Tongai Leon Mushangwe, a travel agent based in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Tongai Leon Mushangwe, a travel agent based in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Nov 16, 2021

Tell us about how you got started.

Wanderlust Safaris’ story began in February 2021 in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. The travel agents’ company is co-owned by directors who have been residing in the resort town as well as working within the tourism industry for over 20 years. The aspect of receiving and hosting people from all over the world sparked the idea to also venture into the industry in an aim to cater for different client tourism needs in a more efficient and quality-assured way.

Having been observing the industry for quite some time, the tourism and hospitality business became a passion. The company needed to create a source of employment that values employees and provides a conducive working environment for all. The idea was birthed in an effort to fix unemployment issues faced by the youth in Africa while at the same time bringing a solution to various tourists needs from all over the world who seek to travel to Africa.

What makes your company unique?

Our company culture makes us unique, it is infused with the collective qualities from different mindsets, moral values and experiences that distinguish us in the market. It is our people, and the relationships that we build, that provides the expertise that allows us to grow and focus on providing the best services to the world. Our people, whose work we value, respect and recognize for its worth and contribution, are committed to offering exceptional services to each and every client with respect while upholding “Ubuntu” which is the essential human virtues - compassion and humanity.  

No business is without setbacks, can you tell us about a time when you faced a significant setback and how you recovered from it?

Our company started in the heart of a pandemic, covid-19 and as a newcomer in the industry it was a major setback for us, because we had few bookings while having a lot of expenses, while the company needed funds. How we recovered from this is amazing, at Wanderlust Safaris we embrace diversity and ensured we are unique from the rest of the tour operators. We put the same energy in local tourism just as we put in the international market.

How do you define success and to what do you attribute your success?

Anytime you set a goal and achieve even a small part of it that is success to me.

What's next for your business, what will it look like in 5 years?

To be recognized as the preferred travel agent in Southern Africa. Through dedicated leadership, teamwork and humanity, we will demonstrate our consistent commitment to delivering exceptional services. To constantly enhance our guests' experiences through our passionate people, ongoing innovation and leading-edge technology. Our integrity, values and ongoing investment in our people will provide exceptional returns and ensure continued, sustainable growth.

What do you think the future holds for Africa-focused entrepreneurs and advice do you have for entrepreneurs who are just starting out?

I believe the future is always bright, as we see an increase in the number of upcoming entrepreneurs in Africa. All across Africa, bright young people work every day to create a better, greener, more prosperous future. Demographically, the continent is younger than any other. Up-and-coming entrepreneurs will need to contend with a range of complex considerations which include thinking beyond borders, out with the old and in with digital, logistic (making the world smaller), and funding these projects.

Owning a business while balancing a personal life can be challenging; how do you take care of yourself?

Failure to plan, is preparing to fail hence I ensure I plan effectively what needs to be done at certain time and season.

What is your favorite quote or mantra?  What keeps you going?

“The world rewards those who press on. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself, I don’t have time to complain. I’m going to press on.” –Barack Obama 

What is your favorite app or a business tool that you can't live without

The internet plays a major role in the tourism industry.