31 August 2020
It's not only what you see, but what you do! 
Dear fellow Explorer,

Every year I travel to South Africa, visiting family and attending industry trade fairs to stay up to date with latest developments in tourism.

As well all know, 2020 is different. At the last minute my trip to Africa was cancelled and my International Luxury Travel conference was postponed till next year.
Disappointing, to say the least!! Yet I was grateful to be home, so I could help many of you, who were in the same boat.

If there's one thing I know for sure, it's that the travel industry is resilient. This is especially true for my African colleagues, who have experienced major hardships since the shut-down in March. Their generosity is inspiring... like some safari companies, who have provided thousands of school lunches, even though jobs have been lost and resources are scarce. That's the true meaning of Ubuntu (see my e-News from 26 April)
An online travel conference was created to stay updated. So last week found me glued to my computer, as I connected with more than 65 safari lodge owners and tour operators from all over the African continent.

Positive attitudes, creative ideas and preparations for future guests were the order of the day, and I realize that Armchair Travel may soon be replaced by the real thing!

I learned that the best lodges are already filling up for 2021 with those who postponed their safari from this year. Many operators are offering a rate freeze, which means you can book your 2021 safari at 2019 values. And booking policies have been relaxed, with many deposits being refundable up to 30 days before arrival, allowing you to book your future safari with confidence.
Let me share some take-aways from last week: 
  • Going beyond the traditional 4X4 game drive, lodges are offering camel & horseback safaris, wild dog tracking, stargazing decks, sleep-outs in a tree house, spa treatments, wildlife viewing from a hide (blind) inside a waterhole, and even from a whiskey hide – sign me up!
  • For budding photographers, one safari lodge supplies high-end cameras with photo hosts to show you the ropes (or lenses, in this case)
  • For wine lovers, we’ll take you behind the cellar doors with a specialist guide for an experience that goes beyond the glass. Apart from tasting award-winning wines, you'll learn about the culture, architecture and history of South African wine.
  • Culture vultures can stay with a local Venda family and delve into their traditions.
  • Train aficionados – the luxuriously restored Edwardian train is launching new routes: Trans Africa, from Tanzania in the east to Angola on the west coast; the Copper Trail from Victoria Falls, via Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo to Angola; and the Malawi Meander, from South Africa via Mozambique and Zimbabwe to Lake Malawi.
  • Ilha de Mozambique - a UNESCO World Heritage site is rich in Arab and Portuguese history and boasts white sandy beaches – an uncrowded alternative to Zanzibar
  • In Morocco, take your family on a Treasure Hunt through the Medina of Fez or on a camel ride into the Sahara Desert for a sleepover in a Bedouin tent
  • In Sudan, take a 4x4 trip from Khartoum along the Nile to little-known pyramids, tombs and churches. The archaeology and warm, genuine people will enchant you
In Cape Town you can explore to your hearts content:
  • take a helicopter to Robben Island for a private prison tour with Christo Brand, Mandela’s prison warden of 18 years, and author of “My Prisoner, My Friend”
  • go kayaking with the seals, or try SUP yoga
  • sand board with the kids, or ride a horse on a 5 mile-long beach
  • abseiling from Table Mountain, or Cape Point by power boat
  • e-biking to the market, or gin-tasting at a distillery
  • explore the countryside in a Willy’s Jeep, a vintage car or on a Harley
  • take an interactive township walk and craft your own curios, learn the gumboot dance, build a garden, or a home visit for traditional lunch
  • I also have access to expert guides for your special interests, be it Jewelry & Fashion Design, Street Art or Fine Art, marine biology, culinary or birding... you name it!
As we consider venturing forth again, allow me make the best of your next journey to Africa.

My expertise and local connections will ensure that you’ll have the trip of a lifetime!
As I said, it’s not only what you see, but what you do that will make your trip so memorable. And it’s the people you’ll meet on your travels that will make your safari unforgettable.

I invite you to get in touch so we can start exploring your African Safari options for 2021 and beyond, and I look forward to connecting with you soon.

Stay well everyone!

Yours in Travel,

Christine Boecker
Tel: 604.338.9211
Toll-free: 1.877.739.3653