Update on mobile operators in national game reserves and parks:
There have been recent reports in online media which suggest that local Botswana mobile operators have been banned by the Government from operating in the National Parks and Game Reserves.
The following is the Government response to these reports:
“The Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism (MENT) has read with great concern a misleading article in digital media platforms reporting that mobile tour operators have been barred from operating in parks and game reserves in Botswana.
The Ministry would like to inform the public, tourists and stakeholders that there is no instrument or regulation in place to prevent or bar any licensed mobile tourism operators from operating in Wildlife Parks and Game Reserves or any other protected areas in Botswana.
MENT would like to indicate that due to the congestion of vehicles at Mababe, Khwai, Moremi, Kachikau and Kasane routes that lead to both Chobe National Park and Moremi Game Reserve, licenses given to new mobile safari operators are directed to other protected areas that can still accommodate more operators.
This does not affect companies that have the old or existing mobile safari license.
The Ministry has engaged associations of private operators and explained the importance of protecting the environment and above all the niche Botswana has on the wilderness experience that cannot survive any high volumes of vehicles in the protected areas.”
Rule J. Opelo PERMANENT SECRETARY