When going on adventurous trips with others, often a highlight is making friends. Young people looking for excitement want to meet kindred spirits, and this is one of the aims of Afrika Mdombola’s enterprise, Travel with Afrika. Mdombola’s two-year-old company targets young people who are addicted to the thrill of adventure.
He told Vutivi News that he focused on the youth because they were keen on these kinds of trips. “Our trips unite open-minded people who are comfortable with being in the same space with strangers. People love travelling, but they have grown really tired of being in WhatsApp groups where they only plan and never execute trips,” Mdombola said.
“Group travel makes it possible to travel while being in a safe space and in a good environment with an amiable atmosphere. You get to be around people with the same interests as you without having to wait for untrustworthy mates.” Mdombola said that his Joburg-based company organised trips to South Africa’s top tourist destinations in each province, as well as Namibia, Botswana and Zambia.
Packages varied according to the location. “Normally a trip lasts four days, but trips like the Namibia trip would last seven days,” he said. “Our package includes accommodation, transport and activities and the fun-goers only have to bring a bag along. We keep the numbers small and cater for between eight and 10 travellers, depending on the destination.”
Activities include sandboarding, hiking, kayaking, bungee jumping and cycling. Because his company fell in the tourism sector, like many others, it had been severely affected by the pandemic. However, Mdombola was not one to give up easily. “We survived by selling merchandise including hoodies, sweaters and T-shirts among others,” he said.
“Since the lifting of the various lockdown levels recently, we have seen quite a number of bookings, although it may take some time to reach pre-Covid profit margins,” Mdombola told Vutivi News that he believed his trips were even more important now in helping lift the spirits of travellers impacted by the pandemic and making new friends.
“It’s so amazing that people from the get-go… will develop a strong friendship and even end up being hiking buddies for instance,” he remarked. “Our wish is for us one day to be invited to the wedding of a couple that met while travelling with us.”