Wednesday, 22 February 2017 09:40

Acacia Africa Launches Africa Travel Catalogue

Acacia Africa has taken a fresh approach to marketing this year with the adventure travel specialist producing its first ever catalogue. A condensed version of the specialist's yearly brochure, the 2017 catalogue’s 32 pages cover the complete collection including Camping and Accommodated Overland tours, Small Group Safaris, Short Safaris & Treks, and City Breaks & Short Stays. With its eye firmly on Generations Y and Z, social media cues feature prominently and the catalogue uses bold imagery, brief tour snapshots and inspiring travel quotes throughout.

Arno Delport, Acacia’s Sales & Marketing Manager comments, “We have recently made some exciting changes. After last year’s successful launch of the Accommodated Overland program, we are now offering six new tours for 2017. In addition, we have recently added a series of new video-clips to our social media profile showcasing the Acacia Africa experience, and a further 'adventure highlight' video is scheduled to go live in March. The fresh look, slimmed down catalogue goes easy on the environment and we hope it will encourage our trade partners and consumers to explore the exciting fresh content online.”

According to the tour operator catalogues or brochures are still relevant for prospective clients especially those looking at a wider range of adventure tours and itineraries of a longer duration. Good news for its partners: Acacia’s trade bookings for 2016 were up on the previous year and the operator is already seeing encouraging signs of growth for 2017.

Arno Delport comments, “Booking with agents is popular. ‘Agent friendly’ millennials are likely to spend more than those who travel independently, and - according to a recent Skift report - they prefer the expertise and support given by the travel agent rather than the hassle of “do-it-yourself” travel. From this perspective, overland travel in Africa continues to show promise, especially in areas where the local infrastructure is less well developed and is less suited to independent travel. The reliability offered on an overland tour, and the fact that we are ABTA bonded, is also crucial for prospective clients (and their parents who in many cases are contributing) in their decision about how to experience Africa.”

Acacia Africa’s 2017 catalogue includes six new accommodated overland options for the 18-39 market including the four day Kruger Safari, seven day Kruger, Swaziland & Beach, 12 day Coast, Lesotho and Cape Town, 19 day Kruger to Cape Town, 40 day Southern Africa Adventurer and 46 day Southern Africa Explorer.  Prices start from £395pp (land only, no single supplement). 

Acacia has also introduced a new 12 day open age small group safari, the 12 day Delta & Chobe Waterways accommodated tour. The tour includes game-walks in the Polokwane Game Reserve. From £1,200pp (land only, no single supplement) + Safari Pass from £950pp including transport, accommodation (twin share en suite 10 nights, twin share pre-erected tent with en-suite one night), most meals and services of a tour leader/guide. Starts Johannesburg - ends Johannesburg.

The NEW 12 day Coast, Lesotho and Cape Town accommodated overland tour includes a visit to Lesotho (optional pony trekking) and to the Mountain Zebra National Park, South Africa's third largest park. From £715pp (land only, no single supplement) + Adventure Pass from £70pp including transport, twin share accommodation, most meals and services of a tour leader/guide. Starts Durban - ends Cape Town.

NEW seven day Kruger, Swaziland & Beach accommodated overland tour includes Big Five game drives in the Kruger and optional mountain bike riding in Swaziland’s Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary. From £485pp (land only, no single supplement) including transport, twin share accommodation, most meals and services of a tour leader/guide. Starts Johannesburg - ends Durban.

To request a 2017 Acacia Africa catalogue please visit the website. Visit Acacia Africa's channel on YouTube. View one of the latest Acacia Africa “Experience” videos

All the above tours operate year round and prices exclude return flight. Acacia Africa (020 7706 4700; info@acacia-africa.comacacia-africa.com). SATSA membership No. 1931, ATOL No. 6499 and ABTA No. W4093 PROTECTED. 


Published in News
An increasing number of Tour Operators have added exclusive Swaziland itineraries to their product offering, proving the Kingdom of Swaziland is really getting noticed. There is a huge range of adventure activities on offer in Southern Africa’s smallest country. The opportunity to explore the beautiful and varied scenery of Swaziland, whilst experiencing its unique African culture, and close wildlife encounters, is what made UK tour operators get behind Swaziland.

