You’re never too old to learn ... and you’re never too old to travel
'Unstoppable elders' are the new globetrotters – this according to a trend analysis published on Travel Market Report that explores travel tendencies to keep an eye on throughout 2014 and beyond. According to the article, up to 1.6-billion seniors go travelling each year, and they’re not only the world’s wealthiest population percentage, but also the most demanding.
What South Africa offers senior travellers
An experience of a lifetime
South Africa is one of those places that you can’t afford to NOT visit at least once in your lifetime. It’s something of a legend, and those who have made the journey to our shores have all considered the trip well worth their while. It’s here where you can go on a safari to the Kruger National Park to see the Big Five with your own eyes; or take snapshots from your hot-air balloon as you toast the sunrise from high up in the sky (check out Golden Oldies Tours' 'Adventure before dementia').
Only in South Africa can you physically come to grips with a World Heritage Site – at the world-famous Sterkfontein Caves you can explore the origins of humankind. Home to Gandhi’s Satyagraha House in Orchards, Johannesburg, and Table Mountain in the Western Cape, South Africa’s tourist attractions are varied and well suited to any global traveller, no matter their age.
An easy segue into Africa
Apart from its superb selection of tourist attractions, South Africa also offers a guided introduction to Africa’s star attractions, with tour operators specifically for seniors offering trips from South Africa to the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, to Chobe National Park in Botswana and to the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, among others, via train, plane and bus.
Excellent service with a smile
South Africa is renowned for its people – happy, easygoing locals who welcome travellers with open arms and genuine smiles. Not only will most tourist attractions offer discounts for senior travellers, but you can expect good service, top-class dining and a warm welcome wherever you go. Keep an eye out for pensioner discounts, especially on flights and bus and train fares, and where you don’t see a pensioner rate, ask for it. You’ll most likely be pleasantly surprised.
Leisurely travel options
The great news for all travellers to South Africa is that just about anything you’ll think you might need you can get, and get easily. Which means all that is left for you to do is rest and relax and explore the sights at your leisure. Take advantage of the City Sightseeing Bus tours in Gauteng and Cape Town, and perhaps board the City Sightseeing Canal Cruise in Cape Town for a fun daytime outing.
Out of the ordinary
South Africa is filled with out-of-the-way places that are interesting to see and not very congested. Go on a historical tour through Simon’s Town navy village in the Cape, or follow Nelson Mandela’s footsteps via this excellent itinerary. What about a painting holiday on the Wild Coast that offers ideal landscaping views? From butterfly migrations to frogging safaris, South Africa is a destination for those looking for something out of the way, and out of the ordinary. There’s no need to wait in long queues to see magnificent pieces of art – simply pop in and visit an artist at their home gallery (go on walkabout through Maureen Quin’s sculpture garden); or visit Helen Martin’s Owl House in Nieu Bethesda.
Be sure to book your tours, fares and transport via reputable outlets, and make sure you get travel insurance (there are senior cover options available). For those who require a little extra help, rest assured – South African outlets offer assisted flying, assisted transport via car, bus and train, and assisted travel (where you would prefer a full time au pair to accompany you). Travel and tour operators will be happy to put you in touch with experts in senior assistance here in South Africa – all you have to do is ask.