Tourism: Latest News
Dana Sanchez, 3:21 pm AFKI Original
There are not a lot of hotels near Cape Town International Airport. Most business and leisure travelers are in a hurry to get to Cape Town, or reluctant to leave, and understandably so, given the city’s many attractions. That’s why the 145-room Hotel Verde, a three-minute drive to Cape Town International Airport, feels like such a game changer. I stayed there on a trip to Cape Town and it felt like a glimpse into the future of the hotel industry. General Manager Samantha Annandale told me the hotel got at least $2.6M in free publicity just for being green.
Staff, 8:02 am
Once a center of the slave trade, the ancient port of Calabar is now one of the prettiest cities in Nigeria. It has long sought to position itself as a tourist center and jumping-off point for exploring Cross River State, home to Nigeria’ s only population of drill monkeys. Drills are one of Africa’s most endangered mammals. You can see them at Pandrillus in Calabar, the world’s most successful drill monkey breeding program. Director Peter Jenkins is a hero to some and hated by others. He’s been the target of death threats for trying to change local attitudes against catching monkeys for bush meat.
Bridget Williamson, 3:59 pm
Victoria Falls gets all the attention when it comes to waterfalls in Africa, and deservedly so. It’s not the highest or the widest waterfall in the world, but it’s the biggest — about twice the height of North America’s Niagara Falls and more than twice as wide. Africa has other fabulous waterfalls that many people don’t know about. They’re on the periphery of the beaten path in regions previously overlooked or ignored. Some are hard to reach. They’re among the most underappreciated aspects of Africa’s natural heritage.
Richard Holmes, 1:00 am
Locals tell the weather by the clouds swirling around Cape Town’s Table Mountain. Don’t be surprised if driving directions involve phrases like “drive away from the mountain.” You can’t overstate Cape Town’s beauty. The city is built around its single greatest feature — Table Mountain. Its trailheads are usually just a short drive from most city hotels, which can be a problem. Because it’s so accessible, tourists often underestimate Hoerikwaggo, San for the Mountain of the Sea.
Joe Kennedy, 2:02 pm
The 28-mile Fanie Botha hiking trail is considered one of South Africa’s best. One of the country’s first officially designated hiking trails, it was originally imagined as the start of an Appalachian Trail-inspired hike stretching from the Soutpansberg in the north to the Eastern Cape escarpment. The big dream wasn’t realized but you can hike the Fanie Botha, named for the man who pushed for a national hiking trail system. Hikers often start in the town of Sabie. Four huts can be booked to spend the nights along the way.
Dana Sanchez, 1:15 pm
Tourism has been the fastest-growing sector of The Gambia’s economy until now, accounting for 18-to-20% of the country’s revenue. The country, population about 2 million, is marketed to vacationers as “the smiling coast of West Africa.” In the wake of the current political unrest, tourism revenue will likely fall 50%, a stakeholder said. The sector will have to rebuilt just as it was after the 1994 coup that brought longtime ruler Yahya Jammeh to power. “I feel sorry for everybody here,” an evacuating Brit said. “It’s going to take years for tourism to pick up again.”
Guide To Kairouan, Tunisia: ‘If It Looks Like You’re Staying At A Nice Resort, You’ll Pay Higher Prices Here’By Kate Thomas, 8:01 am
The road is short from Sousse, Tunisia, to the Islamic city of Kairouan. Just 32 miles separate the two, lined with dusty olive groves baking in the Tunisian sun. And yet Kairouan’s Mosque of Uqba, the world’s fourth holiest site according to Muslim scholars, feels a world away from the clubs and 24-hour bars of Sousse. As my taxi driver pulled up in front of the mosque, he recited a line from the Koran and urged me to remove my wristband from the hotel in Sousse. “If it looks like you’re staying at a nice resort, you’ll pay higher prices here,” he confided.
Staff, 2:20 pm
It’s somewhat disconcerting to look at gazelles with the roar of traffic as your soundtrack, or see a line of skyscrapers on the northern edge of the park, but this is Africa. If you’re visiting Nairobi and don’t have time to head out into the bush, you’ll find one of the best urban wildlife parks in the world just a few miles from the city’s central business district. All you need is a few hours. At the Nairobi National Park, I saw giraffe, Cape buffalo, wildebeest, baboons, impala, a rhino and her baby, and — unexpectedly — lions mating.
Staff, 4:14 pm
Seeing goats in trees never gets old. Learn how to pour a proper mint tea and see goats hanging out in a tree on a mountain biking trip through the Atlas Mountains. As part of a two-week trip around Morocco, cinematographer Evan Burris Trout did a four-hour Atlas Mountain bike trip. He visited a mountain souk, learned about local customs and experienced Moroccan hospitality during a delicious home-cooked meal at a mountain vacation rental home.
Barbara Bean-Mellinger, 1:11 pm
There’s more to Libya than deserts and dictators. You can sunbathe on bountiful — and empty — beaches. More than 1,200 miles of beaches line the northern Libyan coast. When city-dwelling Libyans want to get away, they prefer going to the countryside than to the beach. Visitors who know this can have the beach to themselves, and possibly get the added bonus of an ancient Roman site to explore next door. Guides are required when travelling in groups.
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