It’s a great time to visit Africa! The recovery from the pandemic is not quite over yet, but there is a lot to be optimistic about where African travel is headed.
At Goway, we want to keep you informed about the latest trends in the world of travel. So this month, we’re focusing on Africa and sharing some of the key trends that we’ve seen develop for African travel in 2023.
What are the top travel trends for Africa in 2023?
1. African Tourism Is Booming
While 2020 and 2021 were difficult years for the African travel industry, 2022 saw some significant steps towards recovery. According to a recent piece in Quartz, the number of travellers visiting Africa doubled year-over-year from 2021 to 2022, with roughly 45 million travellers visiting the continent last year. This year is set to see even greater growth, with some countries projecting to outpace pre-pandemic tourism levels. African travel is back!
2. Travellers Are Visiting More Than One Country
Multi-destination travel has been a big trend over the past year across the world, but Africa is seeing this development in particular. Travellers are including more than one destination on their trips to Africa, and not always the countries you expect. For instance, while the tried-and-true combos of Kenya and Tanzania or South Africa and Zimbabwe continue to be popular with travellers, new multi-destination combinations are gaining traction. These combos include Egypt, Kenya, and Uganda or Rwanda; Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe; Madagascar and Mauritius; and the North African trio of Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco.
3. Africa Is Home to Some of the World’s Trendiest Destinations
African countries such as Egypt and South Africa are trending to be some of the most popular destinations for 2023. This isn’t all that surprising, as they have been international favourites for a long time. However, some emerging destinations are also trending to break out in a big way in 2023. Chief among these is Ghana, which has become a hotspot for North American travellers who want to trace their heritage or simply experience one of the stablest and oldest democracies on the continent. Ghana has historical landmarks, great shopping, gorgeous beaches, and affordable safari game parks. It’s a great place to visit and more people than ever seem to be catching onto this fact!
4. South Africa Is Exceeding Pre-Pandemic Levels
We mentioned that South Africa is trending to be one of the top destinations for 2023. We weren’t joking. While South Africa dealt with a drastic slowdown in 2021 and 2022, 2023 is on track to be a banner year, with trip requests exceeding 2019 numbers. It’s no wonder people want to head to South Africa. It has remained remarkably affordable for travellers despite the recent global economic shifts. It’s also home to untold wonders, from some of the world’s most diverse cities to some of the greatest and safest game parks in the world.
5. Booking Lead Times Are Trending in Two Polar Directions
Typically, trips to Africa had longer booking lead times than trips to other destinations around the world. This always made sense as African trips often fit into the bucket list variety, with weeks-long itineraries taking in natural and historic wonders that some people might only see once in their lives. While this has remained true in 2023, we’ve also seen the polar opposite happen, which is the increase in spontaneous lead times for bookings. Some people are booking trips to Africa only a few weeks before departure! And this isn’t just for short trips to urban centres like Cape Town or Cairo, but in-depth safari packages and natural adventures spanning weeks at a time. This is a testament to the pent-up demand we were expecting, so it’s another optimistic sign for travel to Africa and beyond in 2023.