Tim Baily is more than just a safari operator, he is a man with a passionate love for his native Africa — and with some justification, he can also claim to be an expert on the more violent side of African politics.
For in the past eight years Tim, in his efforts to get his trans-Africa safari company established, has continually found himself slap in the middle of whichever juicy African conflict seems to be simmering at that particular moment.
The first expedition
Tim led the first expedition to get through the Congo border into Uganda and his latest venture is the even more dangerous mission to get his company across from Kenya to Uganda. In addition to his expertise in running mines, border guards, and troop transport, Tim has a piece of formidable political knowledge and an unforgiving intention.
Appalled by the civil war in neighboring Africa, he has joined the struggle for nearly eight years. He has managed to delay the arrival of the next phase of his epic journey through the bush, even when many others seemed to have given up on the dream.
Tim’s company, Kipos, has just opened its doors in the capital of Uganda. The next few years should be particularly promising for the discount safari company.
In a world where everything is under the sun, Tim’s discount safari company has seemed to be the one that is setting the standard for inclusive safaris. In a field where the established brands — those that are bought by every safari company for every safari — are forced to tread carefully, hoping to be the last in the frame, Tim’s company seems to be nailed at the door.
From the very beginning, Tim and his small team had their work cut out for them. Naming the company into existence was relatively straightforward: a need for capital to start the company and a need to lend further capital to expand the fleet of buses in which the safari buses are run.
Tim’s background is also much of the reason for taking this particular company. He was born in London in 1953 and lived there for a year and a half. After his time in the city, he had settled in Africa, initially operating under the handle of his grandparents. In the 1980s, he traveled extensively in the Far East and began toying with the idea of creating a business in Africa.
With the help of a young entrepreneur, Tim made a crucial leap in the company’s development. In the early 1990s, Masayuki Nishikawa, a Japanese-British entrepreneur, invested a small fortune in Bengalurious, a small upmarket travel company. He soon became owner and operator of a large, then failing, company. Twelve years later, with an again young and less failing company, Tim finally had the confidence and resources to create his own discount safari company.
Now a venture capital fund, funded by overseas investors, was formed to managing the investable part of the company. Besides, several national and international bodies gave the Tahiti property are ultra beachfront publisher loan, and a small Lima unique property company was created. The Discount Safari Company grew like a growing tree and had its first commercialization in 1994. The company went public in 1996 and by 1999 had America’s first discount safari resort, Corcovado Jungle Lodge, which was subsequently sold to the Hilton Group.
From 1999 to 2003, the company had over 3500 guests and ran its dedicated accommodation units within the jungle, for 40 million dollars. By 2004 it was showcased in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most expensive Treehouse. The Griffith Observatory, Universal Studios, and the Plaza del Angel were all added as well.
But these were not the high points of the company’s career. In 2004, the company went into administration, unable to raise the necessary capital against its rapidly declining business. It was rescued by its Brazilian parent company, Tonga, and by 2004 was once again profitable again.
But 2004 also contained the first major warning sign of the next venture’s possibly dangerous nature. On February 26th, the US Agency for Continental Affairs (AFCAD) imposed a travel advisory for the sensitive situation in Ecuador. The minute-long advisory, announced by the FCA, warned that terrorist organizations were active in the South American country, particularly in Quito, the capital, which was formerly known as Alcatraz.
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