GoPark Safaris is a Kenya-based tour operator focused on providing high-quality, once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences for their clients. The safari company used a loan from Untours Foundation to refinance several high-interest loans for their first three hybrid engine vehicles. The cheaper and more flexible loan from Untours Foundation will accelerate their transition to a more climate-friendly fleet of vehicles, advancing their goal to become a leader in the environmentally-focused and locally-owned tourism movement in Kenya.
The GoPark Safaris Origin Story:
With 10 years of experience in market research and banking, GoPark Safaris co-founder Gloria Nyamweru Kihara left her job and learned German with the goal of joining the tourism community on the Kenyan coast. Gloria shares a Maasai proverb that has inspired her love of tourism which says “It is the eye which has traveled that is clever.” “From my experience,” Gloria shares, “I have seen this to be true because travel definitely opens the mind through new and different experiences.”
GoPark Safaris co-founder Augustus and her foray into tourism began in 2017, by providing transportation services to other tour operators. They coordinated their first safari in September of 2017 using a safari van hired from a friend. They sourced for business mainly through referrals, word-of-mouth, and knocking on people’s doors. In 2018 they coordinated 96 safaris and grew to 239 in 2019. By then they had acquired their own safari vehicles and grown their fleet to five vans and two jeeps and a staff complement of 12. Despite being a small operator, GoPark Safaris became known in the industry for having well-maintained vehicles with minimal breakdowns. “We are grateful for our team of professional drivers and guides who serve our clients with enthusiasm and passion, providing a memorable and fulfilling experience,” Said Gloria, “All our driver-guides are multi-lingual and in addition to English, speak at least one other language among French, German, Italian and Spanish.”
In mid-2018 GoPark Safaris added customized holiday packages for travelers booking directly with the company. They currently operate on both a B2B and B2C model, serving the domestic and international markets. “My greatest satisfaction comes from hearing and reading clients’ feedback and seeing their excitement after a successful safari. We seek to make travel a reality for everyone across borders in line with our tagline, One World, One Life, Let’s Travel,” said Gloria.
How GoPark Safaris is Changing the World:
GoPark Safaris is supplying jobs where employment is scarce in Kenya by hiring drivers and guides from the local community. Additionally, in 2021 they started to offer tours and excursions run and managed by members of the local communities. As a transport provider, GoPark Safaris are conscious of the environmental damage caused by emissions from fossil fuels. They seek to reduce their carbon footprint by employing the use of more eco-friendly vehicles. Since December 2019 they have replaced older model vehicles with two sedans and one van with hybrid engines.
How you can Support GoPark Safaris and Entrepreneur Gloria:
Share GoPark Safaris with people in your network and refer them to your friends before they visit Kenya. Gloria also mentioned it would be helpful for you to like and follow GoPark Safaris on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and TikTok.