10 May, 2017
South Africa has won yet another accolade that
underlines its position as India’s favorite destination for experiencing
authentic wildlife. “This award is tremendously gratifying and encouraging
because it is a confirmation that travelers appreciate our authentic, raw
wildlife experiences,” Hanneli Slabber,
Country Manager, South African Tourism India Office said, commenting on their
The destination’s win as Best Country for Wildlife at the Outlook Traveller Awards comes right in
the middle of the Indian market’s peak travel season from April to June when
many Indian families choose the educating, entertaining, family
bonding-friendly destination as a great getaway during the school summer
holidays. South Africa is the only place in the world where wildlife-lovers can
see not just the big 5 (i.e. Lion, African Leopard, African Elephant, Cape
Buffalo and Rhinoceros) but also the Big 7 that include the Southern Right
Whale and Great White Shark.
The Shy 5 (called so because they’re very elusive!) the
meerkat, the aardvark, the porcupine, the aardwolf and the bat-eared fox is an
alternative experience to be had in South Africa and Meerkat Safaris are huge
hits among kids!
Travelers from India also try and catch a glimpse of the
Small 5, whose names pertain to their much larger counterparts i.e. Elephant Shrew. Red Billed Buffalo Weaver.
Ant Lion. Leopard Tortoise. Indian travelers are also charmed by South
Africa’s general wealth of wildlife including giraffe, zebra, imphala, kudu,
ostrich and baboon.
The Outlook Traveller award-winners are selected through the
process of public voting. Nominees are then cast through the lens of a jury of
tourism stalwarts. Some of the jury members of the 2017 awards included The
Park owner, hotelier and entrepreneur Priya
Paul; Outlook Traveller’s editor Amit
Dixit and tourism CRM system Amadeus CEO Ankur Bhatia.
SA Tourism India is targeting over 104,000 travelers during
2017 and wildlife remains one of the strongest unique selling points promoted
by the tourism board and travel agents to Indian travelers. Research among
holiday-makers also indicates that wildlife is one of the key experiences that
Indian travelers seek when they decide
to go to South Africa.