South African Airways (SAA) launches new routes this December. Routes to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe; Windhoek, Namibia; and a route to Gqberha, South Africa, from Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport will be in operation starting this month.
Over 400 years ago, the first Enslaved Africans set foot in English North America in 1619 in Hampton, Virginia. Descendants like Vincent Tucker and his family traveled from Virginia to the Republic of Angola, an African nation, where they believed their ancestors originated.
When thinking about Africa, most people envision safaris, beaches, rainforests, and sand dunes. But ski resorts? Surely not many people have them in mind when they talk about the continent. However, if you like to ski and want to experience a new, picturesque environment for the snowy sport, Africa can offer some great options. Here are 5 ski resorts to ski at during your holiday in Africa.
From the Atlas Mountain in Morocco to the Maluti Mountains of Lesotho, the continent has several ski gems definitely worth exploring during the winter season. Here are five spots in Africa ski lovers should have on their bucket list.
1. Afriski, Lesotho
Located 124 miles from the savannah at an altitude of 9,000 feet, the Kingdom of Lesotho is home to one of only two ski resorts in sub-Saharan Africa. Afriski is a mountain lodge and ski complex that seeks to bring tourism to one of the poorest countries on the continent.
Located in the Maluti Mountains, Afriski offers a great location for skiing, with alpine-style chalets, restaurants, and snow cannons. The resort was founded in 2002, although skiing on these slopes dates back to the 1970s.
The low temperatures of the southern winter guarantee snow in the mountains of Lesotho, which are busy every weekend with hundreds of locals and foreign tourists attracted by the exoticism of skiing in Africa in the months of July and August. Finding in-season accommodation during winter weekends is practically impossible, and it is necessary to book weeks in advance.
2. Oukaimeden, Morocco
Oukaimeden is the highest ski resort in North Africa. Located in the Atlas Mountains at an altitude of 11,000 feet, the resort is just 31 miles from the popular tourist destination of Marrakesh.
The resort offers impressive views of the Atlas Mountains via a cable car that takes tourists 3,280 feet to the top. Once there, there are 18 tracks, all covered by a thick carpet of snow.
3. Tikjda Ski Resort, Algeria
The Djurdjura Mountains of northern Algeria are home to the ski resort of Tikjda. Offering skiing and snowboarding, Tikjda is located in the province of Bouïra, and is very popular among Algerians and tourists alike.
The resort is surrounded by stunning scenery. Those who are not into ski activities can simply enjoy the amazing landscape the mountains offer.
4. Tiffindell Ski Resort, South Africa
Located in Eastern Cape Town, South Africa, Tiffindell Ski Resort is the only of its kind in the country. Established in 1993, Tiffindell is rated number 19 on CNN’s Top 100 Ski Runs of the World.
Slopes are open to skiers and snowboarders throughout winter (June, July, and August), and when natural snows fail, there are snow makers on hand to ensure the manicured slopes stay functional.
Tiffindell’s Winter Sports Academy offers skiing classes for beginners, while its snow park offers jumps and trails for professionals. Due to the pandemic, the resort is temporally closed.
5. Ski Egypt Snow Park, Egypt
Africa’s first and only indoor ski resort, Ski Egypt is located in Cairo’s Mall of Egypt. Dubbed the North Pole of Egypt, the snow park opened in 2016 to great crowds, and continues to be a haven for ski lovers.
Ski Egypt offers ski lessons and has something fun for the entire family, from real ice caves to rides on the Polar Express train.
Source; Travel Noire
The Tanzanian island of Zanzibar is seeking private investors to develop and manage nine of its smaller islands. According to the East African, the goal is to create high-end activities that will boost the economy and create jobs.
Zanzibar has already approved 30 new investment projects over the past 10 months. These projects are expected to bring over $172 million in revenue to the island and create more than 1,800 jobs for locals.
“This decision is based on the need for diversification to attract very high-end investors,” said the Zanzibar government, as reported by the East African. “Small islands surrounding Zanzibar are major assets that investors can capitalize for a win-win potential.”
The islands include the Unguja islands of Bawe, Pamunda A and B, Kwale and Chumbe, as well as the Pemba islands of Njao, Misali, and Matumbini.
Also available for development is Changuu Island. Commonly known as Prison Island and Tortoise Island, it is a top Zanzibar attraction that formerly functioned as a quarantine station and coral mine, and today is home to more than a hundred giant land tortoises.
Through the Zanzibar Investment Promotion Authority (ZIPA), interested investors are invited to submit proposals by September 16 for the prospective development and management of one of the islands or a plot of land on one of them.
The agreement would be a long term lease. Information provided should include data supporting the interested party’s experience and skills in developing and managing investment projects. Applicants should also demonstrate experience in environmental and biodiversity conservation as well as the preservation of cultural heritage.
Arizona native Chanice a.k.a. Queenie is a New York State agency employee and the CEO of Fly With Queenie, a company specializing in curating worldwide experiences for travelers.
