Tourism Update looks at selected, new experiential offers. 

‘Doors off’ aerial photography experience

Pangolin Photo Safaris has teamed up with a helicopter operator in Maun, Botswana, to offer a ‘doors off’ aerial photography experience. The helicopter will collect clients from the Pangolin Khwai Camp in the Khwai Private Reserve for a spectacular one-hour flight over the Okavango Delta.

With the doors off the helicopter, the clients can photograph the scenery without the interference of glass, allowing for more creative control. This activity needs to be booked in advance and the cost is dependent on the number of people.

One-day shark volunteer programme

According to Inge Altona-de Klerk, head of marketing at White Shark Projects in Gansbaai in the Western Cape, a one-day volunteer programme is in the offing.

“To keep in step with experiential travel trends, we have decided to create something more hands-on and in-depth,” she says. “While we already have a volunteer programme in place, it only caters for travellers who can stay for a minimum of two weeks and a maximum of three months. Not everyone has the money, or the time, for this.”

Participants in the one-day programme start the day with a shark-cage dive, assist the live-in volunteers for the rest of the day, attend shark lectures, sleep in the volunteers’ quarters overnight, and end with another cage dive the following morning.

Altona-de Klerk adds: “We are looking at rolling this out in February or March 2018 and it will be targeted at travellers who are willing to stay in a digs.”

Experiential tour of the Panorama Route

South African safari experience, Tented Adventures, will enrich its Panorama Route experience in 2018, with a number of new plans.

“We will be opening up our new site on the Panorama Route, in between Graskop and Three Rondavels,” says Jonathan Cohen, Director of the company.  “Our tented adventure will be available but we also plan to extend our experiential offer by putting together a tour of the surrounding areas. This will include guided hikes to waterfalls, the new glass elevator in God’s Window, abseiling and other adventure activities.”

Also under consideration are photographic safaris, with a beginners’ course on taking wildlife photos.

A Karoo Swartberg Food Experience

Fancourt now offers a full-day Karoo Swartberg culinary experience.

Guests travel from Fancourt in George to the Little Karoo over the Outeniqua Pass. First stop is a cheese farm and includes an introduction to and history of the cheese-making process, followed by a three-course cheese tasting experience paired with wine.

From here guests travel over the Swartberg Mountains towards Prince Albert. A stop is made on top of the mountain for a glass of champagne and a platter of snacks and finger eats. Guests then continue through canyons, taking in the incredible Meiringspoort Pass and a visit to the waterfall. A guide provides information at points of interest along the way.

The return leg of the journey visits the Olive Orchard of Surval Olive Estate to experience a formal olive tasting paired with a glass of Protea Rose or juice in the orchards.

The package can be upgraded to include a dinner at Fancourt’s recently reopened Henry Whites restaurant.