New year. New decade. So what’s changed over the last few years in the field of safari holidays? As always in Africa it’s been a series of ups and downs, with the droughts of Eastern Africa taking their toll in Northern Kenya and the political situation in Zimbabwe turning one of Africa’s more beautiful destinations into an out-of-bounds area.
Happily, things are changing slightly in Zimbabwe. The coalition government has led to a softening of attitudes towards the country politically and the return of visitors to Victoria Falls in the far south-west of the country. It will still need more change for the rest of the country to become a destination again.
This year travel to Africa is dominated by the FIFA 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Already flights are all full to the country during June and July, with most hotels putting up their prices and insisting on 5-7 night minimum stays. If you don’t like football stay away during this time. Otherwise it’s a great time for a visit. Everywhere has had a good clean, roads and rail have been overhauled and the authorities are doing everything they can to ensure all visitors have a great time. They have even started pushing safaris to see the “Big 7” rather than the traditional “Big Five”. This adds Sharks and Whales to Lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant.
In East Africa safari is a popular as it has ever been. The Masai Mara Reserve is being developed into a much larger area thanks to a change in Government policy from a couple of years ago. Individual Masai tribes were given the rights to their own land, meaning that contracts could be signed between them and lodges giving them the benefit of the wildlife viewing on their own lands. As a result new conservation areas and being attached to the main park giving the wildlife additional protection from poaching, the fee’s raised going into trusts for the tribes concerned.
In Tanzania, Zanzibar continues to develop into one of the most exclusive and romantic beach destinations, with more people opting to safari in Kenya before travelling onto Zanzibar for their beach stay. The properties tend to be smaller and more intimate than in other areas, a fact that makes it popular with honeymooners.
One thing hasn’t changed. Wherever you go to safari with Real Africa, you will have a holiday to remember and savour.