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SA Mag - Issue 12 - NOMAD FEATURE



  • 2 www.southafricamag.com

    N o m a d a f r i c a

    A D V E N T U R E T O U R S

  • Nomad Africa Adventure Tours is 100 percent African owned, has a eet of over 40 trucks, around 130 staff and 30 scheduled departures a month, all over Southern and East Africa. Nomad has run over 6,500 tours to date, which 57,500 clients (and counting) have enjoyed. It really is the only choice for an African adventure.

    We started Nomad Africa Adventure Tours in 1997 and consider ourselves to be a leading example of how to run adventure holidays and experiences, says managing director

    Alex Rutherford. We remain a force in this sector, but, and this is why we are so strong, have retained the magic, the personal touch, that saw us grow so successfully originally.

    He says the company was founded on old fashioned hard work and started from almost nothing.

    Weve learnt a lot over the years but have never forgotten the lessons learned in the early days. Personally, I learnt a lot, especially in terms of people management.

    We deliver high quality tours and receive on average 4,000 positive feedback forms annually, Rutherford adds. Why are we a success? I think it is down to a number of things. First and foremost it is because this is Africa. Africa conjures up images of discovery, magic and adventure. People are really drawn to the continent. Africa

    has it all: interesting culture, warm and welcoming people, awe inspiring places, unique animals, dramatic landscapes and epic adventure. Africa has it all in abundance, it is a land of surprises and contrasts.

    Nomad Africa Adventure Tours FEATURE


    Africa has it all: interesting

    culture, warm and welcoming people,

    awe inspiring places, unique

    animals, dramatic landscapes and epic adventure.

    Africa has it all in abundance, it is a land of surprises

    and contrasts

    If you are thinking of taking an African adventure there is only one choice, Nomad

    Africa Adventure Tours.By Ian Armitage

  • From one truck, two employees and one departure a month, Nomad has grown considerably. We have done this through meticulous attention to detail, Rutherford says.We always keep a promise. We have mission statements, goals and objectives that we follow religiously.

    Our guiding principles are quality, responsibility, accountability, integrity, honesty, service, efficiency, and fun and adventure.

    We have stuck to these principles since the beginning and are confident they will steer us successfully into the future too.

    Nomad strives to offer exceptional value for money, African holidays. Its size and knowledge allows it to negotiate better facilities at a better price than many other companies in the market.

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    Nomad Africa Adventure Tours FEATURE

    We are proud of the quality of our tours. We are fully licensed and insured and are confident that we are offering some of the best tours and services available in Africa, Rutherford says. Each and every adventure tour is unique and all people are treated as individuals.

    What initially made Nomad stand out, and this remains a key selling point, is that it is African owned. In the early days, it was one of a few. There is greater competition of course these days, but Rutherford is proud of the companys origins. We live in and work in Africa, he says. It means that our finger is firmly placed on the pulse of the continent. This enables us to ensure customers receive the best Africa has to offer.

  • Delight in a choice of magical Lake Tours. . . . Where the five eco-systems come together!On board you will be hosted by your skippers and guides in South Africas first World Heritage Site, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. Our boat is ideally equipped to cater for office parties, conferences, birthday parties or weddings.

    We offer a wide variety of tours, charters & safari services along the Elephant Coast: Lake Cruise bookings Cape Vidal tours Horse riding Hiking trailers Game Viewing (Big 5) Hippo tours Night drives Deep sea fishing Kayaking Birding Whale & turtle watching (seasonal)

    safaris@stlucia.co.za | Telephone: +27 (0)35 590 1047 | Fax: +27 (0)35 590 1084 | stluciasafaris.com

    CampingBackpackersTicket Office

    Situated on the main road,

    within walking distance from

    shops & restaurants

  • one of the best days on tour.Nomad may have started

    as a niche, almost extreme-type holiday company, but the market it entered is today very different. It has changed, Rutherford admits. In the early days the travellers were nearly always young. They were very poor and very easy going. It was the traditional backpacker market. Today, our market consists of all ages across all nations and draws people who want to

    really experience Africa in a high value and secure group environment.

