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Botswana Trade December 2011

In this Issue:

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Equitrekking Equitrekking - Riding On the Moon

Covering over 7,000 sq. miles and visible from space, the salt pans of the Makgadikgadi are glittering remnants of an ancient inland lake. Zebra migrate there during the rainy season and millions of flamingoes flock there to breed. You do not simply ‘see’ the Makgadikgadi, you experience it.

From racing quad bikes over barren pans to getting up close and personal with habituated meerkats, to dining out under an endless blanket of stars, the Makgadikgadi is truly an amazing place to visit.

And now there is a thrilling new way to experience the Makgadikgadi - on horseback! Guided horseback safaris are now offered for experienced equestrians in the Makgadikgadi pans through Ride Botswana with David Foot Safaris. David has been leading horse safaris in Africa for over 17 years.

Darley Newman, producer and host of Equitrekking TV, recently rode the pans while filming an upcoming episode for PBS. Click here to read about Darley’s experience in the pans and the beautiful photos she captured along the way.

Equitrekking

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The Last Lions "The Last Lions" Wins Big at Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival

October was a busy month for Botswana conservationists and filmmakers, Dereck and Beverly Joubert. At the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, the prestigious film festival for wildlife filmmakers honoring top films selected from over 800 category entries from 50 countries, the couple's feature film "The Last Lions" (produced by National Geographic Entertainment), won the top honors in the three categories for which the film was nominated: Best Theatrical Program, Best Original Music Score and Best Editing. 
 
While the Jouberts have won almost every major filmmaking award during their careers, it is the message their films convey to global audiences that fuels their boundless energy and mission of wildlife conservation. "To bring a film to the big screen and show Botswana and its cats in this light is a privilege. It gives us a bigger platform to discuss the plight of big cats and to talk about the National Geographic’s 'Cause an Uproar' campaign, which highlights the decline of all cat species. We're particularly pleased to announce that National Geographic has agreed to recycle all the profits from ticket sales into big cat conservation,” said Dereck Joubert.

The Last Lions
 
To view a clip of the Joubert’s discussing the big cats and The Last Lions click here

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Spotlight On Spotlight On: Botswana Hospitality and Attractions

Keeping it in the Family with The Old House
Overlooking the Chobe Rive, The Old House is a family owned and run guesthouse situated in Kasane. Conveniently located within walking distance to all shops and a 10-minute boat ride to the entrance of the Chobe National Park, The Old House offers a number of accommodation choices, all with air conditioning and en-suite facilities. Guests can enjoy activities ranging from boat cruises to game drives, from canoe trips to fishing excursions. If your clients are looking for a quaint, friendly guesthouse in Kasane, look no further than The Old House!

Spotlight On

For more information, please visit www.oldhousekasane.com or email theoldhouse@botsnet.bw

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words with Ulinda Safari Trails
At Ulinda Safari Trails, pictures are priceless. This small, photographic safari company focuses on giving your clients the best opportunities to capture exceptional shots in the bush – in comfort. All Ulinda guides are experienced photographers who understand everything from lighting to angles. With exceptional guides, tailor-made itineraries, and one-of-a-kind vehicles, equipped with large windows, a roof that pops up giving 360° views in safety and an inverter to charge digital equipment, the goal is to put your clients in the best position for unforgettable shots

With a maximum of only 8 guests (4 per vehicle) at Ulinda Safari Trails, your clients can choose between private party safaris or joining other like-minded travellers for a picture-perfect adventure. 

Spotlight On

For more information, please visit www.ulinda.com or email janebettenay@yahoo.com

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What's New?

What's New: Lodging and Ground Operator Updates

Wilderness Safaris Announces Concession Updates
Wilderness Safaris is proud to announce a number of updates that have taken place throughout their camps. These updates include:

  • Duma Tau Camp is to be rebuilt on a new site that overlooks Osprey Lagoon. The classic camp, scheduled to reopen in March 2012, will have 10 rooms and offer breathtaking new views.

  • Xigera Camp has received a facelift! These updates include re-canvassed tents and new doors for the en-suite washrooms. The main area has also undergone a redesign to enhance guest enjoyment: the bar now looks out onto the channel, the new, lower foot bridge avoids disturbing the view from the camp, and the new star deck is perfect for star gazing and discussion, as well as the perfect setting for private dinners. The novel sand-pit, where animals tantalizingly leave their tracks, is still there to educate and entertain! The most exciting change, however, is that the latest in-solar technology has been installed and now powers the camp.
      
    Meanwhile in Linyanti, with the rebirth of the Savute Channel and greater inflows into the Linyanti River itself, the waterways of the Linyanti concession area are now available to explore in new and exciting ways. Unique combinations of activities like canoeing, walking, and boating, depending on the time of year and water levels, have been created and run with great success.

  • Kalahari Plains Camp in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) offers some of the best summer wildlife viewing opportunities in Africa. With the advent of the summer rains, the desert truly comes to life, short grasses sprouting in the pan systems and fossil riverbeds attracting a plethora of plains game. The summer and green season are the ideal time to send your clients!

