Today we’d like to introduce you to Mefi Alapat.
Mefi, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Jambo! I am originally from Tanzania and growing up, I was always surrounded by the Safari industry. My family and I used to visit the parks for weekend picnics so visiting amazing locations like the mighty Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater were part of my childhood.
Soon after I graduated Trinity University, I decided to jump into the deep-end and start Journey To Africa in 2000. I was one of the original Safari companies who had a website.
To keep me up-to-date and relevant in the Safari business:
– I go back almost every year on Safari, so I am current with the luxury Safari lodges I recommend,
– always learning about the many national parks
– exploring new parks and reserves or re-visiting different areas of the same parks,
– seeing how I can help more with community and conservation,
– renewing friendships with the ground crew,
– eating my weight in street food, and so much more.
18 years later, I still get super excited talking about Safaris. I can feel the excitement when planning a Safari, especially if it is a first timer on Safari or with a repeat guest in a new area I have just explored. The note or phone call after the Safaris are my favorites as 99.9% of the time, I know I made a Journey To Africa Safari fan for life.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The road to the present has had lots of twists and turns. In the beginning, it was learning about my niche. It took some time to come to the conclusion that the Safaris Journey To Africa will offer will be mid Luxury and higher with partners who are invested in community and conservation.
It feels good to give our clients the Safari quality we are proud off while knowing their money is also going to the good of the Safari country. Tech bubble burst and recession were some of the worst times for our business as a whole. Whew! I survived and am still here thanks to guests who continued to go on Safari with Journey To Africa during these hard times.
Please tell us about Journey To Africa.
Journey To Africa is a boutique Safari company that specializes in customizing Luxury Safaris to Eastern and Southern Africa. No two Safaris are alike! The Safaris are planned around your needs, your Safari budget, your adventure style, and more.
Journey To Africa guests are mostly repeats and referrals which is something I am super proud off – they have kept me going for the past 18 years. What guests also see with Journey To Africa is that what I recommend – I am talking from personal knowledge. The majority of the Safari lodges I suggest, I have personally visited, stayed at and know the management.
The National Parks as well; I have spent time there so the recommendation, or not, comes from personal experience. Africa is a complicated place. You have to know the logistics thoroughly. What may seem simple on a map, may not be simple on the ground. You have to have first-hand knowledge on how to design a Safari itinerary – I can confidently say I know because I have been there, done that.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I would have started working with companies rooted in community and conservation right away. It’s so much better with regards to long-term sustainability – Safaris forever.
My focus has been mainly in Tanzania and Kenya for Safaris. I would have started traveling to other Eastern and Southern African countries sooner to gain a larger understanding of the logistics, Safari lodges, national parks so I can offer more to my guests.
Never too late though; Botswana and South Africa are my next upcoming Safari in February 2019. I have past guests waiting to hear my thoughts.
- Our Safaris start at $500 per person per night
- Website: www.journeytoafrica.com
- Phone: 281 787 2859
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/journeytoafricasafari/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JourneyToAfrica
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/jtasafari