THE TRAVEL – 19 February 2020 – While many travelers head to Florida, Cuba, and Mexico when seeking out some sunshine, Fiji feels like a much more luxurious destination. Serving as the filming location for many seasons of popular reality show Survivor, Fiji has about 300 islands and is located in the South Pacific.
2020 can totally be the year that you go to Fiji and see how gorgeous it is. From the prettiest beaches to the best restaurants and what hotel to stay at, these are the details that tourists need to know so they can have some real rest and relaxation.
FIJI TIMES 20 February 2020 – FIJI’S infrastructure is changing to support the country’s digital transformation and international company DXC Technology is helping businesses jump onto this change.
More than 125 participants were part of a workshop facilitated by DXC Technology which was to enlighten its customers on it could innovate businesses in areas such as human resources, finance and its operations.
According to ANZ Director Microsoft for DXC Eclipse, Martin Wildsmith they saw Fiji adopting the cloud based system and running the software remotely to store data and information and rather move away from having a file service and hardware on site.
“And this is where Microsoft is extremely dominant and is the market leader,” he said.
“Azure is Microsoft cloud platform, it’s their main cloud platform, so you’ve got amazon and you’ve got Microsoft Azure and that becomes the two dominant platforms global.”
He said all the processes for shifting their cloud based systems were based on Microsoft Azure.
“It will take Fiji customers five to ten years to all steadily go off that and the government is busy installing faster networks with the cables and various Telco’s that are going to bring 5G.
“But once you have 5G all you have is a decent connection via the new fibre, you can then run on the cloud, so customers in Fiji are all starting to do.”
According to Mr Wildsmith the soft was much easier to maintain and Fiji would be using the same software platform that every other country.
“So what we are trying to do is help drive Fiji and support Fiji’s clients to come off these on premise older platforms and migrate to the cloud and take advantage of these new much more customer centric platforms,” he said.
DXC Eclipse has been in Fiji since 2000 and according to Mr Wildsmith they had 25 to 30 people looking after their cliental in the Pacific such as Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Fiji.
“We run these sorts of events two or three times a year, we would bring international people to really bring updates on trends in ICT details of what Microsoft is doing and our main suppliers are doing in terms of their products planning and future,” he said.
BLUE SWAN DAILY 20 February 2020 – The Easter holiday break is popular with travellers across the globe, representing the first extended break of the new year. While other popular breaks are unchanged from year-to-year, Easter can vary between late March and late April every year. This year it falls around the weekend of 11/12-Apr-2020.
Keen to relax and enjoy some time off after a busy start to 2020, which as a leap year includes an extra day (29-Feb-2020), Easter will undoubtedly be a popular time to travel for a lot of people.
New research from finance and lifestyle blog, TheMoneyPig.com, based on the traditional holiday habits of 14 different nationalities around the world, suggests that Americans and Australians will be spending the most on flights by travelling over Easter this year –an astonishing average of EUR780 and EUR684, respectively.
The Americans and Australians share three similar popular markets, according to the research. For Americans, the top five destinations are the UK, Canada, Mexico, France and Spain. For Australians, that top five list comprises the UK, New Zealand, Japan, Spain and France.
Interestingly, the Irish are ranked at the other end of the 14 nationalities spending just EUR99 on flights for an Easter break. This could be due to the top five popular destinations being all in Europe (UK, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, France), but also perhaps due to the dominance of LCC operations in the country. According to CAPA – Centre for Aviation analysis of OAG data for the Easter holiday week, LCCs account for 46% of capacity from the country.
FIJI TIMES 19 February 2020 – The Water Authority of Fiji’s (WAF) treatment plant facilities are operating well and the water quality produced is safe.
This was the assurance by WAF to the public in a statement issued today.
According to the statement, WAF systems across the country treat water to the highest level and all drinking water quality is maintained to meet the requirements of the World Health Organization guidelines as well as the Fiji National Drinking Water Quality Standards.
“The authority’s National Water Quality Laboratory (NWQL) regularly collects and analyses water samples and operational staff ensure compliance to relevant standards,” the statement read.
“WAF operates fully conventional, semi-conventional, and plain chlorinated water supply systems around the country.
“There are many parameters WAF need to conform to and take into consideration in its production of water, one of which is color.
“Sometimes because of heavy rain events in the catchment, customers can experience slight discoloration, however, the water, having been through one of our treatment facilities is safe to drink.”
Further questions sent to WAF on this issue remain unanswered.
