Partner Profile: Bamba Experience | The Tour Company for the Wanderlust Traveler

Vancouver, BC | Posted: December 29th, 2017


Finding the flexibility to be able to change your mind with a tour company is rare. As travelers, we’ve grown accustomed to firm restrictions around making changes to our flights, tour dates, itineraries, menu selections, and anything else that requires predictable personalization. But what if there was a company could offer you unlimited opportunities to change your schedule, to fly by the seat of your pants, to travel the way YOU want to travel? Meet Bamba Experience, the travel company that fully supports your spontaneous wanderlust.

As a proud partner of Bamba Experience, we asked Katie Zellhoefer the Bamba for Good Manager, a few questions from a customer’s perspective in order to help you get to know them a little bit better.

So, whether you are working with specific dates, a wide open time frame, the desire to explore a new culture or give back through a voluntour experience, Bamba Experience is the one-stop shop for you, the independent traveler – someone that wants to make up your own mind.

Bamba Experience Staff

Photo Credit: Bamba Experience

Tell us about the history of Bamba Experience.

Bamba Experience started operating as a hop-on-hop-off bus service in Mexico and Central America, but we quickly realized that our travelers wanted a more local experience with the chance to travel in public buses, ferries, trains and shuttles where they could travel as locals and interact with authentic cultures.

Bamba has since created new ways to travel independently and expanded to offer diverse travel styles including Hop-on Hop-off Passes, Self-Guided Adventures, Private Tours, Authentic Adventures, Group Adventures, Tailor Made Trips and Voluntours. Bamba is the one-stop solution for adventure travelers and backpackers across the globe.

What excites you about hosting travelers on a Bamba Experience tour or voluntour trip?

We love the fact that we can offer a meaningful trip style for our travelers. It adds an extra dimension and learning opportunities to the travel experience and maximises the satisfaction obtained from traveling.

The opportunity to give back to the local communities that have welcomed you and taught you so much along the way is what a Voluntour is all about. It’s not just about seeing new places, but experiencing an enriching and eye-opening encounter that creates a deeper consciousness of the world we live in.

What makes for a great group travel experience?

We encourage our travelers to come with an open mind to see all the new places and the people they meet along the way as a part of their unique travel family. Experiencing a foreign country or a new experience with like-minded friends is something that you will remember for a lifetime.

Machu Picchu Group

Photo Credit: Bamba Experience

What makes for a great tour operator?

A great tour operator is one that always looks out for the safety and best interests of their clients no matter what. Since we know the local cultures and have created alliances with the best local suppliers, we are able to offer the best activities, accommodation, and means of transportation in each destination so our travelers will have a safe, unique and genuine experience.

What unique experiences can travelers look forward to on a Bamba Experience trip?

We’ve spent years selecting the best experiences and partners so you can interact with locals, be close to nature, learn about different cultures, and go on new adventures that will change the way you see the world. Bamba offers a mix of nature, culture, adventure, history, and fun in every trip style.

What cultural or social changes have you seen in the local communities since operating Bamba Experience?

We have noticed that locals really appreciate people who take a genuine interest in learning about the destination where they are traveling. Social media allows us to communicate images of foreign places with the click of a thumb, so our friends and family can get a feel for where we are in the world, and then take an interest in experiencing that for themselves. The increased information available to travelers, gives us a heightened appreciation of different cultures and therefore a greater respect for its customs and traditions. We love to see locals that preserve and are proud of their traditions and way of life.

Salt Flats

Photo Credit: Bamba Experience

What are your greatest challenges as a tour operator?

It is a challenge to hold all of our local suppliers responsible for providing the highest quality and best possible value for our clients. We are constantly revising customer feedback to make sure our travelers are happy and making changes as needed to improve our services.

If you weren’t operating group travel tours what would you be doing?

Apart from group travel tours, we have independent adventures which are another exciting and popular way to travel. Independent travelers who don’t wish to join a group tour have the option to travel at their own pace and make friends during activities along the way. This is another aspect of our industry that we are seeking to develop.

If you could hop on a plane and go anywhere in the world for a vacation, where would you go?

That’s a hard one! If I have to choose just one place, I would go explore the wildlife-rich landscapes of the Galapagos. I would love to work on our volunteer project at a local farm in the Galapagos National Park to help maintain the delicate balance of the eco-system and give back to preserve the environment.

Solo Travel

Photo Credit: Bamba Experience

What’s the future for Bamba Experience?

Bamba has an exciting future ahead as we are constantly growing and expanding our travel options worldwide to make sure our clients are happy and have fulfilling, unforgettable travel experiences. Our travel network currently encompasses more than 80 countries across the globe and counting.  

Learn more about Bamba Experience’s adventure and wildlife trips at SEEtheWILD. You can also find a sample of their voluntour experiences at GoVoluntouring. Make sure to follow them on their Facebook, Twitter & Instagram for ongoing inspiration for your upcoming travel plans.


Sarah Lafontaine

Sarah is an independent contractor with specialization in content writing and social media management for the travel industry. After many years as a travel agent, she switched gears to focus on promoting responsible travel through Holidays for Humanity. Sarah currently writes content for and manages social media for all Holidays for Humanity brands including SEEtheWILD, Trek Union and GoVoluntouring. When not working, Sarah can be found searching for her next travel destination or exploring Vancouver’s dog-friendly parks and trails with her dog, Otto. You can read more of Sarah's personal travels on her blog