South Africa is India's 'Best International Wildlife Destination'
South Africa has come to be appreciated for its diverse attractions and impeccable hospitality and this award is testimony to the relationship travellers have with our destination. - Hanneli Slabber, Country Head of South African Tourism India
Readers of the popular Lonely Planet magazine recently voted South Africa as the 'Best International Destination for Wildlife'. The readers cast their votes via the magazine and an online poll.
At a glamorous ceremony in Mumbai, Hanneli Slabber, Country Head of South African Tourism India, was on hand to receive the prestigious award from Mr Tarun Rai, CEO of Worldwide Media.
Slabber said: ‘This is a great honour for South Africa and what makes this award so much more special is it represents the voice of Indian travelers. Lonely Planet has launched a great initiative that has destinations and organisations vying to offer the best to Indian travelers and be recognised by them for exemplary service and experiences.'
The figures say it all. There has been an exceptional jump of 26.2% in Indian arrivals to South Africa, with a total of 90 367 Indians travelling to the country during the 2011 calendar year.
Certainly the local wildlife offering is vast and varied. There are incredible game spotting opportunities in the Kruger National Park, the Sabi Sand Reserve, Timbavati, Madike Game Reserve, Pilanesberg Game Reserve and the wonderful smaller reserves of KwaZulu-Natal. Indian travellers are keen on wildlife and nature-based activities and experiences, and are certainly spoilt for choice. Whether it's stargazing in the Waterberg, hot air ballooning over the Pilanesberg or guided walks in Pafuri.
‘South Africa has come to be appreciated for its diverse attractions and impeccable hospitality and this award is testimony to the relationship travellers have with our destination. For those of you that haven’t experienced the destination yet, all I would like to say is "Chalo South Africa" - you are missing out on an incredible experience,’ Slabber concluded.