change to our planet, communities and wildlife. Last year we launched our 5-point Climate Action Plan, committing us to Measure, Reduce, Remove, Offset, and lastly, to Evolve. This has given us the flexibility to adapt our plan as new guidance and technologies become available. We are actively working with industry and destination partners and investing in promising nature-based climate solutions. 

In 2021, TreadRight invested in GreenWave and Project Vesta, two nature-based carbon removal solutions which are showing very promising results in their pilot stages. In addition, TTC and TreadRight have joined forces with VisitScotland and The Travel Foundation in a new project that aims to shape Scotland as the world’s first net zero destination. In alignment with TTC’s commitment to net zero, this pilot project will develop a structured process to better understand, avoid, and otherwise reduce in-destination travel emissions through a joint effort between the tour operator and destination, and will benefit destinations worldwide in the transition to become low-carbon destinations.

Learn more about our climate action plans here.

 

Sustainable Kenya

Kenya's Ol Pejeta is home to the last two northern white rhinos in the world.

Generations of adventurers have traveled to Kenya in search of a safari into quintessential Africa. Kenya does not disappoint with one of the greatest natural shows on earth. The annual migration of hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and zebra crossing the Masai Mara’s rolling grasslands and wooded savanna is a sight to see. Luckily a luxury safari to Kenya does not come at the expense of sustainability. There are a variety of experiences that invest directly in the future of our planet and guests will not be disappointed. Learn how to experience conservation first-hand - and contribute to the future of wildlife conservation in Kenya

 

To book a sustainable safari contact African Travel, Inc.

at 1 (800) 421-8907

Five Female Heroes Changing the Food and Wine Industry in Africa

March 7th, 2022, by Chelsea Todaro

Our CEO Lucille Sive, shares her top five female heroes in Africa who are changing the game in the male-dominated food and wine industry. During Lucille’s 36-year journey as a female executive in the travel industry, she’s spent years of dedication promoting women empowerment and gender parity across the globe. Affectionately known in the travel industry as “The African Queen” and a South African native, Lucille has a heavy involvement in community projects in Africa and meeting inspirational women leaders along the way. Coincidentally, Lucille shares her birthday with International Women’s Day on March 8th.

Lucille Sive shares her top 5 female African heroes
Lucille's top five female heroes

“Success and good leadership are achieved through hard work, dedication, making mistakes, learning as you go and staying true to yourself,” Lucille said. “I believe these five African women are true indicators of this, and they inspire not only myself but many aspiring female leaders.”

This year’s International Women’s Day theme, #BreakTheBias, fits perfectly with Lucille’s list of inspirational women who are breaking barriers as female leaders and entrepreneurs. 

 

Ntsiki Biyela, South African winemaker and owner of Aslina Wines

Ntsiki Biyela, South African winemaker and owner of Aslina Wines
Ntsiki established Aslina Wines

Ntsiki Biyela grew up in Mahlabathini, a rural village in KwaZulu-Natal, and became the first black female winemaker in South Africa as head winemaker at Stellekaya Wines. In 2016, she established Aslina Wines, inspired by the strength and determination of the biggest influence in her life, her grandmother. Today, Aslina is renowned for its range of premium wines and is the realization of Biyela’s dream to create an exceptional world-class brand.

Ntsiki’s thoughts on this year’s #BreakTheBias theme:

“The theme basically means what is known to the public about women (which is not true) has to change, and we are changing it.”

 

Fayruza Abrahams, owner of Taste Malay in Cape Town’s historic Bo-Kaap

Fayruza Abrahams' Taste Malay cooking classes in Bo-Kaap
Learn traditional Cape Malay cooking from Fayruza Abraham in Bo-Kaap

Fayruza Abrahams is a well-traveled, food enthusiast and successful entrepreneur with her business, Taste Malay, in Cape Town’s Bo-Kaap neighborhood. Abrahams is dedicated to teaching guests from around the world about her culture, heritage and the lovely traditional Cape Malay foods she grew up cooking. Abrahams' classes have become very popular on social media and television. During a visit to Cape Town, guests can visit Taste Malay and experience either a Cape Malay Dessert cooking experience or Samosa Folding Class where they will learn how to mix spices and fold and fill samosas with Abrahams.