FIJI TIMES 20 February 2020 – FIJI is ranked third in Oceania and 11th in the Asia-Pacific region in terms of safety oversight, Attorney-General and Minister responsible for Civil Aviation Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum told Parliament this week.
He made the statement during a request for an update on the safety and security audit of Fiji’s civil aviation conducted by the International Civil Aviation Organisation Coordinated Validation Mission (ICVM) held in Fiji last year.
“This particular validation mission is a follow-up on the onsite activities to validate progress made by Fiji in resolving safety oversight deficiencies that were identified in 2006 ICAO audit of Fiji’s civil aviation system,” the A-G said.
“Based on the visits and the reviews conducted by the ICVM team, Fiji’s effective implementation or EI, the scores of the eight critical elements of the State’s safety oversight system increased from 61.36 per cent in 2006 to 78.72 per cent when it just got completed and the report just came out on January this year.
“Fiji now is placed 11th in the Asia-Pacific region consisting of 39 countries and third out of the 14 countries in the Oceania region, only behind Australia and New Zealand.
“And indeed, we would probably soon catch up with them or indeed even beat them very soon with a few legislative amendments we need to make.”
FIJI TIMES 20 February 2020 – PACIFIC Trade and Invest Australia (PTI) achieved a record outcome of more than $A28 million ($F41.2m) in trade and investment facilitation in 2019.
Trade & Investment Commissioner Caleb Jarvis said: “Personally, I’m extremely proud of the work that we have done to empower women in business.
I’m pleased to share that in 2019 40 per cent of the businesses that we worked with were woman-led or women owned.
“These are the best results in our 40 years working in the Pacific and represents 12 times return on investment for both PIFS and the Australian Government.
“We couldn’t be here tonight without the support of our partners in both the public and private sector.
“We are a small organisation, our partners play an important role amplifying our reach and the effectiveness of our work in the Pacific.
“I am extremely proud to lead an organisation that continues to inspire on so many levels and creates long-lasting impacts for the Blue Pacific — I would like to thank the incredible team I have working beside me as we look towards an exciting future for PTI Australia,” he said.
Mr Jarvis spoke at the 40th anniversary celebration of PTI Australia held at the conclusion of the Forum Trade Ministers (FTMM) meeting last week.
He said it was an honour to lead Pacific Trade Invest Australia in their 40th year and gave special thanks to the secretary-general Dame Meg Taylor for her ongoing support and her leadership especially bringing together the Pacific.
“In 1979, we were the first office established in the Pacific Trade Invest network.
“I’d like to acknowledge the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, especially the secretary-general and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for providing support, encouragement and funding over the last 40 years.”
Also at the function was the Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Simon Birmingham who said the longevity of PTI Australia and the outstanding outcomes achieved was a clear illustration of Australia’s commitment to working with the Pacific to grow a prosperous region.
“It’s fantastic to be here with the Trade Ministers from the Blue Pacific as well the Pacific private sector to acknowledge this important milestone for PTI Australia celebrating 40 years of driving trade and investment in the Pacific,” he said.
FIJI TIMES 20 February 2020 – FIFTEEN associates and six teams from 1200 staff members from three resorts were recognised for their exceptional service in the last quarter as well as for the overall year 2019.
The resorts — The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa, with the Sheraton Denarau Villas and the Sheraton Fiji Resort — held its annual awards night last month at the Sheraton Fiji Resort on Denarau Island, Nadi.
The three properties are part of the Marriott International Fiji Resorts, including Tokoriki Island and Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay.
“Putting associates at the core has always been a strong focus and at the forefront for the Marriott brand which has led to the success of over 7300 properties all across the globe,” said Neeraj Chadha, Multi Property vice president, Fiji and Samoa.
“We provide amazing opportunities and training to every associate taking the best possible care for them and this secret formula has worked wonders. We thank each one of you, for your commitment in making the experiences of our guests a memorable one.”
According to the resort the Marriott brand lives by the words of its chairman Bill Marriott who says “take good care of your people, they’ll take good care of the customer and the customer will come back”.
During the event staff members enjoyed the evening with live music, dance, entertainment and a buffet spread of some of the finest food selection. One of the winners, Elizabeth Heritage, was euphoric when awarded “Genuine Care for Business” title and said she dedicated this to her team and everyone who made it possible by working together for a common goal.
Ms Heritage also thanked the Marriott International family for providing an incredible platform of unlimited opportunities for associates such as her grow and develop exceptional capabilities.
