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Wild, wild app

WildTrails, a Bengaluru-based app launched about two years ago, gives you complete details of sightings of all species across most of the top national parks and reserves in India, reports NT BUZZ

RAMANDEEP KAUR | NT BUZZ

 

If you are interested in taking a safari, WildTrails is the app to look for. A sighting platform founded by Manjunath Gowda and Geeta Gouri, the idea was born when Manju saw safari sightings information on the resort notice board at Kabini Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka. This resulted in creating a wildlife holiday platform where sightings of animals are a key part of the value proposition.

The app is an ongoing development, but the first version was launched in early 2017. Gowda says that WildTrails is reshaping the ‘Stone Age wildlife tourism industry’ with a solution that uses data analytics, modern technologies, and AI machine learning to deliver a personalised delightful experience for wildlife travelers.

Their customers are typically wildlife enthusiasts from across the globe. Gowda informs that they will provide them a platform which gives them an accurate depiction of the forest they are planning to go in terms of animal sightings.

The aim, he says, is to provide a seamless experience where customers can discover the place they want to go, understand what it offers, plan and fulfil their wildlife holiday through the app. “If you were to plan a wildlife holiday, currently you have to go through a resort or tour operator which limits your choices. We bring choice, discoverability, and the option to book an end-to-end wildlife holiday right from choosing the right resort, the right areas of the forest/park, a naturalist who’s aligned to your interest, and the whole logistics of the trip other than flight tickets,” he says.

The app allows users to search for information on all key parks in the world and also offers wildlife holiday packages to top parks across India and three parks in Africa right now. They plan to go global soon. “The reason why people want to use the app is primarily because they want to plan a trip based on animal sightings. One can search for different species and see which park has the best chance of seeing it. The gallery feature is also a special draw as it showcases recent animal sightings through photos taken,” says Gowda.

They get sightings data from across the country’s forests through forest guards and other people.  “We also generate a lot of the park information ourselves in terms of original content on gates, zones, accommodation choices etc. We also get a lot of people submitting photos via the WildTrails App gallery,” adds Gowda.

About the research involved, he says that they tried a couple of business models over the last two years to understand customer pain points with planning a wildlife holiday. At the end of it, they realised that customers want a hassle-free wildlife holiday package that gives the right choice of accommodation, safaris, and forest experience based on the high possibility of seeing animals in the wild. The app is available on Playstore and iOS.

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