Fayruza’s thoughts on this year’s #BreakTheBias theme:

“I would like nothing more than to see a world or society that is free from bias and stereotypes that are equitable and inclusive.”

 

Siba Mtongana, South African celebrity chef and owner of SIBA The Restaurant

Siba Mtongana is currently a judge on Chopped South Africa
Siba Mtongana is currently a judge on Chopped South Africa

Siba Mtongana grew up in the township of Mdantsane near East London, South Africa. Mtongana has broken industry barriers through her passion for food and people, becoming an international multi-award winning, culinary extraordinaire, food expert, author, and entrepreneur. In addition to her show on Food Network, Siba’s Table, she is currently a judge on Chopped South Africa, alongside Jenny Morris and David van Staden. She also opened her own restaurant, SIBA The Restaurant at The Table Bay Hotel, that serves unique recipes encompassing world flavors with an African flair and where guests can dine during their stay.

Siba’s thoughts on this year’s #BreakTheBias theme:

“Being different doesn’t have to be treated differently … it’s something that can be celebrated instead of being resisted. There will always be challenges in life, however, don’t dwell on them and always be on the lookout for opportunities that will propel you to the next phase. When you do come across those rare and precious moments – DO NOT BE AFRAID TO JUMP!”

 

Bianca Schreuder, pastry chef at Xigera Safari Lodge

Bianca Schreuder, pastry chef at Xigera Safari Lodge
Bianca is a pastry chef at the world-renowned Xigera Safari Lodge, Botswana

Bianca Schreuder is a pastry chef at the world-renowned Xigera Safari Lodge in the Okavango Delta and her culinary journey began in her childhood, being surrounded by a family who loves to cook. Inspired by her brother who enrolled in culinary school, Bianca immediately knew her passion was for pastry, and received a behind-the-scenes tour of the kitchens her brother worked in. After years of following her heart, she has accomplished her dream of being a pastry chef, learning many different cultures, cuisines, and techniques. “What I love most about the industry is how much you can accomplish, with the correct mindset.You don’t only grow as a chef bit you grow as an individual,” says Schreuder.

Bianca’s thoughts on this year’s #BreakTheBias theme:

“A kitchen especially has a very masculine feel and energy, so as a woman breaking the bias doesn't mean I am anti-masculinity, it means I am pro-femininity. We as women should continue empowering each other to always be the better version of ourselves to always stand tall and strong.”

Andrea Mullineux, South African winemaker and co-founder of Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines

Andrea Mullineux, South African winemaker, and co-founder of Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines
Andrea was awarded International Winemaker of the Year 2016

Andrea developed her passion for wine at the family dinner table, growing up in San Francisco. After studying Viticulture and Oenology at UC Davis and completing a handful of harvests in the Napa Valley, Andrea worked in Stellenbosch and Chateauneuf. Andrea’s love for South African wine brought her back to South Africa, where she learned further about vineyards and cellars. Mullineux was established in 2007 when she settled in the Swartland wine region, north of Cape Town. In 2016 she was awarded International Winemaker of the Year by Wine Enthusiast and her winery became one of South Africa’s most celebrated wine brands locally and internationally. In 2020 the winery received thirty 5-star ratings from Platter’s South African Wine Guide, as was awarded Platter’s Winery of the Year 4 times in 2014, 2016, 2019 and 2020.

Andrea’s thoughts on this year’s #BreakTheBias theme:

“Be strong and stay strong. Stick to what you know is right regardless of the people trying to dissuade you or distract you. Put in the hours and the grit - not for anyone else but for yourself.”