Other award winners were:
Solomoni Navadra – Genuine care for associates Faizee Ali – Genuine Care for Associates Sakeasi Erenavula – Genuine care for guests Salome Nadolo – Inspiring leader Unaisi Raravula – Brand ambassador Team Excellence – Finance Team Excellence – Front office
Watisoni Gonewai – Genuine care for associates Maika Bonawai – Genuine care for guests Atesh Kumar – Genuine care for business Apisai Mesu – Brand ambassador Inoke Qilai – Genuine care for business Team excellence – DGRC maintenance team Team excellence – Housekeeping team
Star Associate of the Year Winners:
Star associate- Sefanaia Seduadua Star leader- Hatley Kamelo Star associate- Nirlesh Naicker Star leader- Rajneel Sivan Star team- Front office
Star associate- Vasenai Dawai Star leader- Walter Alexander Star associate- Anal Anish Star leader- Anaseini Uluilakeba Star team- Engineering team
FIJI TIMES 20 February 2020 – THE sand mining done at the mouth of the Sigatoka River has killed fish in the river and was now encroaching on a marine ecosystem they relied on for food.
A team from this newspaper that visited the site yesterday witnessed waste material littered along the river bank and patches of bare trees.
Namasa Village headman Viliame Kamikamica said they were worried they would soon lose their i-kanakana (food source).
He said villagers had strongly opposed the works carried out at the river mouth.
“All this place was where we used to catch crabs and fish, but now there’s no more,” he said.
Vunavutu Village headman Emitai Karatu also expressed similar concerns. He said an island adjacent to their village which was used for farming had been affected by the mining activities.
Laselase Village headman Mesulame Nainoca said they had to fence part of the river bank to stop the contractors from carrying out their work.
“They were dumping waste material to our side and we had to stop them so we fenced the area,” he said.
Meanwhile, Opposition MP Viliame Gavoka said they would form a committee in Sigatoka to liaise and decide on the way forward.
He said the profile of the issue had now elevated all over the country and even abroad.
“These villagers they have been fighting for this earlier on and I am very happy that even though the petition was refused, both parties the SODELPA and NFP have taken ownership of the challenge,” Mr Gavoka said.
SUVA, 20 February 2020 – THERE are trends and improvements in every industry and it is the job of CEOs, GMs and managers to recognise these and adapt their businesses to the ever-changing tide. Transforming technology, shifts in spending-power of the workforce, social change, global factors – new trends appear and entrench themselves every so-often.
Keeping a finger on the pulse of the industry is a must and tourism is no different. Whether in the public or private sector, the push to further or even maintain one’s economic standing is always weighing heavily on those who make decisions. Sometimes trends linger and sometimes trends fade away into oblivion. Being able to recognise these developments early and adjust your businesses accordingly can be challenging.
One such trend of the times is ‘bleisure.’
Bleisure travel is a combination of “business” and “leisure” and was first used in 2009 by the Future Laboratory. It simply means extending ones business trip for personal purposes.
Fiji hosts many regional and international conferences and workshops. Some events are small and intimate whilst some are large and frenetic. The number of overseas attendees from overseas can be sizable, taking into account our industry size. When these conferences are completed, these potential ‘tourists’ often return home without thoroughly enjoying what the country has to offer.
More than one in three business travelers will now add a leisure component to at least one of their business trips this year, says the Global Business Travel Association. “It’s people from all different levels: we thought it might be more entry-level, but we found managerial does it as well, although we did find millennials more likely to partake in bleisure than some of their older colleagues”. According to GBTA, bleisure is opportunistic and depends on if you’re going to a place you like and that you want to spend more time in.
Marketed right, Fiji’s tourism stakeholders could offer extensions on business visas for those interested in remaining in the country for two or three days more after their work or conference has ended. There could also be packages offered on accommodation, meals and activities to entice these bleisure seekers to stay for an extended period.
This is the right time to be looking at other market segments and tap into trending travel patterns, especially now when a destination’s safety is going to be a top priority for people planning to travel in the short or long term.
Whilst the bleisure market is small, it could make economic sense to cast an eye in this direction as these visitors are generally bigger spenders compared to the family market who save up hard to take a much looked forward to break. The bleisure trip saves money for the guest as they wouldn’t necessarily foot their travel costs but could in fact mean that they would then spend that money here on goods and services and taking part in activities that benefit our SME’s and as a flow on effect, the smaller communities they operate from.