Explore, www.explore.com an Adventure Travel Expert Tour Operator launched its first dedicated Swaziland trip at the end of 2015, and sales way exceeded expectations! Out of 81 new trips that Explore launched for 2016, the Kingdom of Swaziland was their best-selling long haul trip. This tour consists of a 10-day journey through the last true monarchy of Africa, and additional departure dates have been added to meet demand.

The first clients and members of Explore Management team have recently returned from their trip to Southern Africa’s tiniest nation. Sarah Fowler, Head of Marketing at Explore said, “This was my first Explore trip, and it more than lived up to my expectations. Swaziland may be a small country, but there is so much to see and do that I could happily have spent twice as long there - however 8 days is the perfect amount of time to really get under the skin of the country and learn all about the fascinating culture.”

Swaziland has a diverse range of attractions and activities. Stunning landscapes of mountains and valleys, forests and plains; plus wildlife reserves across the country that are home to The Big Five, gives visitors all that’s best about Africa in a welcoming country. Add to that Swaziland’s offer of rich culture and music festivals and you have the perfect combination for one of the “best sellers” of 2016 for Explore in the UK.

Sarah also said, “The two main highlights for me on the trip were the wildlife and the accommodation we stayed in. We were able to get so close to the animals - At Mkhaya we saw no fewer than 8 white rhino and a herd of giraffe on our first game drive.

Every day I thought the holiday had peaked, and every day it surprised me with an exciting new twist. I couldn't recommend this trip strongly enough - whether you're a first time Explorer like myself, or a travel veteran, it will not disappoint.”

Explore are one of 6 specialist Tour Operators recently adding new exclusive Swaziland tours to their portfolio, showing its increase in appeal. Ramblers Worldwide Holidays – experts in guided walking and adventures across the globe, will also introduce a brand new holiday including 7 days in Swaziland for 2017. The 17 day tour taking in Swaziland combined with South Africa makes an unforgettable experience for adventure and wildlife lovers. Some of the highlights of the Swaziland experience include, walking in Malolotja Nature Reserve, Milwane Wildlife Sanctuary and the ancient Sibebe Rock.  

 





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South Africa’s lesser-known neighbor, Swaziland, offers stunning landscapes and exciting game but its also known for its many festivals.  Join us for a truly authentic African festival experience all year around!

The Kingdom of Swaziland is well known for its many cultural festivals, the Swazis are a friendly, relaxed and easy-going people who love to party and gladly welcome visitors into their cultural celebrations. The Swazi festival calendar is an eclectic mix of both first-class modern, and time honoured traditional events. The tribal rituals and ceremonies such as Incwala, Marula Festival and the world famous Reed Dance have captured the imagination of visitors to Swaziland for generations. Swaziland is also home of the internationally acclaimed, MTN Bushfire, a three day festival experience for all ages that celebrates its 10th Anniversary this year.

During the weekend of May  27th- 29th the country hosts MTN Bushfire Festival, announced by CNN as one of the “7 African music festivals you really have to see”. Its is Swaziland’s annual meeting of a multi-generational community. More than 20,000 'Bring their fire’ to experience the three day event. Renowned for eclectic and multi-dimensional world music, the event includes a compelling line-up of theatre, poetry, dance, art exhibits & installations, story-telling, puppetry, film, and themed workshops.

The 2016 edition is the culmination of ten incredible years of passion, dedication and commitment to the music, arts, and culture of Southern Africa and beyond. The stellar, incredibly diverse line-up for the 10th anniversary edition of the festival is truly a global celebration, with artists from over 20 countries set to perform.

In late August it is the Swazi women who lead the country's celebrations in the annual Reed Dance. Young girls mainly in their teens from all over the Kingdom and beyond its borders gather and pay homage to the Queen Mother. Over 20 000 girls dressed in brightly coloured beaded skirts with anklets, bracelets and colourful sashes gather to perform before the Royal Family in a celebration of unity of the countries young women.

