Jenman Safaris, predicts that 2020 will see a spike in slow and mindful travel, where travellers can enjoy deeper and more meaningful connections with the destinations they are visiting, nature and the locals.

According to CEO Katja Quasdorf, many travellers are moving away from packed box-ticking itineraries that not only include too many tourist traps, but also involve spending too much time on the road heading from one place to the next.

“We are seeing a lot more travellers opting for slow travel, where they can immerse themselves in the destination to both understand it better and fully enjoy their chosen activities without being rushed,” says Katja.

“The mindfulness comes from picking stays and experiences that are environmentally sustainable and which support local communities and the ongoing conservation efforts.”

According to Quasdorf, the top two slow and mindful travel experiences that stand out among Jenman clients are motion-based travel and extended stays at a particular property.

Kruger National Park. Mpumalanga. South Africa.

“Motion-based travel is where travellers connect with the destination via walks, hikes, boating and cycling, and thus becoming part of and one with the landscape and nature – with safety assured at all times by the expert guides, of course,” she explains.

Examples of this include wildlife tracking like the Greater Kruger Walking Trek, which is a five-day exploration of the Greater Kruger area; and the Zambezi Truth experience, which involves sailing on a traditional handcrafted East African dhow at Victoria Falls. 

“Such motion-based slow travel is often a welcome break from the fast-paced life from which travellers are escaping, as it gives them the opportunity to unwind, soak up the surrounds and rejuvenate,” she adds.

The preference to extend stays at a particular lodge (usually from two to three or four nights) allows travellers to get to know the property and its vicinity more intimately, and eventually feel at home. This also allows them to connect with the staff and be able to enjoy more wildlife observations to get acquainted with the social habits displayed by the animals.

Increasingly referred to as the “home-tel” experience, Quasdorf explains that this is fast becoming a popular way for travellers to foster a much deeper connection with Africa. The Nantwich and Elephant’s Eye eco-lodges in Zimbabwe for example, offer a ‘stay six pay four nights’ and ‘stay three pay two nights’ respectively so guests can savour the beauty of the area.

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