Conference and seminar organisers can factor in a few more ‘free days’ into their events where attendees can sample activities close by or even plan travel to some of the smaller islands offering unique products allowing conference attendees to see more of what Fiji has to offer. Add in the aspects of a safe destination that is super kid friendly, has unique cultural diversity and lots of activity options like dive and adventure and we would have a keen competitive edge over many of our regional and even larger neighbours. Great experiences would also encourage return visits.
Tourism Fiji’s brand is built around the happiness that is felt when you set foot in Fiji. So, imagine how happy you would be if, after a hectic work conference, you could spend a few extra days sipping on a cocktail on an island beach, staring out across the ocean that you had a memorable experience diving in, fishing from and jet skiing or parasailing across..
FIJI TIMES 19 Feb 2020 – TODAY, travelling for food has taken an entirely new meaning. It is different from drawn out marine voyages to access dried food, seedlings and spices from other parts of the globe in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Food is an important component of tourism and significant in attracting the interest of people who travel to our shores.
Our traditional food and cuisine promotes Fiji as a culinary tourism destination and enhances the travel experience of hotel guests because food acts both as an entertainment and cultural activity.
That is why Koro Sun Resort and Rainforest Spa head chef Tom Jocksam Tam is literally on top of each meal’s menu and makes sure that local foods are featured prominently.
“At the resort, we believe in having as many organic and local fruits and vegetables as possible in the different dishes we prepare for our guests,” said Tam.
“This not only helps in promoting a unique and memorable drinking and eating experience, it also adds to our guests’ understanding and appreciation of our culture.”
As a head chef, Tam is the person responsible for everything that goes on in the kitchen.
He not only oversees all dishes from start to finish, he also ensures that his team meets health and safety standards and come up with creative recipes for the restaurant.
One of his side jobs is mentoring junior chefs as well as training auxiliary kitchen staff, who not only look up to him but aspire to be at the helm of kitchen leadership one day.
Tam works with a young team and gets great deputising support from his assistant.
He believes team work is one of the vital attributes that a successful, effective and excellent restaurant depends on.
“Guests don’t normally see kitchen staff. We work behind the scene, but are equally vital in creating that authentically Fijian experience for guests.”
“I believe in my team and I want them to excel and grow professionally so that they become great chefs one day.”
Tam, who already has plans to start up his own restaurant in future, believes a chef’s work is rewarding and exciting.
“If you love to cook, love to meet challenges and take on responsibilities, if you enjoy being creative, then working as a chef is the right field for you.”
FIJI TIMES 19 Feb 2020 – FILM Fiji was responsible for $702.9 million worth of economic activity between 2014 and 2018, while having a government support of $6.9 million for the same period.
This information is contained in a review report of the agency that was tabled in Parliament on Monday by the Standing Committee on Social Services.
In their presentation to the committee, Film Fiji stated that 4454 jobs were created between 2014-2019 while overseas television series and movies were made in Fiji.
A total of 333 productions took place in Fiji during this period.
“The contribution to GDP by the AV (audiovisual) industry in 2017 was similar to the sugar industry,” stated Film Fiji. Only eight staff members were employed at Film Fiji when these achievements were made.
The year 2018 recorded the highest number of productions in Fiji –– at 106 –– that saw an economic activity of $271 million, stated Film Fiji. It said 1480 Fijians were directly employed in 2018 in the audiovisual sector.
fijivillage.com 18 Feb 2020 – Minister for Civil Aviation, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the recent report released by the International Civil Aviation Organisation confirms that Fiji has significantly progressed and is ahead of other big countries when it comes to aviation services.
Sayed-Khaiyum says an audit has revealed that the scores for eight elements for States Safety Oversight System has increased from 61.36 percent in 2006 to 78.72 percent in January this year.
He says this shows the Fijian government’s strong commitment and support to the aviation industry.
Sayed-Khaiyum says this also gives assurance to all stakeholders including visitors and companies who use aviation services in Fiji.
He adds that Fiji is now placed 11th in the Asia Pacific region consisting of 39 countries and third out of the 14 countries in the Oceania region, only behind Australia and New Zealand.
The audit was conducted on primary aviation legislation specific operating regulation, civil aviation organisation, personnel licensing and training, aircraft operations and air worthiness of aircrafts.
FIJI TIMES 18 FEB 2020 – THE Fiji Ports Corporation Ltd has recorded significant growth since 2016 with trade activity boosted at both the Suva and Lautoka ports, says Industry, Trade and Tourism Minister Premila Kumar.
She made the comment while debating the review of the FPCL 2016 Annual Report in Parliament yesterday.
