Tourism: Latest News
Dana Sanchez, 1:01 am
Rwanda has scheduled a string of aviation events this year that it hopes will help bolster its growing tourism sector. The country has a new convention center to host such events. In July it celebrated the opening of Kigali’s new $300-million five-star Radisson Blu Hotel & Convention Centre. More than 2,700 aviation experts are expected to attend five major international aviation events that include Aviation Africa 2017 and Africa Airport Summit. Kigali International Airport was ranked third-fastest growing in Africa in 2016.
Staff, 9:33 am
What’s been billed as the world’s most luxurious cruise ship, the 750-passenger Seven Seas Explorer, in 2018 will operate a voyage down the west coast of Africa — rare in the cruise world. The voyage will bring one of the priciest cruise ships in the world to one of the globe’s poorest regions. The per capita income of many of the countries on the itinerary is less than $2,000 per year. The most expensive luxury ship ever built, it features some of the largest, most elaborate accommodations at sea, including a 4,443-square-foot suite — nearly 50% larger than the average home in the U.S. The ship spa is operated by Canyon Ranch.
Kate Thomas, 8:01 am
Larger than guesthouses but smaller and more personal than boutique hotels, dar hotels are Tunisia’s version of the Moroccan riad. They are converted traditional family homes, palaces, or buildings centered around a communal courtyard. Belgian-Tunisian designer Sabri Oueslati launched what became the dar hotel movement six years ago when he transformed a former home and pottery factory into a sleek, stylish hotel with a rooftop pool. Since then, dar hotels have been popping up all over Tunisia – tucked inside medinas, perched on clifftops, or next to desert oases.
Julia Austin, 5:40 pm
Plastic surgery can be expensive and risky. The best surgeons charge more. So how do those searching for a little nip-tuck reduce the cost without adding risk? Some travel to South Africa, where the exchange rate is good and many of the country’s surgeons are top notch. South Africa has seen a significant increase in black men and women opting for cosmetic procedures in the last decade or so. Black women prefer buttock augmentations, breast reductions, lip reductions and nip-tuck procedures. White women prefer nose jobs and liposuction, according to a South African plastic surgeon.
Ishay Govender-Ypma, 8:09 am
We have parachuted out of planes, bungeed off bridges, and done tandem paraglides, but only one in the group has been in a hot air balloon. Compared to other adventure activities, hot air balloons may seem tame. For me, the idea of being in a basket rising uncontrollably into space is terrifying. There’s a powerful whoosh of flames. We feel the heat and reel back. Ropes are loosened, the basket wobbles and starts to lift 18 adults into the air. The Magaliesburg region is marketed as the Cradle of Mankind. Cameras click. The air is crisp and still.
Joe Kennedy, 8:01 am
Take a hike through the ice and mist to the summit of Kenya’s highest mountain. At least seven of Mount Kenya’s 18 glaciers recorded in the 1890s by early explorers have disappeared. The rest are shrinking and may be gone in our lifetimes. Of the 15,000 visitors to the national park each year, those who attempt to summit mostly climb Point Lenana, (16,355 feet). Mount Kenya’s tarns and alpine meadows, its exotic high-altitude equatorial vegetation, and its sunbirds and soaring eagles make the hike one of the most beautiful in the East African mountains.
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.
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