An African safari is often touted as a “once in a lifetime” holiday, which is why it is probably the last continent that most travellers ever visit! That said I couldn’t help but wonder how that will change post-Covid-19, as this experience shapes traveller’s requirements the world over.
While this entire Covid-19 experience has been a brutal test of courage, resourcefulness and endurance, it has also been an incredible experience of empathy, care, friendship and partnership, bringing out the very best of our shared humanity. This experience has certainly strengthened my resolve that we all have for the deep human desire to connect and explore, that I have no doubt will ensure travel will both endure and thrive.
The changes we will undergo through this crisis will not be temporary or short-lived, and travel businesses across the globe will need to make fundamental changes and adjustments to the way they respond to changing client requirements.
Finding opportunity amid tragedy
Africa has a unique opportunity to thrive during post-Covid-19 travel, with the opportunity to move to pole position of continents and destinations to visit. With Africa accounting for only 4 % of global international arrivals numbers pre-Covid-19, Africa’s high-value, low-volume safari tourism industry is the ultimate combination of social distancing and makes for a profound human and wildlife connection.
For the most part, African safari tourism is built for a post-Covid-19 travel world. Designed to minimise the negative environmental impact people have on pristine wildlife areas, while maximising socio-economic benefits for countries that own, and communities that surround, these wildlife spaces. Because safari tourism not only enriches our lives but the lives of our wonderful guests, while supporting millions of livelihoods across our continent, Africa may just get an unexpected boost from a pandemic that has brought much pain and suffering to the continent.
Africa must continue to look to tourism as the force that uplifts communities and protects our wildlife, in order to ensure we maintain decades of conservation built on the foundation of bringing guests to African soil. To do this we must redouble our efforts, and use Covid-19 as the opportunity it is to meet the inevitable changes in guest requirements that will centre around connection and space, both of which Africa has in abundance.
Experiences will make up post-Covid-19 travel
The psychology of mortality brought about by global lockdowns and travel bans enhances a desire for connectedness that will drive increased demand for the experiential. And with a developing consciousness, Africa has both experiences and connectedness in abundance. There are few places in the world that families and loved ones can come to reconnect for long hours every day, away from the distractions of endless Zoom meetings and chat apps, like that of the back of a Land Rover.
In addition to the incredible experiences Africa has to offer, the shared humanity of this crisis, which is truly blobal, has already seen millions of people and businesses stepping up to support those in need. The established indirect and direct connection between tourism and poverty alleviation, education and wildlife preservation will be a strong driver for guests to come to Africa in support of these amazing causes. The reality is as destinations and source markets reopen, guests will have a plethora of options available for travel and few destinations have the impact story so closely linked to why travel to Africa should be at the top of the list of those guests with that consciousness to give back.
Why book with us?
With over 16 years experience, as Africa’s Leading Safari company, Rhino Africa is an African-based specialist tour operator arranging tailor-made wildlife safaris and holidays throughout Africa. Our understanding of the guest experience, combined with extensive first-hand knowledge of the hotels and lodges, makes us experts in creating magical and memorable African holidays. Moreover, the direct nature of our business – linking guests directly with hotels and lodges, further magnifies the impact your African travel can have on communities and wildlife.
While Covid-19 has arrived and has thoroughly rained on our 2020 travel parade, there is indeed a silver lining. As I keep telling everyone, if you are not able to travel right now, then use this time to plan for when you can. As Africa’s leading Safari Company, contact us, and let one of our Travel Experts start planning your 2021 African safari today.
Join us in this new chapter on our journey, as we use travel to create a lasting legacy on the continent we all call home.
With love and gratitude,