2019’s Top 10 Travel Trends

Every year certain destinations become more popular than others but what changes most often is what inspires people to book their dream escapes. Trends reflect the rational and emotional reasons that people travel. Here's our go-to list of 2019 travel trends. We draw our predictions from market research, industry developments and the insights of real travelers in our online community. May these travel trends help fulfill your wanderlust dreams.Be sure to check out our Top Safari Journeys for 2019 as well.

2019 Travel Trends for visiting Africa

1. Flash & Micro Travel

Elephant interaction and mokoro safari at Abu Camp - 2019 Travel Trends

A visit to Africa is a once in a lifetime experience which could include a unique mokoro safari and up-close encounter with elephants.Taking a trip from time to time is incredibly important because it’s not just about seeing new places and landscapes but about experiencing different cultures, local cuisines, unique activities, or even learn a new language. Flash travel offers an opportunity for travelers to take trips more often while micro-trips or 'bite-sized travel' enables travelers to squeeze in more curated travel itineraries into shorter time frames.In the last year, we have seen significant growth in last minute bookings as well as micro-trips. With more and more airlines adding direct routes to Africa and many African countries issuing visas to US and EU passport holders on arrival, travelers from these countries are able to plan trips at the very last minute (given they have a valid passport on hand). We love to regularly share our travel deals with the world and this has seen a spark in last minute travel. Travelers are seeking out great value for money travel deals and fully inclusive packages.

2. Off-peak Travel

guest facilities at Khwai Tented Camp - 2019 Travel Trends

Traveling during the off-peak season allows one to truly relax and savor the beauty of their surroundings.If you truly dislike having multiple vehicles on your lion sighting and staying in lodges and camps that are at full occupancy, then an off-peak vacation is the ideal choice for you. By avoiding travel in the peak season, travelers generally save on accommodation costs with the demand for rooms being lower. This allows travelers to stretch their budget to include a whole lot more during their stay. ‘Green Season’ is offered in some safari destinations and offer as much as 50% off your accommodation rate. In the past, travelers only came on safari in Winter given the benefits of thinner bush and less rain, but with the changing weather patterns clients are now happy to travel to Africa in the hotter summer months, which does mean enduring some rain, but still allows one to see incredible wildlife and stay in the same lodges at a cheaper rate.Although the winter months are the most favorable for a safari in Africa, this has not deflected travelers from visiting in the summer months. Every season brings about great change in the African bush. The winter months see animals congregate around waterholes, whilst the summer months attract incredible birdlife and sightings of gorgeous newborn babies.Although the winter months of June to August, are considered peak season for a safari, places like Cape Town and the Garden Route offer the lowest accommodation rates, making city and bush combo trips extremely attractive.The summer is a popular time for travel amongst locals, with cities such as Cape Town, Durban and the Kruger National Park booking out completely over the festive season and into the new year. Many travelers looking to escape the overseas winter season, are now considering travel between mid-January and March when these top tourist spots are less crowded and accommodation rates are lower. With fewer people at safari lodges and camps, an experience out in the African bush can feel really exclusive.

3. Modern Family Travel

Family safari at Leroo La Tau - 2019 Travel Trends

An African safari is the ultimate family vacation, with a selection of lodges boasting family rooms and kids programmes.Modern family dynamics is shifting family travel. From lone-parent family travel to multi-generational trips, gone are the days of two-parent travel offerings or 4 pax packages - 2019 is the year for all families. The demand for curated vacations that include family accommodation and activities, has grown significantly. We have seen more multi-generational families travel to Africa because the continent has something for everyone, from kids to teenagers to parents and grandparents. Children generally tend to seek out vacations promising adventure, with a safari out in the wild and animal interactions often at the top of their list. But it doesn’t end at safaris, there are so many variations to a vacation in Africa - a combination of beach and safari destinations, city and bush escapes, and even a scenic road trip along the famous Garden Route. Hotels and lodges across Africa have tailored their offerings to suit families, including child-friendly menus and kids clubs. Families from across the world are expanding their horizons in an attempt to experience something new.

4. Adventure Travel

Diving in Zanzibar - 2019 Travel Trends

Africa has some of the world's best diving sites, affording travelers an unforgettable underwater adventure.Watching a documentary on television about whales off the coastline of South Africa or the worlds greatest mammal migration in Kenya and Tanzania is just not the same as experiencing it first hand. Exploring a new destination and experiencing new things with some risk will most certainly get the heart racing and make you feel alive. Africa has several tours that focus on offering an authentic adventure with activities such as open-vehicle game drives in big five country, walking safaris, mobile camping safaris, hot air balloon rides, scenic flights, gorilla trekking, canoeing, hiking, diving amongst coral reefs off the island of Zanzibar, swimming on the edge of the mighty Victoria Falls, or even climbing Mount Kilimanjaro - the second largest mountain in the world.We have seen a dramatic increase in the number of solo travelers, couples, and families looking for an adventure vacation and we are certain that 2019 will only see more travelers from around the world travel to Africa for a once in a lifetime experience.

5. Instagram Travel

Swimming pool at Sanctuary Stanley's Camp

A picture says a thousand words, capturing those special moments that you can cherish and share with others.Instagram is an inspirational platform used by millions of people around the world and in the travel industry. Like celebrities, there are several travel Instagrammers who influence people by sharing images of their own travels or of landscapes, people, animals, and natural wonders. One could say that Instagram is much like Tripadvisor but with a more visual aspect, better than most guidebooks. We have also seen more people travel in order to generate more content for their Instagram followers.Our collection of African travel images have received a lot of attention in the last year and as we continue to share, so we inspire people from around the world to experience this diverse continent for themselves.  

