Once thought of as a trip for the elite, African safaris have become more mainstream and intergenerational. As travelers looks for what’s next, Sub-Saharan Africa frequently pops up on their radar.
These trips, to what many consider a bucket-list destination, provide offerings unlike those anywhere else in the world. From wildlife to rich culture to World Heritage locations like the “Fairest Cape” and Victoria Falls, itineraries can be tailored to meet each client’s individual interests. Safaris are also an ideal trip for multi-generational groups, with activities for the youngest traveler to the oldest.
Sherwin Banda, president of African Travel Inc., said the trend here, as elsewhere around the world, is for shorter-term bookings. More customers are booking three to six months in advance, where it used to be a year. This trend allows travel professionals to secure better accommodations for their clients, because properties lower their prices in the scramble to fill up empty rooms.
African Travel offers several packages for the remainder of 2016, at a “great value,” including: a seven-night journey from Cape Town to Shamwari Game Reserve from $3,999 per person, 10 days in Cape Town and Thornybush Nature Reserve from $4,975 per person, and a 10-day safari through Cape Town and Pilanesburg National Park from $4,415.
Banda noted he’s seeing more tourists head to South Africa. “People are interested in going where they can meet their travel goals but feel safe and secure at the same time,” he said. Botswana and Tanzania also are popular spots.
Sherwin suggests agents use the dedicated travel agent tool on the African Travel website. The company offers agent training programs and webinars allowing them to become familiar with the product. African Travel provides 15% commission and fam trip opportunities.
In addition, African Travel experts can participate in a three-way conference call with agents and their clients to answer any questions. The company has a team of experts who were born and raised in Africa, and traveled there extensively or lived there, giving them insights to the country’s hidden gems. “They have the greatest knowledge, and we share that with agents to make their lives easier,” Banda said.