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South African Airlines Continues to Fly High After 75 Years of Serving its Spectacular Homeland JOAN GONZALEZ


outh Africa is growing in popularity,” said Marc S. Cavaliere, South Africa Airways North America executive vice president, based at their U.S. headquarters in downtown Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “The main segments are leisure, business, friends MARC S. CAVALIERE and relatives. At present there are more leisure travelers than business, but business is growing rapidly, increasing over 10% a year. There is also such a broad range of things to see and do in South Africa that most travelers have a real desire to come back.” The airline, celebrating 75 years aloft, has been flying to the United States for 40 years and is now offering non-stop service between New York (JFK) and Johannesburg (Flight SA204), departing Kennedy airport at 11:35 am and arriving in Johannesburg 8:45 am (local time) the following day, with seamless connections from Washington D.C. (Dulles airport) with their “Star” ally, United Airlines. The distance from New York to Johannesburg is 8,040 miles, which is a good reason to put your clients on SAA’s comfortable flight. While “sheer luxury” is available in Premium Class, with seats that totally recline, the airline has not forgotten its coach passengers. Economy class offers more leg room, seats are wider than on most airlines

Travel World News •

and every seat comes with a plush pillow, blanket and an amenity kit. And also, tasty meals. South Africa is also an interesting, intriguing land of great beauty with friendly, relaxed people. English is widely spoken (often with a British accent) and it has a language all its own called, “Afrikaans.” It was spewed out of a series of volcanoes millions of years ago, a magnificent creation that is one of the most interesting and beautiful destinations in the world. Its people population is as interesting

and varied as the land, with descendants of Dutch and British settlers; a large Indian population, both Hindu and Moslem; a people of mixed origin called Cape Coloreds; the Bantu, descendants of various black tribes and the Bushmen and the Hottentots, who mostly live in southwest Africa. In addition to private enterprise game parks, South Africa has dedicated a large portion of their land to national parks, including the following north national parks: Augrabies Falls, Golden

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Gate Highlands, Kalahari Gemsbok, Marakele, Richtersveld and Vaalbos National Park. The Atlantic and Indian ocean coastline, converging at Cape Point is a 2hour drive from Cape Town and a good starting point to visit not only the country’s wine district but also the incredible Cango Caves and the Ostrich Farms.

South African Airways Vacations Also worth checking into for your clients are special offers from SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS VACATIONS, commissionable to travel agents. All packages include round-trip economy class airfare from either New York (JFK) or Washington, D.C. (Dulles) to Johannesburg and Cape Town plus all regional transportation and most meals. In addition to set packages, the company is always happy to put together custom itineraries.

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The following is a sample of some of their most popular all-inclusive tours. Prices, of course, are always subject to change and do not include taxes. KRUGER IN STYLE 10 days from $2,499, includes deluxe accommodations at Protea Hotel Victoria Junction and Pafuri Camp, winelands tour, game drives and ground transfers. SOUTH AFRICA IN STYLE Nine days from $1,999, includes Cape Town, winelands tour, the Jackalberry Lodge in Thornybush Prive Game Reserve or the Royal Legend Safari Lodge and Spa in the Timbavati Private Game Reserve. SOUTH AFRICA ON SALE Nine days from $1,899, starts in Cape Town and includes a Cape Peninsula tour, the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, sitting with the penguins at Boulders Beach, the winelands, cable car to the top of Table Mountain, then on to the Bakubung Bush Lodge in the Pilanesberg National Park and game drives. CAPE TOWN IN STYLE Nine days from $1,799, a chance to enjoy really fine wines with a visit to the 4-star Vineyard Hotel & Spa located on six acres of gardens in a suburb of Cape Town known for its cuisine and fine wines and enjoy a range of treatments at the Angsana Spa or visit the fitness center. Also see Table Mountain and Kirstenbosch Gardens, visit a wine farm in Constantia then on to Stellenbosch in the Cape Winelands. LION SANDS IN STYLE Nine days from $2,399, staying at The Cape Cadogan Hotel with time to explore the city and visit the winelands. Also two nights at the Lion Sands River Lodge in the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve. PLANES, TRAINS & SAFARIMOBILES Eleven days from $2,999 with a luxurious train journey on the Blue Train from Pretoria to Sun City with butlers and private suites. Then to the

Bakubung Bush Lodge in the Pilanesberg National Park for some serious game viewing followed by a flight to Cape Town for a Cape Peninsula Tour.

South African Airways Vacations, 888-722-4872,

NEW NON-STOP SERVICE BETWEEN KRUGER NATIONAL PARK AND VICTORIA FALLS Effective August 17, 2009, a new non-stop service between Kruger National Park in South Africa and Victoria Falls will link two of Southern Africa’s top destinations. South Africa based airline carrier Airlink will give travelers the opportunity to experience both destinations within one day, without a stop-over in Johannesburg. The service will be available on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with the intention to expand the frequency. The new flights allow travelers to depart from Nelspruit Kruger National Park at 11:55 a.m. and arrive in Livingstone near the Victoria Falls at 1:50 p.m. The return service to Kruger National Park leaves Livingstone at 2:20 p.m. and arrives in Nelspruit at 4:45 p.m. Victoria Falls is home to Sun International’s luxurious The Falls Resort, which features the three-star Zambezi Sun as well as the sophisticated five-star hotel The Royal Livingstone. The Zambezi Sun is located adjacent to the Eastern Cataract of the Victoria Falls. The Royal Livingstone is comprised of 173 spacious en-suite guestrooms. Sun International also operates resorts and luxury hotels in South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, and Swaziland. Airlink is part of a strategic alliance with South African Airlines and SA Express. Airlink flies to more local destinations than any other airline, operating over 3,500 flights per month and servicing more than 25 destinations in Southern Africa. Airlink, having standardized their fleet, is the thirdlargest Jetstream 41 operator in the world. Sun International Hotels & Resorts,,; Airlink, • Travel World News