“From a trade perspective there was an increase in growth tonnage in Suva and Lautoka ports by 44 per cent and 18.9 per cent,” Mrs Kumar said.
“From a tourism perspective, cruise liners increased by 26.6 per cent.”
Responding to comments made by Opposition parliamentarian Salote Radrodro about lack of Government support towards development of major ports in the country, Mrs Kumar said a lot of work was being done.
“A master plan is being conducted for Suva, Lautoka and Nadi and that will help identify a suitable site for new wharves.
“We need a feasibility study to identify a new site for the Suva wharf, Lautoka and Nadi and all that will help identify a suitable site. There is a lot of work required to identify a suitable site.”
While commenting on the 2016 annual report, Ms Radrodro said upgrades at the Suva wharf had been done by previous governments.
She had questioned the lack of resources and support by the present administration towards FPCL in terms of acquisition of land and provision of adequate resources.
FIJI TIMES 18 FEB 2020 – Opposition member of Parliament Niko Nawaikula yesterday questioned the use of $360,000 from the Occupational and Health Safety trust funds for the payment of salaries in 2015.
Speaking in Parliament during a debate on the ‘2014, 2015 and 2016 Annual Review of the Ministry of Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Reports’, Mr Nawaikula said the trust fund accounts should not have been touched.
“You don’t treat trust accounts like that, it’s a trust account, you don’t touch it,” he said.
“The minister should be sacked for that because it is outright thieving.
“It’s thieving to take money from trust account and use it unlawfully.”
He said the issue was raised in the 2015 Auditor General’s Report.
Mr Nawaikula said in 2015, the abuse of funds was a very serious matter indeed.
Earlier he also told Parliament this was the worst time to be an employee in Fiji because workers’ rights had been exploited.
“The Open Merit Recruitment and Selection (OMRS) three years contracts are designed to exploit workers,” he said.
He said recently he had been approached by a comrade who informed him that 62 workers from Kokomo Resort were recently terminated.
Upon enquiry with the Ministry of Employment, Mr Nawaikula said he was informed that the workers were not allowed to join any workers’ union.
FIJI TIMES 18 Feb 2020 – THE following temporary road closures will come to effect during the arrival and departure of the Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Thursday, February 20 and Friday, February 21, in Nadi.
According to a Police statement, on Thursday the road between the Nadi International Airport to Pullman Resort through the Namaka corridor into Wailoaloa Road will be closed from 5:00am to 7:00am.
“On Friday the same route to the Nadi Airport will be closed temporarily from 6:30am to 7:45am as the President will be departing our shores,” the statement stated.
“Police officers will be manning junctions and we are requesting members of the public to be patient with us during these times.”
Lonely Planet February 2020 – Travelling more sustainably isn’t just better for the planet – trips designed to benefit the environment and empower local people also make holidays much more rewarding. Here are 10 incredible sustainable adventures around the world you can feel good about signing up for.
1. Walk with Tasmania’s traditional owners, Australia
Known for its fiery lichen-tinged granite headlands, white sandy beaches and idyllic turquoise water, northeastern Tasmania’s Bay of Fires is one of Australia’s most incredible landscapes. Thanks to the launch of the Wukalina Walk in 2018, you can now learn about the 10,000-odd years of Aboriginal history and culture connected to the region with a Palawa (Tasmanian Aboriginal) guide. The first time Palawa people have had the chance to tell their story, on their own land, the three-day, four-night exploration of the Larapuna (Bay of Fires) and Wukalina (Mt William) areas is a genuine cultural experience guaranteed to deepen your understanding of Palawa culture and community history. Immersing you in the natural and rugged beauty of the breathtaking coastal region, the 34km walk sees guests spend two nights lodging in comfortable bespoke domed huts and one night in the Lighthouse Keepers Cottage at Eddystone Point.
2. Support Europe’s brown bears, Romania
Home to Europe’s largest concentration of brown bears, Romania is a fitting location for the continent’s largest bear sanctuary. Dedicated to providing a safe, humane environment for bears rescued from cruel captive conditions, Libearty Bear Sanctuary, near the town of Zărnesţi in Transylvania, offers the next best thing to viewing the impressive carnivores in their natural habitat. Visits are by guided tour of the 69-hectare oak forest that more than 100 bears now call home. For those keen to spend more time with the bears, UK-based Responsible Travel offers a seven-day volunteer programme at the sanctuary.
