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Tourism & Travel

What to do when you encounter wild animals on your travels



If you are on a travel trip and encounter a wild animal, these are some of the things to consider. Picture: Adrian Rorvik for INL.

For some the idea of encountering a wild animal seems absurd, but anything can happen when you travel. Mande Toubkin, Netcare’s general manager: emergency, trauma, transplant and CSI, shares some tips for people for when they are confronted by a wild animal:

  • Keep your distance from them and avoid interfering in their activities, or handling them, as far as possible.
  • When in nature be aware of your surroundings and of potential threats. If driving in a game park or reserve, do not get out of your vehicle and stay a safe distance from animals, for example elephants crossing the road. Ensure your vehicle windows are closed when wild animals are about.
  • If you visit rivers, lakes or estuaries find out if animals such as crocodiles and hippos are present and if so, maintain a safe distance from riverbanks. Keep in mind that hippos do travel some distance from the water to feed. Try to avoid coming between them and the body of water, and stay away from hippos that have calves.
  • Consider wearing protective clothing such as snake protection leg gaiters when walking in areas where venomous snakes are known to be prevalent.
  • It should be noted that an infectious disease such as rabies can make pets and wild animals behave abnormally and, in some cases, lose their fear of humans. Avoid animals that may be behaving strangely and/or in an over-friendly or docile manner.
  • Be aware that even the cubs of animals such as lions, leopards and tigers are powerful and can easily injure people, and particularly children.
  • Keep the numbers of emergency services providers at hand in case of emergencies.

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Tourism & Travel

Addis Ababa has the most expensive hotel rooms in Africa, survey reveals




Addis Ababa has the most expensive hotel rooms in Africa. Picture: Instagram @everyday_ethiopia_

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, posted Africa’s highest average daily rate (ADR), according to the most recent 12-month data from STR when surveying hotels on the continent.

From July 2018 through June 2019 the city registered an absolute average daily rate (ADR) of US $163.79 (about R2 400) when measured in constant currency, which removes the effects of inflation.

It’s a 1.1% increase year on year. The next closest STR-defined markets in Africa were Accra, Ghana ($160.34) and Lagos, Nigeria ($132.51). “Addis Ababa continues to maintain high ADR levels when compared internationally,” said Thomas Emanuel, a director for STR.

“The city has multiple demand drivers, such as a growing economy, successful airline and its status as the diplomatic capital for Africa. Air connections and ease of access compared with other cities also factor in the equation for strong demand, which provides hoteliers with the confidence to maintain rate levels.”

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“With healthy performance comes interest in investment. The market’s pipeline is strong with 22 hotels and 4 820 rooms in active development. We will continue to monitor these new openings to see how the market reacts once these additional rooms open,” he says.

Addis Ababa’s occupancy over the same 12-month time period was 58.4%, up 6.5% year over year. Cairo & Giza was the continent’s occupancy leader at 74.5%. Cape Town Centre, South Africa (65.0%), ranked second in the metric followed by Accra (59.7%).

Credit: IOL

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Tourism & Travel

Business traveller: Here are 5 tips to know




The Business Exchange is a popular co-working space with offices in Johannesburg. The company has also just opened an office in Mauritius. Picture: Supplied/IOL.

If you find yourself travelling for business, here are 5 tips to help you:

Make sure your accommodation has free and fast wi-fi

Most hotels have decent wi-fi, and in many cases it’s free. There are, however, some hotels that cap the wi-fi usage to a certain amount for guests, after which you will be made to pay for further access.

The last thing you want is to be in your hotel room or the business centre on a Skype call with your boss, and you reach the wi-fi limit.  If you are staying in an Airbnb, or something similar, talk to your host ahead of time to ensure you have internet connectivity.

Book accommodation close to business engagements

If you are in town for a particular business event, and you need to be at a certain venue for the work you need to do, then try to book accommodation close by. It allows less travel time, and you avoid wasting time getting lost.
You can also book accommodation near a public transport hub.

Rent a hot desk in a co-working space

It is not always easy getting work done at your accommodation or a coffee shop. A hot desk at a co-working space can be rented on a day-to-day basis and makes for an ideal, functional, work base. There is free wi-fi, and the facilities are ideal for business travellers, with boardrooms, meeting rooms and more. For those travelling in and around South Africa, there are many different options available.

The Business Exchange is a popular co-working space with offices in Johannesburg. The company has also just opened an office in Mauritius.

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Book an extra day to explore

If you can afford it, definitely try to add an extra day of leisure to your business trip. This will allow you to take in the city at your own pace and time. You can also get to know the people a bit better, learn about their culture, and eat some local delicacies.

Try some local experiences and deep dive into what the place has to offer. It makes for a better story than telling people you just zipped in-and-out quickly, with no idea of what goes on in the city.

Buy a local sim card rather than switch to roaming

Switching to your network’s roaming offering, while convenient, will steadily, and steeply, push up your monthly bill. Rather buy a local sim card and use that instead. It is a much cheaper option.

Credit: IOL

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Tourism & Travel

8 handy items to ensure stress-free travel




Don’t forget to pack your camera. You shouldn’t be relying solely on your smartphone to take pics.

Now that you have taken the step to travel after months of planning, there are a few things you need to know. Packing the right items can be quite hard, so we have compiled a guide of the 10 items that every traveller needs, and why.

A camera: With the rise of smartphones, many travellers prefer carrying their cellphones than a camera. But a camera has many benefits. It comes in handy when your phone battery dies and usually takes better images and videos than your phone.

Hand sanitiser: Germs are everywhere and they can cause serious health issues. Alcohol-based hand sanitisers prevent the spread of germs and illness-causing bacteria, whether you at the airport or in a tourist site.

Moisturiser: Travelling takes a toll on the skin, especially during long flights and harsh weather conditions. Take a dermatologist-approved moisturiser to hydrate your skin and keep you looking in top shape.

Don’t forget your travel pillow.

Travel pillow: Whether you are flying or travelling long periods of time, a travel pillow can help you get that much-needed shut-eye. There are nifty travel pillows that deflate into small packages.

A travel wallet: For those people who tend to lose things quickly, a travel wallet is just what you need. It stores everything from your passport, plane tickets, travel cards and itinerary. It’s easy to store and compact enough to take anywhere.

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Universal adapter: There is nothing more frustrating than not having an adapter to charge your devices. Instead of running low on power on your travels and decreasing the brightness on your screen to save your battery, carry along a universal adapter. It is usable in most countries.

Always make sure you have a power bank when you hit the road.

Power bank: These nifty gadgets come handy during full-day tours or during power outages. With all the videos and pictures you will be capturing, a power bank will help juice up your device until its next charge.

A wet bag: Or any other bag to store your messy clothes: unless making use of the hotel’s laundry service, a traveller should carry a wet bag in their suitcase. Wet bags are waterproof cloth bags meant to store clothing that you have used. It separates your clean and dirty clothes.



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