Invite your client to explore the wilderness with Wilderness Safaris! For more information, please visit www.wilderness-safaris.com or email marketingservices@wilderness.co.za

Fall in Love Again with Uncharted Africa’s San Camp
Deemed one of the most romantic camps in Africa, Unchartered Africa opened the many curtains of San Camp to its first guests on July 27, 2011 in the Makgadikgadi Pans. With one of the most spectacular and extraordinary locations in the world, the classic white tents stand majestically perched on the shore of an enormous sparkling saltpan ‘sea’. Each tent is sheltered by a cluster of stately desert palms, offering a serene escape from reality.

Imbued with such dreamy tranquility and an overwhelming sense of space and freedom, it was inevitable that a respect for the environment and a sense of romance would transform both the design and building principles of this unique and very special camp.

San Camp’s energy requirement is supplied almost entirely by solar energy, thus dramatically reducing the use of fossil fuels. As an added advantage, the absence of generators ensures that the silence of the vast and empty surroundings is complete! 

San Camp is a seasonal camp and is closed for the green season. It will reopen April 16, 2012. Don’t wait to book your clients for next year – the camp was sold out in its inaugural season.

What's New?

For more information, please visit www.unchartedafrica.com or email reservations@unchartedafrica.com

Air Botswana Changes Check In Counters at O.R Tambo International Airport
As of November 1, 2011, Air Botswana check-in counters have moved to counters 72-74 at Johannesburg’s O.R Tambo International Airport. Please make note and share with your clients.

For more information, please visit www.airbotswana.co.bw

Important Notice about Charter Air Luggage Restrictions
Part of the thrill and romance of safari travel in Botswana are the light aircraft flights taken from camp to camp. Botswana camps/lodges/ground operators include very detailed light aircraft luggage requirements and weight restrictions for each carrier with their trip preparation packets. For safety’s sake, please stress the importance of following each carrier’s light aircraft luggage requirements and weight restrictions, both verbally and in writing, with your clients during the trip planning process. Be aware and share! For an example of a recent communication, click here for Desert and Delta Safaris recent communiqué to the travel trade.

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Making a Difference Making a Difference: Tourism Benefits Local Communities

Tuli Safari Lodge Sponsors Orphan House in Mathathane
Tuli Safari Lodge is delighted to announce its sponsorship of the construction of a house for orphaned children in its neighboring village of Mathathane. The house will follow the same design and purpose as the 2008 house Tuli Safari Lodge sponsored in neighboring village, Mothlabaneng.

Responsible tourism is key to Tuli Safari Lodge’s operating philosophy. Therefore, commitment to protecting and conserving the area’s environment and wildlife and uplifting the community through employment, business opportunities and charitable programs are two of Tuli’s main objectives. Working with the community and social workers from the Bobirwa district, Tuli and the community together were able to identify the appropriate children for this house, a family of four cousins between the ages of 8 and 14, who were left in the care of their grandparents.

The ground breaking ceremony took place on Tuesday October 11th, led by the Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture Hon. Shaw Kgathi and local Bobirwa District Councillor Ismael Legwaila. This heartwarming project was completed using funds donated by guests, owners and friends of Tuli Safari Lodge. The community has committed to contributing all the necessary labor required for the construction. Hon Shaw Kgathi donated the first 10 bags of cement, and the local community also raised funds to put towards the project.
 
For further information please visit www.tulilodge.com

Making a Difference

Sunway Safaris/Planet Okavango, and the Ditsipi community run S.O.S (Save Our Sausage Trees) Project

For almost 2 years now, Sunway Safaris and Planet Okavango, in conjunction with the Ditsipi community, have developed the S.O.S (Save Our Sausage Trees) Project. We are happy to say that it is now bearing fruit. Not in the form of sausage, but an object of similar shape – fiberglass mokoro.

The MOKORO is the traditional means of transport for the people of the Okavango Delta in Botswana. For the adventure seeker, gliding through the Okavango Delta in a mokoro with a local guide is the essence of the Okavango experience. But behind this serene experience there lies a disturbing environmental impact.

With the increase in tourism to Botswana over the last 20 years the number of mokoro polers earning a living from tourism has increased. This has been beneficial to the communities living within the Okavango Delta and by 2009 there are estimated to be over 2000 mokoro in the Okavango region. Each mokoro is cut from a single mature Kigelia Africana tree (Sausage Tree). The root of the problem is that a wooden mokoro lasts perhaps only 5 years before it rots and falls apart. Therefore to build new mokoro, roughly 400 trees must fall each year and there just aren’t enough trees to sustain this.

The local communities of the Okavango are aware of the problem – largely because they now struggle to find trees big enough for mokoro. Each year we have witnessed smaller new mokoro (meaning younger trees are cut down) and old mokoro being used beyond their reasonable life (meaning leaks and multiple plastic patches).

