Platforms/Websites for Experiential Travel
When traveling to a new destination, travelers look forward to local experiences. This calls for a need to have a local host or guide. Traveling this way gives you an opportunity to see the less known attractions, eat food you’ve never heard of, and experience the local culture in a way you wouldn’t have imagined.
Technology has made finding local experiences and guides easy. Many companies have set up platforms (web applications) which connect travelers with local private guides all over the world.
Below are the leading websites where you can find guides who will offer you memorable local experiences in Africa.
#1 Turn up Travel
“We organize unique tours, design bespoke experiences and produce great tourism content. We started in Kenya because charity begins at home but we have a Pan African vision and global mindset.”
Well, charity begins at home. And true to their word, Turn up Travel has been on a mission to showcase the best of Kenya by offering amazing local experiences. Whether you are looking for wine tours, hiking trails, festivals, rafting adventures or custom experiences, Turn up Travel will have something in store for you.
#2 Tours by Locals
Tours by Locals is an industry leader when it comes to connecting travelers with local private guides. Through their web and mobile app, the company recruits experienced guides who list their tours on the platform.
#3 Kumba Africa
This platform is the latest entry in the market and I am very excited to see their future which seems very promising. Kumba focuses more on the African continent where locals can share their stories, attractions, culture, and art with the rest of the world.
Whether you want to learn how to cook Ugali in Kenya, ride a moto-taxi in Kigali, learn how to dance to Lingala in Congo or play Djembe, Kumba has got your back.
Vayable – a TripAdvisor company – is exactly who they say they are – “…an online marketplace enabling people to discover, buy and sell unique travel experiences, activities and extended trips.”
#5 Airbnb Experiences
Besides accommodation, Airbnb enables hosts to list and offer experiences to their guests.
Couchsurfing is a share economy platform where members can host or be hosted for free. Besides accommodating, local hosts share information about the unique places to visit and things to do in their area.
Depending on their work schedule, hosts can also offer to show you around. This is one of the best tools for a budget traveler who is keen on experiencing a destination like a local.
For those who love the hinterland, this is one of the best options. With WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms), you are hosted in an organic farm where you volunteer for a couple of hours per day. Staying with the local family gives you an opportunity to interact with the local community and learn about their way of life.
Other websites that offer local experiences
The above is a list of my favorites. If you would like to explore more, the websites below offer similar services.
- Show Around
- Like a Local
- With Locals
- Meet June
Useful Travel Resources
- Road Trip Guide: Nairobi to Kigali through Kampala
- Travel resources for backpackers in Kenya
- SGR Train from Nairobi to Mombasa Booking
- List of cheap backpackers hostels & lodges in Kenya
- Traveling by bus in East Africa