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News

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Fri, 31 Mar 2017
Big Five Safaris

Big Five safaris in South Africa are a must-do for anyone fascinated by wildlife. Big Five refers to buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard and rhino and the term comes from the animals considered most dangerous to hunt. Now the thrill comes from photographing them in their natural habitat.

If you’re looking for a Big Five safari experience in South Africa you can go to almost any province in South Africa, but the Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga and Limpopo provinces remains an iconic tourism drawcard.

The Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo) abound in the park, and you see them by self-drive, guided drives or guided walks through the bushveld.

But remember, you are not in the middle of a National Geographic documentary. You may well see all Big Five, you may well not, although your chances are high. Drive slowly, stop at waterholes, listen for the warning calls of birds, watch when other vehicles stop, and always keep your eyes open.

Prepare to be awed. To see a leopard dozing in the bough of a tree, spotting a black rhino half-hidden in thick shrubs, finding a pride of lions in the shade after a kill, or watching a large herd of elephants or Cape buffalo move soundlessly across the road – these are all priceless moments.

Always remember that you’re dealing with wild animals, and that you’re in their territory. There are rules of engagement relating to Big Five safaris in South Africa. Read your guidebook carefully and heed the words of your ranger at all times.

Accommodation for Big Five safaris in Mpumalanga are either within the Kruger National Park or on the neighbouring private reserves such as Sabi Sand (which has the highest density of leopards in the world), Timbavati and Klaserie. Some lodges pride themselves on showing the Big Five to guests in record time, and you’ll even walk away with a certificate.

Once you’ve done Big Five activities in Mpumalanga, it’s time to ‘sweat the small stuff’ and learn about wondrous creatures like the dung beetle…

Travel tips & Planning info Who to contact

SANParks Tel: +27 (0)12 428 9111 Email: reservations@sanparks.org

 

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Wed, 29 Mar 2017
Indaba Tourism: 6-8 May 2017

Where? Durban Central, Kwazulu Natal

When? 6-8 May 2017

Overnight? See Durban Central accommodation, in Kwazulu Natal

Indaba is one of the largest tourism marketing events on the African calendar and one of the top three ‘must visit’ events of its kind on the global calendar.

It showcases the widest variety of Southern Africa’s best tourism products, and attracts international visitors and media from across the world.

Exhibitor categories include accommodation, tour operators, transport, game lodges, online travel and industry associations.

Outdoor exhibitors include transport, camping and safari companies.

Venue: Albert Luthuli Convention Centre (Durban ICC), South Africa

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Thu, 23 Mar 2017
Zimbabwe: Vic Falls airport to boost tourism

The Zimbabwean government hopes to boost tourism to the Southern African country following the completion of $150m upgrade to Victoria Falls International Airport. The enhancements allow wide-body aircraft, such as Boeing 777 and Airbus A340 planes, to land.

The development of the airport – which included increasing the length of the runway from 2.2km to 4km, building a new terminal complete with a new control tower and improving the surrounding road network – was funded by the China Export-Import Bank. The upgrade now means the airport can handle 1.2m passengers annually, up from 500,000 passengers per year.

Some African airlines, including South African Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways and Rwanda’s RwandAir, have committed to routes to the improved airport. Meanwhile, non-African airlines, such as Dubai-headquartered Emirates and the UK’s British Airways, also have flights travelling to the new-look Victoria Falls airport.

The Tourism will grow in Zimbabwe because of the new Victoria Falls airport and the commitment of international airlines is an indication that the tourism sector will recover, Walter Mzembi, Zimbabwe’s minister for tourism, told the BBC.

“In the past, we’ve suffered from accessibility [to Victoria Falls] problems where people are at sixes and sevens about how to reach a natural wonder like Victoria Falls,” he said. “Now they are able to land directly.”

Zimbabwe’s tourism sector has stagnated since the preceding events that led to the violent fast-track land reform in 2000, which saw 4,000 white farmers forced from their land which was given to around one million black farmers. Zimbabwe’s economy has since shrunk over the last two decades, falling from 10.4% growth in 1996 to 0.5% in 2015.

Tourists to the Southern African country have been put off by regular police roadblocks where drivers are forced to pay fines of up to $20 for a series of trivial infringements. The airport would allow tourists to bypass the roadblocks and land directly near one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

The importance of the new airport bringing in visitors to Victoria Falls avoid travelling to Zimbabwe and the tourists travel to Zambia instead, denying Zimbabwe’s economy much-needed foreign currency. The issue was recently highlighted when American actor Will Smith’s bungee jump video off the Victoria Falls bridge went viral last week.

Media reports suggested that the Men in Black actor had traveled to Zimbabwe, however, Zambians on social media were quick to point out that Smith had actually traveled to their country.

– See more at: http://africanbusinessmagazine.com/region/southern-africa/zimbabwe-vic-falls-airport-boost-tourism/#sthash.pZ42BI3n.dpuf

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