Cynthia Botshelo Mothelesi, founder of Happy Soul Adventures had a vision to redefine the concept of travel and connect with people on a different level. She is a lover of life, people and the rich African culture. She is dedicated to curating original, tailored experiences that mainly focus on connecting clients with the people of Botswana (where she is based) and the rest of Africa.
Happy Soul Adventures brings together travel experiences that include living with the locals, learning their cultures and most importantly, connecting guest and local.
Q&A with Cynthia Botshelo Mothelesi
How did the idea for your business come about?
I used to work for Botswana Tourism Organisation and realised a gap in people-based tourism. I don’t want people from outside of the continent to visit only wildlife areas in Africa, they must also visit Africa to come and interact with us, the locals, and immerse themselves in the local culture. That’s what inspired me to quit my job and run my business full time.
How did you come up with the name for your company/experience?
I am a happy soul; I love connecting with people and that’s what travel should be about. Learning local cultures and allowing your soul to immerse itself in the experiences.
You come out a happy soul.
Who is your ideal customer and why?
Adventure enthusiasts and those looking to meet local people whenever they travel.
Why do you offer the very best experience/product for your customers?
I want my clients to feel refreshed after the experience and love Africa even more because of the rich cultural experiences from across the continent.
Botswana has a unique product offering when it comes to the local culture.
What is your greatest hope for your business?
To be able to collaborate with my business counterparts from across the continent and be able to open branches across the continent.
What has been the most satisfying achievement in your business?
Creating a model that creates business opportunities for people in local communities. When you book one of our experiences, a local person gets to make money by hosting you. And also, being able to create a model that makes Africa shine through our unique cultures.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs who want to get into tourism?
Do it with passion, have the patience and determination to keep going when times are tough.
If you could have a do-over, what would you do differently?
Nothing. Everything has been a learning experience and we have been able to do better because of the challenges we have faced.