Jump to content

We Are Africa, the show, Cape Town, 5th-8th May 2014.


Game Warden
 Share

Recommended Posts

Show Schedule:

 

Sunday May 4th, 15:00-18:00 Conservation Lab at the One&Only Hotel, Cape Town.

 

Monday May 5th. Between 09:00-12:00 Press Registration, Cape Town Stadium. 14:30-18:30 Show welcome and conference at The Bay Hotel, Camps Bay. 18:30-23:00 Opening Party, UMI, Camps Bay.

 

Tuesday May 6th. 08:45 - 18:30 We Are Africa show at Cape Town Stadium. 20:00 till 02:00 We are Africa Awards Party, Gold, De Waterkant.

 

Wednesday May 7th. 08:45-18:30 We Are Africa Show, Cape Town Stadium. Free evening.

 

Thursday May 8th. 0845-18:30 We Are Africa Show, Cape Town Stadium. 20:00 onwards, closing party, Grande Café and Beach, Granger Bay.

 

@ and his wife had kindly offered to both accomodate me and transport me to and from the various events: it was to prove a very tiring but enjoyable program of networking events where I would meet old friends and aquaintances, (from prior World Travel Markets in London), and meet new ones from all over the world. Some of whom had heard of Safaritalk and some who hadn't... I would also bump into a few Safaritalkers as well, but more about them later.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On Sunday Afternoon, prior to the show proper was the We Are Africa Conservation Lab, taking place at the One&Only Hotel in Cape Town. Invite only, one had to submit a 500 word essay on how tourism can affect and influence conservation issues and having submitted my essay was invited to attend. The schedule for the conference can be seen in the attached PDF file below, and one can see that the panel was composed of Colin Bell, Blessing Munyenyiwa, Jackson Ole Looseyia and Dereck Joubert, moderated by Graham Boynton.

 

CONSERVATION LAB_V4.pdf

 

Aside from a number of discussion points raised by each delegate, three major points were also debated:

  1. The formation of a Conservation Lab Advisory Board.
  2. That said board should lobby for outright ban in rhino horn and ivory trade.
  3. Establishing a Natural Capital Conservation Fund financed through a voluntary 1% levy from the tourism industry.

gallery_1_1059_830917.jpg

L-R: Colin Bell, Blessing Munyenyiwa, Grahama Boynton, Jackson Ole Looseyia and Dereck Joubert

gallery_1_1059_44760.jpg

Each delegate on the panel was given a set time to present a particular issue related to their own area of experience and location.

gallery_1_1059_2351272.jpg

After which time dicussion was opened up to the floor for questions. (You may well recognise some of the people in the photos, Beks Ndlovu, African Bushcamps in this instance).

gallery_1_1059_2197430.jpg

The Conservation Lab brought together representatives from the tourism industry: it was by invite only to those attending the We are Africa show itself therefore showed a greater bias to those in the tourism industry.

gallery_1_1059_118752.jpg

I was invited to sit on the table with Mohanjeet Brar, (Gamewatchers/Porini), Calvin Cottar, (Cottar's Safari Services), Dr. Anne-Kathrin Zschiegner, (Zeitz Foundation) and Julian Sturgeon, (Resource Africa).

gallery_1_1059_2883175.jpg

gallery_1_1059_3416497.jpg

The conference room was indeed full of many well known industry players. At this table, L-R: Keith Vincent, (Wilderness Safaris), Ryan Wallace, (Event Manager, We are Africa), Serge Dive, (Founder, CEO Beyond Luxury Media), Michael Power, (Investec Asset Management).

gallery_1_1059_3711430.jpg

gallery_1_1059_1693437.jpg

Ralph Bousfield, (Uncharterd Africa).

gallery_1_1059_66854.jpg

Peter Allison, reading the conference handout.

gallery_1_1059_289851.jpg

Keith VIncent, (Wilderness Safaris), posing a question.

gallery_1_1059_623811.jpg

Nigel Vere Nicol, (ATTA).

gallery_1_1059_1302960.jpg

A cheeky grin from Michael Lorentz, (Passage to Africa).

gallery_1_1059_584950.jpg

gallery_1_1059_1511706.jpg

Colin Bell, at our table at the end of the conference.

