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Jacob Zuma Steps Down as South Africa’s President

President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, a master tactician who survived a string of corruption scandals and harsh court judgments during his nearly nine-year presidency, agreed on Wednesday night to step down, repudiated by the governing African National Congress Party, threatened by a no-confidence vote in Parliament, cornered by opposition parties and abandoned by millions of voters.

In an address to the nation Wednesday night, Mr. Zuma said he was resigning even though he disagreed with the party’s decision ordering him to do so.

“I have therefore come to the decision to resign as president of the Republic with immediate effect, even though I disagree with the decision of the leadership of my organization,” he said at the end of a lengthy address on television. “I have always been a disciplined member of the A.N.C.”

It was a humiliating end for Mr. Zuma, a charismatic anti-apartheid hero who was imprisoned on Robben Island with Nelson Mandela and was once the A.N.C.’s intelligence chief. Cyril Ramaphosa, the deputy president whose election as A.N.C. leader in December set off a power struggle with Mr. Zuma, immediately became acting president.

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Strike it Rich at the APTA National Forum

The APTA National Forum will be taking place in Denver, Colorado at the historic Oxford Hotel situated in the popular Lower Downtown (LoDo) area. This is your chance to meet some of the influencers, changemakers and pioneers in the world of Africa, conservation and travel plus reconnect with your fellow APTA members.

When: Friday, September 14th – Saturday, September 15th, 2018
Where: Oxford Hotel
1600 17th Street
Denver, Colorado

Cost: $169.00 (does not include hotel accommodations)
Don’t miss this amazing opportunity to learn, network and socialize with our presenters, our sponsors, chapter officials and members from all 10 national APTA chapters. Don’t miss your chance to stake your claim!

For our corporate members, we have some sponsorship opportunities still available. This is a great way to reach a highly targeted niche market of Africa travel experts. Please contact Valerie Sewell at events@apta.biz for more information.

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Malawi International Tourism Expo Registration Now Open

Malawi,the “Warm Heart of Africa” links the Southern and Eastern Africa region and offers unique flora and fauna which include the magnificent Lake Malawi, diverse nature which includes rivers, mountains and valleys; wide variety of wildlife in spectacular surroundings; vibrant culture and people legendarily renowned for friendliness and hospitality and international standard MICE facilities.

Malawi is rich in contrast, compact in size and big in hospitality. Destination Malawi offers a myriad of activities not found in other countries in the region such as fresh water beaches and water sports such as diving, snorkeling, kayaking, among others. The country also has a prolific birdlife (over 750 species sighted), world’s largest fresh water aquarium with over 1,000 unique species of colourful cichlids, challenging biking, trekking and hiking trails.

Malawi Tourism invites international, regional and local buyers, media and tourism enterprises, operators & stakeholders, to the 2nd edition of Takulandirani Malawi International Tourism Expo, MITE, to be held from 26th to 28th April, 2018 at the Bingu Wa Mutharika International Convention Center (BICC) in Lilongwe. Click here!

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Canadians finally get direct overnight flights into Africa

Canadians will shortly be able to fly overnight non-stop to Africa arriving at 7am.

Ethiopian Airlines is about to introduce direct flights from Toronto and Washington DC, and from Chicago in June.

Ethiopian Airlines’ hub in Addis Ababa has connecting flights to the main safari holiday destinations throughout Africa, including, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Victoria Falls, Johannesburg and Cape Town.

The two flights, Addis Ababa-Washington Dulles International Airport (ADD-IAD) and Addis Ababa-Toronto Pearson (ADD-YYZ), are set to commence on March 1.

Both flights currently have a technical stop in Ireland and will be serviced by a Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner aircraft.

The new direct routes will allow passengers flying from Washington and Toronto to catch a connecting flight to Johannesburg. The carrier will launch a third daily flight between Johannesburg and Addis Ababa in April.

Ethiopian Airlines currently services 18 cities in Europe and America – Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Liege, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Maastricht, Milan, Newark, Oslo, Paris, Rome, São Paulo, Stockholm, Toronto, Vienna, Washington DC, and soon, Chicago.

The airline claims to fly to more destinations in Africa than any other carrier, having won the Skytrax Best Airline in Africa Award in 2017.

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Cape Town welcomes tourists as ‘Day Zero’ pushed back 3 months

‘Day Zero’ has moved to June 4 due to the continued decline in agricultural usage and the decrease in residential water consumption. Over the past week, usage has been lowered to 526 million litres per day. This is the first time that the weekly average usage has remained under 550 million litres.

