Muthuri Kinyamu and Brian Gatimu are using social media to offer a different experience to traveller
Barry Silah @obel_barry
When Muthuri Kinyamu and Brian Gatimu met last year at an event in Mombasa, they had no idea in a year they would be running their own company. “Initially, we were a team of friends, bloggers, photographers and historians who travelled together for fun and to document stories of various tourist sites.
Muturi and I met during one of the events, but our friendship grew when American singer Chris Brown visited Mombasa for a performance last year. We talked about many ideas on telling the Kenyan story,” says Gatimu, a nature photographer. They set up Turn Up Travel, a firm that uses Instagram to tell the Kenyan story.
They organise tours for people who want a different experience. The team that includes Head of Content, Michael Njeru, visits different locations in the country, documenting stories and sharing photos, which they share.
They came up with a strategy of how they would organise tours to the entire country and let people share their experiences on Instagram and other social media platforms. “We initially drafted a 52-week travel plan.
This was more than a job for us; it was driven by passion. I remember early in the year we went for 15 days to Zimbabwe and toured the rural parts of the country,” adds Gatimu, an Oregon University-trained Biologist.
They have so far visited sites such as Rusinga Island,Turkana and the Kenya’s coastal region.
The charges vary based on location, but on average each traveller pays Sh20,000. The company, which started in January this year, wants to change the misconception that travelling in Kenya is expensive.
“We are out to give a different perspective of what Kenya has to offer. Many people fear travelling because of either lack of information or ignorance.
Turn up Travel is out to demystify all this and get people to love and appreciate their country,” adds Muthuri, a co-founder in charge of public relations. The team has organised two trips successfully, targeting places which have been ignored, but are rich in history and cultural values.
“Because devolution is picking up, there is an opportunity for the tourism industry to grow. The team capitalises on the power of social media to draw people who want to take such trips.