Cape Town, South Africa, August 2017 -Afritrip’s, the holding company for the luxury online tour operator’s, year-long hunt for a sought-after internet domain has come to an end with South Africa’s most expensive web domain deal.
Safari.com faced losing 80% of its business when pending legal action from South African National Parks who wanted Krugerpark.com as its central portal and were forced to sell it. Then CEO Ric Meulemans came across Safari.com. Chief operating officer Alexis Boshoff said: “It was just this dormant placeholder website with a few safari listings. Nothing had changed on the site since the ’90s.”
Deciding to buy the domain but unable to find its owner Boshoff, contacted the German technical contact listed, and convinced him to reveal the name of the site’s owner. The domain first registered in 1992, has since then turned down offers from Apple – whose web browser is called Safari – and Ralph Lauren, which makes Safari cologne for men.
Further investigation was done by Afritrip as they enlisted US private investigator Dan Hurley, to track down the owner and start negotiations for Safari.com. Negotiations went on until March with an improved offer of R5-and R10-million and a fully paid safari holiday sealing the deal. The sale took effect in June.“We took ownership of the Safari.com domain about a week before we had to give up Krugerpark.com,” said Boshoff
“The purchase of the Safari.com domain will allow extensive operations to all parts of Africa and is no longer focused primarily in South Africa; this allows customers who are arranging trips to book any and all African Safaris with Safari.com.”
The company initially specialised in efficiently bringing visitors to the Kruger National Park and the South African National Parks properties. Quickly becoming the biggest reseller of SANP properties; this was then expanded to all properties in the Kruger National Park, giving visitors more choice; and in 2017 the company expanded again bringing visitors to any/all the national parks of Africa.