Eye-Opening Africa Trends: What the UK travellers are looking for right now

Eye-Opening Africa Trends: What the UK travellers are looking for right now

We spoke to Cara Prettejohn, UK & Europe Trade Relations Manager for Classic Portfolio, about what is trending in the UK with regard to African travel: some interesting insights
Popularity of the ‘old favourites’ – but also enthralling and adventurous safari travel across the African continent

Cape Town, August 2019 – Cara Prettejohn travels extensively across the UK and Europe every week speaking to the UK trade about travel planning for African itineraries. We thought she would be the best person to provide some insights as to what is sparking interest in the UK market right now.

What are the trends you’re seeing?

Definitely a popularity of the ‘old favourites’ for the UK market and that would be Kenya and Tanzania. But interestingly, the UK travellers are also asking about enthralling and adventurous safari travel across the African continent, the lesser known, off-the-beaten track destinations. We’re hoping that agents grow in confidence to sell these lesser-known destinations over the upcoming months.

What should UK agents have on their radars or be waving a flag for?

  • West Africa – the Congo Basin is opening up and travellers are matching this up with Sao Tome & Principe.
  • Zambia – this is still a relatively undiscovered destination and new properties and remote regions are opening up, such as the new Takwela Camp in the North Laungwa National Reserve, operated by Remote Africa Safaris.
  • Zimbabwe – the Hwange/Mana Pools circuit is creating new access to unspoilt wilderness areas. Machaba Safaris has opened two new camps in Hwange this year and has something new planned for Mana Pools next year.

Which of the Classic Portfolio products or destinations are the most popular right now with the UK traveller?

For the old favourites in Kenya and Tanzania: The Safari Collection, Chem Chem, Legendary Expeditions and Gibb’s Farm.
For emerging destinations: The Odzala Discovery Camps in the Republic of the Congo and Sundy Praia on Sao Tome and Principe Islands. Also Wolwedans in Namibia and the new Machaba camps in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park.

Are ‘making a difference’ trips a growing trend (trips that are motived by a desire to ‘do good’, help with conservation)?

What we’re seeing is that travel trade and properties are being more vocal about sustainability and letting their clients know what they are supporting. But do the travellers demand sustainable products? This could still improve. The travellers are definitely aware but they might still be making their travel decisions on what they want to see and where they want to stay versus the product’s support of sustainable Africa. Hopefully this will start to shift more.

Note to Editors

Classic Portfolio is now widely recognised as the leading independent portfolio of visionary owners with authentic hotels, lodges and camps who are committed to conservation, community, and commercial sustainability while offering a trusted experience for discerning travellers.

Sand Travel PR based in Cape Town is primely positioned to share the developing stories of African travel brands and the visionaries behind them, showcasing the transformative power of travel on this continent.

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