Hike Maniak is creating Community Impact through Adventure
When you involve the community, everyone benefits.
Gitonga David Wandai, founder of Hike Maniak, wanted to give Kenyans the opportunity to get to know their own country. For the last five years, his company has been organizing hiking tours with three main goals: to give people the chance to connect with each other, to help them interact with the local environment and culture, and to encourage them to discover something about themselves.
“We can’t express how much the support of the Tourism Recovery Program has helped us. It came just as our reserves were exhausted, which meant that we didn’t have to lay off any staff and no one had to leave. Now we’re starting to recover and people are more comfortable to travel again. We have also diversified our products to include more adventure experiences, like rock climbing. The financial support helped us buy equipment, so now we have regular climbing tours every fortnight. We were also able to bring the whole team together, improve our structure and long-term planning.”
Hike Maniak employs young people from the communities it works in to train and work as tour guides. Their tours include local food experiences and opportunities for the community to sell their handmade crafts. The community also receives a conservancy fee for the tours, which they can use for projects that need it the most, like improving their clean water supply or building schools.
“One of the things we’ve been looking to do with our mentor is grow our international market. We want to engage more international travelers and create international partnerships. Our mentor in the Tourism Recovery Program has been really helpful in designing our products to attract more international clients and our target is to have a new product in place by the end of February and expand into new markets.”