Contiki Launches Africa Program, Its 1stNew Region Since 2010
Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw
Contiki has launched its new 2019 Africa program offering trips to the southern and eastern portion of the vast continent. The operator says the decision to add these destinations was guided by passenger surveys, social media and third party-research, which revealed that Africa is prominent on many of its travellers’ wander lists.
The Southern Africa program marks the first new region for Contiki since it launched Latin America in 2010. Beginning in 2019, four new trips will allow young adventurers to explore South Africa, Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Kenya, plus five additional extension experiences to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, relax on the beaches of Zanzibar or get up close to gorillas in Uganda.
Agents are encouraged to learn more by visiting ContikiU on the TTC Agent Academy where a new training module with further information on Contiki’s new program has been uploaded. Also for a limited time, clients who book an African adventure seven days or longer beginning August 1st to August 14th can save up to $265* on select trips by quoting the promo code 'PPAFRICA'.
Contiki offers four key selling points for agents in conjunction with the new program:
Accommodation is a strong point of differentiation. While other operators in the region have opted for traditional camping, Contiki has offers properties that offer the creature comforts of home, including Sentrim Hotels and Lodges. Whether hotel, safari lodge or permanent luxury safari tents, clients can expect proper beds, en-suites, patios and lounges and swimming pools to look forward to after a day of adventures.
Experiences make the trips. With Contiki, clients have the opportunity to see the ‘big 5 game’ (lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant and Cape buffalo) in Kruger National Park, witness the great migration of the wildebeest in the Serengeti or Masai Mara, tick off one of the seven natural wonders of the world at the thunderous Victoria Falls, visit a Baby Elephant Sanctuary and feed Giraffes. These are all included in the cost of the trips.
In their free time, those who aren’t relaxing poolside can choose optional tours promising exhilarating experiences that include spotting tree-climbing lions from a sunrise hot air balloon over the Serengeti, bungee jumping over the Victoria Falls, white-water rafting down the Zambezi river, hippo spotting on the Chobe river and wine tasting in the Cape Winelands.
All entry fees are included. With wildlife and scenery front and centre of the experience, all entry and game park fees (that can easily top US$500 per person) for game reserves are included in the cost of the trip – unlike with other operators. Also included are the majority of meals, with hot breakfasts, buffet lunches, picnics and starlit African BBQs.
Small group sizes (approx. 20 passengers per trip) means swapping large coach travel for 7-seater pop-top safari vehicles across Eastern Africa and luxury mini buses in Southern Africa. Flights are included from Cape Town to Johannesburg and Johannesburg to Victoria Falls allowing clients to spend more time on the ground, making the most of what the destination has to offer.
New ‘Main’ Trips Contiki’s new 2019 Africa program will include four new ‘main’ adventures, including:
· Cape, Safari and Falls(11 days) – travelling from Cape Town to the incredible Kruger National Park where travellers have the opportunity to see the Big 5 (lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant and Cape buffalo), before carrying on to one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the thunderous Victoria Falls. The adventure wraps up in Chobe, Botswana over a sunset wildlife cruise surrounded by pods of hippos.
· Taste of Tanzania (7 days) – travelling from Arusha to Tarangire, Serengeti and Karatu, this adventure is a week of pure safari, taking in the infamous Serengeti as well as the Ngorongoro Crater, where travellers will witness the highest density of big game in the world. Clients can opt for a sunrise ride in a hot air balloon over the endless plains of the Serengeti for a once in a lifetime experience.
· Kenyan Highlights (7 days) – travelling from Nairobi to the Masai Mara, Lake Elementaita and Amboseli, travellers have the opportunity to experience one of nature's most incredible and humbling events - the great migration of the wildebeest and zebra. From seeing the backdrop of Out of Africa at Lake Naivasha, to visiting a giraffe centre and elephant rehabilitation sanctuary in Lake Elementaita, this is a week-long adventure with some of the world's most incredible wildlife and scenery.
East Africa Safari (13 days) – combining the Taste of Tanzania and Kenyan Highlights adventures, vast National Parks full of wildlife, an orphanage for elephants, a Masssai village and an ancient volcano: this isn’t a film plot, it’s just a taste of what East Africa has to offer. Included on this adventure are morning and afternoon game drives in the Masssai Mara and Serengeti for the best shot at seeing the ‘Big 5’, and even better, driving through valleys and plains in open-top vehicles and staying in African lodges for a true safari experience.
Add-On Trips While Contiki’s new 2019 Africa ‘Add-On Trips’ can be booked independently, they have been selected to be added to one of the four ‘main’ trips, extending the clients’ experience in Africa whether they want something active, relaxing or up close with more wildlife. For travellers with time and wanderlust, Add-On Trips can be linked together.
Gorilla Trek – a 4-day trip through Uganda’s Entebbe, Bwindi and Lake Mburo, where travellers will come face to face with gorillas living in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Reserve.
Kili Climb – offering two ways to climb, clients can choose their adventure depending on their skill level and how much time they have. Shorter and steeper, Contiki’s Marangu trek will have guests summit in seven days, whereas the longer Rongai trek will spread the climb over eight days.
Zanzibar Escape – offering two accommodation options, beach huts or resort, Contiki’s new Zanzibar Escape packages provide an opportunity for sunshine and relaxation before or after an active trip.
Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief
An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.