The 32-year-old mother of one is of Jamaican heritage and has traveled all over the world. Her most recent trip to Nairobi and Mombasa, Kenya however, has been her most memorable trip to date.
“My first experience in Africa was in Morocco, but I didn’t feel like I was in Africa and I didn’t get that feeling of connection when I was there,” she told Travel Noire. “I spent a week in Kenya, where I saw animals I’ve never seen before on the safari, ate delicious Swahili food, and swam in beautiful clear water.”
In Kenya, Queenie also visited a Maasai tribe in a remote village about a four-hour drive from Nairobi. There she had the opportunity to learn about their culture and daily lives
“I learned that Masaai men have multiple wives and got to meet all three wives and the husband, which was pretty cool. It’s funny because although the family dynamics are very different from how we do things in the United States, when it came to marriage everybody was happy. The wives and all the kids were just so happy.”
“The Maasai people rely on very little to survive, which taught me the importance of simplicity. Unfortunately, the Maasai are a dying tribe. The dry seasons in East Africa are becoming longer due to climate change, and they are suffering from droughts and drying crops.”
Queenie encourages others to visit the Masaai tribe and support them to aid in their survival. A conscious traveler, she also visited an orphanage during her time in Kenya.
“I feel like there’s no way I can be blessed and not bless others, especially, in the land of my ancestors and where my brothers and sisters reside. I wanted to do an act of kindness so the kids could know that they are loved. It really takes a village and I want to be part of that village. Meeting the kids made me feel complete in a sense.”
“I danced and sang with the children and gave them lots of hugs. I told all the girls how beautiful they were and how nice their hair and skin was. Little Black girls often struggle at some point with their self image, so I wanted them to know that they were absolutely beautiful. My friends and I passed out items we brought with us from the States, like toothbrushes, toothpaste, toys, school supplies, hair items, candy, and more.”
Queenie returned home feeling like she needed to do more for the children. After receiving many messages from people who also wanted to give back to the orphanage, she decided to do a fundraiser.
With an outpouring of love and support, Queenie and her friends raised over $1,000 within 72 hours. This was enough to pay two months worth of rent, and purchase food and personal hygiene products for the children.
Queenie says one of the reasons she loves Africa is because of the sense of belonging she feels there.
“In Kenya I didn’t feel Black, I just felt human. I blended right in and I didn’t have things like people and systems constantly reminding me every day that I was Black. I could just exist as a human being.”
She encourages all Black people to visit Africa to learn more about their history and to dispel any misconceptions they may have about the continent by seeing and researching for themselves.
“When you mix the controlled media with the lack of true education in the school system you get ignorance. People are sponges who listen to the media and believe it because they assume a news outlet must be telling the truth. The failure to take initiative and do one’s own research is the reason people are so miseducated.”
As someone with a passion for studying and learning about Africa and Black history, Queenie was well aware that Africa was not what the Western media portrayed it to be long before she even booked her flight.
“I was just excited to showcase Kenya’s gems and show people that it is a luxury travel destination and more than just slums. To be honest, though, I never knew ‘hakuna matata’ was a real Swahili phrase. I thought it was a phrase that was made up for The Lion King movie.”
That is part of the beauty of traveling. You learn more about not only the world, but yourself as well. Queenie says she never realized she had a soft spot for animals until she experienced the Kenyan safari and saw animals such as zebras, giraffes, and warthogs up close.
For this year’s travels, Queenie plans to focus on seeing more of Africa. She has a trip every month and is most looking forward to exploring Ghana in August. You can follow her at @flywithqueen
Just off the east coast of the island of Madagascar, is where you can find some of Africa’s most pristine beaches and exotic wildlife. Mauritius, an island nation itself, draws in visitors from all over wanting to walk its soft-sand beaches
What if we told you that you could make this exotic island your home office for the next year?
Well, you can! The nation recently announced a new Premium Travel Visa program for non-citizens, looking to change the scenery as we continue to move through this new normal of remote work. The visa is valid for at least 12 months, with an option to extend your stay.
The new Premium Travel Visa for Mauritius is available to all non-citizens and valid for up to one year, though it can be renewed. Travellers interested in an extended stay must arrive to this island nation as a tourist, retiree, or as a professional traveling with their family and intending to work remotely.
Applicants must also show proof of their long-stay plans and have travel and health insurance coverage for the initial part of their stay. As with most programs in the new wave of long-stay visas, visitors in Mauritius are not allowed to enter the country’s workforce and must have a source of income outside of Mauritius. Other supporting evidence that must be supplied include details about the applicant’s purpose of visit and their accommodations, as well as other basic immigration requirements.
Once you arrive, you are required to quarantine for 14-days, as well as present a negative COVID-19 PCR test. Mauritius has been able to keep their cases pretty low throughout the pandemic.
The applications for the visa will be available soon. To learn more and to apply once available, visit; edbmauritius.org.