… As leading lights of African tourism scoop awards
By Hilary Mare
NAMIBIA’S Ichingo Chobe River Lodge was recently named the continent’s Leading Tented Safari Camp at the 2017 World Travel Awards Africa.
Hospitality leaders from across the region attended the awards ceremony, which took place at the Radisson Blu Hotel & Convention Centre in Rwanda recently.
In its 24th year, the World Travel Awards are voted for by travel and tourism professionals worldwide.
Nestled on Impalila Island in Namibia, the Ichingo Chobe River Lodge is a tented lodge surrounded by breathtaking scenery, abundant wildlife, birdlife and ideal fishing conditions.
The Ichingo Chobe River Lodge features eight large air-conditioned Meru safari tents set on a secluded island beneath a riverine canopy on the banks of the Chobe River.
On a night of high drama in the host city of Kigali, the Land of a Thousand Hills was recognised as Africa’s Leading Destination.
World Travel Awards Founder and President, Graham E Cooke, said, “It has been an honour to visit Rwanda for the very first time. We have recognised the leading lights of African tourism tonight and I wish to offer my heartfelt congratulations to all of our winners.
“Rwanda has proved a wonderful host for our Africa Gala Ceremony, cementing the country’s reputation as Africa’s rising star.”
Also among the winners was Durban. The South African seaside city – which underwent a major makeover in the run-up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, with a sleek new stadium and a revamped waterfront – was hailed Africa’s Leading Meetings & Conference Destination. Meanwhile, the Durban International Convention Centre picked up the award for Africa’s Leading Meetings & Conference Centre.
Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa scooped the awards for Africa’s Leading Hotel Suite and South Africa’s Leading Hotel Suite.
Kempinski Hotel Fleuve Congo Kinshasa was voted the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Leading Hotel and the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Leading Hotel Suite, while the Radisson Blu Hotel and Convention Centre, Kigali was presented with the trophies for Africa’s Leading Conference Hotel, Rwanda’s Leading Conference Hotel and Africa’s Leading New Hotel.
Satguru Travels was named Tanzania’s Leading Travel Agency and Nigeria’s Leading Travel Agency.
The ceremony – part of World Travel Awards Grand Tour 2017 – was compered by CNBC Africa presenter and producer, George Ndirangu, and passionate DJ and media personality, Makeda Mahadeo.
Entertainment was provided by Inganzo Ngari, Rwanda’s most acclaimed traditional dance group, and the Neptunez band.
Winners from the event will go forward to complete in the World Travel Awards Grand Final, which is taking place at the JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa in Vietnam on the evening of 10 December.
In the aviation sector, Kenya Airways was selected by voters as Africa’s Leading Airline and Africa’s Leading Airline – Business Class, while Cape Town International Airport walked away with the trophy for Africa’s Leading International Airport.
The travel industry’s leading awards programme also unveiled the host of the 2018 World Travel Awards Africa Gala Ceremony as the Durban International Convention Centre. Conveniently situated in the heart of South Africa’s third largest city, this world-class facility was opened by former president Nelson Mandela in 1997 and has successfully staged some of the world’s most prestigious and complex events
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