6. Solo Travel

Swimming pool at Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma Lodge - 2019 Travel Trends

There is no better place to travel solo than in Africa, discovering untouched wilderness regions and new experiences.Independent travel allows you to step out of your comfort zone and into a world unknown.  Traveling alone has historically been a daunting prospect for many, but nowadays travelers enjoy the prospect of experiencing new things on their own and without restrictions. It’s the chance to find one’s independence and gain the confidence to take on new challenges. A solo travel experience allows you to do what interests you and form friendships with people from around the world. Safety is always important when traveling alone, so read our guide to traveling solo safely.

7. Historic Travel

Cape Town City Hall

Going to museums and historical buildings on your vacation is a great way to better understand the country you are visiting.Every country in the world has its own heritage and culture that has resulted from the influences of the past. Many travelers find this evolution fascinating and enjoy visiting historic sites in order to learn more about the countries they visit. In South Africa, popular landmarks include the Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town, Isandlwana Battlefields in KwaZulu Natal, Nelson Mandela Capture Site in KwaZulu-Natal, The Cradle of Humankind in Maropeng, Robben Island in Cape Town, the Afrikaans Language Monument in Paarl, and the Huguenot Memorial Monument in Franschhoek. South Africa is also home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites.There are so many other historical sites in Africa that are visited regularly, including the ghost town of Kolmanskop in Namibia, the slave trade fort on Pemba Island in Mozambique, the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Rwanda, and The House of Wonders Museum in Zanzibar.

8. Green Travel

River view at Serra Cafema Camp - 2019 Travel Trends

The Serra Cafema Camp is one of the most remote camps in Africa and is completely solar powered and constructed from natural materials.Green Travel encompasses ecotourism, conscious and sustainable travel. Many lodges we partner with have gotten behind the green initiative, reducing their carbon footprint by building accommodation on wooden platforms or offering non-permanent camps. These lodges and camps make use of solar energy, recycle water, and source locally grown produce. They look to reduce their plastic usage and increase their sustainable credentials. What these lodges have managed to achieve while offering travelers a luxury, 5-star experience is incredible.With many travelers becoming more aware of the human race’s impact on climate and the environment, we have had an increasing amount of requests for trips to wildlife reserves that promote conservation, national parks, and other pristine wilderness regions outside of major cities. Many of our travelers are influenced by human rights and equality, environment and social issues when choosing their African escape. Safari.com has aligned itself with award-winning eco-friendly lodges and camps and will continue to promote socially responsible tourism.Our favorite eco-lodges in Africa include: Elsa’s Kopje, Mombo Camp, Serra Cafema, The Underwater Room at Manta Resort, and Kagga Kamma Nature Reserve.

9. Wellness Travel

Riverside spa at Bushmans Kloof - 2019 Travel Trends

Bushmans Kloof boasts the most incredible riverside spa, surrounded by untouched wilderness and offering complete tranquility.Travelers are choosing to combine their African safari with fitness and wellness activities that revitalize the mind, body, and soul. Safari lodges and camps across Africa have included fitness centers and spas to their facilities, yoga mats in the rooms, and promote healthy eating with menus that incorporate fresh, locally grown produce. Immersing in nature resonates with travelers that seek relaxation and a better well-being. Cape Town has become an attractive wellness destination, positioned beneath the iconic Table Mountain and surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and gorgeous wine country. Promoting a healthy lifestyle, Cape Town offers a range of activities that keep travelers active. These include hiking up Table Mountain, kayaking, cycling along the Cape Peninsula, and diving amongst colorful marine life. Cape Town also has several organic food farms and award-winning restaurants that boast garden to table cooking. Cape Town is home to many world-class spas and wellness retreats, including Twelve Apostles, Amani Spa at the Radisson Blu Cape Town, Babylonstoren, Bushmans Kloof, Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge, Kapama Karula Lodge, Shamwari, and the One and Only Cape Town hotels who often include elements of nature in their treatments.

10. Off the Beaten Path Travel

Going on a game drive in Malawi National Park - 2019 Travel trends

Off the beaten track vacations are great for travelers who want a more exclusive experience and selection of unique activities.With over-tourism across the world, travelers are increasingly looking for authentic experiences, wanting to explore uncharted territories  - those off the beaten track. We have seen a greater interest in Kenya - a phenomenal big five safari destination and home to the world’s largest annual mammal migration. With the new direct flight from New York to Nairobi, our American travelers are finding this destination more attractive. Zambia is to becoming an attractive destination with convenient access to Victoria Falls and home to several pristine game reserves. We believe that it will be a tourist hotspot in 2019  because of the recognition received by the US State Department in 2018 - labeling Zambia as one of the safest countries in the world to visit.Just like Zambia, Zimbabwe shares in the views of the iconic Victoria Falls and offers a wide range of adventure activities. But Zimbabwe also offers its own safari adventure, with top game reserves such as Hwange and Mana Pools National Parks. Here travelers can look forward to incredible game viewing and unforgettable walking safaris. Malawi is a country defined by its Great Rift Valley and gigantic Lake Malawi. Lake Malawi National Park provides sanctuary to an abundance of wildlife and its crystal-blue waters are incredible for diving and boating excursions. Much of Malawi is still very undeveloped, affording guests an exclusive safari experience in a truly untouched wilderness. Although these safari destinations remain the lesser visited gems, they are most certainly becoming more popular due to the fact that they are within Africa’s purest and untouched wilderness regions. Contact us today and let one of our Safari Experts help you find your dream African vacation for 2019.

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