Camp Jabulani, a Relais and Chateaux, eco-award-winning luxury safari camp near Kruger National Park, is instituting an edutainment program called Team Tusker. The program is designed for children under 12 staying at the Camp’s luxurious new lodging, Zindoga Suite, opening in September. While parents enjoy elephant-back safaris, a series of exciting and educational activities for kids will be offered daily from 10 am to 12:30 pm and 3–6 in the afternoon. The Zindoga Suite (named after the first male elephant born to the camp’s herd) allows children to enjoy the unique elephant experience with their parents (those under 10 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.) Set off from the original site to ensure privacy, the ultra-deluxe suite consists of two units—one accommodates two adults and the other, two adults and two children. The lodging boasts two woodburning fireplaces, two heated pools, as well as a dedicated chef and team. With 13 specially-trained elephants, Camp Jabulani was the first in South Africa to offer elephant-back safaris, and the only one to offer elephant-back safaris at night. On these safaris, guests sit behind the trainer in a comfortable saddle while the elephants quietly negotiate narrow paths in single file and get very close to other members of the animal kingdom. Camp Jabulani also features morning and evening vehicle game drives, balloon safaris, bush walks, bird-watching, clay-pigeon shooting and a visit to the worldrenowned Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre. Rates for the entire Zidoga Suite start at approximately $4,590 per night, inclusive of all game-viewing (excluding balloon safaris), elephant-back safaris, accommodation, meals, beverages, butler and laundry service, children’s programs and transfers from the Hoedspruit Eastgate Airport. Camp Jabulani,,

Swain Tours is offering a ‘South Africa Safari Special’ with savings of over $1,465 per person, for the special price of $3,380 for eight nights, $510 single supplement. The price includes internal coach-class air in South Africa with private round-trip airport transfers, and features three nights in Cape Town plus an additional night free, and three nights at Sabi Sands (also with a night free), and includes eight breakfasts, four lunches and four dinners. In Cape Town, accommodations are at the deluxe and very stylish Cape Royale Hotel, set against the iconic outline of Table Mountain, with panoramic views over the city and Atlantic Ocean. Daily breakfast is included. In Sabi Sands, lodging is at the deluxe Djuma Vuyatela Lodge—luxurious chalets

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built to reflect local architecture. Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea with fresh bakes, and dinner daily are included, as well as two safaris (game drives) each day. A daily, guided walk in the bush and daily tours to a nearby Shangaan village to learn about the customs of the local people is also included. Another feature is Boulders Penguin Colony in the Cape Peninsula National Park, the habitat of almost 3,000 African (jackass) penguins, so-called because their call resembles the bray of a donkey. As part of the package, a Winelands Tour will take guests to Africa’s premier wine region, with wine tasting at two estates. Other highlights can be incorporated to tailor the package to specific requirements. Travel must be completed by September 30, 2009. Complete terms and conditions are available on Swain’s website. Swain Tours,

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Africa Travel Association Holds 34th Annual Congress in Cairo


ourism Ministers and Leading Travel Experts From Across Africa Convene and Connect The Africa Travel Association (ATA), in cooperation with the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and the Egyptian Tourism Authority (ETA), hosted its Annual Congress May 17–21 in Cairo, Egypt. Under the banner “Connecting Destination Africa,” the event gathered tourism ministers, tourism boards, airlines, hoteliers, and ground operators, as well as corporate, non-profit and academic sectors and press, to help shape Africa’s tourism agenda. Held at the Conrad Cairo Hotel, the congress was hosted by Hon. Mohamed Zoheir Garranah, Egypt’s Minister of Tourism. Honorable Shamsa Mwangunga (MP), ATA President and Tanzania’s Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, opened speaking of tourism as a driver of African development. “Africa realizes the important role tourism can play in each country particularly in the areas of economic development, poverty reduction and promotion of peace. In fact, we have already seen that most peaceful countries have witnessed a steady increase in tourism arrival receipts,” she said. In his introductory remarks, Amr El Ezaby, Egyptian Tourist Authority Chairman, said the congress presented an opportunity to share information and ideas on marketing Africa’s tourism products, especially during challenging times. “Until twenty to thirty years ago, Egypt was a one-product destination: the classic Egypt tour. But in the 1980s Egypt started to diversify its product in order to retain its competitive edge, by developing resort tourism on the Red Sea, desert tourism and cultural tourism. This diversification led to dramatic demand and generated an increase of infrastructure from 18,000 rooms in 1982 to 210,000 rooms in 2008.” “Today,” he said, “Egypt is striving to change its image even further by developing high-end resorts to appeal to the luxury market.” The success of Egypt’s diversification strategy is reflected in the country’s increase in the number of tourism arrivals, with 17-percent growth in 2008 despite the climate. Dr. Elham M. A. Ibrahim, the African Union’s Commissioner of Infrastructure and Energy, sent words of support: “The African Union counts on ATA to come up with practical solutions particularly on how to costeffectively promote Africa’s tourist attractions as well as foster cooperation among all tourism stakeholders includ-

