Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir is a social activist, writer, and a women’s rights advocate — or you may know her as the eldest daughter of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Last November, she launched a travel website called Zafigo — a word play on “safe I go” — which is dedicated to female travellers. Through the site, they can obtain travel guides and information, as well as tips to ensure that they have a safer travel experience.

Image Credit: Zafigo
Image Credit: Zafigo

According to says.com, Marina said, “Travel is a very gendered business. Female travelers have very different concerns from male travelers. For one thing, we have to be far more alert to physical dangers than men, and if we travel on business, we have to think a bit more about culture, local customs, behaviours and norms. These concerns are rarely covered in other major travel websites.”

Image Credit: Go Travelling Tumblr
Image Credit: Go Travelling Tumblr

As reported by Gaya Travel, Zafigo was created to make it easier for female travellers in these three aspects:

Marina explained that the idea to create Zafigo came to her after she faced a dilemma while travelling in Pakistan. At the time, she had thought, “What do I wear for a meeting in Islamabad?” She realised how hard it was to dress appropriately in countries with cultures different from her own, and figured that other travellers faced the same problem as well.

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Marina further mentioned, “I realised that there are a lot of cultural stuff you just can’t get information from, particularly like how to dress. I couldn’t find any information because a lot of the websites that cater to women travellers are written from a western point of view and very corporate — they just wear business suits. ”

Image Credit: Zafigo
Image Credit: Zafigo

According to Marina, information about cultural details are important, especially for women. “You’re finding that this type of information is becoming more necessary for women. I met this New Zealand woman minister at a woman’s conference and she said ‘Yes, absolutely, we need a website like this’. She was on a mission to Afghanistan and had the full security briefing from her foreign office. By the end of that she asked, ‘What do I wear?'”

Zafigo is not a feminist travel website. But it is a place where women are provided with they necessary knowledge so that they can travel confidently, safely, and work unhindered.

Image Credit: Zafigo
Image Credit: Zafigo

The website has a simple and easy-to-access interface. To start off, simply choose your desired city. Apart from Kuala Lumpur, Zafigo will also be expanding to many other cities such as Jakarta, Bangkok, Yangon, Manila, Delhi, Islamabad, Hanoi and other cities in Asia and the Middle East.

Image Credit: Zafigo
Image Credit: Zafigo

Marina herself has also contributed some useful tips to Zafigo, such as What you should really know about Kuala Lumpurand How to travel like a pro

Whenever we travel to a city that is new to us, we are very concerned about costs and safety. Zafigo definitely comes in handy if you’re looking for tips and guides to travel safer and cheaper!

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