Why spending money on experiences is good for you

Happiness can be tricky to quantify but a study conducted by McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin indicates that paying for experiences enhances your well-being more than buying possessions does. This applied to both in-the-moment happiness and to happiness measured at a later point.

It’s not surprising that experiences create rich, lasting memories and provide an opportunity to bond with those you share them with – whether that’s family, friends or a new travel buddy.

Here are some of our top recommendations for experiential happiness:

Spending time in the bush
Immersing yourself in nature is good for the soul, no matter whether you spend time in a popular game area like Kruger, Sabie or the Serengeti or you visit a lesser-known park in KwaZulu-Natal. Share special memories of early-morning game drives, where the bush is dewy and mist dissipates from river banks, as your party searches for the flick of a tail, the tip of a trunk or the flutter of wings. 

Enjoying exquisite food and wine
A tasty meal shared at home can be enjoyable but savouring an expertly-prepared gourmet dish at a top restaurant gives you the opportunity to experience new flavours, settings and company without having to lift a finger. Foodie destinations like Cape Town, its surrounding Winelands and Hermanus can lure you by your palate, however, you’re likely to find fine cuisine in all sorts of places if you know where to look (and if you don’t, we’re happy to help).

Mountain or lowland gorilla trekking
“Mountain Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is one of the most treasured wildlife experiences of my life,” says Leopard’s founder and director, Diana Granoux. This bucket-list adventure will leave you with precious memories and sharing these with a partner or friend will mean that there’s someone else who understands the wonder and awe of this encounter without you having to try and find words to explain.

Interacting with people of different cultures
Take time to meet the local people when you travel. Appreciating food, traditions and art from another culture will expand your understanding of the world and possibly help support a local entrepreneur. These interactions can also provide unique opportunities to share a smile and build memories among strangers who then become friends.

Turtle tracking
Due to active conservation efforts, the number of nesting turtles along the sandy shores of the Zululand coastline has increased substantially since the 1960s. Whether you watch a giant leatherback laying her eggs in a carefully excavated nest or turtle hatchlings emerge from the sand and scurry to the ocean, you’ll have witnessed a scene that has been repeated through the ages by these ancient ocean-dwelling reptiles. 

Hot air ballooning
Fly over endless waves of sand dunes and experience first light over the Namib Desert or opt for a trip over Serengeti where thousands of thundering hooves beat against the plains beneath you, during the annual wildebeest migration. Recounting your shared experience of being suspended in a basket above the world will quite likely deepen bonds, unite your tribe and bring a smile to your face long after the event.

Happy travelling,

The Leopard Team

P.S. Feel free to contact us at any time for expert advice on where to travel in Africa. It’ll be our delight to share our insider knowledge with you and help curate a tailored all-inclusive holiday. This will allow you to relax and enjoy every moment, knowing that all the details have been taken care of.

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