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Slow tourism: the new art of travel

When you think about discovering Southern Africa, you may have in mind to backpack or to book a big five safari (depending on your budget…) Actually, it looks like there is an alternative, a new kind of tourism experience, allowing you to discover southern Africa by rail, for a slow and exceptionally fulfilling experience.

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In August and September this year, the Shongololo Express provides a special touring experience for visitors exploring South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. The luxury railway brand proposes three panoramic journeys of two weeks minimum through these beautiful southern African countries. The journeys offer a rich tapestry of landscape from the mountainous east to the wild deserts of the west. They also offer a variety of off-train excursions like safaris, cultural and historical experiences. The Shongololo Express, designed with classic wood-paneled carriages and decorated with a chic English style, can accommodate a maximum of 72 guests for an intimate, elegant and luxurious experience. Shongoglolo Express is part of the Rovos Rail Company, a family-owned South African railway company that proposes luxury train experiences through the continent since 1989.

The Shongololo Express reminds of the Orient Express’ recent relaunching, operated by the French hospitality group Accor. Accor partnered with the Italian group Arsenale to launch in 2023 the Orient Express Dolce Vita to connect the iconic cities of Paris, Rome and Istanbul. Guests will be able to travel in six luxury trains through Northern to Southern Italy, across fourteen regions and trips will take several weeks for the traveler to be fully immersed in the Italian lifestyle. In these kinds of travel experiences, the longer the better.

Why is it inspiring?

An environmentally friendly slow tourism adventure offering an alternative to the classical combo plane and car.

A way to discover the soul of a destination: historic and cultural landmarks, food, history, landscapes, etc., satisfying the traveler in search for immersion and heritage.

Travel is a state of mind: each destination is an invitation to a timeless journey where you can rediscover the art of travel.

Take-outs for brands

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Brands in the hospitality industry in Africa should consider this slow tourism trend carefully as it should increase in the coming years, especially on the African continent why requires time and immersion to grasp the soul of each country.

An opportunity for local brands in the cultural field to partner with hospitality brands to offer a complete immersive experience for the traveler.