Incwala Festival, held at the start of a new year, on a date chosen by astrologers in conjunction with the phases of the moon, is one of the biggest and most spectacular events in Africa. For the Swazi people it is an important religious ritual, a fertility ceremony designed to both prepare for the coming year and serve as a symbolic renewal of the monarchy, the king leads festivities and in full ceremonial dress joins his warriors in the traditional dance.

In February, the Marula festival is a royal tribute to the riches of Mother Nature, where local Marula fruit is harvested and used to make beer to a traditional recipe. The Marula Festival starts at the royal residence, Ebuhleni, when King Mswati III and the Queen Mother are presented with gifts and Marula beer from each household. Only after the royal family has first tasted the Marula Beer, are the rest of the nation permitted to join in and drink. After this King Mswati III and the Queen Mother start to travel across the country, joining the nation in song, dance and celebration.

The Kingdom of Swaziland offers all year around festivals and cultural celebrations for the delight of swazi’s and visitors from around the globe. Take Swaziland’s festival challenge and enjoy one (or all) of the most truly African experiences in the tiniest country of South East Africa.



Published in News
If you fancy something a little different to the usual mud soaked green field festival this summer, then MTN Bushfire might be just what you’re looking for. The Kingdom of Swaziland invites you to ‘bring your fire’ (but leave your wellies at home) as it celebrates the 10th anniversary of this internationally acclaimed music and arts festival.

Hosted in the stunning Malkerns Valley, just 30 minutes from Mbabane (the county’s capital), the events venue, House on Fire, is the most eclectically fabulous location. Each aspect of the venue is given a mesmerizing quality by the fairy tale-like stone building structures and the rolling valley scenery, which encompasses the site. Experience three unforgettable days celebrating music, art and performance whilst promoting social responsibility, stimulating the economy and drawing talent and tourists from across Africa and around the world.

Although African biased, the festival celebrates a mix of world music across a variety of stages. Its not just about music though, with theatre, poetry, dance, art exhibits, story telling, puppetry, film and loads of food and fun stuff are on offer too. There’s a vibrant handcraft market, family-friendly performances, a KidZone and the recently introduced interactive art and dialogue space, which all combine to create a magically eclectic entertainment experience.

Announced by CNN as one of the “7 African music festivals you really have to see”, MTN BUSHFIRE is Swaziland’s annual meeting for a multi-generational global community of more than 22,000 “Bring their firers” to experience the event from 27th -29th May, renowned for eclectic and multdimensional programming rooted in world music.

Some of the talent that will be feature in this 10th anniversary edition include Mali’s internationally acclaimed Songhoy Blues, the exciting new South African genre breaking eclectic fusion of Afrobalkan Skadubhall Bombshelter Beast featuring Pitch Black Afro, Mafikizolo, the filmmaker and musician from Switzerland Pablo Nouvelle, the Austrian Manu Delago and the ex-Bjork musician Pepe Auer. International musicians from Canada, Cold Specks, and Estere from New Zealand will be in Swaziland plus 20 more singers and groups to Bring their Fire in a vibrant celebration in the tiniest country of southern east Africa.

Donating 100% of its profits to orphans through the Swazi NGO Young Heroes, and 100% of merchandise proceeds to the non-profit rural community development project Gone Rural boMake (www.goneruralbomake.org), MTN BUSHFIRE’s call to action of #BringYourFire has never been stronger.

www.bush-fire.com

FOR FUTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Adele Cutler, Swaziland Tourism
Tel: +44 (0)1664 823750   M: +44 (0) 7976 578988    
adele@kamageo.com 



Published in News
Originally a summer training program for cross-country skiers in Scandinavia, Nordic walking has become one of the fastest growing fitness activities around the world and is now available in Swaziland.

New to the Kingdom of Swaziland for 2016, the country is one of the first on the African continent to embrace this latest fitness trend. Swaziland is an ideal location for Nordic Walking due to its varied landscapes of mountains and valleys, forests and plains plus stunning wildlife reserves all in a small, compact and safe corner of Africa.

