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Kumba Africa – SA travel-tech startup that connects Tourists with authentic African experience

by Milicent Atieno
kumba africa

Have you seen a Safari ad on TV or online? The ads probably use videos with wild animals, five stars hotels, beach, scuba diving, and all the sort. If you happen to take the offer and use the services being advertised, chances are high when you get back you will claim to have had an African experience. Well, Kumba Africa says that’s not the complete African experience.

Kumba Africa is a South African based travel-tech startup that strives to provide tourists the authentic African experience. They connect travellers to local tours, activities, and guides. The startup was found in May 2018 by Ayuoob Abrahams and Tapiwa Ndlovu during their stay at the University of Stellenbosch.

Kumba endeavors to connect tourist traveling to Africa with the authentic experience the locals have on their day-to-day lives. The online platform also allows travelers to make bookings and pay for their tour conveniently.

Some of the package you get on Kumba Africa, and what they term as genuine African experience, include things like a two-hour cooking experience in a Manyatta somewhere in Tanzania, a full-day walking experience in Lagos, or an all-inclusive 10-day tour in Kenya. Travelers can also request a customized trip.

Travellers, in general, get a raw deal as they are taken on generic tour and activities while being charged exorbitant fees. So instead of a traveler going to multiple different tour operators in a particular destination just to get the best deal, Kumba will leverage on its existing inventory of travel experiences in that destination, and create customized trip itineraries to suit that customer’s preferences and budget,” said Ndlovu during an interview with a section of the media.

Though the travel-tech startup can be described to be in the beta stage, it has already over 60 tour operators and more than 80 individual tour guides, and local in 15 countries across Africa. The company charges a service fee to the host; though it is the host who sets up the prices. So far, they have generated $13,700 in revenue; though their marketing budget is small if any.

We are bootstrapping at the moment, and it has been sustainable through a number of factors, such as using many freemium services, low-cost APIs, multiple free servers, leveraging on my connections, and finally, the dedication of various team members who join as interns and contribute immensely to making sure we function well.”

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