To read a report outlining the key points and findings, click here. (Takes you to a PDF web page.) Prepared and Written by moderator Graham Boynton based upon the points discussed during the conference, the white paper sets out a preliminary plan of action and formulates a direction for the future for The Conservation Lab.

 

Prior to the conference itself starting, the first people I met upon entering were Dereck and Beverly Joubert and we spent time talking about Safaritalk: he certainly respects it and all our input, despite the fact that members don't always agree with him. We put the difficult questions to him and he said that if he can't or won't answer such questions then he shouldn't be doing what he is. Basically, we at Safaritalk ask the questions others don't.

 

During the conference itself I stood up to question why now put forward this idea of a Conservation Fund, why wasn't it done years ago? The idea of this fund certainly drove a lot of discussion in the room - who would be liable for the 1%? The end client? The agent? The safari company themselves? When a client who is already paying sometimes exhorbitant fee, which perhaps already includes the concession/reserve/park fee, why should they then have to pay an extra 1% additional cost? Where does their concession fee go? What percentage of the fund should be directed to lesser visited regions, those facing greater threats? Should the big well known companies pay more into the fund than small independent operators? Who would manage the fund and how? There will be a lot more discussion ahead before such a fund can be implemented...

 

Aside from the point about forming an advisory board, (which of course many people wanted to be on), was the fact of taking a stance and lobbying for the outright ban of rhino horn and ivory trade. I stood up and put forward a viewpoint that such an advisory board should take an unbiased standpoint - I mentioned that I'd heard convincing cases both for and against any trade: from visiting John Hume, (which, I wondered, how many of those present in the conference had), to sitting the day previously with Colin Bell and hearing his views. "What if CITES in COP 16 voted to allow trade?" I asked. "Would not taking a stance against limit the board's conservation powers? What if, following such a decision, range countries started selling their stockpiles?" Should such a board of Tourism experts lobby politically for no trade? I don't think mine was a popular viewpoint. I was not calling for pro trade, just that such a board should be prepared to entertain an unbiased stance, (look at the viewpoints expressed by Save the Rhino International for example). This is where in my opinion, more input was needed from conservation experts, those having direct experience in the rhino issue, from whatever background or standpoint. (But such a debate could rattle on for hours and dominate such a conference as this with no one any the wiser at the end of it.) Yes, my view was contrary to the majority, and Peter Allison stood and debated my point, in a respectful manner as mine own had been. So, I would assume that any board will take a no trade standpoint and lobby against it.

 

At the end of the conference, few people came up to me to ask me to clarify. Perhaps they thought I was pro trade, I've been labelled as such by some, in public on social media, but the truth is, I am on the fence: I really don't know what is best. And that's why I've always maintained Safaritalk as an unbiased platform. But, Dereck Joubert made the point of coming over at the end, shaking my hand and spending a long time talking with me, as did Peter Allison: when there were more important people in the room for them to be with, they chose to be with me and discuss not only the trade issue but other conservation matters as well and I really respected them both for it. Appreciated it. As I felt that I would be receiving a cold shoulder from many of the other delegates...

 

How important was this Conservation Lab? It did indeed bring together some of the big players in the safari tourism industry. It brought together some members of the international press. (Though I don't know how many solely focused upon Africa, wildlife, conservation etc.) It drove discussion. Time limited how much could be discussed. Perhaps next year it could be a full day, with lunch with more time devoted to each issue? But it was a start and it was the introduction to the coming show which began the day following. It gave me a chance to meet with people whom I've conversed with at length via email, through social media, on Safaritalk. It gave them the chance to see who I was. What drove me to run Safaritalk. In the coming days it would be very busy and there'd be less chance of having such face to face time.

