Boundary-pushing travel experience lures tourists back to Africa

Lifestyle

Boundary-pushing travel experience lures tourists back to Africa

Luxurious suites on offer for 12 days as part of ‘The Greatest Safari on Earth’

Kerryn Fischer

Almost 18 months to the day since Covid-19 made its ill-fated arrival, devastating the lives of millions and hitting the tourism industry hardest, Deborah Calmeyer – founder and CEO of luxe travel specialist ROAR AFRICA – achieved the seemingly impossible by setting off on an extraordinary journey that took just 10 guests to four of Africa’s most iconic destinations on an Emirates A319 private jet.

While a month earlier Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos spent millions on their vanity space trips, Calmeyer’s creation of “The Greatest Safari on Earth’’ to kickstart travel back to Africa, saving the livelihoods of thousands of people and the lives of animals, seems far more impressive. An Olympic torch for African tourism, it is visionary and formidable to pull off such a trip at any time, let alone when the travel and airline industries are in constant flux and Covid-19 regulations change by the hour.

But then this Zimbabwean-born travel specialist, who lives between Cape Town and New York, is known for dreaming big. And for daring to suggest that we see familiar things with new eyes rather than constantly seeking new landscapes. “For too long, willful ignorance has played a major part in the psyche of travellers,” she says. “Combining an adventure-filled travel experience that ticked all the comfort boxes with illustrating how our collective buy-in can ensure their protection and survival is what we set out to do.” And luxurious it most certainly was. One can only imagine the awe with which the guests settled into their luxurious suites on what would be their mode of transport for the next 12 days...

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