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Travel News Digest, 17 May: Brits Flock to SA, Maasai Mara Flood Impact, Africa’s Tourism Potential

Author: Micky Baker - 17 May 2024

In this week’s Discover Africa Travel News Digest, we report back on the recent floods in Kenya’s Maasai Mara. In other news, more British and US citizens are travelling to South Africa than ever before, while the Minister of Tourism suggests that African countries have several obstacles in the way of tourism growth. Read on to learn more.

Airline and Aviation News:

An aeroplane lands in Cape Town, South Africa.
An aeroplane lands in Cape Town, South Africa. Photo Source: Unsplash
  • Etihad now offering free layover hotel stays in Abu Dhabi. The Emirati airline now offers travellers the opportunity to include a stopover in Abu Dhabi and choose a hotel in the city at no cost for up to two nights, given their layover exceeds 24 hours. South African travellers must arrange for a visa in advance.

 

Travel and Destination News:

Tourists on Lions Head in Cape Town.
The view from Lions Head in Cape Town. Photo Source: Unsplash
  • The UK is currently South Africa’s largest overseas travel market. Addressing attendees at Africa’s Travel Indaba in Durban, Tourism Minister Patricia de Lille disclosed that during the first quarter of 2024, South Africa welcomed over 125,000 visitors from Britain, marking a 5% rise compared to the previous year. The United States wasn’t far behind with 118,000 travellers, representing a 12% increase year-on-year.

 

  • Visa exemptions boost intra-African travel to South Africa. Recent statistics reveal that the government’s implementation of visa exemptions for travellers from specific African countries has led to a 15.4% surge in international arrivals during the first quarter of 2024. Currently, African nationals constitute 74.5% of all international arrivals.

 

 

 

Conservation News:

A leopard in a tree.
A South African leopard in a tree. Photo Source: Unsplash

 

  • Researchers trace South African leopard genome to the ice age. Researchers have successfully assembled the mitogenome of leopards from Mpumalanga, revealing that South African leopards diverged from two distinct clades roughly 800,000 years ago. This represents the first comprehensive classification of South African leopards by researchers, offering promising insights that could guide conservation efforts.

 

  • Assigning Amboseli National Park to a new county in Kenya could “threaten its biodiversity”. As reported by The Standard, the proposal to transfer the renowned national park to the County Government of Kajiado is “a direct attack on Kenya’s natural legacy and conservation endeavours.” Furthermore, it warns that such an action “will trigger a series of adverse repercussions that could jeopardise Amboseli’s status as a globally acknowledged biodiversity hub”.

 

  • Notorious orcas sink yet another boat in Europe. The pod of orcas, known for previous incidents in southwest Europe, has struck again, sinking a large sailing yacht in the Strait of Gibraltar after puncturing its hull. The fifth attack of its kind in three years has raised concerns among experts who warn of the likelihood of further attacks.

Discover Africa’s Travel Experts are on the pulse of travel news and tourism trends across Africa. Get in touch to start planning your Safari bucket list adventure today. 

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