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Looking forward

6 min read

Updated 01 April 2020

Picture of Chris McIntyre

By Chris McIntyre

Managing Director

There’s no avoiding the current crisis and how it’s affecting global travel. After a little disruption, around London, in New Zealand and Southern Africa, our team are now set up working from home.

In late March, many countries locked down with little warning. Our first priority was to get our travellers out of Africa and home. Some needed re-routing as airlines stopped flying, while others needed rescuing when flights that they’d arranged for themselves were cancelled. Our ticketing experts worked tirelessly to get people on the remaining flights, and we were relieved to get everyone home safely with the minimum of fuss.

With circumstances changing by the day, we have been keeping ourselves up to date with FCO advisories from the UK government, destination governments and our extensive network on the ground in Africa.

For those set to travel with us later this year, rest assured that we have a very close eye on developments. If your plans are likely to be impacted, then we will be in contact with you as we work our way sequentially through this year’s trips. We’re currently focusing on May and June departure dates.

If your trip is more than about three months away, don’t worry unduly. It’s too early to be certain if it will be affected. Of course, if you have any questions, please feel free to email or call your Expert Africa specialist. We suggest that you first read our information and FAQ page about the impact of COVID-19 on our safaris.

Bringing the bush home

Like you, we can’t wait to get back to exploring Africa. So until that’s possible we’ll be bringing the bush home by sharing videos, photography and stories from our favourite continent. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram pages for the latest content, from ‘virtual’ game drives and uplifting conservation stories to citizen science projects you can help out with from home.

Here are two films and our new favourite ‘working from home’ soundtrack to start you off!

Sit back and explore the landscape and wildlife of the Okavango River as captured by award-winning filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert with the first episode of their epic series, Okavango: River of Dreams.

As the founder and CEO of Great Plains, Dereck oversees some of the most beautiful camps in Botswana. Duba Plains, chosen by the Jouberts as their home base in the Delta, is a particular favourite of ours. He also heads up the Great Plains Foundation which has pioneered conservation led tourism in Africa. Learn more about their ambitious work and how to support it here.

Your password to access the film is OKA2020pt1

From the remote north-west of Pemba Island, a little over 50km from the Tanzanian mainland, The Manta Resort has created a short film about the inspiring work of their Kwanini Foundation. With the aim of contributing positively to the future of Pemba Island, they have been working alongside local communities to conserve the natural world – both land and sea – and support sustainable development projects. Stunning pictures and a great story.

Finally, for a little relaxation, we’ve been loving listening to soothing southern African birdsong (and occasional hippo grunt) with the Sounds of Singita, a perfect lockdown antidote.

Namibia at 30

This March saw the 30th anniversary of Namibia’s founding as an independent nation. As a budding writer, Expert Africa’s founder and managing director Chris McIntyre was in the middle of researching his first guidebook to Namibia and Botswana. He diverted to the official ceremony in Windhoek, on 21 March 1990, and watched the event unfold from the press pit. Sam Nujoma was sworn in as the first president in front of a crowd including some 20 heads of state, representatives from 147 countries and Nelson Mandela, who had only been out of prison for a month.

Digging through his old correspondence, Chris found a letter he wrote to his parents documenting this momentous (if somewhat chaotic event) event which we’ve transcribed here. We’re sure you’ll agree it’s a fascinating snapshot of history in the making.

Planning ahead

With a little more free time, now is the perfect opportunity to start planning your next trip to Africa. Our website is a great resource, but for those that really want to delve deeper into their research, we recommend the Bradt Travel Guides. You may spot some familiar names among the authors…

Use the discount code EXPERT50 for a 50% discount in the Bradt Guides online shop.

If you’ve been inspired and want to find out more, give us a call or enquire now to speak to an expert.

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