In a statement, the City of Cape Town said, “Two years ago water usage was more than one billion litres per day, resulting in a weekly change of 2,1%. If our dam levels were currently dropping at this rate we would reach ‘Day Zero’ before the end of March. Our dam levels declined by just 0,6% over the past week.”

This re-emphasises Wesgro’s message to the tourism industry – Cape Town is open for business.

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Forbes Features Thanda Safari’s Community Giving

Sophie Friedman recently published a piece in Forbes titled “How Thanda Safari Gives Back to Its Community”. Here is an excerpt:

“There are countless safari camps in South Africa, but few are so focused on giving back to the local community. Thanda Safari … has all the fittings of an excellent safari camp … But Thanda—which has a luxury tented camp and a lodge—is no standard safari camp. Its Swedish owners, Christin and Dan Olofsson, are true philanthropists, underwriting essential community outreach programs. These include football club Thanda Lions, made up of local teens and a few Thanda staffers (they play in the South African Football Association amateur league); the employment of a community liaison officer who, supported by Thanda, works with the surrounding tribal communities to organize things like computer installations in schools and the building of a daycare center; and Star for Life, an education and prevention program for high school students across 120 schools in South Africa and Namibia.”

“Thanda opened in May 2004, and the Olofssons and Thanda Group CEO Pierre Delvaux saw firsthand how HIV and AIDS were enormously damaging to the local communities, taking several Thanda staffers. Delvaux says, “We could not build a five-star luxury lodge in an area that was so impoverished, without trying to do something about its greatest challenges.” The Olofssons decided to start JAC Initiative (Jobs, AIDS, and Conservation), which grew into Star for Life … Today, Star for Life is in 120 schools, supporting more than 150,000 students in South Africa and Namibia, and has become more multifaceted: students are taught the crucial importance of education and of avoiding anything that gets in its way; they have the opportunity to learn job skills; they’re encouraged to create art…

Read the full article here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/sophiefriedman/2018/02/08/how-thanda-safari-gives-back-to-its-community/#25628a446198

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Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge Guests Helping To Make the World a Little Brighter.

Governors’ Camp’s Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge was built 10 years ago as a uniquely community-owned lodge next to Volcanoes National Park. With our partners African Wildlife Fund (AWF) and International Gorilla Conservation Program (IGCP), the SACOLA Community Trust was created to hold ownership of the lodge. Through lease fees and a Community Levy incorporated into a guest’s stay, US$3.1 Million has been transferred from the Lodge to the SACOLA community in the last 10 years, providing them the means to achieve an incredible list of socio-economic projects.

Our guests are so often impressed by the positive impact of this beautiful relationship between tourism, community and conservation, they are inspired to make their own impact.

Margot Ragget was one such guest, and took it on herself to fundraise £4000 to purchase solar lights for the community in December last year. This week, we visited 2 of the SACOLA community schools to distribute 400 lights to students at each school. The school management determined that the students who were completing their national examinations this year should be the ones to receive a solar light, so that they are able to study at night. Another 76 lights were distributed to a community village that many guests will know from doing a walking visit there. All were incredibly grateful for the simple gift of light.

To learn more about the SACOLA Trust and the wonderful work achieved, follow the link below.

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Safari Cruise aboard the Brand New African Dream

CroisiEurope River Cruises, Europe’s largest River Cruise line, continues to expand its unique gallery of itineraries with the launch of their brand new vessel, the MS African Dream, from the shores of Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe.
This luxury ship accommodates a maximum of 16 passengers, and cruises the largest man made lake in the world – Lake Kariba, stretching along the borders of Zimbabwe and Zambia. Lake Kariba is home to some of the most diverse flora and fauna in the region, including Crocodiles, Elephants, Hippos, and the African Sea Eagle. Water safaris will see guests climbing aboard smaller boats for intimate experiences into out-of-the-way nooks and crannies throughout the lake.
The tour is paired with a night in Johannesburg and tour of the city, a 3 night stay in the newly renovated CroisiEurope Lodge in Botswana for a traditional land Safari, and an overnight at Victoria Falls. Optional pre program in Capetown and the Cape of Good Hope is also available.
More details can be found on CroisiEuropes website:

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Ethiopian to Start Flights to Chicago

Ethiopian Airlines Group, the largest Aviation Holding Company in Africa and SKYTRAX certified Four Star Global Airline, is pleased to announce that it will commence direct flight from Addis Ababa to Chicago effective as of June 09, 2018.

