In the spirit of promoting Katutura and its scenery to tourists in a more approachable way, Anna Mafwila started Katu-tours, a service which uses bicycles to promote township tours.
By opening the business, she did not only have in mind the promotion of Katutura but also bringing integration in her location.
“The bicycle tour is my baby. I am the guide. I promote scenery and culture of Katutura. Through this business, I also intend bringing integration and unity in Katutura. We have been separated within ourselves so this misconception should be done away with practicing sustainable development,” Mafwila says.
She started the business from money received from the innovation fund at the Development Bank of Namibia.
Her business was approved by the National Tourism Board (NTB) in July 2011.
Mafwila, in her early 30s, did Grade 12 at Centaurus High School then took a few courses in eco-tourism at the Namibia Association for Tourism and Hospitality.
She then worked for Cardboard Box Travel Shop, Wild Dog and Crazy Kudu Safaris before she ventured into her business.
She points it out it has not always been easy operating her business on her own.
Currently, she has three employees doing office work, an assistant guide and a student from Unam who, hopefully, will be permanent once done with studies.
She, however, would like to have more sponsors coming in to support her business as well as companies willing to advertise her bicycle business.
The tour starts at 08h00 until 12h00 in summer time while in winter; the tour starts from 14h00 till 17h30.
The business’ high peak season is from end of May through to September when the time coincides with summer time in the European continent and most Europeans travel to the African continent for holidays.
She can take about 18 people on a single tour to places such as the Dam and Greenwell Matongo, Eveline Street, Wanaheda and Soweto Market.
The tours start and end at Penduka Craft Shop in near Goreangab Dam.
Her challenge with the business is weather-related since she cannot go out during the rainy season.
However, her main concern is the safety of her clients. So far, her clients have been satisfied with the tour she offers.
“Clients say that it is a good relaxing activity instead of sitting down in a vehicle the whole time. Throughout the tour, they can experience true Katutura style by eating food such as Kapana at single quarters, vetkoek, get their hair cut at the Open Market or even visiting shebeens,” she notes.
Her clients are mostly students from parts of and the United States who come for research on townships.
“Katu-Tours was one of the highlights to get business from the 2013 Adventure Travel world Summit, hence looking forward to getting business from there,” she says.
She plans to extend her business to other towns.