    Rutherford drove from London to Cape Town in a Land Rover (the trip took 10 months), but his most memorable tour experience came when he arrived at Sossusvlei, in the Namib desert. After having all the clients excited about the desolation of the place, he found it drowned by oods, with green grass growing on the dunes. It started raining and everyone was extremely unimpressed with setting up camp in the rain, he says. To break the tension we picked a suitable victim, and threw him in the mud. A massive mud bath/fi ght ensued resulting in

    6 www.southafricamag.com

    We are proud of the quality of our tours. We

    are fully licensed and insured and

    are confident that we are offering

    some of the best tours and

    services available in Africa

  • 7www.southafricamag.com

    The gaps between us and our competition has narrowed, which is good for consumers as they have a greater choice, says Rutherford. At the same time, we work hard to be innovative to attract business. In terms value for money, being a driving force, we do have the edge on the market. This type of touring and the market that we are attracting has become mainstream. To cater for the change in the market we have created accommodated tours, which are basically identical to the camping tours except that guests stay in accommodation, i.e., a motel or hotel type-affair. We have found these tours extremely popular with slightly older groups.

    Camping tours, he says, have an average age of around 30, while accommodated tours average around 35-40. We provide an

    infrastructure that is suitable for everyone the vehicle, the guides, the activities but the nature of these trips and the places we go means that the amount of other options on offer is so great is that youll fi nd it is suitable for everyone. For example, a youngster in their 20s who wants to do extreme sports, like skydiving, bungee jumping etc., will sit quite comfortably next-door to someone who is there to experience the animals and the people and may be in their 60s, Rutherford says. We make sure we can cater for a broad demographic.

    The economic downturn has had a huge affect on tourism. It has affected a lot of people, a lot of places and a lot of venues, says Rutherford. We have noticed changes in booking trends. Funnily enough, people

    Nomad Africa Adventure Tours FEATURE

  • are booking a bit later than they normally do. Our lead times are shorter. The exchange rate is also a factor - the rand is strong and that means that we are now competing not only with our traditional competition but with other destinations too.

    Historically, Africa is associated with being cheap, which isnt necessarily true. Certainly some things are cheap, but others are not. In terms of running a quality operation there are no shortcuts quality costs money.

    He says the recent successful hosting of the FIFA World Cup and further democratisation across Africa will pay dividends for tourism in the continent and is confi dent that the long-term future of the industry is sound. In terms of our booking numbers we have seen in the last few months a swing up again and so I feel that the worst of the downturn has passed.

    8 www.southafricamag.com

    Nomad Africa Adventure Tours FEATURE

    LUPANDI SAFARISituated on the banks of the Luangwa River and home to both directors, Patsy Hahn and Herman Miles, the Wildlife Camp offers a variety of options. Rustic en-suite chalets, a secluded en-suite tented camp, a Bushcamp for overnight walking safaris and within walking distance from the main camp - a beautiful campsite. Our qualified Zambian guides lead all our walking safaris and use a fleet of converted 130 land rovers, ensuring comfort and extra space for your game drive.

    The Wildlife Camp is situated on land owned by Wildlife and Environmental Conservation Society of Zambia. We operate under their auspices and revenue generated from the camp enables us to donate US$ 50 000-00 per annum to the society, which in return supports the wildlife and people of the Luangwa Valley and Zambia, the main focus being in the education of the Zambian Children in conservation.

  • We operate under the auspices of the Wildlife Environmental and Conservation Society of Zambia. By supporting the camp you enable us to donate US$50 000-00 per annum towards the education of Zambian children in conservation

    Contact details info@wildlifezambia.comwww.wildlifecamp-zambia.com+260 216246026

    Holidays should make you feel good

    Staying with us will!!

    After the Victoria Falls, Zimbabwes most popular and stunning travel destinationBACK INTO THE WILD! Home to the world famous ALERT lion rehabilitation programme.

    Now a major UK TV documentary series

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