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Botswana Trade July 2011


In this Issue:

indaba Post Indaba 2011 Botswana Trip Report – Moremi Gorge

Most people think of the Botswana landscape as relatively flat, but the Eastern part of Botswana is actually quite hilly… as I discovered on a beautiful sunny day in May. With enthusiasm and a little bit of trepidation (will there be snakes, can I hike in these sneakers?) I, along with a few BTO colleagues and a local guide, hiked to and through Moremi Gorge, nestled deep within the imposing Tswapong hills. Situated near the villages of Palapye and Moremi, these one billion year old titans rise over 1300 feet above the surrounding plains.

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Reached only on foot by a rather vigorous climb, Moremi Gorge is a designated National Monument, a conservation area, and an area of great spiritual importance to the local community. It is also the source of three permanent waterfalls- uncharacteristic of Botswana’s generally dry terrain. Hiking through the peaceful gorge the visitor is treated to stunning views of a series of waterfalls: - cool, crystal clear water cascading over rocky outcrops into lushly vegetated, fern-fringed lagoons.

The Moremi Mannonye Conservation Trust, through the support of the Botswana Tourism Organization, involves local residents in developing the area for non-consumptive eco-tourism. Current developments include building self-catered chalets with spectacular views and a camping site with private ablutions, together with marked walking trails and wooden walkways. Having walked the trails and climbed to the waterfalls, I can attest to this area’s spiritual and physical beauty. Moremi Gorge in the Twsapong hills would be a wonderful weekend getaway for visitors to Gaborone, Francistown or Tuli, and those are an ideal resting stop for people traveling through these towns to other Botswana destinations.  Stay tuned for the announcement when this new tourist attraction is ready for overnight visitors.

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Who's who Who's Who: A Closer Look at Botswana-based Operators

Guided Mobile Safaris with Wild Walks Safaris
Wild Walks Safaris is a locally-owned and female-run mobile safari company, dedicated to providing your clients with some of the greatest nature expeditions that Botswana has to offer in a fresh style and affordable manner. The safari experience here is classic, unique and gives your clients the opportunity to explore the hidden secrets of Botswana’s pristine wilderness areas, combined with a taste of its diverse cultures in the hands of leading safari enthusiasts. Their goal is to create the right safari experience for your clients with the best value for their budget.

Why choose a guided mobile safari vacation?
The flexibility of a mobile safari allows your clients to access remote areas of the wilderness, far beyond the reach of a morning game drive out of a lodge. At Wild Walk Safaris, itineraries run between 4-14 nights, spending 2 to 3 nights at any one location. Group sizes are 6-12 guests, ensuring that your clients enjoy exclusivity and personal attention, as well as the opportunity to enhance their experience by connecting with the guide and fellow travelling companions. Activities may include game drives, trail hikes/walks, cultural tours, boat trips, night drives, scenic flights, as well as much more. The mobiles range from basic, participation safaris to high end/ luxury safaris, with all the comforts of a lodge and service team to manage the camp. Whatever grade of safari your client prefers, one thing is certain: camping no longer means having to rough it.

Mobile safaris allow your clients to fully appreciate the true essence of Botswana. On safari, there are no alarm clocks, newspapers or mobile phones. The senses are awakened by the calls of the wild, the smell of the first rain, the soothing African breeze and breath-taking sunsets. So invite your clients to take a journey of the heart with Wild Walks Safaris. Hear the sound of a crackling campfire and feel the joys of having a bucket shower. Savor the taste of dinner cooked al fresco and feel completely alone and at one with the wilderness. Immerse in African cultures. Travel beyond the limits of the imagination on a journey that will forever change their lives!

For more information, please visit www.wildwalkssafari.com or email info@wildwalkssafari.com.

Guided mobile


Feeling the Magic at Tuli Safari Lodge
Let your clients experience the Tuli magic, a timeless Botswana safari in a majestic wilderness setting, at Tuli Safari Lodge. Located in the Northern Tuli Game Reserve, the easternmost corner of Botswana, lies a unique, timeless corner of Africa where nature and culture combine in spectacular wildlife, breathtaking landscapes and fascinating history.

