As the pandemic drags on, people have made dire predictions that travel will never be the same again. To which we would reply: travel is never the same! That’s the whole point. Travel is all about things that are new, exciting, and different – not only does it broaden the mind, but it gives you new perspectives, a deeper understanding of our world and the people we share it with, and best of all, it’s a chance to experience and share joy. Travel will certainly change in 2022 – check out the travel trends we’re expecting to see this year and prepare to fall in love with the journey all over again.

Different perspectives on game viewing

The chance to have close yet safe encounters with wildlife remains one of Africa’s biggest drawcards, and destinations are constantly seeking new ways to do this without putting stress on the animals themselves.

  • Scenic helicopter flights are a wonderful way to see not just animals, but the mosaic of the landscape – they’re a great way to see how the channels and floodplains of the Okavango Delta mesh together, for example. They can help you comprehend the scale of events like The Great Wildebeest Migration in Tanzania, and give you access to the places vehicles just can’t reach (like mountain lakes for fly-fishing in Kenya or pristine sand bars for sunset drinks).
  • Canoeing is also a current trend (see what we did there?). Explore Lake Gursi from Sanctuary Swala in Tanzania, or paddle the mighty Zambezi from Zambia’s Sausage Tree Camp. Expert guides will introduce you to the realm of hippos and crocs, while pointing out delights such as swimming elephants and myriad waterbirds.
  • Horseback safaris are a wonderful way to change the pace, with no engine noise or exhaust fumes. Seeing the African landscape from the saddle helps you understand how it appears to the creatures who live there, and gives you a much more immersive experience. Offered at specialist lodges in Kenya, South Africa and Botswana – ask us for details.
  • Guided walking safaris let you follow in the footsteps of our way-back ancestors, and gain an appreciation for the smaller (but no less fascinating) details of the African bush. You can also learn ancient tracking and survival skills.
  • A number of lodges have installed photographic hides at strategic locations such as watering holes, so you can relax and watch as the wildlife comes to you or streams past. For unique photo opportunities, subterranean hides let you capture images at water level and get close-ups of elephants’ trunk tips and toenails!
  • Finally, when you really want to go with the flow, a hot air balloon flight is a simply magical way to see Africa from above – and can be combined with a champagne breakfast when you land. Now that’s our idea of the perfect start to the day!

Food at the forefront

There’s nothing like fresh air to work up an appetite, and when you’re on safari, you’ll never go hungry. The food offering in many lodges has evolved significantly in recent years, with the focus being very much on extending the sustainability ethos into the kitchen and dining room. Locally sourced ingredients reduce food miles and carbon emissions and can sustain local livelihoods as well as give you a taste of traditional cuisine.

Become a citizen scientist

Senegalese conservationist Baba Dioum famously said that “We will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught.” By assisting with research projects during your African safari, you can help increase our collective understanding of the creatures and places we all love. Dedicated scientists and researchers across Africa are learning more about how ecosystems function, the impact of climate change, and animal behavior like migration routes.

  • Asilia has been at the forefront of this move to learn more about wild Africa – the ultimate laboratory of evolution. At Usangu Expedition Camp in Tanzania, launching June 2022, you can participate in their vital wetlands research work.
  • They have also launched an innovative ‘Conservation, Communities and Cameras’ itinerary that combines photographic skills workshops with insightful and meaningful ‘positive impact’ experiences in the Mara Naboisho Conservancy in Kenya, adjacent to the famous Masai Mara.

Deeper, not further

The days of the helter-skelter, all thriller, no filler itinerary that could leave you more exhausted than refreshed, not to mention disorientated, are thankfully over. We’re confident that a major 2022 travel trend will be single-country vacations that let you do more than scratch the surface. Every country has more to offer than its greatest hits album, and lesser-known (but equally wonderful) destinations are having a moment. Think Hermanus and the Whale Coast in South Africa (pictured here) or the Samburu region of northern Kenya.

Plus, if you stay in one country, you’ll have fewer travel requirements – and your trip is less likely to be impacted by changes in the rules. You’ll also have to do fewer tests, which can mean big savings.

Putting the active in activities

New horizons mean fresh opportunities to move your body, and the fresh air and delicious dawn and dusk temperatures in much of Africa lend themselves perfectly to keeping up your fitness regime or getting into something new.

  • Trade swimming lengths with a dip in one of Africa’s longest rivers – and a view into the abyss from the Devil’s Pool above Victoria Falls.
  • If you have a head for heights, hike one of Africa’s two most iconic mountains: Table Mountain in Cape Town, or Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro.
  • Snorkel coral reefs in the warm, crystal-clear waters of the Indian Ocean islands, or fly camp in the hoofprints of the migrating herds.
  • View wildlife from the saddle on a horseback safari, or during an e-bike ride from the brand-new Chisa Busanga camp in Zambia.

The everlasting romance of travel

In 2022, grab the hand of the one you love and head to Africa on vacation. Whether you’re already married or planning an engagement, there’s nowhere quite like Africa to declare your feelings and create incredible shared memories.