It has to be South Africa

By | Category: Travel destinations
Lalibela Game Reserve

Lalibela Game Reserve

It was about a week ago that a Post Office survey showed that the South African rand had dropped by 37% against sterling making it a much cheaper holiday destination for us.

Companies offering South African holidays were quick of the mark pointing out the value-for-money aspects, travel agency windows seemed to have more holidays there in their windows and a few e-mails from online companies dropped into my mailbox suggesting now was the time to invest in a second home in South Africa. Since South Africa hosted the World Cup in 2010 visitor numbers have grown steadily ever since. The latest figures from South African Tourism, the country’s official marketer, show that foreign tourists are spending on average two days longer in South Africa than they used to 3 years ago.

Perhaps the most expensive holiday that you can take in the country is on a luxury game reserve. So the slide in the rand could be an opportunity to take a holiday that you might otherwise rule out.

In the country’s Eastern Cape province, luxury game reserves are seeing increased numbers of visitors particularly from North America & Europe mapping out itineraries that combine a safari with visiting a coastal area, a heritage site like Robben Island, a city or a wine area like the Cape winelands.

An hour’s drive from Port Elizabeth is the Lalibela Game Reserve and the owner says that more than 90% of his foreign visitors combine a visit to the Cape with a safari experience . But Lalibela is a luxury game reserve so prices aren’t cheap – except that now they are a lot cheaper for those living outside the country. Lalibela is a Big 5 game reserve on the Eastern Cape coast of South Africa. In addition to the Big 5 (lion, rhino, elephant, leopard & buffalo), the 18 500 acres reserve is home to other predators such as cheetah, hyena, jackal and lynx, as well as numerous plains animals including giraffe, zebra, warthog, impala, wildebeest, blesbok and various other antelope species. Overlooking indigenous bush and watering holes, accommodation is in a luxury tented camp and cosy safari lodges.

A few years ago, this sort of holiday wouldn’t be one I’d consider. Now – its a different matter and more Brits than ever are jumping at the chance.


For more about South Africa, click here.

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