LOS ANGELES -- African Travel created a DreamScape package to South
Africa aimed at appealing to travelers with limited time.
The nine-night package features Cape Town and Victoria
It also offers visitors a chance to explore the two destinations
at prices designed to "catch their attention," according to African
Travel president and founder David Herbert.
"I cribbed the idea for DreamScape from watching what our
colleagues are doing in Australia with one-week trips to Sydney and
the Great Barrier Reef," Herbert said.
"The challenge we have in marketing Africa is overcoming the
perception that it is very far away, that it takes a long time to
visit and that it is very expensive," he added.
The DreamScape package is priced from $1,999 per person, double,
including air, with departures available weekly through
"The other thing is that we didn't want to cut corners. Africa
is a destination for an upscale market, and we chose what we think
are the best accommodations in both places," Herbert said.
The hotels used are the Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town, which won
a Conde Nast Traveler's Readers Choice award in 2000, and the
Zambezi Sun in Victoria Falls.
As to the choice of the product name, Herbert said, "Our
thinking was that people go to Africa to live a dream."
He said that while African programs typically tend to be safaris
targeting older travelers with plenty of time, disposable income
and travel experience, the DreamScape itineraries were designed to
attract younger professionals and first-time visitors.
"One-third of our business is repeat and we want to get new
people in the door," he said of the company, which has been in
business since 1976 and is part of Far & Wide Travel Corp.
The irony of the program, however, according to Herbert, is that
most clients, initially attracted by the short duration and low
price, have been extending the itinerary with optional add-ons.
Herbert said he chose Cape Town and Victoria Falls because they
are both icons in the minds of most travelers with regard to Africa
and allow visitors to explore in depth without having to keep
moving, as is the case with traditional safaris.
"Cape Town is one of the top destinations in southern Africa,
and I think of it as a cross between San Francisco and Rio [de
Janeiro, Brazil]," he said.
Located between the Indian and Atlantic oceans, Cape Town also
is a good base from which to explore the surrounding area, Herbert
"The journey around the cape is spectacular, and there are
excursions and outings available every day to other areas," he
Attractions around the cape include whale watching and penguin
viewing as well as spring flowers in season.
Participants can visit Table Mountain, take a motorcoach to the
Cape Winelands in about 40 minutes for wine tastings or explore the
Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, all for $29 per person.
Evening cruises on the Zambezi River are available for $55.
"While people can book ahead, we encourage them to book
excursions when they are there for maximum flexibility," Herbert
In Cape Town itself, there are some stage show and concert
opportunities as well as "exceptional dining at very inexpensive
prices," he said.
Calling Victoria Falls "one of the natural wonders of the
world," Herbert described the site as Niagara Falls "without the
"One can see the falls from both sides of the Zambezi, and there
is a national park, a heritage site and a rain forest," he said,
adding, "The falls are very much still the way Livingston
Herbert pointed out that the falls also make a good base from
which to commence excursions to the national parks for game
While in favor of travel agents taking a proactive approach to
selling Africa, Herbert said it is one destination that requires a
great deal of consumer advertising to get the ball rolling.
"The client has to initiate the interest, which is when the
travel agent can take over for us and make the sale," he said.
For additional information about African Travel, call (800)
727-7207 or (818) 507-7893; fax (818) 507-5802, or visit the Web
site at www.africantravelinc.com.