WTM 2018 Co-exhibitors
This year Botswana Tourism will share our WTM stand with 8 Botswana companies. We chatted with all of them about their expectations and the products they will be showcasing. Come visit us on stand AF531!
Flame of Africa
Q: One of the products you will be showcasing at WTM is The Chobe Explorer, can you please tell us a little bit about it?
The concept behind our new product, the Chobe Explorer, is to relax and enjoy the beauty of the Chobe wetland. This three tiered vessel gives the full experience of being on a houseboat while actually still relaxing at your favourite lodge.
The Chobe Explorer departs daily at 1100am from the Flame of Africa dock, behind the Spar in Kasane. Our team cordially welcomes you with freshly baked pastries, tea and coffee. The cruise follows the shoreline where the “twitchers” must keep a sharp lookout for a number of lifers. The bird count along the Chobe river is currently sitting at 460 species. For our guests that love the large wildlife, the Chobe river is home to one of the largest elephant herd in the world. A traditional braai (barbeque) Lunch is included and served in the downstairs restaurant area. Vegetarian options are also available. After lunch you can either relax in the comfortable lounge area or head to the top deck to the suspended shaded sun loungers for an afternoon siesta or an elevated game viewing vista. With our guests comfort in mind, the vessel also offers showers and flush toilet facilities on board. We cruise back with sundowners in hand to arrive at our jetty by 1800 pm.
The Chobe Explorer operates with a minimum of 2-maximum 26 guests .
Kangara Adventures Safaris
Q: This is your first time exhibiting at WTM, which are your expectations? Please introduce Kangara Adventure Safaris to our readers.
We are very excited to be exhibiting in London this year. We hope to liaise and network with similar like-minded people and businesses in the industry. Ultimately we expect to create new business relations that will assist us in opening up our product to wider audiences.
Kangara Safaris is the mobile safari side of Okavango River Lodge, one of the first lodges in Maun, the doorway to the Okavango Delta. KAS started in 2016 to open up the Okavango Delta and Central Kalahari to our clients and to introduce a friendly family run aspect to what has essentially become a growing corporate industry.
Having our own family has made it easier to identify with the difficulties of travelling with children, and with those on a tighter budget, into wildlife areas. Our mission is to encourage more families and independent travellers to experience the magic of Botswana’s beauty and culture.
Koro River Camp & Koro Island Camp
Q: Koro River Camp & Koro Island Camp are located in a lesser known region of Botswana, please tell us what the Central Tuli Block has to offer.
The Central Tuli Block is a rugged vast, mostly untouched, wilderness area situated on the mighty Limpopo River which offers a large diversity in terrain and thus wildlife. From the highest ‘Koppies’ (hills) in Botswana, to savannah woodlands to dense Riverine Forests on the Limpopo River. From these koppies, often overlooking the river or natural springs, you can see the large herds of elephants or elands disappear in the dusty sunset, listen to the hyenas waking up or start tracking the large population of leopards. In the river areas you will find an unheard unique bird population varying from Kingfishers to Pel’s Fishing Owl and any other land bird in between.
By our guests it is often referred to as a Mystical Ancient Landscape where the wind still whispers the voices of our ancestors. The absence of light pollution makes you realise how vast the universe actually is.
It appeals in particular to the seasoned safari guests who do not just want the game-safari but would like to experience something different, more flexible; the combination of ancient culture (rock art), the ancient landscape with the many Baobabs, the many walking/hiking safaris; each individualised to the guests preferences or the fact that one can decide to simply observe the wild/birdlife from their own private deck overlooking the river.
A new destination on your way to exploring the northern regions of Botswana.
Muchenje Safari Lodge
Q: The lodge is located in one of the most visited areas in Botswana, what sets Muchenje apart?
