Are South Africans Ditching the Rush for Slower Travel Experiences?

According to a recent Google search, slow travel is unanimously popular across generations.

According to a recent Google search, slow travel is unanimously popular across generations.

Published Jun 26, 2024


The world of travel is shifting gears. Fast-paced itineraries crammed with sightseeing are giving way to an enticing new trend: slow travel. This mindful approach emphasises savouring experiences, immersing yourself in local cultures, and prioritising rest and rejuvenation above rushing around. But are South Africans, known for their love of adventure, the great outdoors, and seeing all that they possibly can when on holiday, jumping on board this slower travel trend?

What’s up with taking it slow?

According to a recent Google search, slow travel is unanimously popular across generations. It’s important to note that slow travel isn't just about relaxing on holiday or taking longer holidays. It's a complete shift in mindset, focussing on quality over quantity. Slow travel could be seeking authentic experiences that allow you to connect with a place on a deeper level. This could involve staying in one location for a longer period or volunteering or learning with local communities.

Are South Africans embracing slow travel?

While there isn't data available yet to definitively say whether South Africans are embracing slow travel, we can glean some interesting insights from the Flight Centre South Africa 2023 travel trends whitepaper. 

The whitepaper indicated an interesting trend – the average trip duration for South Africans in 2023 increased slightly, with most travellers opting for trips between 7-10 days. Intriguingly, it also revealed that some South Africans are venturing into longer stays, with the data showing one local traveller booking a whopping 21-day holiday to explore Mzansi!

This suggests that there might be a growing interest in slow travel experiences, especially for those seeking in-depth exploration.

Top 2024 destinations for slow travellers

Flight Centre ( identified some hot destinations for South Africans in 2024, and with a little creativity, these can be transformed into perfect slow travel experiences:

Mauritius: For a slow travel twist, consider learning to kitesurf in the turquoise waters or taking Creole cooking classes to immerse yourself in the rich local culture.

Dubai, UAE: Go beyond the glitz and glamour of Dubai. Explore the historic Al Fahidi district, spend an afternoon enjoying traditional Emirati coffee and dates with a local family, or take a dhow cruise along Dubai Creek for a slower pace of exploration.

Phuket, Thailand: While Phuket offers vibrant nightlife, it's also a gateway to hidden coves and serene temples. Embrace slow travel by chartering a private longtail boat to explore secluded beaches or participating in a silent meditation retreat.

Bali, Indonesia: Indulge in slow travel by joining a batik-making workshop to learn this traditional craft or spend a few days at an eco-lodge nestled in the rice terraces.

Ras Al Khaimah, UAE: Neighbour to Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah offers a slower pace and a chance to reconnect with nature. Hike through the dramatic Jebel Jais mountains, explore the historic Dhayah Fort, or learn about traditional pearl diving practices for a unique slow travel experience.

With Flight Centre's help, you can turn your next holiday into a transformative experience that will leave you feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and truly connected to the places you visit. So, ditch the breakneck pace and embrace the slow travel movement. 

Visit to browse or book your slow travel getaway!

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