Hi there, my name is Ashleigh, and I am the founder of Tingu. In 2014 I moved to London for work, and it being my first time overseas, it was there that the travel bug bit me. It was so easy for me to travel, because I had so many options to suit my budget. 14 countries later, I relocated to South Africa, and suddenly it wasn’t so affordable to travel anymore, or at least so I thought.
But, being the adventurer that I am, I knew I’d find a way to make it work. I found a group of fellow expats who were also keen to explore South Africa, and soon enough, we were spending most of our weekends galavanting. One of the ladies had a travel blog, and she would document all her travels around South Africa. I thought to myself, this would be a great way to document my travels in Africa so I can share with my friends, who didn’t know much about what they can do in South Africa, and other African countries. And so in 2017, I started my blog, Tingu! In 2018, I won Travel Blog of the year at the Zimbabwe Blog Awards .
The name Tingu comes from the Shona word kutingura, which means galavanting. And so Tingu is someone who galavants. While blogging is great, it doesn’t actually solve the challenges that come with travelling in Africa, like finding affordable and reliable flights and accommodation. After summiting Kilimanjaro with friends in 2018, I felt I was ready to take on the world! So the entrepreneur in me decided I would turn Tingu into a travel startup, to help travellers find affordable flights, accommodation and experiences. I chose my home country, Zimbabwe, as a launch market, and in 2018, I was chosen as a Top Female Entrepreneur by Total, one of 55 women globally to win this award.
Fast forward to 2019, after spending time at the Parisian incubator, Numa, Tingu provides affordable accommodation in South Africa through Airbnb and has earned Superhost status. Tingu also hosts group trips around South Africa and Africa, and offers flights through an easy-to-use search engine. And of course, I continue to blog and vlog about my travels around Africa! So where is Tingu’s next destination? It’s somewhere in Africa, but wherever that is, it’s a place I can call home.