ENTREPRENEURS OF ZANZIBAR
Khamis Ali Pandu is the owner of the Jambo Restaurant and Dolphin Safari. This is his first year running the business and depending on how many travel companies he can get to sign up for the dolphin experience in the next 2 months will determine whether he makes it to a second season. We are helping Khamis with business planning, marketing collateral and with public relations.
Through travel companies, tourists can book to swim with wild dolphins at Kizimkazi, a beautiful village and pristine beach set at the southern coast of Zanzibar. This includes a boat trip to learn about the Bottlenose and Humpback dolphin species, snorkeling in a coral reef, sailing option to a small island with picnic or tasting locally caught, grilled Kingfish at the Jambo Restaurant which can also be used for large audiences and private functions.
The dolphin safaris at Kizimkazi demonstrate natural and marine resource management promoting sustainable ecotourism on Zanzibar. Khamis is a strong advocate for the protection of dolphins in their natural habitat. Khamis is also the Secretary of the Kizimkazi Dolphin Tour Operator’s Association and he is actively working to professionalize the boat operators so they can demand a livable wage.
Suzanne Degeling runs several small businesses and one NGO on Zanzibar. Suzanne is from Holland but decided to make Zanzibar her home after working as an adventure tour guide across Sub Saharan Africa. She owns the Kaya Shop & Tearoom that features unique African paintings, jewelry, and souvenirs made by local artists. Shellcraft jewelry produced by our village women is sold at the shop.
Suzanne is the Marketing Manager for Kawa Tours that features spice island and Stone Town tours, Jozani Forest monkey excursions and unique experiences such as the ghost tour and cooking workshop. This is an eco-friendly place that emphasizes culture and community. Along with the tour company, Suzanne started the Kawa Training Center in 2010. This NGO trains local youth to become competent tour guides knowledgeable in local architecture, nature-based resources and are eco-friendly. Suzanne hopes the training program will instill both a sense of historical pride and architectural curiosity in future generations across the island.
Robert Schnetzer is an up and coming entrepreneur on Zanzibar. He rented an apartment to me that I will be moving into later this month. He also introduced me to people in the expatriate community. Robert dabbles in real estate, rents out cars, brokers high end services to expats, provides custom tour experiences and will open some family businesses to include a laundry mat.
When he first arrived from South Africa, Robert lived for several months in a local village away from the hustle and bustle of town so he could get to know the people and learn the language. Robert said he was quickly accepted as an honorary local because daily he greeted the village grandmothers sitting on their porches. Robert has a background in the hospitality industry and he wants to help local entrepreneurs develop their own tourism businesses that are sustainable and resilient to off-season lows.