 

From the report linked to above, there is a lot of discussion still to be done going forward. Let's see what the Conservation Lab will have achieved...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Monday morning saw a slightly later rise for me and leisurely drive into Cape Town with @, dropping me at Cape Town Stadium for registration.

 

gallery_1_1059_1487620.jpg

gallery_1_1059_3689912.jpg

gallery_1_1059_2197060.jpg

Registration proved to be a quick and easy affair: of course, there was no mistaking me as I walked in with beard flowing and pith helmet atop my head: presenting my credentials certainly raised a smile in those behind the welcome desk and those smiles stayed for the whole week. Among the first people I bump into are Calvin Cottar and his wife Louise. I'd spent quality time with him the day previous and Calvin, through his erudite posts on Safaritalk and articles in other press outlets some of which I've previously linked to on Safaritalk was one of the We are Africa delegates I'd been very keen to meet. I'd researched a member of his family from way back, Bud Cottar who had guided the Osa Johnson's on their early Kenya safaris back in the 1920s and I had so much to talk to him about: if you want to know more about the history of safaris in Kenya, Calvin's name should certainly be in the top 5 people you want to talk to. Of course, his objective views on sustainable use and conservation problems and their solutions in East Africa can keep one enthralled for hours: a genuine wealth of knowledge.

 

gallery_1_1059_1445270.jpg

Everyone got into the Safaritalk spirit... even the carpark attendants.

 

Following registration, Calvin, Louise and I shared a cab back to their hotel near to the waterfront, and I strolled up to the One&Only, close by, where I was based myself during the time when I was not at the show proper. I was having lunch with Jo Bestic from Wilderness Safaris, who I'd met for the first time a couple of days previously, (though having known her for years through social media), and her partner, the great David Bristow, co-author of "Africa's Finest" and the subject of a previous Safaritalk interview here. A couple of days previous it had been my immense pleasure to have lunch with Jo and Fransje Van Riel, co-author most recently of My Life With Leopards, (you can read a very early Safaritalk interview with her as well, here.) It was fantastic to meet with Jo again, and David for the first time. In addition to conservation matters we talked alot about old music, they have seen Rodriguez in concert, a legend to South African music afficionados. Safaritalk has made me friends from around the globe and Jo and David are two more who I am lucky to have met and connected with. Both are larger than life, happy, fun characters who I will always enjoy seeing again...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Following lunch at the Waterfront we say our goodbyes back at the One&Only, from where the We are Africa team had laid on transport for delegates to The Bay Hotel, in Camps Bay. (Coaches were provided for everyone attending the show, to and from hotels to the stadium itself and other venues making up the itinerary.)

 

gallery_1_1059_109855.jpg

gallery_1_1059_2232367.jpg

The venue itself soon became crowded, everyone had the We are Africa trademark stripes painted upon their cheeks, drinks and snacks were freely available, everyone was talking. Of course, most were there to do business and therefore I did not not intrude, in fact I felt a little shy, believe it or not: despite the fact of the ice breaking beard and pith. My leitmotif, at least to start with, was, speak if spoken to and I snuck outside to avoid the crush, nursing a flute of cool champagne in the sun, looking out over Camp's Bay, still pinching myself: was I really here, part of this?

 

gallery_1_1059_2295481.jpg

 

gallery_1_1059_1921398.jpg

 

My secret spot on the patio was not secret for long and I was soon joined outside by pther delegates keen to be free from the crowd and enter the Safaritalk spirit, try on the infamous pith helmet...

 

We are Africa is all about networking. In the hotels, whilst en route to and from the venues, at the show proper, the parties, lunches, dinners. From the moment one arrives there is a real buzz: things are getting done. Business cards and contacts being swapped: many people knew each other but from the get go, there were no strangers at We are Africa - it sounds corny but everyone was a friend in waiting - it did not take long to appreciate all were passionate about Africa. And some had heard of Safaritalk. Some had heard of me...

