An Expert Guide to South Africa, Safaris and Sojourns

Questex’s annual Africa-focused sales guide, Explore Africa, provides readers with insights into the region’s in-demand travel experiences. In addition to the always popular luxury safaris, multigenerational travelers have their sights set on the Big 5, especially Africa’s wild side. “The trend is towards more adventure travel with a willingness to ‘rough it’ a bit … [Travelers] want to participate in the adventure than simply being a ‘voyeur’ watching wildlife,” advised Mark Nolting of Africa Adventure Company.

Another Africa travel expert noted that visitors are requesting the safaris “without all the frills” and bypassing the more expensive camps. Additionally, interactive elephant programs, like Camp Jabulani in South Africa, where travelers can feed, walk and watch elephants (as opposed to ride them) are increasingly popular with tourists.

The travel planner explores several popular destinations, including Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Uganda and Ethiopia. Each mini-guide reports on new accommodations and top sites. Botswana’s Sable Alley, a chic new camp, caught editors' attention for its hippo-filled lagoon connected to the Khawai and Sable Alley rivers, while Gomoti Plains Camp boasts 10 luxury tents and can accommodate families with dedicated lodging, game drives and mokoro boat safaris.

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The “Safaris and Sojourns” feature highlights new safaris, from family-friendly finds to ultra-luxury private island retreats, as well as must-know cruise offerings. One&Only is creating buzz with two new lodges in Rwanda. Launching in October, the 22-room One&Only Nyungwe House is set in a working tea plantation next to Nyungwe National Park. Guests can take part in treks to see chimpanzees, grey-cheeked mangabeys and the Kamiranzovu Waterfalls.

Travel agents should take note of new African cruises, including the “Safari Odyssey,” a 14-day adventure cruise in the African wilderness from Aqua Expeditions. Ports of call include Namibia, the Congo and Uganda, where guests can explore some of Africa’s remote regions along with expert guide Howard Saunders. Additionally, several cruise lines will embark on their first African sailings, including Crystal Cruises, Ponant and CroisiEurope, across the continent, from Zimbabwe to Durban.

The special feature “Ethiopia for Millennials” looks at how the destination is relying on its residents -- 70 percent of Ethiopia’s population is under 30 -- to attract a younger market through adventure travel-based events.

Find Explore Africa and over 25 sales guides at travelagentcentral.com/focus-series.com