This week Cape Town played home to We Are Africa, Africa’s hottest gathering of high-end African travel brands, world-class buyers, and top international press. I was lucky enough to attend in my own capacity, taking meetings and attending numerous of the organised events. Among them, intimate drinks in the Penthouse Suite of The Silo Hotel with The Royal Portfolio, and a night to remember at the ever impressive ZeitzMocaa museum which was lit up for the event.
Last night Travel Designer, who I work closely with, together with African Bush Camps hosted a house party with some of the city’s most celebrated legends. Freshly Ground, South Africa’s best known Afro-fusion Band did a private performance and Jonathan Shapiro – Iconic Zapiro cartoonist, Amy Kleinhans-Curd – the first non-white Miss South Africa, Michelle Hambly Grobler – Porsche Personality of 2015, Car Collector and Rally Driver, Joe Pietersen – Springbok Rugby Player and Rhino Conservationist, Mak1one – Grafitti Artist, Jade De Waal – Founder at Food Jam and Winston Thomas – 2017 and 2108 Barista Champion of South Africa were among the guests. (Name drop much?) It was exceptional.
“With a shared mission to rebrand African Travel to better resonate with the global traveller, we celebrate the vibrant diversity, unexplored mystery and heartwarming magic of the continent and her islands.”
Before that though, I joined the official Press Lunch with Escape+Explore, who drove us to Adre’s Kitchen in Woodstock where a beautiful table was set up and an African inspired menu was served. Escape + Explore Africa offers a selection of wildlife and adventure experiences, many a first of their kind that allows you to enjoy Africa from a new perspective whilst still enjoying a conventional safari, as well as numerous activities in and around Cape Town. In attendance were Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille and a fine group of globally representing media.
Adre’s Kitchen was created out of a simple need to nourish our bodies with real food. Never before has it been more important to know the story of where our food comes from, how it is produced and what exactly goes into our prepared food. They are passionate about local sustainable produce and aim to keep seasonal ingredients natural and to prepare meals without unnatural and unhealthy additives. Of the dishes on our menu were Congolese Goat Curry, Cape Malay Kichadi wrapped in rainbow chard, Grilled local fish and Marog, embracing African flavours and fresh Cape products.
Veld and Sea
Working with the philosophy that ‘on land, at sea, in forests and mountains, there is food all around us, we just have to open up our senses and reconnect’, Roushanna Gray as wild food innovator, spoke us through some of the herbs and fynbos she’d harvested for our meal. To know what is edible and what is poisonous, how to identify, to learn what part of the plant to harvest and how to prepare are all important and valuable lessons to learn in sustainable and responsible foraging. See more at Veld and Sea.
Truly a spectacular few days and I wish I could do it all again, already looking forward to next year. Grateful for the opportunty, the people I met and the contacts I’ve made.
About We Are Africa
Despite being the world’s second-largest continent, overflowing with incredible assets including iconic wildlife, cutting-edge culture and award-winning luxury hotels, Africa has yet to emerge on the international scene as a serious contender. Unbelievably, it represents less than 5% of tourism arrivals and has the second lowest tourism growth of all regions. Equally as troubling is the outsider’s tendency to paint Africa with broad, reductive brushstrokes, polarised as either a place of war, famine and disease, or else as ‘the safari country’.
We Are Africa’s vision is to unlock Africa from these tired old tropes, projecting a more modern and dynamic image outwards and bringing a plethora of new business in. In cooperation with the continent’s best travel brands, we are dedicated to telling the many stories of Africa’s diverse countries and people.
The annual event in Cape Town is the culmination of this vision, giving key international buyers and press the opportunity to encounter the most extraordinary experiences Africa has to offer alongside a conference, awards ceremony and networking events. Our exclusively African travel marketplace is also the ideal complimentary marketing solution to PURE Life Experiences, which is tailored to private travel designers interested in all seven continents.
In many ways, Cape Town is a metaphor for modern Africa. Combining breathtaking natural landscapes, pristine beaches, culinary creativity and vibrant arts and culture, the Mother City forms a natural meeting point to celebrate Africa’s diversity and is where the annual event is hosted.
We Are Africa Founders
We Are Africa sits as part of Beyond Luxury Media Ltd‘s portfolio of events dedicated to creating genre-defining marketplaces for the high-end travel market. The masterminds behind PURE Life Experiences, LE Miami and Conservation Lab, with founders Serge and Sarah who believe in building passionate communities and dynamic forums where travel innovation and artistry are discussed and celebrated. For more info connect with firstname.lastname@example.org and http://www.weareafricatravel.com.
“Together we stand united to demonstrate that Africa is not one story.”