The African travel industry has historically catered to older, well-off tourists who can afford pricey, five-star safaris. But when Phakamile Hlazo, founder and managing director of the South Africa-based Zulu Nomad, started her company in 2016, she saw an opportunity to cater tours to a younger clientele.
“A lot of tourists are comfortable getting to Johannesburg or Cape Town,” she says. “However, as soon as you as a tourist in South Africa now want to explore one of our neighboring countries … then you start having some real challenges. And that’s where we come in.”
From two-day camping trips to 20-day overland tours spanning multiple countries including Malawi, Mozambique, Botswana and Zambia, Zulu Nomad’s clients are encouraged to partake in a variety of activities and experiences such as scuba diving, sailing, food exploration and more. Yes, safari is often included in itineraries. But Hlazo says, “There’s so much more to Africa than safari.”
At Arival Asia Pacific 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand, we caught up with Phakamile Hlazo to learn how she was inspired to start Zulu Nomad, her challenges and successes, and how she aims to build her company’s credibility for an international audience. Get to know this rockstar operator by watching the above video.