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Frequently Asked Questions

general

What is Tastemakers?

Tastemakers Africa (or just TSTMKRS) connects the continent and the Black diaspora. Through virtual events, a global membership, and curated travel experiences - this is the space where we “see” each other.

  • If you're looking for something to do this weekend?🕺🏾  We've got virtual events, conferences, and happy hours on the calendar: all on the Tastemakers Events page.
  • If you're looking for a little more Africa in your inbox? ✉️  Our Friday Fix is the connect you've been waiting for, just be sure to subscribe before the next issue drops.
  • Ready to plan your next trip to the homeland? 🌍  Our journal has travel inspiration posted weekly and our group trips and travel experiences are coming back in cities across the continent.
  • Feeling like you've arrived? ❤️  Don't worry, we feel it too - our Founding Membership is the Tastemakers global community: the place for Black creatives, entrepreneurs, professionals, and dreamers - all working to connect, learn, and build that bridge to Africa.
Why did you all build this?
We got tired of seeing Africa as either the place you go to "help people" or the place you go on Safari. We knew that Africa's cities were poppin' places to be and wanted to show the world a different perspective. So we put our brains to work and built TSTMKRS to help everyone see a more sexy, authentic side of Africa.

covid-19

Should I travel during the pandemic?

We wish we had a straight answer for you...but for now, it depends.

If you're like us, you wish the answer was, "of course - catch you in Ghana this December", but it's not quite that simple. We think all travelers should have all the information and tools you need to decide when you'll be ready to travel, where to go, and how to do it safely.

If you are thinking about traveling soon, we're ready to help you do it safely. Our curators with open experiences have passed our rigorous Covid-19 checklist - meaning that they're up to our standards, set using the best advice we have from WHO, regional, and local guidelines. For all of our current and future travelers, we're also continuing our policy of full refunds and anytime cancellations if your trip or experience is impacted in anyway by the pandemic.

Are experiences safe?

To keep our travelers safe, we've rolled out a rigorous Covid-19 checklist. Curators and experiences who pass this checklist means they're up to our standards, set using the best advice we have from WHO, regional, and local guidelines. Look for the award icon 🏅 next to an experience to see if it passed the checklist. We also recommend that you do your own research, on our platform and with regional health recommendations in your destination.

For all of our current and future travelers, we're also continuing our policy of full refunds and anytime cancellations if your trip or experience is impacted in anyway by the pandemic.

Should I travel during the pandemic?

We wish we had a straight answer for you...but for now, it depends.

If you're like us, you wish the answer was, "of course - catch you in Ghana this December", but it's not quite that simple. We think all travelers should have all the information and tools you need to decide when you'll be ready to travel, where to go, and how to do it safely.

If you are thinking about traveling soon, we're ready to help you do it safely. Our curators with open experiences have passed our rigorous Covid-19 checklist - meaning that they're up to our standards, set using the best advice we have from WHO, regional, and local guidelines. For all of our current and future travelers, we're also continuing our policy of full refunds and anytime cancellations if your trip or experience is impacting in anyway by the pandemic.

Are trips safe?

Given the state of the world, we've re-worked our group trips to make sure they are safer, smaller, and done in a way that keeps travelers and the communities we travel to healthy. Our new trips are planned with lots of research into destinations that are safe to travel to, the advice of local and regional authorities, and in collaboration with the communities we will travel in.

You can see and join the waitlist for trips departing later in 2021 on our travel page.

For all of our current and future travelers, we're also continuing our policy of full refunds and anytime cancellations if your trip or experience is impacted in anyway by the pandemic.

membership

How do I become a member?

Our membership is open to the Tastemakers community. You can join as a founding member (before rates go up) on our membership page

What is membership?

The Tastemakers Membership is a digital community for culture, insights, and opportunities in Africa and beyond. We're bringing together members from across the Diaspora to connect and be a part of this community.

