*By staff writer.
According to research by tour operator Acacia Africa, if you’re female and travelling solo you’re actually in the company of a growing number of women opting to forge their own path out on the road.
There has been a growing number of single women taking advantage of Acacia Africa’s specialist overland safaris that specifically cater to singles for both genders.
According to Cape Town Manager of Acacia Africa, Sabine Behrmann, the numbers are quite impressive.
She says, “A growing number of female solo travellers up to 42% are booking on our tours which is an increase of 5% over the last year. While the increase is more pronounced on our overland tours – travellers on these trips aged between 18-39 years – we are also seeing a rise in numbers on our open aged Small Group programmes where women of all ages book with us.”
Acacia sees the change in travel preferences as a trend, and with more female bloggers opting to navigate the world independently and influencing the way we travel, they expect to see even more solo women adventurers choosing to book with them over the course of the year.
Sabine says, “Group overland tours are a great halfway house for anyone who’s thinking of going it alone, and is attractive to expert independent travellers who want to buddy up and share their wanderlust for a while. On our tours, you can also test out your solo-skills en route through Africa and enjoy free days (group time-out) in the following locations: Swakopmund, Vilanculos, Victoria Falls and Lake Malawi.”
Vast and massively underpopulated for its size, Acacia claims Namibia is one of the most popular countries for overland travellers, followed by Mozambique, Zanzibar, Zimbabwe and Malawi, but Uganda is also in the running to be a solo hotspot this year.
According to Acacia Africa, interest in gorilla viewing is at an all-time high. Nat Geo’s three-part documentary “Secrets in The Mist” which aired in December ‘17 was made honour of the 50th anniversary of Dian Fossey’s work, and this year marks the 30th anniversary of Gorilla’s In The Mist, the 1988 biopic starring Sigourney Weaver.
With permits in short supply, Acacia suggest booking early as places for this activity are limited for reasons of conservation, and even earlier if you’re considering traveling to Uganda’s Bwindi impenetrable National Park – permits for Uganda currently half the price of those in neighbouring Rwanda.
The rising trend of travel blogging seen across blogs and social media is important because it helps make people aware of the world’s valuable but fragile beauty. The rise of solo travelling of both women and men also encourages even more travel, meaning even more awareness and appreciation for the natural heritage of the world. Dian Fossey would be proud.