A year ago a Johannesburg based company called Travel Noba decided to capitalise on putting African countries on the map. At that time it seemed like a hard feat, especially because travel seemed to be more of a luxury and the perception that only the rich take trips did not either. Then there was the issue of South African travellers being bowled over by other top international destinations that made it hard for them to choose an African holiday. Today, the company has successfully managed to get over 90 percent African (Black, Indian, Coloured) customers to travel.
The owner of Travel Noba,Singatha Hlazo, said African countries were quite travel friendly and encouraged more people to visit. He said Mozambique and Zanzibar were firm favourites. He hoped to place more emphasis on destinations like Kenya and Rwanda by the end of the year.
"There is something about Africa that is so amazing. When I started this company in June last year, my aim was to center more people to Africa and for more African people to travel more.
"There was a gap in the market for African travellers and we wanted to promote and encourage this. Today we around 90 percent of our clients are African people, " he said.
Singatha's must visit African countries include Morocco, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia.
"The beauty of Africa is that it offers so much of different options. There's something for everyone, " he said.
On his dos and don't of African travel, he said that people should never exchange their currency through informal traders. Hlazo found during his visits that many informal money traders had large sums of cash on them that they hoped to exchange with tourists. However he advises tourists to change their money at reputable businesses so that they would not be scammed.
He also advises those driving across borders to be vigilant about who they are handing their documents to as there were many people who were masquerading as officials when they were not.
“Rather be safe than sorry and drive to the border before handing out your documents. Many tourists are impatient and that could lead to many problems if the matter is not handled right.
“Travellers should also read up on a particular African country as certain countries handle matters differently. Always be respectful of the different countries as understanding a culture and knowing more about it is part of the experience,” added Hlazo.