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(L to R): Paulino Baptista, Angolan Deputy Minister of Hotels & Tourism; Bello Gada, Nigerian Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation; Shamsa Mwangunga, Tanzanian Minister of Natural Resources & Tourism; Hisham Zazzou, First Assistant to the Minister, Egyptian Ministry of Tourism; Edward Bergman, ATA Executive Director; Tadelech Dalecho, Ethiopian State Minister of Culture & Tourism; Amr El-Ezaby, Chairman, Egyptian Tourist Authority; and Mohamed Hegazy, Deputy Director, Egyptian Tourist Authority USA & Latin America (photographs courtesy of Egyptian Ministry of Tourism).

ing policymakers, development planners, investors, financiers, operators and the public at large, with a view to addressing the specific development needs of the tourism sector in Africa… I wish to assure you that the African Union will always be ready to work closely with ATA to ensure that the continental tourism industry meets its primary objectives of facilitating socio-economic development and integration of Africa,” she wrote in the letter to the delegates. Edward Bergman, ATA Executive Director, spoke of ATA’s longstanding ties with Egypt and the opportunity the congress presented to build public-private partnerships. “ATA is thrilled to be joined by so many distinguished leaders in the industry who bring their unique experiences and expertise to the congress and lead us in addressing the key issues facing Africa’s emerging tourism industry today,” he said. High-profile delegates included Lisa Simon, President of the National Tour Association (NTA), who discussed what travel professionals need to know when doing business in the United States.

Africa Travel Association (ATA),, • Travel World News


HLO Offers Real Travel Experiences M I LT T H O M A S

Hamdy takes group to White Desert.


f you are looking for a tour operator to take your clients to Egypt, Africa or the Holy Land, you cannot do better than HLO Tours out of Orlando, Florida. Why? First of all, HLO has been providing fully customized tours of Egypt (as well as Israel, Jordan, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Morocco, Tunisia, Syria, Botswana and Zambia) since 1987. The company’s founder and president, Hamdy Nossair, was born in Egypt and he is an archeologist. If you are going to Egypt, who better to take you than an Egyptian-American archeologist? Secondly, his trips are custom-designed for groups from two to two hundred. On a typical 10-day itinerary you will see the Great Pyramids, Sphinx, Egyptian Museum, Ramses II mummy, King Tut’s immense treasures and his tomb, the Valley of the Kings, Karnak Temple, Aswan Dam and all the other historical sites you have seen on television or read in books. He will also take you to places you never heard of, but you will never forget them once he shows you. Hamdy’s tours are not only customized – they are personalized. You will not only see farmers working the fields as they did 5,000 years ago, you will have tea with them. You will stay in five-star hotels, but Hamdy will take you to the most popular local restaurants to eat authentic Egyptian food. If you are interested in shopping for the many unique items Egypt has

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to offer, he will help you bargain for them. Not a shopper? Then Hamdy will take you to one of the many sidewalk cafes (only the best ones) where you can sip tea or coffee and watch people walk by from every corner of the globe. As an exclusive bonus, Hamdy will take you to the farming village where he grew up, where his brothers and sisters will prepare a meal, take you to the fields, visit local schools, sit with the mayor and other village officials. You will meet everyday folks who will be delighted to take you into their homes and see how they live – not through the filter of commercial tourism, but totally natural, just as they lived when Hamdy was a child and for thousands of years before him. There you will discover the true meaning of family. Most important of all, you would expect to pay a king’s ransom for experiences like this, but HLO Tours offers very competitive rates and only the finest accommodations, including the best Nile cruise boats and most professional tour guides. His company motto is, “Come to Egypt as a tourist and leave as a friend.” Just talk with Americans who have traveled with him before over the past 22 years (he will provide names and contact information) and you will quickly learn how special Hamdy and his company are. Go to Egypt with him and you will quickly learn how special YOU are.

HLO Tours, • Travel World News

AFRICA CIVILIZATION IN THE WILDERNESS WITH ABENTEUER AFRIKA SAFARI Abenteuer Afrika is a pioneer in elegant desert dining in Namibia, having organized everything from a five-course repast for two to a dinner event for 800. Depending upon budget, clients can choose to dine al-fresco under the Namibian sky, or in a white marquee tent. Tables, chairs, centerpieces, silverware, place settings, outdoor heaters, a bar area, the kitchen, music, dance floor, red-carpet entryway are client choices. Abenteuer tests and retests everything prior to the actual event. Sites must be pristine, generators, catering equipment and comfort facilities inspected—even directions to the sites are double-checked. Locations are chosen for their spectacular views of the area as well as that of the setting sun. Sparkling wine and oysters on the half shell are a favorite starter. A candle-lit path welcomes guests, and more than 300 more candles decorating the surrounding mountainsides create soft serene lighting. Alternatives include fire spinners, Marimba band players, thrumming African drums and even champagne delivered by parachutists. Within minutes, guests forget they’re in the middle of the desert, as they relax, chat, dine, and listen to music under the canopy of stars that is the Namibian sky. Many desert dinners last well into the next day as visitors become highly reluctant to leave. Abenteuer Afrika Safari also goes to great lengths, before and after our functions to preserve the environment, ensuring sites look

as though no one was there after all have left. Abenteuer Afrika loves the desert and holds itself accountable to its preservation. To that end, Abenteuer also dedicates a percentage of revenue to desert rehabilitation. Abenteuer Afrika,