Muchenje is situated on top of a magnificent escarpment above the Chobe River and its prolific flood plains – this affords our guests panoramic views across the plains and into the Caprivi Strip. Located on the Western side of the Chobe waterfront avoids much of the traffic congestion of the east and enables guests to experience the diversity of species as well as the high populations that makes Chobe so famous but without the crowds. Muchenje avoids the hot spots, the bottle necks and celebrates the Chobe with a variety of activities which gives the guests a variety of options to explore this part of Botswana. Whether on a guided walk, on a boat trip on the western shores during flood season or a picnic boat trip included in a full day excursion into the park.
Pride of Africa Safaris
Q: As a tour operator you offer a wide range of products, one of them mobile safaris, what makes a mobile safari such a unique experience and who do you recommend it for?
Mobile safaris are one of the best and unique ways to experience Botswana. Private campsites in the wilderness areas of Botswana shared with family members, friends or new acquaintances you are travelling with on a scheduled safari. Your own private vehicle and guide for the entire safari. Delicious home-made food cooked over an open fire by our friendly bush cooks and staff to attend to your every need. Sitting around the warmth of the fire listening to the night sounds and your blanket of stars above your head. The pre dawn chatter of the birds with a wake up call before heading out looking for the early morning predator. Mobile safaris are designed to make the most out of seasonal conditions and wildlife movement without being restricted to a certain concession or areas. Being mobile means that we have far less ecological imprint on the environment we operate within leaving nothing behind but footprints. One can enjoy the adventure, array of wildlife and storytelling of a bygone era with a blend of comfort whilst on a mobile safari.
Q: Sanctuary Retreats has a portfolio of luxury safari lodges in Africa, what’s new this year for your properties in Botswana?
In 2018, three of the four Botswana Sanctuary Retreats high-end experiential safari lodges and camps: Sanctuary Stanleys Camp, Baines Camp and Chobe Chilwero benefitted from a multi-million dollar investment with extensive remodelling to capitalize on the extraordinary natural settings and enhance the overall hospitality experience.
Under One Botswana Sky
Q: Under One Botswana Sky comprises eight safari lodges and camps in Botswana. Why do you think tourist should visit your lodges?
Because we have great variety of product in Chobe, Okavango Delta and Makgadikgadi Salt Pans allowing for exciting safari circuits in Botswana whether it’s for fly-in or self-drive clients.
Under One Botswana Sky is mid to high market portfolio of camps and lodges offering luxury yet still affordable Botswana.
With our Okavango Delta camps we can offer very exclusive safari experience with personalized service as all the camps are in their own private concessions where amongst the most popular activities are often night game drives, mokoros and walking safaris apart from all the others. Our safari lodges offer great location and accessibility to major national parks and are known for fantastic value for money.
We are family and groups friendly popular with solo travels as well as couples and honeymooners.
Under One Botswana Sky portfolio appeals to those looking for unpretentious, authentic safari experience in Botswana.
Q: Wilderness Safaris has a charitable cause to help children in Botswana. Please can you tell us a little more about this?
As a company proudly born and bred in Botswana 35 years ago, Wilderness Safaris remains dedicated to pioneering sustainable ecotourism in Botswana whilst positively impacting local communities through its non-profit partner, Children in the Wilderness (CITW). Since launching in Botswana in 2001, CITW has impacted the lives of over 10 000 children in seven African countries through a range of environmental and life skills educational programmes, with many alumni later joining the ecotourism industry in adult life.
To date, CITW Botswana has positively impacted 1 851 children through its annual Eco-Club Camps while 180 young adults have participated in its YES (Youth Environmental Stewardship Programme) Camps. CITW Botswana currently runs 14 Eco-Clubs at local schools throughout the year, with over 570 children currently participating in this programme across the country. Every year, 151 children are selected from the Eco-Clubs and, together with 16 teachers and a range of Eco-Mentors, are hosted on informative and fun-filled Eco-Club Camps, which are held at Wilderness Safaris and partner camps.
CITW’s environmental education programmes focus on developing environmental leaders who are inspired to care for their natural heritage so that they become the custodians of these areas in the future. Looking ahead, CITW plans to reach more children, more often – increasing its focus on Eco-Mentor/Teacher training, as CITW believes that with this strong foundation, its Eco-Clubs will grow and prosper.