According to Caspar Venter, MD of Venter Tours, the German market has shown an increased interest in Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia in the last three years. Tanzania, too, has become a popular option for individual travellers, or small groups of two to four people.
He says there has also been an increase in tours combining Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, with travellers more likely to see three of these countries in one trip.
Nicky Coenen, GM of The Last Word Boutique Hotels says: “Top picks for German itineraries are, without a doubt, small, boutique-style properties that focus on an authentic and meaningful experience. Food and wine also form an integral part of their reason for travelling to South Africa, as we have a unique variety of gourmet experiences on offer.”
Ken Hill, CEO of Drifters Adventours, says wildlife experiences, adventure tourism and exposure to local cultures are always popular. Venter adds that while Germans are interested in ‘glamping’, the popularity of the trend depends on the destination. “For instance, glamping is popular in Botswana, but in countries like South Africa and Namibia there is a preference for guesthouses and B&Bs.”
Golf is also a top item for German travellers and Venter says South Africa is well loved for its golfing options. Peter Dros, Director of Sales and Marketing at Fancourt, says some European guests will stay with them for two weeks and play golf every day. “Golf can be packaged as a tour of different golfing destinations, where the traveller plays at each destination or as one element of a South African itinerary where safari and Cape Town are generally the other key elements. Many of these tours can be great self-drive options – such as along the Garden Route – and can also offer the traveller unique wildlife experiences by including golf products located in the Kruger.”
The upswing in multigenerational travel has seen requests for child-friendly options increase. Venter says: “Tours that cater for children are a huge part of our business. We look at activities like stand-up paddling, swimming with penguins, spoor tracking, educational activities surrounding wildlife, sleeping underneath the stars, and lodges that provide supervised children’s activities so that the parents are free to engage in game drives, or take down time.”
Fancourt caters for this requirement by providing a children’s club that supervises kids up to the age of 12 and a teen lounge to keep adolescents entertained. “We also offer a wide range of activities such as mini-golf, mini-tennis, fishing, cycling and Segway tours to keep the younger traveller stimulated,” says Dros.
Anita Lenox, Manager of Cape St Francis Resort, says it taps into the multigenerational market by offering villas and cottages, some of which have private swimming pools and all with an enclosed garden. “This is ideal for families who want to spend time under the same roof. During high season we also offer structured children’s programmes in the mornings. We then advise travellers regarding location-specific activities such as child-friendly cycle tracks, golf clinics for younger golfers, visits to the penguin rehabilitation centre, and surf instruction from a local school.”