COMPREHENSIVE WEST AFRICA PROGRAM INTRODUCED BY KUMUKA WORLDWIDE Kumuka Worldwide has added West Africa into its adventure holidays’ program with a comprehensive choice of 13 small group tours ranging from seven to 28 days and focusing on Ghana, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso and Mali. An ideal introduction to the region is the seven-day ‘Sights and Sounds of Ghana’ itinerary, which combines ‘ancients’ such as the forts and castles of Elmina with the ‘modern’—the rainforest canopy walkways of Kakum National Park.There are monthly departures on this holiday, with the first scheduled for April 19. The price per person (twin share) is $1,270 which includes the fully-escorted tour with leader/driver, all sightseeing and entrance fees as per itinerary, plus all meals while camping (six nights). Other new itineraries include ‘Markets, Coast and Voodoo’ (14 days), ‘West Africa Empires’ (21 days) and ‘West Africa in Depth’ (28 days). Kumuka Worldwide, 800-517-086,,

Specialists in tours of


The coolest experience in the hottest destination ~~~~~~~ Travel World News •

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You Do Timbuktu? Of Course! Selling Africa’s Cultural Adventures with West Africa Tours Discover the history and mystery of West Africa with this Mali-based specialist. M A R Y E L L E N S C H U LT Z


our clients have been to Africa, say, Southern or East Africa and were wowed on safari. Or, they’ve seen the pyramids along the Nile and fallen in love with Egypt. They want to return, but where? Suggest W e s t Africa — Mali, for MARIAMA LUDOVIC DE LYS s t a r t e r s . FOUNDER, WAT Bordered by Mauritania, Senegal, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Niger and Algeria, Mali is West Africa’s largest country, measuring more than 807,000 sq.mi (over twice the size of France). Certain places have conjurer’s names, just beyond imagination, and Mali is home to one of the most famous. Say “Timbuktu,” and chances are many people won’t know where it is. Strategically located on the southern end of the Sahara desert, near the banks of the mighty Niger River, Timbuktu— founded by Tuaraeg nomads in the 11th century—was, and still is the meeting point for all camel caravans, traders and travelers to and from Sub-Saharan Africa. This fabled city of fabulous palaces, where salt and gold were exchanged ounce-for-ounce, still captivates visitors today. And it’s but one of Mali’s now-to-be-discovered travel treasures.

Mali, and More Mali-based West Africa Tours (WAT) Travel World News •

specializes in cultural and adventure journeys throughout West Africa, with most tours starting in Mali’s capital (and company headquarters), Bamako. WAT offers customized itineraries to its homeland, plus its neighboring countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo. Timbuktu-born owner, Mariama Ludovic de Lys, founded the company in 1995. The former English teacher switched to tourism in homage to her native nomadic culture. “I began my career in education,” she explains, “but then looked around and realized that if I couldn’t afford to travel as my tribal ancestors did, that I could organize trips and share with people around the world my passion for exploring different cultures.” Mariama personally reviews each client-designed itinerary and unique to WAT is her participation as guide for many of the tours! While she’s worked with U.S. clients, until now the bulk of WAT’s business has been with Europe, due mainly to its former connection to France. That’s about to change, because, as Ludovic de Lys notes, “We want more Americans to know this part of Africa…we’ve such a rich history, stunning landscapes and hospitable people with a long tradition of welcoming visitors…our guides are fluent in English and we provide the best transportation and accommodations available at each stop. But more than that, we live here and are so proud to introduce you to our treasures — the villages and markets along the spectacular Niger River, mythical Timbuktu (home of the first Islamic university), our desert “royalty” — the Tuareg “Blue Men,” the Dogon region’s cliffdwellers, the world’s largest mud-brick

mosque at Djenne, our desert elephants, bird and chimpanzee sanctuaries (yes, we even offer ecotourism!)… and our rich cultural heritage — for example, there’s nothing like our annual Festival in the Desert…our “Woodstock in the Sahara!” Acknowledging the challenge of reaching a wider market, Ludovic’s hope is that more aggressive advertising and increased word of mouth will put her on the radar. “Prompt and constant communication are essentials of good service, and that is what we promise,” she empahsizes. “We answer all queries within 24 hours.” In addition to FIT/group programs, West Africa Air offers corporate, private CONTINUED ON PAGE


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Blue man at Timbuktu’s mudbrick mosque.

and charter aircraft services, providing ramp, welcoming and baggage services at Mali’s major airports (Bamako, Gao, Mopti and Timbuktu); perfect for your VIP clients. Some WAT client namedropping: former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, South African president Thabo Mbeki, AOL founder James Kinsey and His Highness the Agha Khan.

Mali, Mariama’s Way Sample programs (all land-only and agent-commissionable) include: the introductory Mali in 7 Days/6 Nights tour takes in Mali’s former colonial capital Segou, still-medieval-flavored Djenne (of the awesome mud-brick mosque and shop-til-you-drop market); the Bandiagara cliff region — home to the mask-making, stilt-dancing Dogon people; Mopti, Mali’s canal-filled “Venice” at the confluence of the Bani and Niger Rivers; and on to the fabled caravan stop of Timbuktu, eternal sybmbol of the Sahara’s mystique. Cost ppdo approx $1,550; single supp. $250. WAT’s 10-day/9-night Heart of the Dogon Legend adventure departs Page 9

Bamako, traverses the serenely arid Sahel with stops at the lively Bobo and Bambara villages, to Djenne and on to the World Heritage-listed Bandiagara Cliffs for visits with traditional thatched hut-living Dogon tribes. Cost approx. $1,700 ppd; single supplement $335. The 11-day/12-night Niger River Cruise combines a land tour from Bamako, with highlights including 4thcentury Djenne’s mosque, local markets and Dogon country before boarding ship at Mopti, stopping at Bozo villages and Fulani camps enroute to legendary Timbuktu to soak up the history and mystery (think, a night in desert under the stars!) before heading home. Price approx $3,488 ppdo; single supplement $284. WAT’s 12 day/ 11-night Desert Festival program combines a country intro with the annual January desert music marathon’s magic. Cost approx. $3,500 ppdo, single supp $300. As noted above, programs throughout West Africa also available. Major air carriers offer connections to West Africa via London, Paris and Frankfurt; South African Airways and Delta offer direct service to Dakar from New York and Washington DC.

