I would like to introduce you to Phaka Hlazo founder of Zulu Nomad which is a travel service I used in 2017 to go explore Mozambique. Without further ado here is more in her own words.
Please introduce yourself to our readers
My name is Phakamile uMaDludla Hlazo, I am the founder of Zulu Nomad, a wife and mom, and a consultant in the tourism industry.
What is Zulu Nomad and how did it come about?
Zulu Nomad started off as my own Instagram page, I was a few months into my life in Shanghai and was having such a great time I figured I would stay there for 3 years, then move to South America somewhere and thereafter move to West Africa. Altogether I’d be away from home for 9 years, I was going to be “the zulu nomad”, I then started the Instagram page to document my travels. As life would have it, I never made it to South America, after 3 years in China I wanted to come home and reconnect. I had still kept the Instagram page and for my 30th birthday I took a month-long Euro-trip (I did Athens, Santorini, Warsaw, Madrid, Barcelona, and Ibiza, mostly on my own and meeting up with friends here and there) that gained a lot of attention from people wanting to know how I had planned the trip, how I afforded to travel so much etc. I had an amazing time on that trip, but I also realised how many people had never considered that they could have the types of experiences I was sharing, right at home, or in our neighbouring countries. In 2009, 4 of us decided to drive from Johannesburg to Malawi, via Zimbabwe and Mozambique, that experience absolutely changed my life and I wanted other young South Africans to know that they don’t have to go to Europe to “travel”.
Today, Zulu Nomad is a digital tourism services startup whose solutions are underpinned by over 3 years of operational experience as an overland and domestic tour operator. Covid-19 impacted our business as we were due to launch our experiences marketplace, connecting travellers to providers of authentic, immersive experiences in South Africa at the Berlin Travel Festival in March. We recovered quickly and turned our focus to how we could best support the most vulnerable entrepreneurs in tourism (tour guides, fellow tour operators, and hosts in various communities) to best use this time during lockdown to get the 2.0 versions of their businesses ready for when leisure travel is allowed again. We have developed the Digitial Skills and 4IR Masterclass, practical business training,developed specifically for this target group, and available conveniently online.
How long has Zulu Nomad been around?
Zulu Nomad was registered in January 2016 and we hosted our first group experience to Xai-Xai in Mozambique in March that year.
Do you have a target market? If so who is your target market?
We develop digital solutions for challenges faced by stakeholders throughout the tourism value chain – Destination Management Companies (DMCs), tour operators, tour guides, retail and cultural experiences providers as well as travelers themselves.
Below responses are in relation to the Zulu Nomad Marketplace :
Can people outside of South Africa use your services?
Yes, domestic, regional as well as international travelers will be able to book experiences on the platform.
Where are your trip destinations?
In line with our expectations of Covid-19 on the tourism industry, we will focus on domestic experiences on the platform with additional destinations outside of South Africa to be introduced in due course.
What packages do you offer?
Travelers will be able to book wellness, adventure, food and cultural experiences on the Zulu Nomad marketplace.
How do people get hold of you?
They can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on Instagram and facebook @zulu_nomad