 

gallery_1_1059_1300263.jpg

gallery_1_1059_2118665.jpg

 

gallery_1_1059_2846958.jpg

gallery_1_1059_2119488.jpg

 

The main focus of the afternoon was the Welcome Conference focusing upon The Socio-Economic Future of Africa, The Opportunity to Rebrand The Continent, Conserving The African Wilderness and The Wonder of Africa and included the following speakers: Graham Boynton, (as Conference Curator), Alex Granger, (as Master of Ceremonies), Michael Power, (The Socio-Economic Future of Africa), Marie Jamieson, (The Opportunity to Rebrand The Continent), Rob Caskie, (The Wonder of Africa), and members of the Conservation Panel from the previous day, (Conserving The African Wilderness). Serge Dive as CEO of Beyond Luxury Media and Thulani Nzima, Chief Executive Officer of South African Tourism also stood to speak.

For a better overview of the Conference, click here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To greater expand on the show's idea of all attendees being part of "The Tribe", (hence the colour swatches painted upon everyone's cheeks), the conference led into the evening's welcome party at UMI, but a short walk from The Bay Hotel. It was all about breaking the ice: so the next day, when business began proper, everyone was relaxed, at ease - drinks and finger food at UMI certainly helped to establish a rapport between all parties. It helped to mingle, say hi, not only to people you knew, but people you didn't. Certain people stood out of course in the crowd...

 

weare.jpg

Jackson, who some of you will know personally and many of you will know through the BBC's Big Cat Diaries. (Actually Jackson and I proved quite popular at the photo booth, people wanting their photos taken with us... We spent a lot of time talking throughout the show, his easy going manner and sense of humour really making him popular. And of course, with @@Safaridude, I'd been guided by his protege in Kenya.

 

joubert.jpg

And of course, with Dereck and Beverly. I wasn't the only one having my photo taken with them of course, but no-one had the pith: see how she looks better than I in it?

 

(Photos courtesy and copyright of Beyond Luxury Media, We are Africa - www.weareafricatravel.com)

 

To be honest this first night, there were few photo opportunities, it was about socialising, and @@Don't Run, (Peter Allison), was keen to get the rounds in...

 

gallery_1_1059_154298.jpg

gallery_1_1059_44267.jpg

Everyone wanted to talk to Jackson and quite a few delegates wanted to try on the pith helmet...

 

gallery_1_1059_2381738.jpg

 

I don't recall at what time the party ended though I don't think it was that late... I do recall getting on a coach and finding my way back to the hotel where @ was to collect me. I didn't get drunk, it would be a long day following and I had a lot to do. I couldn't let my Safaritalkers down...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The weather was beautiful for the first day of the show: The Cape Town Stadium is magnificent, it's modern architecture in contrast to the clean blue skies and Table Mountain behind. The red carpet had been rolled out: everyone attending was made to feel like a celebrity.

 

gallery_1_1059_1638172.jpg

The show itself was inside the stadium, on three floors, with numerous refreshment points both inside and out, pitchside. A great networking area during the free time periods between scheduled meeting times. The show worked on the following format:

  • Exhibitors, (sellers), had stands, the size of which dependent on their chosen show package, and representative staff.
  • Hosted buyers from around the world, (especially with a focus to emerging tourism markets), had pre arranged, scheduled appointments throughout the day, each lasting a specific time, at the end of which, tribal drums would sound throughout: there was then a "grace" period of I think ten minutes to attend their next appointment.
  • At set times were refreshment breaks, which provided good networking time. And of course, lunch.

It was clear to see that business was being done at the show from the get-go. By way of how it operated, everyone had an agenda full of appointments from the first hour of the day till the last, from day 1 to day 3. There was no public, no distractions. No empty stands, nobody drifting off early as I've seen at WTM London. Even in the last hour of the last day, everyone was still busy, rushing from post to post, getting work done. It was well organised, relaxed but at the same time there was an urgent buzz, an excited buzz. People, both sellers and buyers were enthused. A lot of smiles, laughter, shaking of hands, hugs. Delegates had already met at the party and conference the day previous...