The solution to this environmental issue is to use fiberglass mokoro. Sunway has consulted with the community and they have agreed that should a poler buy a fiberglass mokoro, then the poler will pay 50% of the cost and Sunway the other 50%.

Making a Difference

In order to help each individual poler raise the funds to cover the 50% cost of the fiberglass mokoro – through generous donations, Sunway Safaris’ clients & agents have aided some polers in obtaining their fiberglass mokoro.     

Towards the end of November 2011 five very happy and proud polers received their brand new mokoro.

  1. Itumeleng Batshabeng (Qween)
  2. Kubushabi Sampofo (Rosina)
  3. Bogale Manga (Charls)
  4. Tumeletso Oja
  5. Gositwang Molaemang (Qween)

Congratulations to all of the polers for their hard work during the season with our groups and we look forward to the next delivery of fiberglass mokoro to more members of the Ditsipi community.

Making a Difference

Sunway Safaris and Planet Okavango are proud to be part of this important project. To learn more, or to contribute to the polers fund, please contact the Sunway Safaris office.

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Travel Offers Newly Announced Travel Offers

Discover the Okavango with Moremi Safaris and Tours
Pure Okavango ... Pure 5 Rivers Safari ... Pure Value.Moremi Safaris and Tours is proud to offer your clients this affordable opportunity to discover the Okavango with two nights at Xakanaxa Camp and two nights at Kwara Camp. Inclusive of return charter flights from Maun International Airport and a FREE exciting two hour boat transfer between the properties.

Xakanaxa Camp
Situated in the Moremi Game Reserve, one of the few camps in the Okavango Delta where your clients are able to experience the best of both as the camp offers water and land activities all year round.

Kwara Camp
Situated in the heart of a large concession offering year round game drives, night drives, boating and mokoro activities, game walks, and fishing.

Pricing:
$1446.00 Net per person sharing between 01 – 19 December 2011 and 05 January – 31 March 2012.

$1626.00 Net per person sharing between 20 December 2011 and 04 January 2012.

Valid from 01 December 2011 – 31 March 2012, minimum of 2 nights at each lodge. Single traveler supplement USD 125 Net is applicable to charter flight only.

Don’t let your budget minded clients miss out on discovering the beauty of the Okavango with Moremi Safaris and Tours!

For more information, please visit www.moremi-safaris.com or email info@moremi-safaris.com

Travel Offers

Two New Exciting Offers From &Beyond

  • 10 Day Elephant Trunks and Desert Trails from &Beyond
  • 15 Day Scenic Salt Pans Delta Delights and Lakeside Luxury Adventure

10 Day Elephant Trunks and Desert Trails from &Beyond
This special itinerary allows your clients to see the wilds of Africa through the eyes of an elephant during a leisurely walk with a trio of semi-habituated elephants foraging for food throughout their home range. The incredible elephant interaction includes a picnic lunch in the company of these giants of the bush.

The package includes 2 nights at Sanctuary Stanley’s Camp, 2 nights at Nxabega Okavango Tented Camp or Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge, 3 nights at Camp Kalahari, 1 night at Xau Xai and 1 night at Flying Camp.

Travel Offers

For more information on this exciting travel offer click here 

15 Day Scenic Salt Pans Delta Delights and Lakeside Luxury Adventure
Your clients have the opportunity to explore the jewels of Botswana with a 15-day adventure through the Makgadikgadi Pans, the Okavango Delta and Lake Malawi. This adventure begins with the exploration of the largest saltpans in the world, the Makgadikgadi Pans, works its way to the world’s largest inland delta, the Okavango, and ends by venturing off into Malawi. 
 
This packages includes, 3 days at Camp Kalahari, 2 days beneath the stars in a fly camp on Kubu Island, 2 days at Duba Plains Camp, 2 days at Xudum Okavango Delta Lodge, 4 days at Pumulani (optional extension)

For more information on this travel offer click here

Family Special from Tuli Safari Lodge
Tuli Safaris Lodge is celebrating family! Stay a minimum of 3 nights and children under 12 go free at Tuli Safari Lodge! Valid from 1st November 2011 to 13th January 2012. This offer is subject to availability and based on two children under the age of 12 sharing with two adults in family suites.

For more information and a list of other specials from Tuli Safari Lodge click here

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Brochures

BTO Launches Digital Destination Brochures

Botswana Tourism Organization is pleased to announce the unveiling of its popular Travel Companion destination guides in digital format, now available for viewing and downloading at http://botswanatourism.us, or on disc. The set of four Travel Companion brochures, for the Northern, Eastern, Southern and Central/Kgaligadi regions, are the definitive traveler’s guide to Botswana!

Please feel free to view/download our new digital brochures and share with your clients. To requests discs for distribution to your staff, clients or prospects. please contact info@botswanatourism.us

Brochures

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As 2011 comes to a close, we wish to thank you for all your efforts in promoting and selling Botswana travel. However you celebrate this festive season, we wish you and yours happiness, health and prosperity!

Yours in Travel,
The team at Botswana Tourism - USA 

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