A new television channel promoting southern Africa to UK travellers is to launch on Sky Digital.

Southern Africa Direct will focus on the lifestyle and culture, tourism and business opportunities of 25 African countries and islands.

Claiming to be the world’s first “destination TV” channel, it launches on November 26 and is funded by both UK and African businesses.

Speaking at World Travel Market, Zwelakhe Mankazana, director of the channel, said: “We want to work with the trade and each programme will have a call to action at the end. We will allow consumers to tell the story so it won’t be sanitised.”

Princess Zenani Dlamini, chairwoman of the Johannesburg-based Digital Sky Investments in charge of commissioning and marketing the channel, said the channel may be rolled out to France and Germany.

“Over time we intend to roll out similar channels across the globe. Ultimately, this will contribute to a greater understanding of the region and serve to strengthen ties between southern Africa and the global community.”