3. Bed down with locals, Bhutan
The world’s last Buddhist kingdom, Bhutan measures its success in terms of Gross National Happiness. Such an ethos helps to ensure a preserved environment both culturally and environmentally. Indeed, Bhutan’s tourist industry is founded on the principle of sustainability. A tour with a government-approved operator is a prerequisite, and will likely include visits to historic temples and hikes through yak meadows high in the Himalayas. Connect more deeply with local culture by enlisting an operator that can arrange a homestay experience such as the Wangchuck Centennial National Homestay programme, where income generated by tourism helps to offset the losses to crops and livestock caused by park wildlife.
4. Master coral planting, Fiji
What better way to experience Fiji’s dazzling coral reefs than to actively help to protect them? A growing number of the Pacific island nation’s resorts have now introduced coral gardening as a guest activity. Also known as coral aquaculture, coral gardening sees young corals grown in a protected nursery until adulthood. They are then transferred or ‘planted’ back into the natural environment, often on artificial reefs. Just a few resorts where you can try your hand at this sustainable underwater activity include Castaway Island Fiji, Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort on the Vanua Levu, Fiji’s second-largest island, Makaira Resort on the island of Taveuni.
5. Take a low-impact whale-watching tour, New Zealand
The Māori-owned and -operated Whale Watch Kaikoura supports the indigenous Ngai Tahu community, located in Kaikoura on New Zealand’s South Island. Its boats operate all year round, and sightings include gentle aquatic giants such as sperm whales, humpbacks, blue whales and orcas, depending on the season. Boats keep a respectful distance from these celebrity creatures, and the in-tour commentary focuses on conservation efforts and cultural information. Kaikoura is roughly midway between Picton and Christchurch; take the local bus service along State Highway 1 for about two hours.
6. Kick back at an Amazon Basin eco-lodge, Bolivia
Hidden deep in Amazonian Bolivia there is a cluster of cabins set in a fertile area that is home to a whopping 11% of the world’s species of flora and fauna. Chalalán Ecolodge is entirely managed by the Quechua-Tacano indigenous community, and a share of the enterprise’s profits goes to fund community health and education facilities. It’s encircled by 14 well-marked nature trails, and the majority of guests choose to spend their mornings swinging through the jungle before spending the rest of the day swinging in the lodge’s hammocks. The best time to visit is during the dry months from May to October; from Rurrenabaque head 30km west to Madidi National Park.
7. Learn the art of sustainable living, Costa Rica
Costa Rica is famous for its eco-resorts, but few are more low-impact than Rancho Margot. The perfect base for exploring nearby Parque Nacional Volcán Arenal with its hiking trails, bubbling hot springs and scenic lake, this lush off-grid retreat doubles as a sustainable learning centre. Guests can opt for a tour of its self-sufficient practices (from organic agriculture to green energy production) or sign up for a week-long immersion programme to learn about sustainability initiatives you can integrate into your life at home. Twice-daily yoga classes and farm-to-table meals from the ranch’s own garden are also included in all types of stays. If you’re prepared to make a four-week commitment, volunteering here is also an option.
8. Shadow Africa’s first peoples, Namibia
As a visitor at northeastern Namibia’s Tsumkwe Lodge, you get to tag along with San people (the original inhabitants of southern Africa, formerly known as Bushmen) and observe and partake in their daily activities. San people have survived in the Kalahari Desert for at least 40,000 years, so can teach a city slicker a thing or two about living in the wilderness. A morning’s outing may include sampling the ‘fruits’ of the desert (berries and tubers) or witnessing a finely honed hunt for antelope. Book directly with the lodge, or visit as part of a longer tour with a responsible operator like Sunvil Africa in the UK, which works closely with the community and can advise on its suitability for individual travellers.
9. Camp in a rhino sanctuary, Kenya
Stretching from Mt Kenya to the rim of the Great Rift Valley, Kenyan-owned Ol Pejeta Conservancy is East Africa’s largest black rhino sanctuary. With camping available, it’s one of the best budget safari stays in the region. By choosing to bed down here (or even just visit for the day) visitors help to fund one of Africa’s most successful community-led conservation initiatives. With activities ranging from classic games drives to eco-friendly experiences including walking and horseback safaris, there are plenty of opportunities to tick off the Big Five while learning about Ol Pejeta’s conservation work.
10. Volunteer for the National Parks Service, USA
Fall asleep to a chorus of wolf calls and count bears as your neighbours at one of the USA’s national parks. Volunteering positions range from tour guiding to scientific research, and provide plenty of opportunities to gain a unique perspective on nature. Volunteers work a minimum of 32 hours; remuneration for expenses is dependent on the local organisation for which you are volunteering.