Hummba, Making Leaps with Audio Guides

Hummba a South African startup has integrated a new angle in tour guides: Audio. Users with smart-phones can easily download audio guides for over 100 destinations worldwide.

The word Hummba is derived from “hamba” a Xhosa word meaning travel. This interesting start up has attracted quite some attention to it since they launched out of BETA in May 2011. They now accommodate 10,000 guide downloads and 150,000 unique visitors to the site monthly.

So how does the platform work? Hummba CEO Mark Allewell, explained to HumanIPO. “Users are able to download location based audio and text guides that play automatically when the user is in the area of information. Users are also able to track their routes, geo tag pictures and share their travel experiences with the hummba community and FB friends and Twitter followers. We currently have an iPhone and Android app.” The audio guides are currently from 2 hours to 4 hours long.

Other parts of the world also have embraced the idea of audio tours. In the UK, Walk Talk Tours is offering walking tours around London, Edinburgh, York, Free Manchester and Chester. Audio Travel in Germany covers cities like Munich, Cologne and Berlin.

Right now Hummba covers areas in South Africa, Egypt and Namibia. “We are looking to partner up with location tourism authorities in getting great local content, like we have done with Cape Town Tourism, Gauteng Tourism,” Mark said.

The firm just signed a deal with Frommer’s, a worldwide travel guide publisher, to get information on destinations. The full idea is to have user generated travel guides, which will add a lot to the value of the platform. “At present all the guides are curated by us,” he told HumanIPO, “We will be developing user guides towards the end of the year.”

And to Mark and company, the future looks bright. “We tend to focus on walking tour tourism market. But, with our Frommers partnership, we will be rolling out 89 cities around the World by the end of the year.”

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