Set in spacious gardens along the banks of the Limpopo River stands the Tuli Safari Lodge. Here the welcome is genuinely warm and the ambience is charmingly ageless. Each air-conditioned suite has an en-suite bathroom, double/twin beds and sitting areas both in and outdoors. There are two grades of suites your client can choose from: “4 ele” and “5 ele”, with the “5 ele” suites being the more luxurious, spacious and private of the two. At Tuli, your client sets the pace, with varied activities to enjoy and idyllic grounds to relax in. Game drives and bush walks with exceptional guides, hides tucked away in the bush and horse rides in the wild are just a few options! Cozy suites, a sparkling pool, an active waterhole and a star-deck await your client’s return to the lodge.

Each day at Tuli Safari Lodge brings a new and truly authentic adventure and this year the lodge is being recognized for their magic! Tuli Safari Lodge has been nominated as Botswana’s Leading Safari Lodge by the World Travel Awards. The World Travel Awards serves to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry. It is a wonderful accomplishment just to get nominated, but you can make a difference. Online voting is now open.
Visit www.worldtravelawards.com/vote to cast your vote!  

For more information on Tuli Safari Lodge, please visit www.tulilodge.com or email info@tulilodge.com.

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Lodging Lodging & Ground Operator Updates

Picture Perfect Service from Orient-Express
Let’s face it; lugging heavy and bulky photographic equipment through airports can be a real pain. At Orient-Express Botswana your clients can travel light and still take stunning photos on safari. Orient-Express has recently introduced an amazingly handy service for guests traveling to their captivating camps in Northern Botswana- Khwai River Lodge adjacent to the Moremi Game Reserve, Eagle Island Camp in the middle of the Okavango Delta, and Savute Elephant Camp in the Chobe Desert. Providing a variety of Canon and Nikon cameras, telephoto lenses and tripods for your clients’ use, guests can now leave all their equipment at home and still be able to capture the memories forever with equipment they may have only dreamed of using. Whether they prefer to bring a camera and hire a super long-telephoto lens or take advantage of all of the available equipment, the selected equipment will be delivered to your clients personally just after they touch down.

In addition to being able to choose lenses or cameras, your clients also have the opportunity to hire the services of a wildlife photography private instructor who specializes in capturing the big five, wild cats or the beautiful birds of Botswana - allowing a fantasy safari to be captured on film to share with all at home. All your clients need to remember is to pack a memory stick or three! Please note that some packages include the cost of using the photographic equipment; for other packages this is an add-on. For more information, please visit www.orient-express.com or email safaris@orient-express.com  

Upping Their Game at Tuli Bush Camps
Tuli Bush Camps is a portfolio of self-catering camps in the Tuli region that offer great getaways for your clients who want the option of self-catering. You can now visit the new websites for Nokalodi Tented Camp and Molema Bush Camp. Both have new, fully functional websites that provide you with useful information a mere mouse-click away. Take advantage of these new websites and check out these camps!

News from the Barn at Motswiri Camp
RAW Botswana (Ride and Walk Botswana) offers your clients exclusive riding and walking safaris in the remote and beautiful Selinda Reserve in northern Botswana.  The Motswiri Camp’s horses have been thriving under the management of Annie Wakefield, who is acknowledged as one of the best horse managers in Southern Africa.

The youngsters in particular have all been shining! Amigo, the pedigree Boerperd baby, is coming on leaps and bounds and maturing beautifully, while settling into camp life. Smokie has been noted as the ‘Superstar of the Year’ and nick-named the ‘Uber’ horse” by guests. This young, forward-going and responsive chap is thoroughly enjoying the attention! The camp is also in the process of acquiring 3 additional horses to bring the total number in the barn to 23. Invite your clients to discover ride and walk safaris with RAW Botswana. For more information, please visit www.rawbotswana.com or email kate@rawbotswana.co.bw.   

