So how did we came up with Rafiki on Tour? The 'on Tour' part is there because we love to travel and roadtrip a lot, but that part was probably pretty obvious. The 'Rafiki' part has been around for a couple of years now and is more interesting. We came up with that name when we bought the Defender and Christend it Rafiki.
The name Rafiki was not a random pick. Tobias' previous Land Rover was called St. Baraka, named like that during its first Africa trip. St. Baraka means something like 'blessed' in Swahili and it kept this name during multiple owners, which is quite unique. When Tobias sold St. Baraka he decided that the newer Defender should bare a name that would match with St. Baraka. That's when he came up with Rafiki, which translates to 'friend' in Swahili. And then there's Rafiki, the monkey from the Lion King. Representing the wisdom and friends we gather during our travels.
By now we all know the Rafiki on Tour platform is much more than just this one car. Rafiki, or friend, is the one thing that connects us all. The name represents our drive to make new friends all around the world.
The entire project has been in the making for quite some time. It all started when Tobias bought his first overland vehicle (a Land Rover 109 Ambulance) at the age of 17 in 2010. This purchase was the direct result of the inspirational campingtrips with the family when he was young. The ambulance carried the name St. Baraka, given to her during the first Africa expedition she was used on. After many camping trips it was clear the old ambulance couldn't take Tobias to the places he wanted to visit during the relatively short summer holiday. So after 5 years of lovely trips de decision was made to sell St. Baraka and buy a newer Land Rover Defender 110.
When Tobias got the Defender he needed to completely rebuild the car and after months of work it went from being a 9 person Station into a 2 person overlander. During the rebuild Tobias started to share the every step on social media and his personal website, hoping to inspire other people. Once finished, Rafiki had everything it needed to go on extended trips, but the main idea was still to use it on weekend trips and the summer holidays.
After many short trips and only one summer holiday in 2016 Tobias got the wanderlust and saw Rafiki had too much potential to left unused! As a result of this, in April 2017 the decision was made to go on a 8 month roadtrip through Europe. The Rafiki on Tour platform was 'officially' born and the entire story of the journey was shared on Tobias' personal website and the Rafiki on Tour Facebook and Instagram page. Where in the beginning only friends and family were following the story, fellow travellers and likeminded people soon followed. During this epic trip it was hard to give the platform the transformation it needed to keep growing, but the experience of sharing this amazing content with the world created the foundation for the further development of Rafiki on Tour. So when the trip ended in December 2017, Tobias decided to completely renew the Rafiki on Tour platform; giving it a new look, website and approach.