African safari back on Asians’ radar as Ebola crisis eases

ONE safari specialist is reporting a recovery in Asian traffic to Africa after the Ebola crisis devastated travel into the disease-free Eastern regions of the continent.

Kim Nixon, managing director of Singapore-based A2A Safaris, told TTG Asia e-Daily in an email interview: “We were enjoying a brisk business of double-digit growth until the second half of 2014, when the Ebola outbreak started spreading to three countries in West Africa.

“Since the Ebola situation stabilised in recent months, our business has rebounded. The top six destinations that Singaporeans visit are South Africa, Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Kenya and the desert realms of Namibia.”

A2A Safaris, which specialises in bespoke, tailor-made safari adventures, sells African tours confined to East Africa.

The company has continued to expand its product portfolio and partnerships, having last week announced that it can offer stays at the exclusive Duba Expedition Camp.

One of Botswana’s newest camps, the eco-friendly Duba is owned and built by National Geographic explorers and conservationists, and surrounded by an abundance of wildlife. The camp features six tents that are powered by solar, inverter and battery systems.

Said Nixon: “Although A2A has been taking our clients to Botswana for years, this is the first time we will be offering the brand-new Duba Expedition Camp to them, starting May 2015.

“The camp is located in the heart of Okvango Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Africa’s last-remaining wetland wilderness. The area is considered as one of the top destinations in the African continent to enjoy the most intimate encounters with wildlife including lions, buffaloes, cheetahs and hyenas,” he elaborated.

A2A Safaris has also relaunched its webpage and started working with boutique agencies and specialists across Singapore, Hong Kong and Manila, markets where the company is present.

Last October, A2A ventured into selling South America via a newly established sub-brand, A2A Journeys. On the market’s response, Nixon remarked: “Our new South American business is taking off nicely. Clients have been very interested in our offerings and we have many couples, family groups travelling this year already. Interestingly, many of our past travellers have immediately been in touch with us to help them plan their journeys.

“Most Asians mainly go to Peru, Argentina, Chile, Antarctica and the Galapagos.”

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