 

I, as press, was not tied by a set schedule, I drifted, taking photographs, not interfering: when I got a chance to sit and say hi, ask how things were going, I did so - I did not intrude upon business which was the important issue for the delegates. I'd talk to delegates over coffee, might be invited to sit in the ten minutes between appointments: talk conservation issues, tourism trends, I met buyers from all round the world. China, Russia, India, South America, Spain and so on: no one was reticent to talk about their company, about their passion for Africa: it was genuinely exciting to be a part of it. I was neither buying nor selling, but quickly felt to be part of it all. @ had downloaded issue #2 of our Safaritalk magazine onto his spare tablet and people offered really positive feedback.

 

gallery_1_1059_1701209.jpg

One of the incredible refreshment points: The Relais & Châteaux Gastronomic bar - incredible savoury and sweet snacks which were five star in appearance and taste. Breakfast and elevensies consisted of a selection of these delights :) Champagne and oysters, red and white wine, quality coffees, not to mention a microbrewery on site providing a great selection of draft beers... (more about that later.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pictures from the morning... (See if you know anyone in the photos, or any of the properties...)

 

gallery_1_1059_1045445.jpg

gallery_1_1059_1977013.jpg

gallery_1_1059_1305128.jpg

gallery_1_1059_1499657.jpg

gallery_1_1059_379014.jpg

gallery_1_1059_3775934.jpg

gallery_1_1059_1225349.jpg

gallery_1_1059_3279852.jpg

gallery_1_1059_1274946.jpg

gallery_1_1059_598022.jpg

gallery_1_1059_2322483.jpg

gallery_1_1059_2401357.jpg

gallery_1_1059_2165727.jpg~~

gallery_1_1059_1133152.jpg

gallery_1_1059_2490156.jpg

gallery_1_1059_2988.jpg

gallery_1_1059_695667.jpg

gallery_1_1059_2785792.jpg

gallery_1_1059_1237380.jpg

gallery_1_1059_2885848.jpg

gallery_1_1059_1598435.jpg

gallery_1_1059_2520180.jpg

gallery_1_1059_3356634.jpg

Serge Dive, always on the go and not many opportunities for a photo...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And how about these of the old GW struggling with his lot at the oyster and wine bar :P

 

med_gallery_5686_620_505063.jpg

med_gallery_5686_620_769810.jpg

Or hamming it up en route to lunch...

 

med_gallery_5686_620_314893.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Brilliant, love the photos and the text and feel like I was there. How I would love to have a reason to be there!! So exciting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Brilliant, love the photos and the text and feel like I was there. How I would love to have a reason to be there!! So exciting.

 

Me too...I'd look like a starstruck fool, but it would be incredible to be amongst so much of the conservation community.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some of the characters from post # 8:

 

Photo 2: Nick Bay

 

Photo 4: Piers Winkworth

 

Photo 7: Peter Allison

 

Photo 8: Ross Kennedy

 

Photo 10: Mohanjeet Brar

 

Photo 15: Kim Houghton

 

Photo 16: Cera the rhino

 

Photo 17: Peter Allison

 

Photo 21: Louise Cottar

 

Photo 22: Bruce Fox

 

Photo 23: Andy Hogg

 

Who have I missed out?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lunch Day 1... Grand Café & Beach.

 

gallery_1_1059_508495.jpg

gallery_1_1059_124169.jpg

gallery_1_1059_2136746.jpg

gallery_1_1059_2147867.jpg

gallery_1_1059_1152824.jpg

gallery_1_1059_2707020.jpg

Lunch provided an excellent opportunity for delegates to relax: network and talk tourism and conservation outside of the prescribed time frame of show's format. At lunch time, no one needed to sell, no one needed to buy. Was this where the networking really happened?

