Popular first-time destinations in Africa include the triple threat: South Africa, Tanzania, and Kenya. Based on decades-long relationships, Africa enjoys a viable tourism infrastructure and a mature marketing presence; it’s embossed upon the hearts and minds of long-haul travel consumers and the travel trade. Whether travellers wish to explore Africa on a shoestring or in six-star luxury, the continent offers travel products of enviable diversity. We unpack why you should plan a return trip to Africa.

Safari in Tanzania

With so much to explore, no two trips to Africa need to be the same

The Power of In-Person Gatherings

Ahead of this year’s Africa’s Travel Indaba (Indaba), South Africa’s Tourism Minister, Patricia de Lille, led the discussion at the Business Opportunity Networking Day (BONDay) agenda on May 13th, 2024, around creating an environment enabling tourism through improved air connectivity and visa waiver programs.

Indaba is a long-standing travel exhibition that draws African specialists worldwide, showcasing many Africa-based travel products. A roaring success this year, the event drew policymakers and politicians from various African countries to put their heads together, fostering stronger ties for a brighter future for the continent and her people.

Our Rhino Africa Crash at Africa’s Travel Indaba 2024

Our Rhino Africa Crash at Africa’s Travel Indaba 2024

Repeat Travel Fosters Deeper Connections

Beyond the trodden trails and Big 5 tick lists lies a life-long love affair waiting to unfold. Visiting one country, maybe two, the first visit barely scratches the surface of the continent’s incredible offering. Here is a list of a few solid reasons to return.

Invigorating Variety

Try to resist the temptation to cram too much into your (first) trip. Consider your carbon footprint when combining countries, and plan the path with the most negligible impact when stitching your itinerary.

Carriers such as Kenya Airways have excellent links between eastern and southern Africa. As a result, you can easily fly into the fascinating Nairobi (Kenya), an entry point for visiting the Maasai Mara to Zambia‘s side of Victoria Falls for visits to natural wonders. And then from Victoria Falls to Cape Town, a consistent favourite with world travellers. And don’t forget that working with an experienced travel planner is a great idea to ensure seamless logistics.

flying in a caravan plane in Botswana

African destinations are a simple flight away

Inspired Inclusivity

Destination management companies that do the right thing by incorporating diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into their organisational strategies deserve a place in the sunshine of Africa’s tourism landscape. As conscious travellers drive demand and increasingly flex their buying muscles, choosing travel suppliers carefully with ever-more-discerning criteria, the impactful EU Green Directive is being finalised, with far-reaching effects for greenwashing culprits.

Meanwhile, accessibility in tourism is gaining momentum. While the industry grapples with how best to serve this emerging sector, it’s vital to understand that accessibility means different things to different people, depending on their needs. For example, not all people with accessibility challenges use wheelchairs. Some are neurodivergent, whilst others may be visually impaired. The industry would benefit from a holistic view of this sector, which holds impressive repeat traveller value.

The key to engaging with this target market is understanding what’s required to exceed expectations. For example, June is Gay Pride Month, and Africa’s warm welcome embraces the LGBTQ+ community in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Rwanda and the Seychelles.

Travel reviews impact conservation efforts by providing ongoing funding from guests

Your stay has a far-reaching impact on community projects, including conservation efforts, Image Credit: Tswalu Kalahari

Cultural Exchange

I grew up in South Africa and experienced first-hand the effects of apartheid. And then, as a teenager, I witnessed, with delight, the birth of my country’s beautiful democracy. Being a citizen of transformation has profoundly shaped my worldview. I’ve always believed that tourism has the power to change lives.

The soundtrack to life in Africa is vibrant, and her people are charismatic. She walks to her unique drumbeat. At times, she’d tuck me away in places of quiet solace where I’d smile inwardly, knowing that somewhere, somehow, something surprising was happening. Africa’s expansiveness, underscored by soulful connections, is all about the people you meet.

Before visiting, you should challenge yourself by leaving your expectations at home and engaging fully with host communities, safari guides, tour guides, and travel providers. Such a pledge requires a paradigm shift, releasing the insatiable need to document every moment with a camera or smartphone. Instead, be in the moment and focus on the real magic – building relationships.

Cultural experience

Learn about local tribes and their way of living, Image Credit: Porini Amboseli Camp

Community Connections

Once you’ve travelled to Africa, you will be overwhelmed with an unbridled perspective. A heady mix of unfathomable challenges, boundless diversity and energetic richness, nowhere else emphasises the course of the human experience in such stark relief.

South African James Fernie, a once-promising lawyer turned social entrepreneur who is now the CEO of Uthando (Love) South Africa and The HEART of Cape Town, says:

“Many challenges continue to besiege our country, yet the indomitable spirit of South Africans never fails to amaze. We show up, put a smile on our faces, and keep moving forward. The courage to do so comes from our hearts; we keep innovating, dreaming, and sharing hope and love where possible. From the Mother City to the world, the essence of The HEART of Cape Town movement shines a light on the singular sentiment that unites rather than divides humans: love.”

Uthando (Love) South Africa and The HEART of Cape Town movement inspire travel experiences that support meaningful change for highly vulnerable groups in Cape Town’s underserved communities, especially minority groups and the youth. James and his team connect conscious travellers with non-voyeuristic philanthropic excursions to some of Cape Town’s most inspiring grassroots community projects.

“A daily ritual inspired the HEART of Cape Town movement that I want to see spread worldwide. Every morning, I put my hands on my heart. I have so much love for everyone; it doesn’t matter who they are, where they come from, or their nationality – people are people, and we all deserve to love and be loved. A heart sign is a tangible embodiment of kindness, empathy, and compassion.”  

Zuraida Jardine and Heart of Cape Town creator and campaign leader James Fernie

Heart of Cape Town creator and campaign leader is sharing the love, Image Credit: Heart of Cape Town

James believes South Africans’ energy and resilience repeatedly drive visitors to return to South Africa.

“I recently met an American couple that has visited South Africa six times since 2001, They used the words ‘ascending’ to describe the feeling of South Africa. Imagine these hearts worldwide, posted on social media, held by people, basking in the glow – literally and figuratively – nation-building in action.

Worldwide, people can start making hearts and spreading the message of love and tolerance. And right now, our world is in desperate need of this message. At home, especially now, with our country’s national election this month, we can start to set people’s hearts ablaze with that one cornerstone emotion that we all need, regardless of our colour or creed: love.”

Pay it Forward Through Conscious Tourism Choices

Considering how local communities wish to engage with tourism prompts visitors and tourism agents to build relationships with stakeholders in a destination. It also discusses the vital role of women in communities and why it makes sense to support women-led businesses.

Other factors contributing to return travel include enabling policies such as bilateral travel agreements, visa waivers, digital nomad visas and the pull of visiting friends and family. Beguiling Africa has the potential to capture the imagination of travellers for a lifetime.

A project aim to empower females in Botswana

Visitng Africa can have a significant ripple effect, Image Credit: African Bush Camps

Ready to Plan Your Return Trip to Africa?

Whether it’s your first, second or even third time visiting Africa, our beautiful continent has plenty for you to experience.

Contact our Travel Experts to start planning your tailored African adventure.

Lozi people of Liuwa Plains

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