South Africa really looks like this.
Africa boasts a rich variety of attractions that draw in tourists from around the world.
The continent has a wealth of archaeological sites and historic monuments, stunning landscapes and scenery, picturesque coastlines, mountains, plains, tropical rainforests and bush ecosystems – home to exceptional plants and wildlife as well as flourishing small businesses.
Kamooni is a travel companion app that helps tourists explore South Africa in a purposeful way. The app lets the the user book guesthouses, experiences and give back in form of upliftment projects
This has created an ecosystem where more than 20 million people work directly or indirectly to welcome tourists from around the world. As a direct result this has started to boost the African economy.
However, despite the positive developments witnessed in the last few years, the continent still faces a number of impediments to its growth.
Poverty, lack of proper education, inadequate infrastructure, inequality, and a restrictive health system – all these and more are constraints that limit the development.
While many organisations target the commercial aspect of tourism the good hearted entrepreneur Herman Vercuiel and his team mates felt that travellers can instead be a part of the solution to many of Africas challenges.
On that notion they embarked on a journey to create a product that could change the exploitative nature of the relations between travellers and their host destinations to instead making a positive impact.
They had an idea on how to do it, but lacked the strategy on how to make it happen and how to package it to bring it into the market. Thats where they asked Prepublica for help.
“This has been the most transformative experience I’ve ever had”
Alan Roxton Wiggil, Partner
Herman had already started developing a software that was aimed to simplify the life for the hospitality industry. A system that let the hosts manage their bookings, point of sales, and the activities on their property, all through one platform.
Now the mission was to connect the software to meet the need of the travellers, and additionally to transcend the purpose of the project to become about their contribution to a greater good.
A Few of Kamooni’s takeaways:
With this as our starting point we took them through a series of exercises that helped them clarify their vision, define their true purpose, and to deepen the understanding around the values that had initially gotten the team to take this direction.
We also helped them explore the terrain better and to get to learn the needs and desires of their customer groups; in order for them to innovate and develop their product to act as the vessel that transported their mission.
As a result, they realised that a complementary function inside their roadmap should be the primary value proposition to take the driving seat instead. The feature where a percentage of the transactions between travellers/hosts goes into a fund, which can then be distributed to support community projects.
Respect, trust, and truth. It’s easy to write words like them down on a post-it, living by them and incorporating them into your business is the hard part. Happy to say, Kamooni is doing this great.
Altogether this process has not only helped them develop their idea but has also gotten them a powerful story to tell and an identity that communicates the responsibilities we all share as travellers. That’s where we got the name, Kamooni means to be in communion. The need to pay respect to the land and the people we visit.
Kamooni has thus turned into becoming a caregiving tribute to Africa. A digital platform that could not only welcome travellers to the beautiful continent, but also acts as a catalyst that can create a culture of conscious travel. In other words, good travelling.
We hope that Kamooni can be an inspiration and a template for the continued story of Africa.
“It’s like you’ve been inside my head all this time knowing what I want.”
Herman Vercuiel, CEO