Meet the Socially Conscious Startup Giving New Meaning to Off Season Adventures

Off Season Adventures_trip_tanzania

Off Season Adventures is a US-based wildlife and community tourism organization focused on bringing travelers to Tanzania during the off-season, empowering local entrepreneurs working in the tourism industry.

Tanzania’s off-season runs from March to May, with a “shoulder” season in November, June and October, where the country takes a huge dip in tourism but yet, has so much to offer during this time. With Off Season Adventures, choose from pre-set itineraries filled with culture and wildlife, or customize your own adventure based on the types of activities and adventure level you are looking for.

Off Season Adventures is all about creating memorable experiences for their travelers, while allowing them to stay true to their values in sustainability. Every trip taken with Off Season Adventures is carbon offset, with a percentage of revenue donated to communities surrounding the accommodation facilities visited, assisting with water and waste management, electricity and education resources, and health services.

Learn more about Off Season Adventures by reading our Q&A with founder, Tanner Knorr, below.

Tell us a little about your personal experience traveling through Tanzania!

The first time I traveled to Tanzania was with my Master’s program through Boston University. I had never been to Africa before, so understandably, I did not know what to expect, but I was excited! We went to learn more about the country’s tourism industry, and its challenges and opportunities. You know that line from the Lion King– “there’s far too much to take in here”– that’s exactly right. The national parks are so vast and filled to the brim with animals everywhere you look.

My personal favorite is the Ngorongoro Crater. Because of its water supply, animals remain in the crater year round– lions, zebra, wildebeest, elephants, hippos, and so much more. The people are also amazingly friendly and I loved meeting them, both in the city and villages. And of course, the food is incredible too. Nearly everything is grown within the country, so it is so fresh and served in large servings.

Off Season Adventures

What inspired you to launch Off Season Adventures?

I launched Off Season Adventures because initially I wanted to bring others to explore the wonder of Tanzania. The idea grew out of the first trip through BU. After speaking with one of our tour guides (now my business partner), I realized that tourism seasonality is very dramatic in the country. Thus, OSA emphasizes off season travel to Tanzania for safaris and cultural excursions.

We have added other qualities to our tours to make them more sustainable, such as carbon offsetting the full trip from departure to arrival, and investing 5% of the tour package cost into local community projects. Now, my plan is to take “off season” travel all over the world to combat seasonality and over-tourism while carbon offsetting and building the communities surrounding tourism destinations.

How have you found off season travel has impacted local travel providers in destination and travelers visiting off season?

One of the greatest parts of traveling during the off season is that the local travel providers appreciate business (I think) so much more. This, in turn, [allows] for a better experience for our travelers. The last time I went, for example, we were only one of two to three rooms in the entire lodge. We were able to create a very personal connection with not only the people in Tanzania, but also the wildlife. You can’t beat driving around a national park and not seeing another safari vehicle for hours!

How does Off Season Adventures define sustainable travel?

We define sustainable travel as travel that positively impacts not only the economy, but also the community and environment of the destination. We think long term when making decisions at OSA. It is very important to me to consider the long term ramifications of our clients traveling to any destination. We try to do the most amount of good in each tour that we can- from supporting local communities, to offsetting the carbon emissions, to using Tanzanian-owned lodging and tours.

What are some of your favorite activities in Tanzania that you love to introduce travelers to?

In Tanzania, the highlight is definitely the wildlife. While you may be able to find the same animals in different countries, Tanzania is one of the only places where you can find all the animals in the same country all year round. The extensiveness of the parks is breathtaking, so I want to share that with everyone. But the people are also amazing. They are very hospitable and kind anywhere you go, and it is so wonderful to speak with locals, both in their tribal settings and in the local towns and cities.

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