West Africa Tours;;,

WORLD CUP FOOTBALL WILL EXPAND AFRICA’S TOURISM African nations would benefit from focusing their efforts on attracting visitors headed to South Africa for the FIFA World Cup in 2010, asserted a development expert who addressed the Africa Travel Association’s (ATA) symposium examining Sports Tourism in Washington, D.C., last weekend. “The South Africans see the value of spreading the World Cup benefits to other African nations,” asserted development expert Lelei LeLaulu who addressed participants from North America, Africa and Europe. “So, sister African nations should

take advantage and use this once-in-a lifetime chance to attract visitors to see other parts of Africa and observe other types of football styles.” Edward Bergman, executive director of the ATA, said the weekend workshops looked at the “challenging but exciting times” and how African nations could benefit by using their Diaspora communities. Africa Travel Association (ATA),

NIGHT IN A TREEHOUSE ADDS EXCITEMENT TO A GOWAY SAFARI You don’t get much closer to nature than spending a night up a tree in the African bush, in the open with only a mosquito net between you and the stars above. Discerning guests at Lions Sands Private Game Reserve in South Africa can do just that. Guy Aubrey Chalkley, an Irish-American immigrant, first founded a modest camp there on the banks of the Sabie River, which flows through Kruger National Park, in the early 1930s. Now his grandsons Nicholas and Robert More operate a five-star luxury safari lodge in the same area and they have created Chalkley Treehouse and Jackalberry Treehouse to add a touch of excitement to their guests’ stay. The treehouses consist of a wooden platform outfitted with the what one can expect at a luxurious lodge—a comfortable double bed, crisp linens, mosquito net, comfortable armchairs for game viewing, toilet, vanity table, gowns and slippers. Chalkley Treehouse is built around a majestic, 500-year-old Leadwood Tree with views across the game-filled plains; Jackalberry is constructed high in a 100year-old jackalberry tree and overlooks the Msutu dry river bed. They are 20 minutes’ drive from Lion Sands Lodge. Guests are driven to the treehouses at dusk and served a champagne picnic dinner. They have lamps and a spotlight for picking out game in the bush below before turning in to sleep under the stars, safe and sound. Goway Africa Experts, 800-245-0920, • Travel World News


Tanzania Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Leakey’s Discovery of First Humanoid Skull in Olduvai Gorge, “The Cradle of Mankind”

The Olduvai Gorge, “The Cradle of Manking,” part of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania.


ifty years ago this July 17, evolutionary history was rewritten in Tanzania, the largest country in East Africa. British archeologists Drs. Louis and Mary Leakey, working on bone and fossil analysis in Olduvai Gorge in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (now a UNESCO Heritage Site) discovered a skull that would change all prior scientific hypothesis. Their exciting discovery was a humanoid skull with huge teeth that they named Zinjanthropus or “Zinj.” The excellent condition of the skull allowed scientists to date the beginnings of mankind to about two million years ago, and to verify that human evolution began not in Asia, as previously thought, but in Africa. In keeping with the significance of this information, Olduvai Gorge is now known as “The Cradle of Mankind.” “Zinj", whose name was later changed to Australopithecus Boise, after Charles Boise who funded the Leakeys’ research, is not a direct human ancestor, but is the first specimen of this species ever found, and at the time of his discovery, the oldest hominid. Two decades later, footprints found at Laetoli, south of Olduvai, were interpreted as those of hominids even older: 3.5 to 4 million years old. This year, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism through the Department of Antiquities and the National

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Museum of Tanzania will mark this historic find with the International Conference on Zinjanthropus in Arusha, Tanzania from August 16-22, 2009. The conference will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the discovery as well as explore new information on human origins, conservation and other allied studies. A special workshop on Louis and Mary Leakey has been organized by the East African Association for Paleoanthropology and Paleontology. “The Leakeys’ work in Tanzania changed our knowledge of the evolution of mankind and of history,” said Dr. N. A. Kayombo, Director General of the National Museums of Tanzania. “We are naturally proud that Tanzania was the site of this significant discovery. We hope that conference delegates will join tourists from around the world and visit Olduvai Gorge, the actual site of the discovery, as well as enjoy the natural wonders of the entire Ngorongoro Conservation Area including the large numbers of wildlife in the Ngorongoro Crater, often referred to as the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World.’” In the same area, are the Empakaai Crater and the active volcano of Oldonyo Lengai mountain – all part of the Serengeti Eco- System. “It is most inspiring to see the entire area as Louis and Mary Leakey saw it,” conCONTINUED ON PAGE

