The balance of power between the so-called developed world and the developing world is beginning to shift. The time has come for our Zambian tour operators, safari camp and lodge owners to note that the luxurious African safari and exploratory travel is no longer just the preserve of the well off European.
Consider for a minute the rise of the Chinese, Indian, Russian and local travelers escaping from the city for some relaxation. Look around you and note that the Chinese, Indian, Russian and local explorers are not necessarily government ministers or business tycoons — these are ordinary middle-class travelers.
Could these changes in who travels be a reflection of the financial crisis? Most developed economies have stopped growing or are not growing as fast as they were. Some are actually shrinking. The changing travelling population simply reflects the fact that the rest of the world is getting richer fast. The gap is closing between East and West.
These changes quite literally bring a world of opportunities to countries like Zambia which offer such rich safari experiences. It is time that members of the tourism sector, particularly those at the higher end of the market, recognise just how broad their target audience is, compared to what they may have originally thought.
To win the attention of this fast growing group of travelers, businesses in the Zambian tourism sector should:
To conclude, here are some great examples of Zambian safari companies who are likely to see a change in who visits them in the years to come.
Bangweulu Bay Lodge: Lots of wonderful blue water with rolling white sands, and a haven for relaxation.
Barotse Tiger Camp: Luxury tented accommodation for fishing enthusiasts with guided fly fishing adventures on the Zambezi River
Chimfule Lodge: Guests at Chimfule Lodge are offered every opportunity to experience all that the South Luangwa National Park has to offer. This includes game drives, walking safaris and bird watching tours.
Chongwe River Camp: Chongwe River Camp offers exclusive safaris and accommodation in the heart of Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park rich in wildlife. Chongwe River Camp has a tailor-made list of safari activities to keep guests entertained throughout their stay.
Eureka Camping Park: Eureka! Camping Park has become a favourite stop for those travelling long distances overland style. Its position just outside Lusaka is a perfect central stop for those exploring the length and breadth of Zambia, including those travelling to and from Livingstone.
Kaingu Safari Lodge: Set in an area of pristine wilderness, Kaingu offers a magnificent Zambian safari experience in the heart of the African bush. On the edge of the Kafue River there is something for everyone.
Kariba Bush Club: Kariba Bush Club is a unique destination with a range of accommodation facilities along the idyllic shores of Lake Kariba in Zambia. Stay in lake view chalets, guesthouses, house boats or camp.
Kasanka Trust: Kasanka National Park, in Northern Zambia, is a beautiful wilderness of wildlife, woodland, plains, lakes, rivers and swamps that forms a valuable protected area for many endangered species.
Mayukuyuku Bush Camp: On the banks of the Kafue River, Mayukuyuku Bush Camp is an ethical and stunningly beautiful safari experience. It is a picturesque safari camp that is open all year round.
Nsobe Game Camp: Games drives from Nsobe Game Camp and nearby Mukuyu Camp in the Copperbelt are organised in open vehicles and bush walks enabling close encounters with nature. Licensed trophy and meat hunting can be arranged for some species.
Pioneer Camp: Pioneer Camp is quiet, secure, well-run and the place to go for blissful relaxation and tranquillity on the outskirts of Lusaka.
Protea Hotels Zambia — Adventure: A range of safari activities are available while staying at Protea Hotel Livingstone and Protea Hotel Safari Lodge in Chisamba. Mosi O Tunya National Park is a few kilometers from Protea Hotel Livingstone and Protea Hotel Safari Lodge lies on its own private game reserve. Also enjoy a luxury cruise on the Southern Belle.
Puku Pan Safari Lodge: Situated on a secluded stretch of the Kafue River, in Kafue National Park, Puku Pan’s is a safari lodge with eight cottages along the water’s edge. Hippos and crocodiles are visible throughout the day.
Robin Pope Safaris: Robin Pope Safaris has developed a fine reputation internationally for the quality of their safaris, the comfort of the accommodation offered and for their exceptional standards in guiding and hosting. Among other activities, safari packages include night drives, game drives and walking safaris.
Royal Zambezi Lodge: A luxury safari lodge on the Zambezi River in Zambia. Winner of the World Luxury Boutique Hotel Award in 2011 and twice winners of the World Luxury Hotel Award, this is Zambian safari accommodation at its best.
Village Rest: On the outskirts of Lusaka in Lilayi, this destination offers pleasant and inspiring African-themed accommodation sprawled across wide open spaces that make great mingling areas for visiting families and groups of friends.
Wilderness Safaris: With 27 years of experience in the safari industry in Zambia and Africa, Wilderness Safaris has established itself as one of the leading safari companies in Southern Africa. It operates privately on three million hectares of Southern Africa’s finest wildlife reserves and offers accommodation at more than 60 lodges and camps.