An amazing holiday to a range of exotic destinations in Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands is more accessible than you might think. Follow our Top 10 tips to ensure your holiday adventure is one to remember, for all the right reasons…
1. Research the range of African destinations on offer well in advance of your planned departure dates to make sure you choose a safari or beach holiday that meets your specific requirements. Indulging in a spot of escapism by reading up on your preferred locations and looking at photos is a wonderful way to get you through the winter months.
2. Make better use of frequent flyer points and airline award programmes that you may have built up over years but never redeemed – putting these to good use may make a long-haul destination more viable than you had previously considered.
3. Visit South Africa. Whether you love or loathe football, you can't have missed the beautiful imagery of this amazing country being beamed into your living room from the recent World Cup…book up fast to avoid the stampede!
4. To get the best rates travel Off-Peak, that is if you are not restricted by school holidays! It may mean you can enjoy a luxury, 5-star experience, previously considered to be out-of-reach. For example, the tropical paradise of Mauritius offers year-round sunshine and fantastic value outside of peak months, especially May and June.
5. For most of us, we save all year round for our annual summer holiday. For financial peace-of-mind, make sure you only book with a travel company who is properly licensed e.g. by ATOL or TTA to ensure you are 100% protected. Also, make sure you have your travel insurance in place before you book your holiday as you are generally entitled to a full refund if an unforeseen event prevents you from travelling.
6. Don't waste precious days of your all-too-short holiday break suffering from jetlag, especially if you are travelling with children. Fly south to avoid traversing time zones and enjoy your holiday from the moment you land. Any African country is no more than 2 hours ahead.
7. Don't take any risks – check with your GP at least 2 months ahead if you and your family require any specific vaccinations for the countries that you plan to visit. There are a number of malaria-free safari destinations if this is a particular concern – speak to an expert travel consultant who will advise you.
8. Break out of your usual travel patterns and welcome new destinations for an enriched experience – you will reap the benefits of a break from the old routine. Add at least one emerging tourist destination to your travel wishlist for 2011. The rewards of travelling to countries such as Mozambique, Namibia or Uganda before tourism develops on a larger scale are manifold.
9. Remember to not just rely on your camera when travelling – take time to soak in the scenic landscapes, sunshine and unique cultures of the locals. This will truly enrich your overall experience and you can call upon these happy memories to help get you through the dreary days back home.
10. Perhaps our most important tip, we highly advise that you trust your travel planning to a reliable expert tour operator. They will have in-depth knowledge of your chosen destination and be equipped to give you first hand advice. If you are interested in visiting Africa or the Indian Ocean Islands contact Mahlatini and let them plan your dream holiday in 2011.
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