The light at the end of the travel tunnel is shining bright as South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Zambia are lifted off the red list. Each destination is in celebration, standing proud with open arms to welcome back guests from abroad.
There is a sense of intertwined hope and freedom as news of being off the red list spreads its wings. Families are able to reunite, people are able to visit their homeland and Africa is once again open for exploration. The earth has had time to breathe, humanity has had time to reassess values and the travel terrain has forged new paths which honour both. We experience, learn and reflect from our mutual and individual realities.
As we establish this next stage in our lives, within our perspectives, our relationships and our approach to travel, we frame our decisions with intention. While not being able to explore the outside, we have been forced to look within and to learn the value of freedom, and choice. We now want to choose journeys which make a long term impact – on ourselves, the people we meet and the wild spaces which we visit along our journeys.
If the last two years have taught us anything in the travel industry, it is how much our communities and wild spaces rely on tourism. It has highlighted why travelling is so important – beyond the lodge and beyond the safari. People’s dreams turn others’ opportunities into realities. Without travel local residents are devoid of prospects – in education, employment, empowerment and conservation initiatives.
The pause in travel also reaffirmed those involved why they are a part of the industry. Its absence left a gaping wound on the passionate hearts of many. The travel tribe grasped at endless zoom meetings and online travel shows to keep the dream alive – the die hard and dedicated enthusiasts riding the storm side by side. This formed new partnerships, deep respect and a wealth of collected wisdom which allowed the industry to rise above adversity.
Having taken a leaf out of nature’s book and applied the strategy of ‘stress growth’, the industry feels ready and confident in products and properties now more than ever. Updated health and safety protocols, refurbished lodges, adapted activities and flexible booking schedules all take into account safety for both humans and wildlife.
Up until now there have been a few pioneers of adventure braving the unknown and basking in the warm glow of Africa’s pride. They have travelled for a fraction of the price, had lodges and guides exclusively to themselves and shared the wilderness with no one. They have risen with the dawn of travel in a post-Covid world, stirring their travel appetites, leaving them hungry for more. The rest of the world has watched in envy and awe, craving new cultures, unknown experiences, and the outdoors.
Many nature lovers have come from the local market, the extent of their desire to explore, unstoppable. The destinations that people on home ground now have access to, in their backyards and neighbouring countries, has been a blessing for local residents. The understanding that adventure is really on their doorstep, around the corner or just over the border has reignited a pride in our land, taking the time to absorb their surroundings. Africa has never been prouder and more determined to share the wild wonders of its colourful and quilted landscapes. This time has reminded us why she is the motherland.
So book now – travel now. Follow in the footsteps of the fearless, finding what makes you come alive. It is experiences, not things, which fulfill us. Come and experience Africa – your adventure, our expertise.