Having spoken to Sherwin Banda, president of African Travel, Inc., during the recent Virtuoso Travel Week, I can tell you he’s very excited about one of the tour company’s newest offerings—its Pride Safaris, set for a 2022 launch.
In fact, Banda told me that he will be leading the first tour under the Pride Safaris banner, which have been created exclusively for the LGBTQ+ community and will have no more than 20 participants. “This is exclusively for LGBTQ+ families and their allies,” Banda told me. There will be “cultural immersion events, including drumming sessions for the family, new things to see, etc.,” says Banda.
The first tour, set for a July 2022 departure, is the 10-day Southern Africa President’s Safari, which will visit South Africa, Zimbabwe and Victoria Falls. Banda’s trip was curated based on how travel needs change throughout one’s life, whether you’re single, married or a parent.
“Traveling to Africa when I was single is different than traveling with my partner and now with my family,” Banda said. “I’m sharing how Africa has evolved, with the many wonders it has to offer for people of all ages and am very excited to invite other families to experience my homeland.”
The Southern Africa President’s Safari explores southern Africa’s bucket list highlights while also delving into the region’s diverse culture, landscape and wildlife. Your clients will discover Cape Town’s unique sights—such as meeting African penguins and trying their hand at drumming at GOLD Restaurant—along with its scenic winelands. There’s also the opportunity to spot the Big Five on a game drive or walking safari at Kapama Private Game Reserve and discover the breathtaking Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe while traversing down the Zambezi River. The safari is balanced with fun activities for explorers of all ages, including family-friendly accommodations.
Beyond a family safari, African Travel has compiled other safari ideas to meet the different needs of various LGBTQ+ guests. The new Pride Guide, which includes the President’s trip, offers travel tips that are available for advisors to share with clients.
The Pride Guide also includes safaris for different type of travelers. Art and culture lovers will be drawn to our Experience South Africa for its progressive access in Cape Town, meeting one-of-a-kind Ardmore artisans, and indulging in laid back luxury at iconic lodges and hotels. Travelers looking to explore Africa with friends, family or that special person, while also ticking off the Big 5, the Marine Big 5 and iconic landscapes, will enjoy South Africa’s Natural Wonders.
Each safari features Africa’s incredible wildlife and rich culture and is customized by a dedicated safari team—many of which are LGBTQ+—to every guest’s interest and travel style. Personally vetted lodges and camps that focus on inclusion and sensitivity, along with the tour operator’s collection of sustainable, MAKE TRAVEL MATTER experiences are always included.
Speaking to MAKE TRAVEL MATTER experiences, Banda told me that there will be 45 experiences in 2022, all of which “support local community or wildlife.” And he also mentioned that by 2023, “all African Travel safaris will be carbon-neutral.”