On my recent trip to Kenya I spent some time searching around for peer-to-peer travel services that I might take advantage of in the region. One of my favorite activities companies, I Like Local, has a solid presence in Kenya. They offer some very interesting activities both in Nairobi and in the countryside, and it’s pretty clear that at least most of these really are offered by locals who want to share their home/nature/culture with travelers, rather than professional tour guides.
The strong presence in Kenya is no doubt due to the fact that Sanne, the founder of I Like Local, currently lives there. We tried to connect in person while I was in Nairobi but due to some mishaps (getting lost in the Karura forest, insane traffic at all hours of the day) it didn’t work out. Nonetheless, if you are visiting Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania or Gambia, definitely check out I Like Local for some really interesting and unique activities. (Stay tuned for my upcoming post about the Kibera slum tour I did with I Like Local).
There are also some activities in Africa listed on Vayable, though the only experience that seems to be offered by someone who is not a professional tour guide on there overlaps with one on I Like Local. The rest of the Vayable experiences are safaris or other multi-day extensive (and expensive) excursions that seem to be offered by professional tour companies or perhaps someone reselling for tour companies. There’s nothing wrong with professional tours, you can get some very skilled guides with polished itineraries. But you also can end up in the middle of the usual tourist trail and I enjoy seeing things from the perspective of locals who are just offering activities as a side business. Also it’s not particularly hard to find and book safaris, so Vayable isn’t offering any special service here.
If you want to rent a boat on some of the incredible beach and coastline around Africa, you have the option of using the peer-to-peer rental platform GetMyBoat which boasts a surprising number of boats available for rent in South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Namibia and a few other African countries.
For sharing economy lodging services in Africa, I’ve previously written about SleepOut, a company competing with AirBnb in Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Rwanda, Zimbabwe and Malawi. AirBnb has an impressive presence in many African countries as well. I also know that some of the home exchange networks have listings in Africa, though it’s a big continent and the listings are not plentiful so finding a swap might prove challenging.
Finally, for peer-to-peer transportation in Africa, I recently wrote about finding Uber in Nairobi, and their presence in Africa in general. I don’t know of any ridesharing networks but I wouldn’t be surprised if a few exist within some countries in the region.
That’s pretty much all I could find for peer-to-peer businesses in Africa. I’m sure there are more so if you know of any sharing economy travel businesses in Africa let me know what I’ve missed.