Olebogeng Lephoi of Furaha Explorer travelling agency says it hasn’t been easy keeping her business afloat during Covid-19. But her love and passion for the travel industry kept her going during the global pandemic, that mostly affected the tourism industry.
The entrepreneur from Dibate village in Mafikeng, situated in the North West province opens up about what inspires her love for travelling and more.
What sparked your interest to go into the travel industry?
I use to travel with my father who was in the transportation business during school holidays to Johannesburg to visit my grandmother, who was a domestic worker at the time. The fascination of looking at trees, mountains and landscape blew me away. The feeling warmed my soul and sparked my curiosity and passion of traveling.
What services do you offer?
We offer travels and adventures around South Africa and neighbouring countries. Last year, we added the spiritual aspect to it after noticing the impact that the pandemic had on so many people, by offering spiritual hikes that had either yoga, meditation, or massages after the hike.
What are some of the challenges that you have faced as a small business owner?
During the Covid-19 pandemic, which we are still navigating, business was very bad. We started to slightly pick up towards end of 2021 and it’s slowly getting better. However, securing new customers and accessing international clients is a challenge at the moment due to lack of a marketing budget and the vaccine passport requirement by most destinations.
Your highlights so far?
Some of the highlights for the business to date, is having taken clients to beautiful destinations in Africa like Ghana, Malawi, Lesotho, Mozambique, Tanzania, Botswana, Kenya and we are planning a trip to Uganda, to trek their highest peak and experience gorilla trekking. Another highlight, is having to see the joy in clients’ faces when they achieve their goals or should I say tick off their bucket list items, with Mount Kilimanjaro being popular to most. The introduction of Furaha Explorer apparels T-shirts, hats and buffs was another milestone for this growing business. Seeing clients wearing the merchandise is priceless.
Based on your experiences, what are the travel trends between male and female South African travellers?
I have noticed that females are more comfortable being in a company of strangers and males needs more convincing moreso when it’s a trip outside S.A. At Furaha we create opportunities for people to bond and build relations our intimate travels has insured in that.
We kept afloat by doing more of Shot Left, even though the response was low and we were cognisant of the trauma Covid-19 had on most people including myself. We then decided to gradually reintroduce the activities and ensured people that we comply with the Covid-19 regulations and we are ready to explore with them and we successfully managed to gain their trust.
Connect with Furaha Explorer traveling agency: www.furahaexplorer.africa
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Tik Tok: @furahaexplorer
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