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Celebrating World Wildlife Day 2019 in South Africa

March 1st, 2019, by African Travel

On March 3rd, we celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants with World Wildlife Day.

For 2019, World Wildlife Day is focused on “Life below water: for people and planet.” There are over 200,000 known species in the ocean and as many as 2 million more remain a total mystery. Oceans cover approximately 70% of the earth and are a significant source of oxygen for our planet. That’s why, it’s important to raise awareness about life below water and how important marine species are to human development.

At African Travel, Inc., we recognize the importance of all conservation – in the ocean and on land. In partnership with The TreadRight Foundation, we support three pillars: people, wildlife and the planet. The world’s wildlife population is balancing on a dangerous precipice, so TreadRight has partnered with leading wildlife organizations to work to protect and rehabilitate elephant, rhino, and big cat populations around the world.

Recently, Lucille Sive, CEO of The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) Africa Division and Sherwin Banda, president of African Travel, Inc. visited Shamwari Private Game Reserve located in the Eastern Cape in South Africa. Shamwari Game Reserve is also one of the most successful private conservation initiatives in Southern Africa.

While visiting, Lucille and Sherwin were fortunate to interview Joe Cloete, General Manager and Johan Joubert, Head of Wildlife at Shamwari about the recent renovations as well as their conservation initiatives. African Travel has helped support many of these initiatives including supporting the journey of King, the lion cub rescued from an apartment in Paris and the conservation of rhinos. See the video below for the full interview.

At Shamwari, Lucille and Sherwin also enjoyed a day on safari with their knowledgeable game ranger, Minolan. In addition to spotting three (lion, rhinoceros and elephant) of the Big Five, they also enjoyed seeing all of the zebras, giraffes and antelope. They capped off their afternoon adventure with a classic sundowner in the middle of the bush with an unforgettable backdrop of the African sunset. To get a glimpse of a day on safari at Shamwari Private Game Reserve, check out our video below.

For a truly wildlife and conservation experience, consider our South Africa’s Natural Wonders safari vacation where you’ll journey to the marine and wildlife kingdoms of Shamwari Game Reserve and Grootbos Nature Reserve.

Family Vacations in Africa

February 20th, 2019, by African Travel

*Header Photo: Loisaba Star Beds

Though Africa is not always thought of as a family-friendly destination, it can most definitely be a fun, educational and safe place for children to visit. With many malaria-free areas, child-friendly accommodations and kid-oriented activities, not only is it a great place to bond as a family, but it can open a child’s eyes to the beauty of the natural world and the richness of other cultures. 

Imagine the wonder on your child’s face as she interacts with the habituated meerkats, gets drenched by the swirling mist at Victoria Falls, learns how to make African crafts, or dances with local children. These types of experiences are arguably better than anything they can read about in a textbook or see in a zoo, and definitely more enriching than spending hours buried in video games or social media!

Photo: "Bug CSI” class in the bush at Madikwe Safari Lodge


Most safari lodges in Africa offer shorter game drives, dedicated childrens’ centers, junior ranger programs and other activities guaranteed to suit the interests and attention spans of children of various ages. For example, at South Africa’s Madikwe Safari Lodge kids can learn about native insects during a “Bug CSI” class in the bush, paint their favorite animal on a rock that they collect during a game drive, or take part in a safari scavenger hunt. At Nairobi’s Giraffe Manor, children can hand-feed the gentle resident giraffes that roam the grounds, and learn about what’s being done to protect them at the adjacent Giraffe Centre. Most hotels also have inter-connected or multi-bedroom suites to accommodate families with children of different ages, and many also offer amenities like special menus, cookies at turndown, mini bath robes, and babysitting services.
 

Photo: Kids feeding the resident giraffes at Giraffe Manor

 

The newly renovated Riverdene Family Lodge at Shamwari Private Game Reserve is an ideal place for families and where children can engage in the Kids on Safari program. With access to both indoor and outdoor activities, kids can enjoy ziplining, arts and crafts activites, rock climbing walls and exploring the game reserve through a network of treehouses connected by suspended walkways. 

 

Photo: Kids on Safari Adventure Centre at Shamwari Private Game Reserve

 

Visiting local schools and communities is another thing families can do in Africa to further immerse themselves in the local customs and culture. It’s also an excellent way to give kids a glimpse into the lives of their peers in Africa. For example, in Cape Town families can spend an afternoon at The Amy Foundation learning about the after-school skills training and arts programs for disadvantaged youths, and even learn how to do the “gumboots dance” from local children! Or alternatively, those interested in a multi-day educational vacation can opt for the ME to WE Adventure to Kenya. During this four-day community experience in the northern Maasai Mara, guests work alongside locals on a sustainable development project and enjoy activities that let them discover the local culture, such as visiting a primary school, and fetching water and beading with Maasai “mamas.” This unforgettable journey will transform you and your children forever.