 

There were no place settings, no "top table". You sat where you wanted, perhaps who you sat with on the coach from the stadium. I sat on the same table as Jackson, Will Jones, Nigel Vere Nicol, Dereck and Beverly Joubert etc as can be seen from the top photo. It was great company to be in - I perhaps should have felt out of my depth: I didn't. Because everyone at We are Africa was equal... And the food? High quality and plentiful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Afternoon and evening, day 1:

 

gallery_1_1059_1619372.jpg

Robyn from Serian getting into the Safaritalk spirit...

gallery_1_1059_1270405.jpg

Pitchside, the Boston Breweries bar proved popular - I had to sample the Van Hunks Pumpkin Ale. (In fact, on more than one occasion...)

gallery_1_1059_2326142.jpg

As was Escape and Explore's VW Camper filled with all kinds of nibbles and drinks...

gallery_1_1059_2559358.jpg

The stadium was ours...

gallery_1_1059_496389.jpg

 

After a big lunch, champagne and oysters, these girls kept me going with coffee...

gallery_1_1059_1916313.jpg

Hilton Walker and Caitlin Carter, (with Cera the mascot), from Great Plains Conservation: spreading the Zeros for Rhinos message.

gallery_1_1059_916553.jpg

Beks, with Shelley Cox hard at work on the African Bush Camps stand.

gallery_1_1059_1140154.jpg

"Dumela Mma." to Botswana Tourism: getting into the Safaritalk spirit...

gallery_1_1059_1904852.jpg

Katie from Campi ya Kanzi getting into the Safaritalk spirit...

gallery_1_1059_2083881.jpg

Looking down upon the pitchside gathering. (Coffee break. And some alcohol...)

gallery_1_1059_2965808.jpg

gallery_1_1059_2598673.jpg

Making friends with the stadium security.

gallery_1_1059_1647214.jpg

Kevin Arnold from Waterford Wine Estates tempts me with a glass of Shiraz...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The evening's festivities took place at Gold: it was the We are Africa awards ceremony. Once more transport was laid on for delegates and we arrived like celebrities at a film premiere. Handed flutes of champagne: but there was something floating in mine. I was about to hand it back until I realised it was flecks of gold leaf... excellent dishes were served, many platters of finger food, more wine... there weren't many opportunities for me to take photos ;)

 

gallery_1_1059_1621346.jpg

Look carefully and you might notice Alex Walters centre of the image holding a camera.

gallery_1_1059_665198.jpg

Wherever he went, Jackson was always noticeable wearing his traditional shuka blanket...

The reason for the night's festivities was the We are Africa Innovation Awards. For more details of the night, the nominees and winners, click here. After which, the partying continued long into the night, whilst I made my way back to the One&Only Hotel and a cab ride back to @'s house.

 

Tomorrow was another day: tomorrow was South Africa's general election...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Day 3. South African elections...

 

Of course, there was lots of talk of the elections today: for those elegible, a mark on the hand showed that you'd cast your vote. People were proud to show they had. It also meant that today was a public holiday so the traffic into Cape Town was not as marked as every other day.

 

gallery_1_1059_3030553.jpg

Peter Allison under the pith.

gallery_1_1059_1937501.jpg

Care for breakfast sir?

gallery_1_1059_2985580.jpg

Work with a smile.

gallery_1_1059_3393876.jpg

Sue from Kwando.

gallery_1_1059_2041680.jpg

All aboard Rovos Rail.

gallery_1_1059_1258487.jpg

Laptop presentations of properties were the norm at the show.

gallery_1_1059_2180298.jpg

Grootbos Private Nature Reserve had won the best Community Engagement award the night previous.

gallery_1_1059_2190911.jpg

Everyone wanted their photo taken.

gallery_1_1059_274082.jpg

Jordi Casinos with Hilton Walker. Rhino Conservation was an important theme on the GPC stand.

gallery_1_1059_1948747.jpg

Jackson preparing for his next meeting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wednesday brought me a nice surprise: lunch at Ellerman House for press representatives: we were accompanied by the We are Africa team including Serge Dive and Ryan Wallace.

 

gallery_1_1059_2819182.jpg

A choice of either beef or fish as the main course, with a selection of wines to accompany: Ellerman House is noted for its art collection, and this dining area/wine cellar was no exception - the walls were a montage of soils from all the different vineyards in South Africa. Framed, with the locations and GPS reference points.

