Kate Webster is a travel journalist who works across publications like Escape, NZ Herald, Vacations & Travel and more. A world traveller, ocean lover and conservation warrior, Kate is determined to make every moment count for herself and the world around her. She translates those moments and shares them through her storytelling. An adventurer at heart with a curious spirit to explore, her work has taken her to the edges of the Earth, however, Africa has always been a favourite. Kate has delved into the world of wildlife and conservation travel to bring awareness.

Having travelled all over Africa to South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique and Mauritius, Kate knows Africa well. Having previously worked as a travel consultant, Kate is always on top of what is going on in the travel industry and what agents need to know.

What is your job description and what does your role involve?

I am essentially a freelance travel journalist who also works as the editor of Africa Beat. My job is to stay ahead of the news, updates and trends for African travel and deliver that to the industry in informative stories and features. I am lucky to have travelled and continue to travel Africa in-depth, making some incredible contacts in the industry along the way.

Which parts of the travel industry do you work with?

All parts really. I am constantly in contact with wholesalers, operators, airlines and industry members to ensure I get all the latest news and updates.

What do you love most about your job?

The opportunity to travel obviously, but also the resilience and passion you can find nowhere else but the travel industry. We have been through some tough times and I see how people’s passion for what they do is what carried them through that. I find that inspiring.

What are the challenges of your role?

Deadlines when on location. Sometimes it is hard to fit the time differences and be present in a location when you are doing work to meet timelines back home. Also the lack of knowledge there is about Africa. I am often asked “is it dangerous over there?” and that really irks me. I have never felt unsafe when travelling in Africa and wish more people were aware of what it is actually like.

What do you wish the travel industry did more of?

Researched who they are booking with. There is a responsibility that comes with selling Africa to your clients and ensuring you are using companies that have a proven track record of sustainable travel practices. It is so important to ensure you are booking with companies that help local communities, not take away from them. The same goes for wildlife practices. I think we are a bit more clued in now about not going to unethical wildlife experiences like elephant riding and lion patting, but there is still a lot more to learn in this area.

How can the travel industry work with you?

Tell me what you like, dislike and want to see more of in Africa Beat. The publication is designed to help the industry better sell Africa so I am here to work with you on that. Also, if any questions you have about Africa, shoot them through to me. If I don’t know the answer, chances are I know someone who does.

What is your favourite African experience and why?

You can’t beat gorilla trekking in Rwanda. I have done it four times now and will continue going back to do it. Also starbeds and sleepouts – I am in love with them. I often do them by myself which really takes a lot of courage but to be all alone in the African bush and just watch the wildlife is extraordinary.

Where is your next African adventure to?

I am actually heading to South Africa in February with South Africa Tourism on their mega famil. So keep an eye out for all the behind-the-scenes and on-location news and updates from that.

What are your top tips for travelling Africa?

Firstly, after having malaria twice, I can not stress enough the importance of taking anti-malarials if required. It is not a disease to be messed with. Take precautions like covering up and wearing insect repellent as well.

Next is to try and give back at a local level. You will find countless opportunities to shop at local markets or donate to conservation causes (just do your research and ensure they are legit). The cost of everyday things in Africa is very cheap, so I often pay just a bit extra as a thank you.

Last of all, don’t spend all your time behind the camera lens. Take a few moments to just enjoy the experience – be it wildlife viewing, incredible landscapes or cultural displays.

Contact Kate

Email: hello@africabeat.com.au
Website: www.africabeat.com.au

Editor Africa Beat

Africa Beat is the source of all your news and updates in the travel industry out of Africa. You will find also find reviews and features focused on Africa.

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