Tourism: Latest News
Dana Sanchez, 11:00 am
Durban’s potential tends to bubble beneath the surface, not quite as bold and direct as Johannesburg or Cape Town. A laid-back city on many counts, its art scene, rumored to be burgeoning for the last decade, may be better described as simmering slowly. “Durban isn’t an easy city for creatives. But that isn’t to say the city isn’t home to some really staggering talent,” says Jonas Barausse of Street Scene tours. For a little more context, I spend a morning with Carol Brown, a freelance consultant and curator who’s considered a doyenne of the Durban arts scene.
Dana Sanchez, 11:00 am
Africa is a paradise for birdwatchers with almost 2,500 bird species. Topping the list is Democratic Republic of the Congo with 1,139 species, followed by Tanzania, Kenya, Angola, Nigeria, Cameroon and Ethiopia. An African eagle, the bateleur is the national emblem of Zimbabwe. Endemic to Africa, it’s one of the most colorful birds of prey with jet black plumage, a scarlet face and orange feathers down the back. In 2009, this bird was listed as “near threatened” due to a drop in population. The bateleur spends as much as 80% of the day in flight, covering up to 300 miles in search of food.
Julia Austin, 2:00 pm
If you learned everything you know about South Africa in a guidebook, broaden your horizons with this list of 15 amazing — and slightly crazy– things you never knew you could do. Like spend half a day hanging out with meerkats. Meerkats are immune to certain venom including the Kalahari Desert scorpion. They forage in a group with one sentry on guard watching for predators. Sentry duty is usually an hour long. Meerkat young learn by mimicking adults who teach their pups tricks like how to eat a venomous scorpion. A meerkat can dig through sand equal to its own weight in seconds.
Dana Sanchez, 9:35 pm
For centuries, humans introduced alien species into new environments, sometimes with the hope of solving a problem. These acts often disrupted native ecosystems. Native to India, common mynas escaped into the wild in South Africa in 1902. Strong territorial instinct and a preference for living close to humans make the common myna an enormous urban pest. They’re known to kick other birds out of the nest. Their range is increasing so fast that they’ve been declared one of the world’s most invasive species — one of three birds in the top 100 species that could impact biodiversity, agriculture and human interests.
Dana Sanchez, 11:26 am
At 14,176 feet, Mount Elgon on the border of Uganda and Kenya isn’t Africa’s best-known mountain. An extinct volcano, it often gets overlooked on the regional adventure trail. It has one big thing going for it: It’s more suitable for beginner climbers than most other African mountains. It also has waterfalls, warm springs and lots of large caves. The Ugandan town of Mbale near the Kenyan border is the gateway to Mount Elgon.
Dana Sanchez, 7:00 am
You need a visa to visit Eritrea, and another permit to go to Eritrea’s Dahlak Archipelago, a chain of 124 small islands and two larger ones in the Red Sea near Massawa. Off the beaten path doesn’t begin to describe it. You can expect pristine beaches and unparalleled marine life with few other tourists for miles. Dahlak’s pearl fisheries have been famous since ancient times. Charter yachts can be hired for scuba diving and pearl fishing. During years of war, fishery came to a halt in the area. The unexpected result of isolation? There are lots of fish and they aren’t shy.
Peter Pedroncelli, 3:45 am AFKI Original
Business magnate Sol Kerzner, 81, is the innovative property developer of Atlantis mega resorts in the Bahamas and Dubai, but it was South Africa’s Sun City that first propelled him to international fame. The legendary hotel and resort developer sold his family interests in Kerzner International Holdings to a Dubai firm in 2014, but it still bears the founder’s name. Kerzner International Holdings expects to manage its first U.S. resort — also an Atlantis property — in Hawaii. Here’s how he became a global icon.
Dana Sanchez, 2:53 pm
Sentebale means “forget me not” in in Sesotho, the language of Lesotho. That’s the name of Prince Harry’s charity, which helps the littlest victims of Lesotho’s HIV/AIDS epidemic. Harry stars in a new documentary about Lesotho. On his first visit, he was struck by Lesotho’s raw beauty, but also by the many children whose lives were shattered by HIV. Lesotho is often overlooked by travelers to Africa, but once people venture within its borders, they fall in love with the country, writes Lucy Corne for AFKTravel.com.
Dana Sanchez, 11:43 am
Disruption is expected to pick up in South Africa’s real estate industry in 2017, a stakeholder says. South African homeowners increasingly want to earn income from their real estate investments. Airbnb — a website that lets homeowners rent out space in their homes — is making it easier to do so. This is expected to impact how people buy property as they look for homes that will double as vacation rentals.
Marinda Louw-Coetzee, 7:00 am
As I sat down for breakfast under a thorn tree at the Hlane Royal National Park, two waitresses swayed in my direction, singing. They were serving plates of bacon, eggs, sausages and baked beans. “Jesus, touch me,” Millicent sang as she served me. Swazis love their baked beans and gospel music, but there are other reasons to visit this tiny country, squeezed between South Africa’s Kruger National Park and Mozambique. Whether you like baked beans or not, Swaziland will blow you away.
- Real Estate