The way we travel is constantly changing. Which travel trends can we expect for the upcoming year? We foresee 4 Travel Trends for Africa in 2018.
Unique experiences Travelers are nowadays looking for unique experiences, rather than just sitting in the safari vehicle visiting the headline attractions. "Consumers want to be a participant and immerse themselves in the culture and nature", says Jean du Plessis, director of Wayo Africa. "That's why the safari activities we offer in Tanzania, like walking and hiking, become more and more popular. Away from the comfort of the safari vehicle your senses suddenly awaken as the wilderness and culture becomes more real." Safari experiences that are popular: walking, trekking, canoeing, mountain biking, cultural and hot balloon flight.
Authentic experiences Another trend that is being observed, is that travellers want to have a true experience and appreciation of the country being visited by them. They don't want to feel like a tourist, but immerse themselves in real culture and nature experiences. "We notice an increased interest of travellers in visiting the more remote areas in Tanzania and asking for accommodations in the heart of nature, away from the crowds", explains Jean du Plessis, director of Wayo Africa. "Walking safaris for example are a great opportunity to visit the more remote places and to be participant in the world of wildlife rather than a spectator. Nothing beats exploring wildlife on foot, while you overnight at a charming tented camp in the heart of nature and fall asleep to the sounds of nature. This is authentic Africa at its best!" In the pursuit of authenticity travellers are also seeking for genuine cultural experiences. Authentic experiences include: visiting remote locations (back to nature, away from the popular tourist areas), cultural trips and activity safaris.
Green Travel Whether you call it ecotourism, green travel, sustainable travel, responsible travel or ethical travel, the fact is that travellers become more aware of the responsibility they have towards the environment and well-being of local communities they visit. Africa is a destination that not only offers amazing travel experiences but also an opportunity to help with conservation initiatives that affect both wildlife and local communities. " It's good to see that green travel is a growing trend and i'm confident green travel is here to stay!", says Jean du Plessis, director of Wayo Africa. " Still consumers should be better educated for responsible travel choices. For example, few realise that their demand for comfort and luxury, like flushing toilets or disposable water bottles, can be very destructive to the environment. The tourist industry, government... we all need to help educate travellers about responsible tourism, with multiple benefits for all." Two things that contribute major to responsible travel: book a green safari company & accommodation and choose activities 'out of the safari vehicle'.
Cultural experiences Africa is seeing a strong demand for cultural tourism. According to TripAdvisor, almost one third of travellers visit a destination because of the culture and people of the specific country. As we shift towards a more globalized world, travellers are increasingly seeking authentic cultural experiences. No superficial tribal dancing and local people forced into stereotypical roles. “It’s all about respectful, sincere engagement with real people in their traditional settings”, explains Jean du Plessis, director of Wayo Africa. "Guests often tell us that their meetings with local tribes and people were one of the most memorable and meaningful experiences of their safari." The most popular cultural experiences: village tours, spending time with traditional tribes, walking safaris and local cuisine.