 

To book an African safari contact a safari specialist

at (800) 421-8907

Why Africa is the Perfect Choice for the ‘GOAT’

February 10th, 2022, by Jonathan Brannan

Expedia named 2022 the year of the GOAT or “Greatest of All Trips” and there is no bigger bucket list trip than an African safari.

“Africa, with its wide-open spaces and wildlife, has moved to the top of many people’s bucket list this year,” said Sherwin Banda, president of African Travel, Inc. “Travelers want to make up for lost time. They want to get out, see, hear and feel Africa and share epic travel experiences with friends and family once again.”

For the greatest safari, here are five different ways to go big while exploring some of Africa’s natural wonders.

 

THE GREAT MIGRATION THIS SUMMER

Wildebeest crossing the Mara River during the Great Migration
Wildebeest crossing the Mara River during the Great Migration

One of the greatest wildlife spectacles is the Great Migration and space is filling up fast this summer. Consider flying to the northern edge of the Serengeti for a less crowded view of the migration on our Discover the Wonders of Tanzania. Nestled in a private game reserve, TAASA Lodge allows you to delve deeper into communities that are practically untouched by tourism and have more intimate experiences on day and night game drives.

Wildebeest crossing the Mara River during the Great Migration
In a remote corner of the Tarangire at Sanctuary Swala Camp, enjoy a new perspective of nature while canoeing 

The journey also features a new and unique experience in Tanzania, canoeing in a more secluded area of Tarangire National Park.

For those traveling alone or looking for great value, another option is staying at the African inspired lodges and camps on our Tanzania Explorer small group departure.  

 

FOREST TREKS

Enjoy a relaxing stroll down the white sand beaches on one of Africa's secluded island retreats
Connect with our closest relatives in Tanzania

While Africa is famous for its savannas and deserts, its forests are equally spectacular and contain the most unique wildlife trekking experiences. Some of the world’s largest tropical rainforests are found in Africa.

For the greatest diversity of forest treks, primates and landscapes, we recommend our Discover Rwanda journey. Visit Africa’s oldest rainforest, Nyungwe National Park and view the chimpanzees. In the Afro-alpine forests of Volcanoes National Park trek to see the playful antics of the Golden Monkeys or the social behaviors of one of the 12 habituated gorilla groups.  

You’ll feel like an explorer at Uganda’s Bwindi Eco Lodge with an expert guide leading you along jungle trails. After a long day, enjoy a Gorillini Cocktail at The Bwindi Bar which trains disadvantaged local youth in hospitality. To see chimpanzees in playful action, trek to Kibale Forest National Park on our Pearl of Africa, which is a sanctuary to 13 different primate species.

Lemur Madagascar
Take a walk into the spiny forest, home to the famous ring-tailed lemurs, Madagascar

Another hidden forest gem, and favorite wellness spot for disconnecting, is Greystoke Mahale Camp in Tanzania. A remote lodge on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, the camp boasts a beach castaway African-style ambiance where you can spend time on the water or hike up the mountain to a thriving population of chimpanzees. 

For travelers looking for something wilder and more remote, consider trekking the wild forests of Magical Madagascar. The country holds 5% of the world’s wildlife and vegetation and is known as the “8th continent” for its biodiversity. Learn about the dozen lemurs in Madagascar’s Rainforest Corridor, explore the Sacred Gallery Forest, and go on exhilarating night walks in the Forest of Zenavo.

 

PRIVATE ISLAND EXPERIENCES

Azura Benguerra Island, Mozambique
At Azura Benguerra in Mozambique, enjoy an ocean safari and island hop by speedboat

Africa's Indian Ocean islands are trending, and we love ending a safari on the beach. From a tiny, heart-shaped private island off the shores of Zanzibar to the granite-strewn coastline of the Seychelles, each tropical island boasts its own unique flavors, captivating landscapes and warm island hospitality.

