April 02, 2008

Travel to Africa

Travel to South Africa

Promoting travel to South Africa has the potential of increasing and expanding your travel business tremendously. South Africa has so much to offer, and almost everybody thinks of "Safari" when talking to them about travel to South Africa.An African Safari is an opportunity of a lifetime. South Africa has preserved wide tracts of land for conservation; allowing visitors to witness and experience close encounters with African animals at home in their natural habitats. Many game reserves can be found around South Africa, all offering excellent opportunities and experiences. The Kruger National Park, the largest game reserve in South Africa at nearly 2 million hectares is home to an impressive number of species.

The Big 5 - lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo and rhino, are among these. Also to be seen are zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, cheetah, wild dogs and hippo. Private game reserves offer exclusive luxury accommodation in harmonious bush lodges or luxury tented camps. With most of these lodges in excellent settings, it is not uncommon to see game from your private viewing deck overlooking a waterhole. Game viewing takes place from open-air vehicles and a private game guide will ensure that the experience is unforgettable, getting you up close and personal with the wildlife. Before dark falls, watch the blazing African sunset melt away and darkness take its place as a lion roars in the distance. With every modern comfort, excellent cuisine and sipping South Africa’s delicious wines, the romance of Africa is certainly captured. Later around the campfire, recall and share the exciting experiences and game viewings of that day while listening to the calls of the night.

To ensure that your clients have an "experience of a lifetime" and have peace of mind about traveling to South Africa, there are certain things you need to be aware of when booking your clients on a tour and safari to South Africa. It is important to know the tour operator you are booking with. I suggest that an agent book their clients' safari vacations through a company that is familiar to them, not just an unknown company that they might have stumbled upon on the internet, but one that they personally know or that has been recommended to them. It is even better if that company has an office within the United States. Being able to call that company on a toll free number to talk directly with a representative and have all your questions answered is so assuring!Client satisfaction is key in selling any vacation, but is paramount when selling a safari vacation! Know what your clients' interests and needs are. Do your clients want a luxury tent accommodation or do they prefer a more modern lodge? Do they want to travel with a very small group only or do they want to be part of a larger group of travelers? Are they the more seasoned and adventurous traveler whose interest lies in a self-drive tour?

The baby boomer generation and senior travelers travel well in small groups. Traveling in smaller groups is much more enjoyable. This offers greater intimacy, and the leader and the guide can pay attention to each client and their comforts, and they feel that this tour is designed just for them. Escorted tours and personally accompanied tours make your client feel unique and safe. They are not just a number in a large group, but they get individual attention and have the opportunity to experience South Africa just the way they always imagined to.Look for a company that can cater to your clients' needs, one that can offers specialized tours and customized travel, one that is flexible and can offer tailor-made tours to meet your clients' needs such as honey moons, anniversary destinations, small group travel where your client is made to feel unique and safe, or even cater for larger groups such as university alumni groups. Your clients might be interested in cultural experiences, the theatre, home visits to local South Africans, or food and wine tours. South Africa boasts two luxury trains. Their main route is from Pretoria to Cape Town and vice versa taking either one or two days for the journey, but there are other shorter or longer side trips that are available. Both offer a memorable and very special experience.Another important aspect to consider is the issue of malaria.

There are a number of game parks and reserves in malaria-free areas that offer the "Big Five" (Lion, Elephant, Leopard, Rhino and Buffalo) game viewing experience in just a great a way as the famous Kruger National Park does. It is important for you to be able to offer this malaria-free safari option to your clients through the operator you are working with.South Africa is the destination of the future. Most of your clients have been to Europe, have done more than their fare share of cruises, and want to learn and experience something new. Exchange rates make South Africa particularly attractive. Some Americans are considering alternatives to a European holiday, as the euro-to-dollar exchange rate makes such trips more expensive. The situation has made South Africa, with the favorable exchange rate of more than 8 Rands per dollar, more alluring. And on closer look, many travelers discover the nation's offerings are often on par with those of Europe.

Lathita Travel offers unique travel to South Africa. Robin and Stella personally accompany the groups from the USA on requestand travel with them for the entire duration of the trip. For more information, contact Lathita Travel at www.lathita.co.za, robin@lathita.co.za, or call 1-866-466-8222 or 502-545-1878. (USA)