A surge in sales for safaris in southern and east Africa is being predicted following the resignation of former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe.
The forecast came from specialist operator Acacia Africa which runs overland tours, small group safaris, city breaks and short stays throughout the region, including in Zimbabwe and Kenya.
It had been feared that widespread media coverage of recent political transformations in Zimbabwe and Kenya might have spelled cause for concern, especially for forward bookings.
However, the operator’s sales and marketing manager Arno Delport said: “Both Kenya and Zimbabwe have approached their individual issues in a peaceful manner and the handling of their respective situations sends out a resounding and reassuring message of stability.
“Anyone considering a safari in 2018 will now have the peace of mind to book well ahead of peak season, and the satisfactory outcomes are also likely to put southern and east Africa as a whole in a more positive light, therefore encouraging more first time safari-goers and families to spend their holiday in these regions.”
The company has frozen 2018 prices at this year’s levels for overland tour bookings made by January 3 and introduced a three-day Nairobi park stay break leading in at £740 per person, excluding flights.
Seven-day overland camping tours covering Zimbabwe also lead in at £740 per person.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said in updated travel advice for Zimbabwe: “Following the resignation of President Mugabe on 21 November you should expect large crowds, especially in urban areas.
“Although demonstrations have so far been peaceful, you should continue to exercise caution and avoid large gatherings and any demonstrations.
“There continues to be a military presence in and around Harare. This doesn’t appear to have been replicated in other parts of the country.
“Taking photographs of members of police and armed forces personnel and of demonstrations and protests is not permitted.”