Unique wildlife, landscapes, people and places - Africa has all these in abundance. With our first hand knowledge and industry expertise we have identified some clear trends that we predict will grow further throughout 2019.
Over the last few years, we have seen significant growth in all types of family groups looking for authentic African and safari experiences. We have found different generations of the one family, who may be spread out across the globe, are looking for an exclusive and intimate destination to reconnect and even sometimes to celebrate big life milestones including graduations, landmark birthdays or retirements.
Where to stay Phinda Homestead in South Africa can only be booked out exclusively, making it perfect for a family to enjoy the remote bush setting and excellent game viewing. Cottar's Bush Villa in the Masai Mara is a superb, intimate base for exploring the area's incredible biodiversity and classic African scenery. Ant's Nest in the malaria-free Waterberg region of South Africa caters brilliantly to families, offering a vast array of activities including horse-riding, guided walks and kid-orientated programmes.
The emerging destinations of Zimbabwe and Rwanda are almost certain to attract even more visitors in 2019. Best known for its majestic Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe has so much more to offer as an authentic, rugged destination delivering superb game viewing in the care of some of the most respected guides in the business. Rwanda is the ultimate 'off the beaten track' experience guaranteed to bring out the adventurer in you. In November 2018, the mountain gorillas were reclassified from Critically Endangered to Endangered and it's no wonder people seek that once-in-a-lifetime experience to personally encounter the gorillas in Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park.
Where to stay In Zimbabwe the new Chikwenya camp opens fully for business in 2019 and its remoteness is the perfect spot for a digital detox, where elephants wander by and hippos wallow just metres away. In Rwanda Bisate Lodge provides easy access to the park for gorilla trekking, with a strong conservation and community focus. The sumptuous, thatched pod en-suite rooms are a bonus.
There are safaris that offer people the chance to get involved in conservation efforts and go on the life altering adventure of their lifetime. These safaris provide the irresistible opportunity to gain hands on experience and up close and personal encounters with some of Africa's most endangered wildlife.
"Travel with a purpose is another notable growth area in experiential travel that will certainly grow in 2019. We offer dedicated rhino conservation safaris where you travel alongside a wildlife vet and actively get involved in micro-chipping, notching, DNA sampling activities; a unique opportunity to touch the rhinos and actively contribute to their safety and survival". Greg Fox, Mahlatini Co-Founder.
Cape Town is well-established on the global foodie map with exceptional value for the quality of its local ingredients and hugely talented chefs. In the Cape Winelands, the gourmet offering is again world-class, and if it's true that you eat with your eyes, the vineyards and dramatic mountain backdrop will make the food and wine taste all the sweeter. If you're seeking an authentic African foodie adventure, East Africa offers gourmet experiences and a 'bush breakfast' is a truly unforgettable experience.
Where to stay Angama Mara serve the best in bush breakfasts, as well as private shamba-to-table lunches in the garden where guests are encouraged to pick their own lunch ingredients and enjoy with chilled rose wines. Alfajiri Villas on Kenya's Indian Ocean coast has Italian owners and the influence comes through strongly in their Mediterranean menus. Seafood is brought daily to the guests' order from the adjacent beach, bringing a whole new meaning to 'catch of the day'.