Tourism: Latest News
Becca Blond, 7:00 am
Walking through the breezy, thatched-roof boma lobby at Ivory Lodge in Hwange National Park, I find myself skidding to a stop. My jaw drops in shock and words rush out of my mouth: “Oh my God do you guys see that? Right over there?” I’m pointing furiously at a spot the length of a football field away, separated from the hotel by a fire pit and a green manicured lawn, where dozens of dusty elephants are frolicking in a muddy water hole. Hwange is home to the presidential herd, 40,000 strong, and one of the largest elephant herds anywhere in Africa.
Dana Sanchez, 5:52 pm
Ghana hasn’t had a national long-haul carrier since Ghana Airways, one of Africa’s oldest airlines, stopped flying in December 2015. Getting one will remove one of the stumbling blocks that prevented Accra from becoming a West African hub for air travel. There is no strong airline and no airport hub in West and Central Africa. Ghana made up for the absence of a strong carrier by issuing other airlines rights to carry passengers from Accra.
Dana Sanchez, 10:28 am
Ethiopia is home to nine UNESCO World Heritage sites — more than any other African country. The U.S. and U.K. have warned citizens against traveling there after peaceful anti-government protests led to police violence and a state of emergency. Mixed messages are coming from the government and citizens. The U.K. Foreign Office reported widespread disruption to road travel with official and unofficial roadblocks appearing with no warning. “The lack of consistency is concerning,” a stakeholder said.
Staff, 12:02 am
For New Yorker Starrene Rhett-Rocque, buying fresh flowers or an occasional stroll in the park was about the extent of her interactions with nature. After learning she had Ghanaian ancestral heritage, she booked a trip. Nervous about venturing into the wilderness, she put her fears aside. “I played with mona monkeys at the Tafi Atome Sanctuary, and even attempted to climb Mt. Afadjato. Despite my aversion to nature, I had a good time, even when things got difficult.” You can read her six-part series here.
Dana Sanchez, 12:01 am
South Africa derives about 4 percent of its GDP from the surrounding oceans. It has an opportunity to present itself as a gateway to Antarctica for many countries that have a presence there. A key strategy is a proposal for air-corridor tourism. Activities such as snow skiing, skating, snow kite boarding, marine, animal, scenic and bird-viewing hikes and snow riding in Antarctica could boost economic potential for South Africa.
Becca Blond, 7:35 am
When York Pareik started a 64-acre botanical garden in Madagascar in 2002, he planted 5,000 baobab trees. He will never see them grow more than 10 feet high. “Baobabs don’t flower until they are 100 years old,” he tells me as we hike along a dry forest trail past baby baobabs. “They grow so slow. You cut down one … and you’ll have to wait around a thousand years for another to grow to its size.” Parc Botanique des Mille Baobabs is home to chameleons, geckos, hedgehogs and five of Madagascar’s seven baobab species.
Staff, 7:18 am
There are plenty of swanky places to stay in Johannesburg, but sometimes you just need to get away from the big city and luxuriate in peace and quiet. Whether it’s a quaint small town or game reserve, there are many options for escape Johannesburg for a long weekend without having to deal with the hassle of getting on a plane, or spending hours in the car. Here are five of my favorite luxury lodges and hotels, all within a two-hour drive of Jozi.
Dana Sanchez, 5:45 pm
Elephant conservation in protected areas has positive economic returns comparable to investing in education and infrastructure, according to new research. In African game parks where elephant numbers are suffering due to poaching, tourist numbers are suffering too. There have always been strong moral reasons for conserving elephants, a study author said. “Our research now shows that investing in elephant conservation is actually smart economic policy.”
Dana Sanchez, 3:24 pm
With a $500,000 US investment, foreigners can buy Mauritian residency and apply for a passport after five years of property ownership. By early 2016, there were 3,200 U.S. dollar millionaires living in Mauritius — population 1.3million. Most are from France and Southern Africa. Part of the attraction is low or no taxes. “No housing or property tax, no inheritance tax on properties purchased and no capital gains tax speaks directly to property investors,” a stakeholder said.
Staff, 7:28 am
It became clear during my exploration of Osu, one of Accra’s fashionable districts, that Oxford Street never sleeps. I saw vendors hawking everything including knockoff Puma soccer jerseys and Rolexes. They can tell who isn’t local, so be prepared to be followed for a few blocks by people aggressively trying to get you to make purchases. That latter is something that I never got used to. Street vendors are a given in Ghana, but one of my favorite things about Osu is that there are also many chic boutiques that offer a calmer shopping adventure.
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