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Reversing the Prejudice against the King of the Skies

DELRAY BEACH, FL, Oct. 16, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A kettle of vultures swirls menacingly above, haunting the skies in anxious anticipation of their future meal's demise. Attracted to the sick, suffering, and nearly (or fully) deceased, these winged beasts have a grotesque appearance and sinister reputation that makes them fit to star in a Halloween nightmare. Yet despite the ominous connotations of their presence, perhaps we have all been too quick to judge this unpopular, unappreciated and often misunderstood creature.

In reality, vultures play a vitally important role. They frequently prevent the spread of disease by eating the rotting flesh of wild mammals; their highly acidic stomachs sterilize contaminated meat that would otherwise be consumed and spread by other creatures like feral dogs, maggots, and bacteria. Without vultures efficiently removing large amounts of decaying meat, both air and groundwater would be increasingly contaminated.

So while vultures may not top the ranks of "World's Cutest and Cuddliest," it is time to give these impressive scavengers some credit. Africa is home to 11 of the 23 vulture species, eight of which are endemic to South Africa. From the Cape Griffon Vulture to the widespread and wide-ranging White-backed Vulture, these African birds are as powerful as they are persistent - truly magnificent in their own right.

Witness all four savannah vultures - Hooded Vulture, White-backed Vulture, Lappet-faced Vulture and White-headed Vulture - in action at Kruger National Park. Spend four days discovering the park on twice-daily game drives with African Travel, Inc.'s "Southern Explorer," keeping your eyes peeled for the vulture's telltale balding heads. All four are often found congregating around a single kill! This prolific reserve is also home to zebra, giraffe, lion, elephant, rhino, Cape buffalo, wildebeest, warthog, hyena, cheetah, leopard and the endangered wild dog.

"Southern Explorer" is an excellent introduction to the vibrant cultural and natural wonders of the region, starting with the bustling "Mother City" of Cape Town before venturing onwards to the wildlife haven. Explore the breathtaking scenery of the Cape of Good Hope, visit the endearing penguin colony of Boulders Beach, and dine as a special guest in the home of a local Capetonian family. As a breathtaking finale, marvel at the thunderous impact of Victoria Falls - the world's largest curtain of falling water and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

South Africa is home to an unmatched menagerie of majestic beings, and nearly all of them are substantially more appealing than the vulture. Still, this Halloween season, remember that many of the world's creepiest creatures play an integral role in the health and diversity of our world - spiders, snakes and bats included.

"Southern Explorer" is a 10-day journey highlighting Cape Town, Kruger Private Reserve, Johannesburg and Victoria Falls. Prices start from $5,375 per person. Save $500 per person from the original price of $5,875 per person. Book now and lock in the exchange rate savings!

For more information and to book this dream safari, contact your favorite Travel Professional,
call African Travel, Inc. at (800) 421-8907, or visit www.africantravelinc.com.
CST 2071444-20


Don't forget to check out African Travel, Inc.'s Journal Page! Get travel tips, photos and testimonials, and stories from the bush. Subscribe to the RSS feed to get all of these things in one place!

Follow Jim Holden, President of African Travel, Inc.

on Twitter @JimHoldenAfrica or @WeKnowAfrica

About African Travel, Inc. - "We Know Africa"
African Travel, Inc. is a 38-year-old safari operator, with operations in Africa and the USA, offering customized safaris to Africa at all price points. The company's focus is solely on Africa: South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Ethiopia, Congo, Jordan, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Mozambique, Madagascar, Mauritius, Malawi, Seychelles and Egypt. We have dedicated, experienced teams in Africa, Safari Specialists in the USA, an extensive transportation fleet, numerous hotels, camps and lodges throughout The Travel Corporation's Africa-based associate companies. In addition to our brochure and website programs, African Travel can arrange customized safaris for groups.

POPULAR PROGRAMS: Southern Explorer,The Connoisseur's Collection; The Last Refuge; World's Greatest Show and Safari, Tantalizing Tanzania

TIP FOR ADVISORS: Before deciding on a safari to Africa be sure to consider all the choices available in destinations, accommodation and wildlife. Each choice will deliver a very different experience. Talk to African Travel's African specialists to make sure you make the right choice for you and your fellow travelers.

About USTOA

African Travel, Inc. shares the coverage available under the USTOA $1 Million Travelers Assistance Program with affiliates of TravCorp USA, Inc. in accordance with the terms and conditions of the USTOA $1 Million Travelers Assistance Program. In addition, TravCorp Financial Services Limited provides a guarantee of $20 million in respect of all customers traveling with African Travel, Inc.



About The TreadRight Foundation

At African Travel, Inc. and parent company The Travel Corporation, we understand that travel matters; it allows us to explore the world and gain a deeper understanding of each destination, its history and culture, through enriching experiences. We also recognize that it is our responsibility to help protect the places we visit and take care of the world around us.

Created as a joint initiative between The Travel Corporation's family of brands, The TreadRight Foundation is a not-for-profit that works to help ensure the environment and communities we visit remain vibrant and preserved for generations to come. To date, TreadRight has donated more than USD 2.5 million to sustainable tourism projects worldwide. African Travel, Inc. is proud to be an active founder and supporter of TreadRight's projects and work. Go to www.africantravelinc.com/about/sustainable-tourism to learn more.

TreadRight's guiding principle is to encourage sustainable tourism development through conservation, leadership and support for communities. We encourage each of our partners to use this principle to guide all of their actions, whether at our regional offices or when taking guests around the world. By providing grants to organizations that encourage sustainability in different destinations, we hope to maintain the natural attractions across the world that define each unique region. Foundation priorities are set by the Steering Committee, which includes sustainability leaders like Céline Cousteau and Costas Christ.

To learn more about our past and current work at TreadRight, please visit us at TreadRight.org.

CONTACT: Susan Chou Public Relations Coordinator Twitter: @Susan_TravCorp Susan.Chou@TravCorpUSA.com Arnelle Kendall Vice President of Public Relations Twitter: @ArnelleKendall Arnelle.Kendall@TravCorpUSA.com The Travel Corporation USA 636 East Atlantic Avenue Suite 203 Delray Beach, FL 33483 561.330.0850

Source:African Travel, Inc.