No longer limited to the likes of Norway or Finland, Nordic walking is a technique not to be confused with trekking or hill walking, that can be performed anywhere. This type of walking is a full-body method of walking using poles to propel yourself along. Nordic walkers burn around 50% more calories than their regular walking counterparts.

Swaziland is one of the few places where you can safely walk in wildlife reserves. Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, a pioneer conservation area located in Swaziland’s “Valley of Heaven”, is the oldest protected area in the country and gave birth to the concept of nature conservation in the Kingdom. This reserve is ideal for Nordic Walking, because of its main network road though the reserve. There are no big predators here, but visitors will see lot of wildlife around them such as zebra, antelope, wildebeest and hippo.

Mlawula Nature Reserve in the north-eastern part of the country gives another chance for short walks and hiking trails, offering the rare opportunity for visitors to walk self-guided through the bushveld to experience intimate encounters with nature and wildlife. Enjoy a long a day walk in Mbuluzi Game Reserve which is nestled between the Mbuluzi river and the Lubombo mountain range. The views in every direction are breath taking. You can see zebra, kudu, impala, warthog and giraffe as you make your way through riverine forests and rocky cliffs.

In Swaziland visitors can also find ‘Sibebe’ Rock, the largest exposed granite pluton in the world, where they can experience some of the best views in Africa! There are many walking trails to arrive to reach the summit adapted to all fitness levels, so everyone can enjoy the expanse of the African bush from Sibebe summit.

Whilst in Swaziland a visit to Hlane Royal National Park, is not to be missed. Home to the largest herds of game in the kingdom, walking is not permitted here but games drives offer the chance to see some of the kingdoms big five including Elephant, Lion and Rhino and a fantastic variety of birdlife.

For further information please contact:

Adele Cutler
Swaziland Tourism UK
adele@kamageo.com


Published in News
Thursday, 25 February 2016 12:57

Swaziland celebrates The Marula Festival

The Kingdom of Swaziland, well known for its many cultural festivals will stage “Emaganwini” or Marula Festival, celebrating the harvest of Marula Fruit, between now and mid-May.

Marulas are the most popular fruit in the country, due to its believed medicinal and fertility properties, as well as being the main ingredient of the delightful Marula beer!


Becoming one of the countries most exciting traditional ceremonies, Marula Festival starts at the royal residence, Ebuhleni, when King Msuati III and the Queen Mother are presented with gifts and Marula beer from each household. Only after the royal family has first tasted the Marula Beer, are the rest of the nation permitted to join in and drink. After this King Msuati III and the Queen Mother start to travel across the country, joining the nation in song, dance and celebration. 

Although the Marula fruit can be found throughout Africa, it is in Swaziland where it is found in abundance. February celebrates the start of the harvest season where women and children collect the fallen Marula fruit and store it until turns to a creamy yellow colar. In a nutshell, the flesh from the fruits is then squeezed out, mixed with water, sugar is added and it is fermented and destilled into the delicious and well-known Marula Beer. Marula is also used in skin care products and medicines, popular in the country for its huge fertility properties.

Marula festival is very important for Swazi tradition, not only for dancing and celebration, but where Swazis are give thanks for another ‘fruitful’ harvest, and showing their appreciation in anticipation for the following year.

ABOUT SWAZILAND

Despite being the smallest country in the Southern hemisphere, Swaziland more than makes up for its lack of size with a hugely diverse range of attractions and activities. As one of the few remaining Executive Monarchies in Africa, culture and heritage are deeply engrained in all aspects of Swazi life, ensuring an unforgettable experience for all who visit. As well as the rich culture, the overwhelming friendliness of the people makes all visitors feel truly welcome and very safe. Add to that a stunning landscapes of mountains and valleys, forests and plains; plus wildlife reserves across the country that are home to The Big Five, and you have all that’s best about Africa in one small but perfectly formed and welcoming country.


For futher information please contact: 

Adele Cutler – Swaziland Tourism PR
adele@kamageo.com











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