African Travel, Inc. offers numerous itineraries that are perfect for families with children, or that can be adapted to meet a family’s needs. These include some of our most popular trips in southern and eastern Africa: South African Tapestry, Best of Botswana with Victoria Falls, South Africa Natural Wonders, and Under Kenyan Skies.

 

Romance in Africa

February 11th, 2019, by African Travel

Africa is growing more popular every year as a romantic destination. This charming and quixotic continent appeals to couples who want a unique, extraordinary trip to complement their unique, extraordinary love! Africa’s combination of stunning wildlife, adrenalin adventures, urban diversions, idyllic beaches, and exotic flavors are the perfect recipe for revving up the romance, whether you’re planning a dreamy destination wedding, an idyllic honeymoon, or a passionate couples’ getaway.

 

Photo: Romantic candlelit dinner at Simbambili Game Lodge

 

Let’s start with safaris. Plenty of luxury tented lodges amp up the romance factor with amour-inspiring amenities. For example, at Simbambili Game Lodge in South Africa’s Sabi Sand Reserve, each Morroccan-styled suite is carefully positioned to ensure privacy, and includes a private plunge pool, a patio overlooking a watering hole, in-room aromatherapy and massage, and turn-down service with candles, champagne and a bubble bath. After a thrilling day of game drives or guided bush walks, couples can also enjoy private starlit dinners in the bush. Other lodges offer uber-romantic treehouse accommodation, where sweethearts can literally sleep under the stars, surrounded gentle breezes and the sounds of nature. Kenya’s Loisaba Conservancy, for example, features Loisaba Star Beds, which command sweeping views over the Loisaba valley and its permanent waterhole. Rustically designed to complement the surrounding environment, each star bed is raised on a wooden platform and features a handcrafted four-poster bed, a sitting area and open-plan bathroom with a view.

 

Photo: Enjoy sundowners at The Leopard Bar in Cape Town

 

If cities are more likely to ignite the fire of passion in you, Cape Town is an excellent choice. In South Africa’s vibrant, cosmopolitan capital you and your beloved can embrace the city’s lively blend of history, culture and geography by touring its colorful neighborhoods, dining on its distinctive Cape Malay cuisine foods, or ascending the iconic Table Mountain. Then head out to explore the stunning seascapes of the Cape Peninsula, share a kiss on the pristine beaches of Camps Bay, take a leisurely drive along the cliffs of the legendary Chapman’s Peak Drive, or admire the cute penguins at beautiful Boulders Beach. Stay overnight at the remarkable Twelve Apostles Hotel, where romance is the name of the game. Savor the breath-taking sunsets at The Leopard Bar while you sip sundowners, have a couples’ massage in the outdoor gazebo overlooking the ocean, or enjoy a romantic picnic amongst the verdant fynbos of Table Mountain National Park.

The Franschhoek Valley, South Africa’s version of the Napa Valley, is perfect for couples who want to spend all or part of their vacation indulging in award-winning wines and fine foods. Quaint towns like Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and Paarl offer literally hundreds of vineyards, cellars and family-owned specialty shops where you and your sweetie can go wine-tasting or try South African favorites such as Rooibos tea, biltong, droëwors (cured meats), koeksisters and Amarula mousse.

 

Photo: Relax and enjoy time together at Azura Benguerra Resort

 

If your idea of a romantic vacation involves lazing on a blissful beach and soaking up the sun, Africa’s got that too. Mozambique’s Benguerra island, a gem in the heart of the Bazaruto archipelago, is renowned for its pristine white sand, unspoiled coral reefs, snorkeling, scuba diving, and deep-sea fishing. Azura Benguerra resort, which is set within a protected marine conservation area, offers many ways for couples to connect: you can explore the underwater wonderland, sunbathe on nearly deserted beaches, savor a couples’ massage, or enjoy an intimate candlelit dinner for two with the vast Indian Ocean as a backdrop.

African Travel, Inc.’s diverse, hand-crafted itineraries encompass everything from traditional game drives, to wine-tasting, to city sightseeing to scuba diving, plus a variety of luxurious extras, from sunset cruises to helicopter rides. “African Romance” is African Travel Inc.’s most amour-inspiring itinerary. Over the course of 12 days and two countries, honeymooners are treated to, sundowners beneath Table Mountain, and soothing beachside massages at an idyllic beach resort in Mozambique.

 

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