Founded in December 2012 and launched in May 2013, SafariDesk was a travel marketplace and vacation booking platform connecting travelers to offers, discounts, and travel rewards from travel providers in East Africa.
With $25k in seed funding in December, 2012 from Savannah Fund, Irvine Ndwiga, the CEO and Paul Hunkin, the CTO aimed to give users personalized travel information from leading travel providers via their site Safaridesk.com after living in Australia and New Zealand respectively.
The idea was noble, there was no online travel booking platform connecting vendors with travelers with centralized payments, ratings, reviews, communication, support and presentation. SafariDesk wanted to integrate mobile and social platforms to make it an experiential travel platform to help users discover and plan amazing vacation experiences in off-the-grid destinations in East Africa.
SafariDesk promised to handpick a selection of amazing locations that its users would love. All they had to do was browse around and find their favourite spots. Then they would connect with the vendor via SMS and pay for this experiences with ease online from the platform.
Safaridesk also allowed users to pay with Bitcoins from wherever they would be. At that time, SafariDesk said, “When all is settled, make the payment through our secure payment gateway using a number of payment methods. All major credit cards accepted, along with Bitcoin.”Focusing on their mission to make Safari less demanding and less work, SafariDesk added they would be featuring amazing destinations for users as well as add new and exciting features all the time.
It’s not just Safari, SafariDesk also wanted added a community platform to allow its users to share their experiences with the SafariDesk travelers community. Users would read about the epic tales from its community of intrepid explorers.
Unfortunately, the co-founders didn’t connect and even failed to raise a follow-on funding to bring their dreams to full maturity.
This is our second article in the Obituaries series after SleepOut which vows to be revamped into a better platform when it’s resurrected.