Africa is one of the most beautiful and culturally diverse continents there is, hence our increasing contribution to the tourism business. Tourists come from all over the globe to have the famous ‘African experience’. However we still face the reality that we are perceived as the ‘dark continent’, and it is our responsibility to show the rest of the world the beauty we encompass as a continent. I had the opportunity of speaking to a young entrepreneur who is part of that change, Daniel Adidwa from Tour2.0 a company that specialises in community tours.
While we as Africans are cognisant of the fact that the African Safari is not all there is to see in our backyard, we are yet to expose the rest of the world to the fact that what defines us is our heritage and our culture. We have stories that we have to tell about our unique experiences and the rich history we have in our townships. Tour2.0 is an innovative tourism platform that gives tourists an authentic African experience, by packaging unique community tours around some of the most prominent communities within Gauteng. As opposed to the norm, instead of being taken on an African safari tour, Tour2.0 takes you to the places where most of our history stems from. When you think of the late former President Nelson Mandela, he spent a number of years in Alexandra and then later on moved to Soweto, and these are places with so much history and they represent who we are as a people. Amongst other activities they have for their customers, going to a jazz club in Alexandra or bird watching in Soweto are some of the many unique experiences offered by Tour2.0.
The company was founded in 2012 by Daniel and his partners; Ismail Chibgwe, Roberto Denkinger and Obakeng Mathloko. These are young entrepreneurs who saw a gap in the market, where conventionally most tourism platforms are based in Eco-tourism and they decided to explore the Culture-tourism sphere which is a growing market in South Africa. The tours are currently operating in over 10 communities, and growing within the Gauteng province, and offer more than 13 community experiences that one can choose from. With expansion plans for 2015, Tour2.0 will expand to other provinces within South Africa and into other African countries by 2016.
“What really bound us was the shared vision we have about how best we can shatter the pre-conceived and negative notions about Africa, one community at a time. It’s going to take time, we know. As long as there’s a platform that enables people to see a different side to what has been said and more importantly enabling them to experience it,” says Daniel who is the CEO of Tour2.0.
Housed at The Innovation Hub, Daniel highlights the significance of being exposed to like-minded young entrepreneurs and sharing the journey together. He adds, “It’s a place for young business people to come through and be exposed to great networks and great technology, it’s a great place to grow your business.” The Innovation Hub has amongst other things provided the company with funding and continues to monitor their success inorder to wean them off and release them into the market independently.
We salute Tour2.0 for enforcing change and creating a platform that not only exposes but also celebrates the beauty of a unique and diverse continent.
“Be the change you want to see in this world” – Mahatma Gandhi
For more info visit www.tour2-0.com