Wilderness Safaris Launches Stunning New Abu Camp
Wilderness Safaris is all about protecting the pristine wilderness and sharing these wild places with your clients in a responsible manner. This mindset is reflected in their stunning new Abu Camp, named after a special bull elephant. Situated in a vast private reserve in the heart of the Okavango Delta, the camp is the epitome of seclusion and indulgence and offers the unique opportunity to bond with elephants firsthand. Made up of six beautiful decked Bedouin-style structures that blend flawlessly with the natural surroundings, each private villa is fitted with distinctive furnishings, exuding an air of opulence. During the day your clients can interact with the resident elephant herd, many of whom have been rescued from captivity, abandonment or injury, be it riding or walking with them through the bush. An extensive new camp library is the perfect place to relax; your clients can also sleep in a one-of-a-kind ‘star bed’ in the elephant boma listening to the rumblings of the elephant herd below. Share this new camp with your clients; let them enjoy an unforgettable experience at Abu Camp. For more information, please visit www.wilderness-safaris.com or email info@wilderness-safaris.com.

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Community Encouraging by Example...The Great Plains Plans to Make a Difference in Local Communities

Great Plains is an organization dedicated to conserving and expanding natural habitats by finding the right formula between conservation, communities and commerce. They do so by taking stressed and threatened environments and surrounding them with compassionate protection and intelligent management.   Over the past year, Great Plains has formed strong relationships with two communities in Botswana.  This relationship includes aiding in the employment of community members within Great Plains lodges and encouraging craft developments.

Great Plains has been developing craft skills within the Gudigwa Village, located on the northwestern boundary of the Selinda Reserve, and the Seronga Village, located just north of Duba Plains. Project coordinator, Kea Supang, has been working with both groups to produce various crafts, net bags, and handmade cards, all which are available in the lodge curio shops. The skills members learn within these groups also help the members within their community, at their workspace, and at their home.   

Great Plains looks forward to continued growth and skill development in both groups. For more information, please visit www.greatplainsconservation.com or email info@greatplainsconservation.com.

Community

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Travel Offers Newly Announced Travel Offers

“Choose Your Sanctuary” with Sanctuary Retreats
There has never been a better time for your clients to enjoy a safari in Botswana. With four luxury camps throughout the country, Sanctuary Retreats is pleased to extend their “Choose your Sanctuary” offer to include high season! Book your clients with any combination of their safari camps and lodges in Botswana in 2011 and their first night will be ABSOLUTELY FREE! Please note, offer excludes Sanctuary Chief’s Camp, a minimum of five nights must be booked and offer is valid for travel from 1 November – 31 December, 2011. For more information, please visit www.sanctuaryretreats.com or email info@sanctuaryretreats.com

Kwando Safaris’ “HOT” October Special
October is a prime game-viewing month in Botswana with the anticipation of the summer rains and the amazing wildlife. This October, Kwando Safaris is making it more affordable for your clients to come explore! Book 6 nights for your clients at ANY Kwando camp and the two most expensive nights will be given to them at the November rate! This offer is good for new bookings only and not in conjunction with any other offers. For more information, please visit www.kwando.co.bw or email Linda@kwando.co.bw.

October Special

Photographic Workshops with Orient-Express
A picture is worth a thousand words and this year Orient-Express wants your clients to do less talking and more shooting! Invite your clients to capture their wildlife experiences forever with Orient-Express’ photographic workshops.  Offering two workshops, one in August and one in November, with acclaimed nature photographer, Morkel Erasmus, only six privileged guests will experience the adventure of a lifetime while learning how to capture their discoveries forever in a fresh, evocative style. Your clients will have the chance to learn photographic techniques, both in-camera and post-processing, to enhance their documenting of future travels. This course will not only include the spectacular wildlife and bird sightings that Botswana has to offer, but also time spent capturing the breathtaking landscape of the area around the lodges, both in the day and at night. An unforgettable 35-minute scenic helicopter flight over the game-rich Okavango Delta will present the opportunity for breathtaking aerial shots. Whatever the skill level, whatever the equipment, Morkel will assist your clients in learning how to best use what they have to capture vivid images of the experiences with Orient-Express. For more information, please visit www.orient-express.com or email safaris@orient-express.com

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We hope you enjoyed the second-edition of this "post-Indaba" newsletter, and take the opportunity to reach out to the suppliers highlighted this month. Stay tuned next month as we wrap up our "post-Indaba" news! As always, we truly appreciate all you do to promote and sell Botswana travel.

Kea leboga (I thank you),

Leslee Hall

Botswana Tourism – USA office

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