 

gallery_1_1059_2943870.jpg

In the soil samples you can see the different compositions, rock, stone, minerals etc which impart different flavours to the wine: grape vine roots search deep down for water...

 

gallery_1_1059_2589855.jpg

Even the lamps appear to be giant wine glasses above your head. And the cellar itself, hundreds of bottles of wine, different vintages, are held within a giant corkscrew from floor to ceiling. As I sat eating, I wondered where all the other delegates were. I'll admit to not being a fine diner, my appearance doesn't really fit in with the target clientele and I'm not used to eating such well served food so my feedback was probably not as important as that of the other diners in the group. But what I can say is that the fish was delicate, light and well flavoured and the wines were, well, perfect :)

 

A short cab ride back to the stadium and it was on with the afternoon. Other members from the "press pack" went off on escorted tours in Cape Town, but my interest lay with interacting more with those delegates in the show itself. In their company, I was learning more about tourism trends and conservation issues than I could ever hope to being at home at Safaritalk HQ...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Afternoon: well, what can I say, spending wonderful time with top Safaritalk member @@Sangeeta - such a great person, bubbly, knowlegeable, passionate, enthusiastic. (A great ambassador for Safaritalk as well...) All we did was laughed throughout the afternoon, met with other delegates, I even sat in on a couple of her meetings. Now, let me find a couple of pictures...

 

gallery_1_1059_1918176.jpg

gallery_1_1059_186917.jpg

gallery_1_1059_3039683.jpg

After the show finished Wednesday, we met up with @, who had been very keen to meet her as well. There's very little ice to break when you've known someone so long through Safaritalk - you are already friends. Wednesday night was a free evening: we took Sangeeta to a party, got a little lost en route and then drove to see some relatives, an evening climb in a 4x4 up and over Chapman's Peak, the glittering lights of Cape Town behind us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thursday. Final day... a long day...

 

gallery_1_1059_356585.jpg

Strolling down the red carpet to the entrance for the last time. I'd been made to feel part of Africa.

A few more shots from the last day "at work"...

 

gallery_1_1059_1985729.jpg

gallery_1_1059_338727.jpg

gallery_1_1059_452038.jpg

gallery_1_1059_2557428.jpg

gallery_1_1059_1713189.jpg

gallery_1_1059_2483338.jpg

gallery_1_1059_3219986.jpg

gallery_1_1059_2189753.jpg

gallery_1_1059_171793.jpg

I'm not "One of the in-crowd." Certainly not "One of the beautiful people." and definitely not V.I.P material. However, the whole We Are Africa experience made me feel like one. It really is a wonderful feeling to be considered part of the Safari family. Admittedly I may never visit any of the properties represented at the show, but the people know me, know Safaritalk, everything we are trying to achieve. How important it is for them. People were genuinely pleased to see me, chat with me. I may only see them occasionally, WTM or now We Are Africa but I do believe I've become friends with many: a mutual respect. I have to say that until the very last minute of the show itself, business was being done. No one wanted to head off, go home, catch an early train etc. There was still as much enthusiasm for networking as there was on the opening morning. There was no distraction from the public: basically if your name wasn't on the list, you weren't getting in. Business was done from start to finish. And then the final drums sounded, the last formal meetings concluded, handshakes and hugs and that was it. Into the coaches back to the hotel, dress up to the nines for this evening was the closing party. My friends from security saw me off waving: I'd made friends with everyone...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

PersonalPangea

Great report and pictures Matt and you are part of the Tribe. As Marisa Tomei says to Joe Pesci in the film My Cousin Vinny "Oh yeah, you blend". Brought back some memories, even though I was only there for a short time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are Africa - the closing party...

 

Held at the Grande Café and Beach, Granger Bay. When the We are Africa team put on a party, they really put on a party. Music was provided by the fantastic South African band, Freshly Ground.

