For The Love Of Adventure

Mr. Elisha Oranga is the Founder and CEO of Orange Adventures Tours and Safaris. The company deals with experiential travel for both domestic and international clients. The company was founded in 2015. Mr. Oranga, an alumnus of Kenya Utalii College, has a passion for Tourism and is among the young influential leaders in the Country.

Why did you decide to pursue tourism?I was brought up at the Coast, which is the hub of tourism, and I developed an interest in travelling. Besides, I had many mentors. I enrolled for a tour guiding and administration course at Kenya Utalii College and this is where I got nurtured into tourism.

What was your first work experience like?I started working at Swissport Kenya although getting a slot there was a challenge. I worked there for three years and gained experience in customer service. I later joined an Australian company; Intrepid Adventures and worked as a tour leader. I would do safaris for almost 45 days across Africa and that helped me get exposure and establish a good network.

Give us some brief history of your company? After working for some few years, I saw a gap in the industry and the idea of setting up the company was born. That was in 2015. The move was also to partly fulfill my father’s vision. While in college, people used to call me ‘Orange’. This later turned out to be the name of the company, which is also the abbreviation for Overland – Rail- African – National – Geographic – Experience.

How has running a company been like for you? While the journey has not been easy, it’s worth it. My company has made a huge contribution and shaped the future of the industry. Ups and downs are part of running a business but the secret to a successful organization is coming up with a team that understands the history, aim, objectives, vision, and the future of the company. I have used these parameters in putting together the right team. Kenya Utalii College has helped in creating a team that’s fit for the task.

Outline some of your major achievements? Orange Adventures has been accorded notable accolades, one of them being the Kenya Tourism Board brand ambassador for the domestic market. In 2019, we won the Young Entrepreneurship Award in the hospitality and tourism, which is awarded to the most youthful led company in the country. I attribute these accolades to teamwork in the company. Orange Adventures also deals with off the beaten truck areas. Experiential impact with host communities is included. This has helped in building a good relationship between the host community and the clientele.In 2017, we undertook a project in partnership with Anglican Church of Kenya in Kericho, the England Church, the Impact Marathon Series, the County Government of Kericho and Kenya Tourism Board. We also organized for a half marathon and a 10 km race. Locals ran together with the guests and had a tea stop instead of a water stop. These kinds of projects have not been seen in the area. We started an association for women in Kericho to fund raise from the UK. The funds were used as an income generating project to enrich women in this locality. The coming years look more promising.

Any challenges you have faced in dealing with the East African Community?The East African Community has only been realized on paper and not in the actual sense. We face challenges especially in cross border safaris. Policies in other countries are very unfriendly for businesses. I would call for harmonization of the East African permit in the industry. Having a one-stop license that can work for the members of the East African countries can make life easier for businesses.

How have you been able to cope with the trends in the Tourism Industry?We are open to learn and do what has not been done before. As the trends change, we understand that innovation is key and creativity is a requirement.

What else do you do outside work?I find joy in having to stay in the wild, especially upcountry. I also love mentoring young people and doing projects that give back to society.

What advice would you give to the young people aspiring to be of impact in the Industry?I believe in the notion that it is wise to plant a tree under whose shade you will not enjoy. You have to appreciate humble beginnings and have clear objectives of what you want to achieve in life, and have discipline. #KenyaUtalii

Written By : Tim Tim Gikonyo, Tour Guiding & Administration Student At Kenya Utalii College

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