West Bound, Passengers from the entire continent of Africa will connect to Chicago and beyond through our Addis Ababa hub in the late evenings; likewise, East bound travelers from the USA will also connect to all over Africa in the morning through Addis. In both cases, the connectivity is designed in such a way that we are able to avail one of the shortest total travel times for our customers.

Regarding the launch of the service, Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines,
remarked: “Chicago will be our 4th destination in the U.S. and our 7th in the Americas. It is the third biggest city in the U.S. and one of the most important global aviation hubs. We will be filling a critical air connectivity vacuum as our flights will be the only direct service between Chicago and Africa.

Chicago is the main hub of our Star Alliance partner, United Airlines and the flight will be operated together with United to avail the best product for travelers from all over the U.S. connecting to more than 55 destinations in Africa.

The flight will further boost the growing economic and people-to-people relations between the U.S. and Africa in general and Ethiopia in particular by enabling greater flow of trade, investment and tourism.”

The route will be operated with a Boeing 787, one of the most technologically advanced aircraft in the carrier’s fleet family, featuring up-to-date amenities with redefined travel experiences.
Ethiopian is the pioneer African flag carrier starting service to the Americas’ in the 1998.

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Top Country for 2018? Malawi!

Malawi is now officially the hottest African destination for 2018! And it’s not just us saying that – newspapers, magazines and websites around the world have been tripping over themselves to include Malawi in a quite amazing number of ’Top Destinations’ lists in 2017 and for 2018.

For a long time Malawi’s stunning beaches, beautiful and varied landscapes and fascinating and friendly cultural experiences have been some of the best that Africa has to offer. With the wildlife transformations currently underway coutesy of African Parks with the help of Prince Harry, Malawi’s safari experiences are now starting to match its other attractions as it emerges as one of the most complete destinations in Africa.

The global media has been quick to catch on, highlighting many of the attractions that make Malawi great. Take a look at the remarkable list below!

With all this amazing coverage, demand for Malawi is rising rapidly, so, as Rough Guides advise, ‘check in now before the crowds do’!

Here is a sampling of the attention Malawi has been receiving:

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Join Virgin for a webinar on Sir Richard Branson’s African Collection

Join us for a webinar on Feb 21, 2018 at 2:00 PM EST.
Register now! Please click here.

We invite you to join our webinar on Virgin Limited Edition’s portfolio of Luxury Retreats, owned by Sir Richard Branson, in South Africa and Kenya!

Join Erin Healy for a 30-minute interactive presentation and allow her to share with you all the latest news, offers and pictures on all Virgin Limited Edition’s luxury retreats in Africa including Kasbah Tamadot, in Morocco, Ulusaba Private Game Reserve in South Africa, Mahali Mzuri in Kenya, and Mont Rochelle, a hotel and vineyard in South Africa!

We hope this presentation will help you confidently recommend each of our properties to your clients. There will also be a Q&A session at the end.

All you need is an internet connection, and headset or telephone line. We recommend using a headset so it prevents all your telephone lines being used at one time!
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

View System Requirements: https://support.logmeininc.com/gotowebinar/help/system-requirements-for-attendees-g2w010003?c_prod=g2w&c_name=iph

REGISTER NOW

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APTA Shines at 15th NY Times Travel Show

From 26-28 January, APTA shined at the New York Times Travel Show showcasing our members including Seychelles Tourism Board, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, Infinite Safari Adventures, South Africa Travel & Tours, South African Airways Vacations and African Angel Tours.

This was the 15th annual New York Times Travel Show and it had the largest attendance since its inception with 32,398 attendees (a 7.6% increase over 2017) including 10,268 members of the travel trade and 1,384 members of the media. 600 companies exhibited from over 176 countries and the APTA Pavilion sat at the center of the exhibit floor.

In addition to the exhibition, APTA’s own Todd Neuman hosted the Focus on Africa speaker series which was standing room only for the first time in years.

APTA plans to repeat the partnership with New York Times in 2019 including the Focus on Africa Speaker Series. If you have an idea for a speaker, or wish to exhibit alongside APTA, please let us know. The dates for next year’s show will be 25-27 January 2019.