 

Here's their track, "I'd Like"

 

 

Lots of wine, drinks, finger food: it was a chance for delegates to let their hair down at the end of a hectic but enjoyable few days. Business was concluded. This was them, "Off the clock." having fun. This was Us having fun. A lot of hugs, smiles, promises to see each other next year at the same time, same place...

 

A few pics from the night...

gallery_1_1059_1408811.jpg

gallery_1_1059_2384708.jpg

gallery_1_1059_901695.jpg

gallery_1_1059_2020865.jpg

gallery_1_1059_982031.jpg

gallery_1_1059_2903914.jpg

gallery_1_1059_2177180.jpg

And here's me with one of the first delegates I met as you can see in post # 5, Michael Segera from Kenya.

 

10421501_549045505200938_416877167690415

(Photo courtesy and copyright of Beyond Luxury Media, We are Africa - www.weareafricatravel.com)

 

I would have liked to have stayed longer at the party, but tomorrow morning, @ and I would be setting out early on the long drive up The Garden Route to PE and I still had to pack. So I shared a cab with @@PersonalPangea back to the hotel from where I caught another cab to Dikdik's house. And in the cab the driver and I laughed alot - he said he'd tell everyone he'd driven Jesus home.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Conclusion.

 

Everyone I spoke to, both sellers and buyers at We are Africa said how important a show this was for them: more connections were made than at other shows, more good quality contacts and especially trade: connecting the right sellers to the right buyers. Commitment rather than non commital. It builds upon the successes of both PURE Life Experiences and LE MIAMI - bringing the hi octane excitement to a purely African forum marketing both Safari and leisure experiences to top buyers from around the world, especially focusing upon new and upcoming market places. Sellers want to be there, buyers want to be there.

 

We've been together here as Safaritalk since 2006. Eight years this September. The invite to We are Africa really feels to have cemented our place in the Safari scene. I think that was are seen as an important asset to both Safari tourism and in a small way, the conservation circle. So to have been invited to this inaugural show was a real privilege for me: it shows how far Safaritalk has come in these eight years. There are many publications who could have been invited ahead of me, deservedly so, but the We are Africa team put their faith in me, in Safaritalk as a product: took a chance on me and for that I am extremely grateful and I'd like to thank Serge Dive and Ryan Wallace for everything they did to make me feel part of it, for inviting me, us, to be a part of the show. I'd also like to thank Eliza Bailey and all of the media and tech team from We are Africa for their help and being able to work alongside them: I learnt a lot behind the scenes of how such an event is recorded and produced.

 

Like the Oscars, there are a number of people to whom I owe gratitude, people from the industry who supported me and helped me to be invited, including, to name a couple Calvin Cottar, Alex Walker, Hilton Walker, Alex Walters.

 

And of course, I want to thank you as Safaritalkers, especially those who helped to cover the airfares, and @ for accomodating me and putting up with me on those long drives.

 

I hope I represented us well at We are Africa. Will I be there next year? That all depends on whether I receive an invite again. I hope I did enough to warrant one. I'd love to be a part of it for the second year. Serge, Ryan, what do you say?

 

Matt

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for this great report, it looks like such a wonderful event! Great to see @@Game Warden and @@Sangeeta and I see @@Don't Run got about the most photos of anyone into this report - not that I'm complaining as I enjoy seeing his smiling face :-) Really looks fun!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not "One of the in-crowd." Certainly not "One of the beautiful people."

They haven't seen you in the mankini!

 

How nice you met Sangeeta!

 

You mention they took a chance inviting the creator of safaritalk. Well, you took quite a chance, backed by hours of time and your own funds, to develop this concept. It's nice to see this gamble and labor of love of yours rewarded.

Edited by Atravelynn
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Safaritalk uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By using Safaritalk you agree to our use of cookies. If you wish to refuse the setting of cookies you can change settings on your browser to clear and block cookies. However, by doing so, Safaritalk may not work properly and you may not be able to access all areas. If you are happy to accept cookies and haven't adjusted browser settings to refuse cookies, Safaritalk will issue cookies when you log on to our site. Please also take a moment to read the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy: Terms of Use l Privacy Policy