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cluded Dr Kayombo. Bernard Murunya, Acting Chief Conservator, Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, further noted “visitors to Olduvai should not miss the fascinating exhibits and lectures at our Olduvai Gorge Museum. Among these exhibits are hominid footprints preserved in volcanic rock some 3.6 million years old, representing some of the earliest signs of the smallbrained, upright-walking Australopithecus afarensis, ever to be found.” The location of the Museum itself offers wonderful views over the Gorge. Walking tours of the area, which is also a birders' paradise, can be arranged upon request. Excavations at Olduvai Gorge are on-going and continue to produce splendid specimens of extinct hominids, animals and plants. Since the Leakey discovery, examples of at least three species of hominids have been found at Olduvai, including Australopithecus Boise, Homo habilis, and Homo erectus. In addition, the two earliest stone tool traditions, Oldowan and Acheulian have been found along with fossil remains. Both the fossils and the tools have been crucial to understanding human evolution. Much is now known about the Australopithecines, members of the Paranthropus genus. All species of Paranthropus were bipedal. They had a brain about 40 per cent the size of mod-

Dr. Louis Leakey, working on bone and fossil analysis in Olduvai Gorge in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (now a UNESCO Heritage Site) discovered a skull that would change all prior scientific hypothesis.

ern man, were muscular, and stood about four feet to four and a half feet tall. They may have primarily lived in wooded areas, eating grubs and plants.

About Tanzania Tanzania, the largest country in East Africa, is focused on wildlife conservation and sustainable tourism, with approximately 28 percent of the land protected by the Government. It boasts 15 National Parks and 32 game reserves. It is the home of the tallest mountain in Africa, the legendary Mt. Kilimanjaro; The Serengeti, named in October, 2006, the New 7th Wonder of the World by USA Today and Good Morning America; the world acclaimed Ngorongoro Crater, often called the 8th Wonder of the World; Olduvai Gorge, the “Cradle of Mankind”; the Selous, the world’s largest game reserve; Ruaha, now the second largest National Park in Africa; the spice islands of Zanzibar; and seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Most important for visitors, the Tanzanian people are warm and friendly, speak English, which together with Kiswahili, are the two official languages; and the country is an oasis of peace and stability with a democratically elected and stable government.

Tanzania Tourist Board,; Ngorongoro Crater,; Tanzania National Parks,; Visa information. Page 12 • Travel World News

AFRICA OMONG’WE TRAVEL & TOURS ENTERS TANZANIAN MARKET Omong’we Travel & Tours (OTT), established this year, is officially open to business, dedicating itself to providing memorable travel experiences with outstanding service priced competitively. OTT handles all details from the moment client arrives at the airport in Tanzania until he’s ready to board the return flight. OTT packages explore Tanzania’s natural beauty and cultural heritage. Currently offered are wildlife safaris to both northern and southern circuits with main destinations that include Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, Tarangire, Mikumi, Udzungwa Mountain, Ruaha, Saadani national parks and Selous Game Reserve. Mountain trekking tours are also available to Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru, as well as beach tourism and historical tours to Dar es Salaam, Bagamoyo and Zanzibar. Other OTT services include air ticket reservations for Tanzania and international flights, hotel reservations and airport transfers. Partnerships with various hotel groups, including Kempinski, Serena Hotels, Moivaro Lodges and Sopa Lodges, provide affordable accommodation alternatives depending on clients’ tastes. Additionally, OTT provides customized tours based on client preferences. This permits clients to structure a vacation based

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on personal needs. For example, one can combine Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Zanzibar destinations into one tour and explore wildlife, beach tourism and historical sites in one trip. OTT also customizes educational and cultural tours for students, NGOs and any other interested group wishing to explore Tanzania. Professional and knowledgeable staff provide efficient service. Omong’we Travel & Tours,,

ZARA TOURS TAKES TANZANIA’S TREASURE SERIOUSLY Zara Tanzania Adventures operates their own hotels and comfortable campsites, which places them in an excellent position to extend value to their clients, along with top-notch English, German and Spanish-speaking guides who share their knowledge of the incredible Tanzania game reserves and carefully guide the climb on the many routes up Mt. Kiliminjaro. Zara has four properties that serve differing requirements: Springlands Hotel is a base for all safaris and mountain treks located near Kilimanjaro International Airport and has daily shuttle bus connections with Nairobi. Highview Hotel lies just beside the Ngorongoro Conservation area and is a perfect base for visiting the Crater or for trekking in the Crater highlands. It’s also a convenient overnight stop for those traveling to or from the Serengeti. Serengeti Wild Camp is a fly-camp offering a real tented bush camp experience in the heart of the Serengeti—an ideal gameviewing location. At Ikoma Wild Camp, cottages offer comfortable accommodation in a quiet game land area just outside the Serengeti. Good walking and game drives are available. At Ikoma camp and others in Maasai country, Zara contributes to the local Maasai community. Zara also uses accommodations provided by the St. Eugene Sisters to benefit the local community. Zara has an ecotourism policy that dictates respect to the land and its inhabitants. Conservation and development issues in Kilimanjaro National Park and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area are prime concerns. Clients are requested to maintain a ‘hands-off’ approach on indigenous flora and fauna and precious water resources are used sparingly. Zara has special Low Season offers where travelers can enjoy the comforts of a lodge safari, but only pay the price for camping. These itineraries in Northern Tanzania can be booked for the complete months of October and November, and also for April and May, through the 15th of June. With a fleet of 4x4 Land Rovers, 4x4 mini-buses, and 4x4 Land Cruisers (all equipped with viewing roofs), Zara is well prepared to show Tanzania to the adventurers lured by its beauty. Fully-detailed tours are available on their website. Zara Tanzania Adventures, • Travel World News


Left to right: Altaf Visram, Sales & Reservations Director, African Mecca Safaris; Gregg Truman, VP in Marketing, South African Airways; Hon. Shamsa Selengia Mwangunga, MP, Minister of Natural Resources & Tourism, the United Republic of Tanzania; Juliet Kichao, Africa Dream Safaris; and Daniel Yamat, Project Manager for the Enashiva Nature Refuge, Thomson Safaris.

