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Welcome to the African Travel safari blog. In this space, we share inspirational stories and ideas on adventures in Africa, plus our latest social posts! 

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The Travel Industry’s “African Queen,” Lucille Sive, an empowering female figure for International Women’s Day

March 7th, 2019, by African Travel
Lucille Sive, CEO of TTC’s Africa Division  and Lulama Sihlabeni, Director of eKhaya eKasi at eKhaya eKasi Art and Education Centre in Cape Town


To celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day, we are highlighting The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) inspirational Lucille Sive, CEO of TTC’s Africa Division who is dedicated to female empowerment and promoting gender parity across the globe.

Sive is thrilled to be celebrating International Women’s Day on the same day as her birthday. Born in South Africa, Sive has been a model of inspiration for women in the working field after becoming the first female executive in North America for TTC outside of the Tollman family, who founded the company. Sive has also devoted an incredible 34 years of service to African Travel and the travel industry. She currently serves as CEO of TTC’s Africa Division and is affectionately known in the travel industry as "The African Queen."

This year, Sive has truly represented the International Women’s Day "#BalanceforBetter" theme with her heavy involvement in community projects that help women in South Africa. She has a great love and passion for Africa and immerses herself in working with women in their communities.

Since joining TTC, Sive has single-handedly partnered with about ten organizations that give a “hand up” rather than just a "hand out." One of her favorite community projects is Uthando - a unique non-profit organization which raises funds for life-changing community development programs in Cape Town. Out of the many projects by Uthando, which means “love” in Xhosa, many of them help disadvantaged women in the Khayelitsha township gain skills and earn income.

"There’s something about Uthando that spoke to my heart," Sive said. "They are the most amazing organization and everything they do is for uplifting the township."

The eKhaya eKasi “Home in the Hood” Art and Education Centre is a vibrant community resource that offers after-school programs in literacy and performing arts for children and assists unemployed adults with job skills and entrepreneurship training. Beading and weaving are among the skills women learn here, and the artisanal gifts they make and sell allow them to support their families while improving the health of their local community. African Travel, Inc. gives blankets made by the women at eKhaya eKasi to local orphanages and underprivileged children. Guests who book a trip through African Travel, Inc, will also receive beaded rhinos made by the women of the eKhaya eKasi as gifts.

"These women are amazing and have done the most amazing work for us," Sive said. "Uthando doesn’t just show these ladies how to bead, they teach them how to sell them at a good price and to make a business out of it."

Sive shares a fond memory when she ordered 1,000 beaded rhinos from eKhaya eKasi’s director, Lulama Sihlabeni. "Lulu nearly fell off her chair when I confirmed the order," Sive said with tears in her eyes. "To be able to help empower these ladies who are making a difference in their community was really special."

Sive is excited to announce that in 2019 TTC’s Africa Division will be working with Sexy Socks, a charitable company whose mission is to provide every child in South Africa with a pair of socks to wear to school. The socks are eco-friendly, made with unique bamboo fibers and crafted by the local women in Cape Town. For every pair of Sexy Socks purchased by African Travel a pair of socks is donated to a child in need.

Sive believes that regardless of gender, success and good leadership is achieved through hard work, dedication, making mistakes, learning as you go and staying true to yourself. We honor this inspiring and accomplished woman on March 8, International Women’s Day.

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. 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.


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.


CST #2071444-20