Tanzania’s exotic spice island, Zanzibar, also made TripAdvisor’s list of 2022 top trending destinations thanks to the island's rich history, including the UNESCO World Heritage Stone Town old quarter. Clear warm waters and amazing coral reefs are rich with marine diversity, making it one of the world's top dive sites.

To get the most out of Zanzibar – go private. We specialize in private touring on the island and have arranged many private snorkeling and chartered boats recently. For a back to nature feel, consider the villas at Kilindi Zanzibar which combines barefoot luxury and your private butler and is featured in our Enchanting East Africa journey.  

Zanzibar Scuba Diving, Tanzania
 The warm Indian Ocean water creates consistent water temperatures perfect for snokeling and diving

Mozambique, whose coastline extends from South Africa to Tanzania, has worked hard to protect its islands establishing Africa’s largest marine zone. There is a new island to explore when the Banyan Tree Ilha Caldeira opens in December 2022. The private island is home to 20% of Mozambique’s living coral.

For those looking for a truly romantic island escape, consider Azura Benguerra Island. The Eden-like beach retreat featured in our African Romance safari comes with a private sun deck, infinity pool and butler.  If you reserve now, we will add the ultimate Azura Benguerra island hopping experience.

 

BUCKET LIST SOUTHERN AFRICA

Mfuwe Lodge Zambia Elephants
Featured in our Lions, Leopards & Tigerfish safari, elephants can wander through Mfuwe Safari Lodge's lobby 

It’s hard to nail down a Southern Africa bucket list. The region is home to the largest concentration of Africa’s natural wonders.

Clocking in at twice the height of Niagara Falls, Victoria Falls is perhaps the most famous experience here. Traditionally known as ‘the Smoke that Thunders,’ Victoria Falls is often a perfect end-point to a Southern African safari. Known as Africa’s Adventure Capital, see the falls on foot or from a helicopter, explore the Zambezi River in a canoe or luxury cruise, and swim in the mischievously named Devil’s Pool.

Busanga Bush Camp Kafue National Park
The charming Busanga Bush Camp is hidden within the heart of the Busanga Plains, in the pristine Kafue National Park

At least two days at the falls is recommended but we highly encourage guests to delve deeper into Zimbabwe or Zambia.  For a truly wild adventure, our safari specialists often recommend several experiences in Zambia, from the hidden gem of Kafue National Park to the untamed wilderness experiences found in our Zambia Lions, Leopards and Tigerfish safari.

South Africa is easing restrictions with its exit from the Omicron wave, and airlines are increasing air access to the "Rainbow Nation," creating more opportunity to pair a South African safari with Victoria Falls.

 

BOTSWANA'S SECRET SEASONS

Botswana Zebra Secret Migration
Botswana’s zebra journey in Botswana is known as the second largest zebra migration in the world

CNBC’s latest travel trends article noted that travelers will spend more on bucket list experiences. For the most extravagant trip, consider our Platinum Botswana tour of the new and revamped camps in Botswana. Glass bottom mokoro rides at Xigera Safari Lodge, soaking in the copper tubs at Zarafa Camp, and going back in time while walking with the Kalahari bushmen and relaxing at the 40s style Jack’s Camp.

It isn’t just about the unique camps, but what you can see year-round on this journey. Consider Botswana's 'Green Season,' known as the safari aficionado’s best kept secret. Between November to March, keen birdwatchers are in paradise with different migratory birds and photographers capture images of baby animals frolicking in lush grassland. The world’s second largest migration of zebra and wildebeest also happen in the Makgadikgadi Pans.

Botswana Mokoro
There is no experience more connected to Botswana's Okavango Delta than a journey through its reed-lined channels in a mokoro.

Come April to September, the floodwaters arrive from Angola to fill the Okavango Delta, making it the best time for mokoro and water safari activities. By contrast, the desert and salt pans are a shimmering whiteness and perfect for quad biking.

 

To book a 'GOAT' safari contact a safari specialist

at (800) 421-8907

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