One of the questions we get asked the most here at Wanderu is, “How do you actually pronounce Wanderu? Also, why is your mascot a monkey?” Turns out the answers are related, so here is the story of why Wanderu is pronounced “wanderoo” – and why we have a monkey for our mascot!
If you’re wondering how to pronounce Wanderu, too, it is is pronounced “wanderoo.” But why, you ask?
Well, when the idea for a bus and train travel search came to our co-founders, Polina Raygorodskaya and Igor Bratnikov, they needed a name for the company that helped people to wander anywhere, and they came up with Wanderu, which captures the essence of adventure, freedom, and exploring in a fun way. After doing an online search, they discovered that no one was yet using the name Wanderu – but they also found out that wanderoo was the name of a monkey!
The wanderoo monkey is also known as the lion-tailed macaque. The most distinctive feature of the wanderoo is the silver mane that surrounds its head (making the monkey look a little like a wise wizard, at least in our opinion). The wanderoo monkey also has a tufted tail, similar to that of a lion, hence the name lion-tailed macaque.
The name “wanderoo” comes from Sinhalese for “monkey” which is derived from Sanskrit for “forest dweller.” Native to the rainforest of southern India, the wanderoo loves to climb and spends most of its time in the canopy of tropical forests. The favorite food of the wanderoo monkey is fruit, but it also eats leaves and bugs.
This wise wanderoo monkey was the perfect thing to represent the smart way that Wanderu searches for bus and train travel, so we adopted the adorable Chiku as our monkey mascot. (And his name is pronounced cheekoo, to rhyme with wanderoo.) Chiku loves going on adventures and exploring – even more than he loves bananas! – so he definitely embodies the spirit of Wanderu.
And that’s the story of why Wanderu is pronounced wanderoo – and why we have a monkey mascot!
If you need a reminder of how to pronounce Wanderu, just remember, it’s wanderoo, as in, “Ooh, the simplest way to book bus and train travel!”