When you join, here's what you can expect:

✓ Curated Virtual Experiences

✓ A Distinctly Global Network

✓ Values-Aligned Community

✓ Intentional Matchmaking

✓ Packed Calendar of Weekly Events

✓ Discounts on Epic Travel Experiences

experiences

How do experiences work?
Booking experiences is easy peasy.
Get started by heading to the experience marketplace, and then enter the city you're heading to and what types of travel experiences you're interested in.
We'll then show you what experiences are available when you're heading to town. You'll get to check out the curator behind your experience, get all the details about what's included, and pay for that experience online. Once you've booked you'll see the experience in your dashboard and you can communicate with your curator right on the site.
Not ready to book yet? You can follow members of our community who are tapped into the city and check out useful tips and information in our city guide as you look for more inspiration - all in the journal.
How much does it cost?
Our journal (travel inspiration included) is, and always will be, completely free. Our experiences are also free to browse. We want to change the narrative on Africa by providing content that helps the world see it differently - and showing our community of curators and content to the world is part of that.
If you're interested in booking an experience or experiences, you pay the price listed for each one. For each experience you book, 80% goes directly to your curator.
Additionally any experience can be cancelled and refunded within 24 hours of purchase. In the event that the threat and spread of COVID-19 continues and interrupts your travel plans with us, you’ll be provided a full refund of your booked experiences, you can learn more about our Covid-19 safety policies here.
What is a curator?
A TSTMKRS curator is a local insider who creates and hosts you on a unique experience. Our curators are usually creatives, entrepreneurs, chefs, and even freelance tour guides. Curators create an experience from things they're passionate about or have significant expertise in - like a DJ doing a nightlife tour or a local chef giving a cooking lesson with their parents.
Are the experiences any good? How do I know what I'm buying?
Curators and their experiences are only brought on to the platform after an extensive application, interview, and research process. Before an experience goes live, a member of our Tastemakers team walks through with our "epic checklist". This checklist considers all aspects of the experience including how it makes you feel, awe-factor, safety, uniqueness, and more. It's our secret sauce - the way we ensure every experience is a TSTMKRS experience and skips mediocre 😉
Is it safe?
We verify every one of our curators with an identity, background, and social check. We have market managers in each city we have experiences in - they not only maintain close relationships with our curator community but are also on call when you need them in a pinch.
Tastemakers also has partnerships with local law enforcement, health, security and tourism officials in all countries we operate in - all to ensure we have your back in the event of an emergency or unforeseen event.
What if my curator doesn't show up?
When you book a travel experience with Tastemakers, you're connected with your curator who will keep you updated if their availability changes for any reason. They're also available if your plans change for any reason.
We prioritize flexibility and a seamless experience for you. 99% of the time, your experience will be delivered as you expect but in the off chance that this doesn't happen the Tastemakers team will offer you a similar experience with a different curator who is available and if that doesn't work, we issue a full refund and a $50 credit towards a future experience with TSTMKRS.
I'm a tour operator, can I list my tours on the marketplace?
We invite exceptional tour operators that are creating authentic experiences onto our platform. To submit your business you can start by applying as a curator. Be sure to include some tours you offer so that we can properly evaluate the fit. Please limit your proposal to day tours only.
I want to be a curator, what's in it for me?
Tons! You can learn the benefits of being a curator on the "Become A Curator" page. For easy reference being a curator allows you to be a part of a growing Community, gives you a place to promote your personal Brand, provides insider Access to things to do in your own city, creates a pathway to meeting people and building a global Network, and is a great way to earn cash to explore your Passion.
We invite exceptional tour operators that are creating authentic experiences onto our platform. You can start your application here.
What if I am running late? Or I have to miss my experience?
Once you're traveling, we encourage you to communicate with your curator directly. Most of our experiences are flexible and our curators can often help you find the best route of getting to your meetup location.

If you miss your experience start time and the curator is not able to accommodate, don't worry. Just reach out to your curator or community manager and we'll work with you to re-book your experience or a similar experience for another date.
Can my friends join me on me on an experience?
Of course!