Hon. Shamsa S. Mwangunga, M.P., Tanzania’s Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, presented the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) Annual Tourism Awards as part of the 34th Africa Travel Association (ATA) Congress held in Cairo, Egypt, in May. The 2009 honorees are African Dream Safaris, Thomson Safaris, African Mecca Safaris, Safari Ventures, Lion World Tours, Asante Safaris, South African Airways, Egyptair, Ann Curry, NBC-TV and Eloise Parker, New York Daily News. Present at the awards dinner and ceremony were the Hon. Zohair Garranah, Egypt’s Minister of Tourism, Dr. Elham M.A. Ibrahim, African Union Commissioner of Infrastructure and Energy, ATA Executive Director, Eddie Bergman and the Ministers of Tourism and heads of delegations from more than 20 African countries, the ATA International Board of Directors and ATA Chapter representatives as well as more than 300 ATA delegates. From Tanzania were H.E. Ali Shauri Haji, Tanzania Ambassador to Egypt, representatives of the Tanzania Ministry for Natural Resources & Tourism, the Tanzania Tourist Board, Tanzania National Parks, Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, Zanzibar Tourist Corporation, the National Museum of Tanzania, the Department of Antiquities and Bobby Tours. Hon. Shamsa S. Mwangunga, M.P., noted: “The 2008 worldwide tourism arrivals were 770,376, a seven-percent increase over 2007, with visitors from the U.S. increasing from 58,341 to a record high of 66,953 to Mainland Tanzania and the Spice Islands of Zanzibar. We attribute this growth to the many aspects of our marketing plan, not least of which is the strong support of our travel industry partners we are honoring here tonight.” The Tanzania Tourist Board, Page 14

CORDIAL TOURS HAS FAR REACH IN AFRICA Speaking of safaris, the name Cordial Tours and Travel Services Ltd. is bound to come up in travel circles. The operator in Tanzania receives thousands of visitors a year, and with over 20 years in the business, motivation remains strong to treat each as a personal guest. Here is a variety of popular choices that have proven winners when blended with Cordial Tours’ expertise: DAVID KIZITO Thrilling game safaris are organized on Tanzania’s tourism circuits. The Northern Circuit boasts unique attractions like Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, and the internationally famed game parks of Serengeti and Ngorongoro, as well as others; The Southern Circuit is a vast ecological wonderland with intriguing tree species, herbivores, carnivores and bird species. The Western Circuit is noted as a chimpanzee habitat, while the sunny Coast creates beach holidays that can be enlivened with visits to historical Zanzibar, Pemba, Mafia, Dar es Salaam, Kilwa and Bagamoyo; Culturally, Tanzania has more than 120 different tribes, and the way they make life, food, clothes, dances, art and crafts makes for fascinating mingling; Famed Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest volcanic mountain in Africa, can be trekked all year, with advantages and disadvantages each month. Cordial Tours proposes the best route and itinerary for the climb and Honeymooners can celebrate under African stars surrounded by awe-inspiring beauty. Cordial advises the client of best location choices and completely organizes the event. Fun-filled packages can be organized that feature activities like canoeing, balloon flights, diving and snorkeling, deep and inland fishing and other related water sports to suit particular interests. Some of Tanzania’s compelling sites are: Serengeti and Migration (the Seventh Wonder of the World), where millions of wildebeests migrate, each driven by the same ancient rhythm and natural cycle; Ngorongoro is the perfect paradise—a World Heritage Site and international biosphere reserve. A source of water for neighboring areas, it is blessed with assets of national value and international interest; Zanzibar’s tranquil sun and sand are unparalleled—rest and relaxation doesn’t get any better than it does here. Pemba and Mafia also offer idyllic seascapes. A most crucial part of the vacation process is service to customers for airline ticketing, reservations and transfers. Cordial handles all these particulars, as well as lining up a vehicle for hire at a very reasonable amount through just a simple call. Cordial Tours’ professional framework includes membership in international organizations like IATA and ATA and local ones as well. Cordial Tours & Travels Services Ltd.,, • Travel World News

AFRICA APTA PROMOTES AFRICAN TOURISM The Association for the Promotion of Tourism to Africa, founded in 1980, stated its original mission as: “It is the goal and purpose of APTA to promote tourism to the continent of Africa and its islands. APTA will seek to improve tourism to Africa through the education of its members.” APTA is an unincorporated, nonprofit charitable organization with its executive board and regional chapter boards all volunteers. Each of the 13 regional chapters throughout the Untied States offers educational programs and meetings that include but are not limited to: conservation, culture, wildlife and charities. These are in addition to the basics of selling and promoting Africa. Corporate members attend chapter meetings and present information about the countries they work never structured as a “sales pitch.” The annual “Discover Africa” trade show series is held in a different part of the U.S. each year, hosted by regional chapters. This gives agents new to Africa or agents looking for up-to-date opportunities for face-to-face exposure to corporate members and those member opportunities to showcase their products to a well-qualified audience of Africa-oriented agents. There are also partnerships with other organizations and associations to share APTA’s African expertise. The APTA National Forum is open to all members. Hosted annually by a different chapter, each Forum has a unique focus. Recently, new offerings of selected seminars, panel discussions, guest speakers and other components have provided even more value to the general meeting. In the nearly 30 years of its existence, APTA has grown to 13 active chapters, with over 200 corporate members and additional corporate associate members located in the United States, Europe and Africa. APTA is for agents to be part of if involved on any level in travel to Africa. Association for the Promotion of Tourism to Africa (APTA),, Travel World News •

TO AND FROM USA 1-877-359-0999 1-800-518-7781 1-866-933-5963 1-877-625-2942 1-800-537-1182 1-800-742-3006 1-888-359-8228 1-866-322-5561 In cooperation with transatlantic partners from many US gateways.

