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Looking for authentic experiences for your next trip? South Africa is the answer!

For most planners, however, coming up with new, one-of-a-kind events and experiences for vacation trips has become somewhat of a challenge. We chatted to Henk Graaff, MD SW Africa, about why South Africa is the ideal destination for those who are looking for an ultimate ‘wow-effect’ in their vacation. He shared five cutting-edge reasons why South Africa ticks all the boxes of the ideal modern holiday destination.

1.The latest art happenings

5 cutting edge reasons why South Africa is the ideal destination.

Opening in September 2017, the much-anticipated Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) will open its doors in the re-imagined historic Grain Silo complex at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. It is expected to make the Cape Town region one of the leading art destinations on the African continent. Today’s travellers to Africa are demanding creativity and art, wanting to explore authentic Africa and moving away from the cookie-cutter safari experience.

2.Re-writing history

Homo naledi

The Cradle of Humankind outside Johannesburg has unveiled one of the largest displays of human fossils anywhere in the world this year. The Homo Naledi was discovered in a deep cave at Sterkfontein and Swartkans, just outside of Johannesburg, in 2013. The finding, which consists of more than 1 550 fossil elements, suggests Homo Naledi could have coexisted with Homo Sapiens in Africa about two million years ago.

Paleoanthropologist Professor Lee Berger who led the excavation of Homo Naledi at the Rising Star Cave believes the Cradle of Humankind is a place everyone should see. “What we’re telling the world is that the Cradle of Humankind is the place to be if you want to see your origins. There is no better place to be welcomed home.”

4.The latest tech innovation

Are you tired of standing in an endless queue just to drop your bag? Lanseria International Airport has become the first airport in Africa where passengers can check in online, or via their mobile devices, and tag and drop their bags in less than a minute before proceeding directly to their boarding gate.

The new technology not only allows passengers to check in their own luggage but also automatically verifies all types of boarding passes, including home-printed A4 and mobile boarding, passes, enhancing security and speeding up the check-in process for passengers.

4.Responsible tourism at its best

Increasingly people want to make a difference to the world when they travel. South Africa is the place to be when it comes to making your mark. Two South African organisations, Coffee Shack and Blood Lion, were announced Joint Overall Winners at the African Responsible Tourism Awards 2017 in Cape Town recently.

The Blood Lions campaign demonstrates how raising awareness and engagement can achieve change, successfully engaging the industry through its “Born To Live Wild” campaign. Coffee Shack demonstrates the major positive impact which a small business in a remote rural area can have.

Heidi van der Watt, managing director of Better Tourism Africa pinpointed what makes the award winners the leaders in responsible tourism in Africa: “Our winners have a vision that extends beyond the commercial – linking business success with the well-being of local communities and the longevity of their environments. They want to make profits with principles, communicate balance sheets alongside beliefs, and won’t undermine passion in the pursuit of professionalism. They are resilient, determined, humanising advocates for their destinations. They are the future of tourism in Africa.”