Yes, you can share experiences you've booked with friends and have them book a spot to join you.
What about the pandemic? Are experiences safe?

To keep our travelers safe, we've rolled out a rigorous Covid-19 checklist. Curators and experiences who pass this checklist means they're up to our standards, set using the best advice we have from WHO, regional, and local guidelines. Look for the award icon 🏅 next to an experience to see if it passed the checklist. We also recommend that you do your own research, on our platform and with regional health recommendations in your destination.

For all of our current and future travelers, we're also continuing our policy of full refunds and anytime cancellations if your trip or experience is impacted in anyway by the pandemic.

Do I need a visa or shots before I travel?
Short answer: It depends on which country you're traveling to.

If you're a group trip or concierge traveler - you'll hear from our travel team directly and they'll walk you through everything you need for your specific trip.

If you're planning your own trip - our journal has lots of resources on how, when, and where to take care of your visas, shots, and general trip prep (and our customer support team doesn't mind answering your questions👇🏾  just click contact us at the bottom of the page)
Here's the longer answer: As a general rule West African countries (Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, etc.) require a Yellow Fever shot and a Malaria regimen is suggested. East African countries (Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia usually also require Yellow Fever but Malaria is not usually endemic. South Africa doesn't require any of these shots from US or EU citizens but if you're coming from another part of the continent, Yellow Fever is usually required. We're working on a feature that puts a note on experiences where these immunizations are required.

group trips

Do you host group trips?
Yes, you can still travel with TSTMKRS on a group trip. Due to the pandemic, we are currently offering waiting list spots for smaller group trips. As the world opens up, we'll also announce new group trips in destinations across the continent. Starting later in 2021, we'll also be launching member exclusive group trips - intimate, curated trips along with local celebrities and hosts bringing travelers next-level access to the Continent (psssst for members only - interested? check our our founding membership)
What is included in the cost of a group trip?

Your group trip payment covers the cost of your accommodation, transportation, curated itinerary, experiences and tours, access to parties and events on the trip, and some of your meals each day. You're responsible for the cost of your flights, but we're available to help you with the process.

Our trip accommodations are all four star living in beautiful, boutique spaces (check out a trip to get a feel for where you'll be staying). Rates are for double occupancy but we promise to match you with someone awesome. Need solo space? no problem - you can upgrade for a fee.

Can you just plan my own trip?
Yes, for a fee 😉
Our concierge service is a white glove, end-to-end trip curation planner that handles everything from flight and hotel bookings to restaurant and activity reservations to VIP access and special events. Our minimum spend on a concierge trip is $5,000 USD per person, excluding flights. If that's not in your price range - Tastemakers group trips are intimate tours with set departure dates and have all the magic of a Tastemakers trip (they also come with new friends).
If you're interested in our concierge service, you can fill out an expert request and someone from our travel curation team will follow up with you to talk more.
Do I need a visa or shots before my trip?

Short answer: It depends on which country you're traveling to.

If you're a group trip or concierge traveler - you'll hear from our travel team directly and they'll walk you through everything you need for your specific trip.

If you're planning your own trip - our journal has lots of resources on how, when, and where to take care of your visas, shots, and general trip prep (and our customer support team doesn't mind answering your questions👇🏾  just click contact us at the bottom of the page)


Here's the longer answer: As a general rule West African countries (Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, etc.) require a Yellow Fever shot and a Malaria regimen is suggested. East African countries (Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia usually also require Yellow Fever but Malaria is not usually endemic. South Africa doesn't require any of these shots from US or EU citizens but if you're coming from another part of the continent, Yellow Fever is usually required. We're working on a feature that puts a note on experiences where these immunizations are required.

What about the pandemic? Are trips safe?

Given the state of the world, we've re-worked our group trips to make sure they are safer, smaller, and done in a way that keeps travelers and the communities we travel to healthy. You can see and join the waitlist for trips departing later in 2021 on our travel page.

For all of our current and future travelers, we're also continuing our policy of full refunds and anytime cancellations if your trip or experience is impacted in anyway by the pandemic.

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