Call the toll-free numbers to make reservations. Page 15





APTA is recognized as the foremost Travel Trade Association for the Promotion of Tourism to the Continent of Africa and its islands. Join us and connect with hundreds of fellow Travel Counselors, Tour Operators, Tourism Boards, Airlines, and other Suppliers for unique and invaluable information on travel to Africa.

TACV Cabo Verde Airlines with airline code “VR” has expanded its marketing presence in the United States with the opening of four new Sales and Ticketing offices in New York, Chicago, Houston, and Los Angeles. Its current office in Quincy will continue to serve the states of Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts. With the opening of additional offices, TACV Cabo Verde Airlines will enhance the services provided to its valued American passengers and travel professionals.TACV Cabo Verde Airlines is the national flag carrier of the Republic of Cape Verde. The carrier operates B757-200 ERs as well as ATR 42-300s and ATR 72-500 aircraft with a single-class cabin service from Boston (Logan) to Praia, Cape Verde Islands. The frequency is twice per week on Tuesdays and Fridays for the seven-hour non-stop flight. Domestic destinations include Boa Vista, Fogo, Maio, Santiago, Sal, Sao Nicolau, and Sao Vicente. Onward international destinations in western Africa include Bissau, Banjul, Dakar, Freetown. In Europe TACV serves Paris, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Canary Islands, and Fortaleza in South America. TACV’s mission is to support the promotion and development of Cape Verde as a North/South and East/West traffic control hub. TACV Cabo Verde Airlines, 888-FLY TACV (359-8228),

Your APTA Membership Includes:

r Educational Dinner Programs r Guest Speakers r New Sales Tools r Destination/Product Presentations r Networking Opportunities r Access to Informative Website r Member Supplier List on Website r Special Discounts r Invitation to Annual Travel Show “Discover Africa” r Quarterly Newsletter Subscription and Submissions r Unique Educational Opportunities Let us put you on the right track! Visit or

JXc\jXe[I\j\imXk`fejF]ÔZ\j`eEfik_8d\i`ZX$:_`ZX^f#?fljk fe#Cfj 8e^\c\j#E\nPfib#Kfifekf#MXeZflm\i%:Xcc(/--B<EP88@I(/- -,*-$0))+ Page 16 • Travel World News

AFRICA VANTAGE WORLD TRAVEL HELPS GUESTS REDISCOVER THE BEAUTY OF AFRICA Although it has been recently in the news just for its political unrest and famine, what’s not seen and heard about in the media is the Africa worth visiting—a continent of exquisite natural beauty, fierce but stunning wildlife, and unique cultures. Fifteen years ago, no one would have believed South Africa would host the 2010 FIFA World Cup, or that Kenyan or Tanzanian national parks would expand exponentially into the luxury camps market. Safaris have become a huge draw to these areas, perfect for glimpsing the elusive “Big Five”—buffalo, leopard, elephant, lion, and rhino. Varying levels of intensity can be found for safari trips depending on parks visited and with lodging ranging from outdoor tent camping in “Hemingway’s” style to eco-lodge resorts. South Africa is also an area of powerful natural beauty that can only be experienced. Canyons, mountain ranges, caves, and waterfalls connect the savanna region to the sea. To the far north, Egypt offers mysterious structures and rich history. Located at the crossroads of Africa, Asia, and Europe, Egypt became a prime location for travel and trade years ago.

Your one-stop shop for customized tours to

WEST AFRICA Come fly to Timbuktu and back again! Our Mali-based company specalizes in cultural and adventure programs throughout our country, plus Benin, Burkina Faso, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Mauritania, Senegal and Togo. Owner-guided tours trace the history and mystery of West Africa, offering experiences of a lifetime! Contact us now —we promise 24-hour or sooner response to inquiries: Tel: (221) 77 510 15 18 & (223) 7646 6124 Fax: (223) 20 28 52 32 Email: & Travel World News •

Ancient history comes alive as visitors discover the legends of the Pharaohs, the treasure-laden tombs and the un-deciphered hieroglyphs. Vantage offers a variety of tours through both South & East Africa and Egypt. The most popular South African tours are those traveling from Cape Town to Johannesburg and a visit to Kruger National Park in a 12- to 14-day tour encompassing the must-sees of the country. The combination visit of Kenya and Tanzania is another popular two-week program in East Africa. Many others are available to meet specific needs. Egypt also offers many combinations of tours and cruises, from the traditional Nile River and Lake Nasser cruises on luxurious boats or traditional Dahabiyas to the discovery of the many oases and desert locations. Vantage arranges several Egypt tours, depending on length of stay and interests. The wonder and majesty of Africa still prevails, with added modern conveniences. Vantage World Travel helps clients rediscover that beauty. All tours are commissionable to travel agents. Vantage World Travel/Vantage Adventures, 800-826-8268,,

The Land oof Legendary Teranga and Beautiiful Touristic Sites...Welcome!

SENEGAL Senegal Tourist Office Phone: (212) 695-9630 Email:

website: Page 17

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