Faith Mmbando is the CEO of Best Northern Tours and Safari, a tour operator in Tanzania that offers hiking, safari and adventure experiences to guests from around the world. A few years ago, Faith decided to take a dormant family business and turn it into a world-class experience. Now, just 21 years old, she is making her mark in a male-dominated industry and has a clear vision for future success. In this episode, Faith talks about finding a niche, sustainable tourism and socioeconomic factors.
Finding a niche
“Ensuring your clients that you have a safe space to put them in makes it more validating.”
One of the ways that Faith intends to set her adventure tour apart is through the addition of lodging for the guests that come to experience Tanzania. This way, she can remove a worry and potential roadblock from people booking a trip and a tour destination.
Faith is also passionate about setting her company apart from many other tour operators in the area by employing women in all roles within the organization. Her goal is to provide opportunities to women historically taken by men such as bus drivers, tour guides and admin staff so that valuable talent is not overlooked.
“I am amazed every time I go into the wildlife because it’s different every time.”
Faith inspires us to not take what is in our backyard for granted, while at the same time acknowledging that it takes all of us to ensure that the wildlife and ecosystem can be sustained for generations to come. She communicates this through her staff but also takes the opportunity to educate and inspire the guests on tour to clean up after themselves and take care of the fragile environment.
The company is currently pursuing using solar energy wherever possible and in time, switching to electric vehicles that would be used on safari. Diesel trucks are very noisy, and can scare off animals (not to mention what the exhaust does to the environment). Faith said she can imagine being able to observe wildlife in a silent vehicle, which would be less jarring to the animals and thus create a better experience for her guests.
“It’s never easy dealing with things that are out of your control. Keep a positive mindset.”
Running a business is hard, especially when factors outside of your control dictate whether or not a guest may choose to visit you. Political unrest, wars, and inflation are just some of the factors that Faith mentioned that she has found can impact her and all tourism businesses.
True to form, Faith does not let this damper her spirit. She approaches each of these challenges with an open and positive outlook, seeking solutions that will help overcome the external impacts. She also credits some of her success from not starting her business during COVID as she got to learn from others and how they dealt with the pandemic.
To learn more about Best Northern Tours and Safari or to connect with Faith, she invites you to check out her LinkedIn page, or the Best Northern Tours and Safari website and social channels. She also hopes people will reach out directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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This podcast wouldn’t be possible without the incredible work of our amazing team:
- Scheduling and correspondence by Kristen Karaliunas