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Botswana Trade July 2014

In this Issue:

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News Break News Break: Okavango Delta is 1,000th UNESCO World Heritage Site

The list of the world’s most extraordinary places, the UNESCO World Heritage List, recently gained its 1,000th entry with the addition of the Okavango Delta in northern Botswana. Vital, inspiring, pristine and teeming with wildlife, the world’s largest inland delta has a unique characteristic where the annual flooding from the river Okavango occurs during the dry season, with the result that the native plants and animals have synchronized their biological cycles with these seasonal rains and floods, making it an exceptional example of the interaction between climatic, hydrological and biological processes. Encourage your clients to visit this truly unique and magnificent wilderness paradise to see for themselves why it is referred to as the “jewel of the Kalahari.”

News Break

Read the official Botswana government news release here or view an Okavango slideshow here.

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Spotlight On Spotlight on: Botswana Hospitality and Travel

Discover Botswana with Africa Safari Camps
Chobe, Moremi, the Makgadikgadi, and all the other breathtaking destinations of Botswana can be explored and experienced with Africa Safari Camps’ range of products. Offering consulting and marketing services to tourism products in selected African destinations, Africa Safari Camps’ range of products includes activity operators, safari camps and lodges, mobile safari operators, boutique properties, adventure properties and luxury resorts. Developed to cater to clients that wish to experience Africa in the true sense of the word, Africa Safari Camps’ collection offers travelers exciting experiences and comfortable accommodation options. Some of their properties include:

Spotlight On

Experience the Makgadikgadi Pans with Pelican Lodge, discover Chobe with Toro Safari Lodge or go on a camping safari with Umpengu Safaris to the Savute and Okavango Delta. For more information, please contact info@africasafaricamps.com or visit www.africasafaricamps.com.

Experience the Touch of Nature with Leisure & Travelling Booking Agents
Based in Maun, Leisure & Travelling Booking Agents (LATBA) is a 100% Motswana-owned and newly established in-bound travel agency run by experienced staff in tourism and reservations. Whether on holiday or business, you can help set your client’s trip up in advance through LATBA, which handles bookings throughout Botswana for both individual and group travelers. LATBA’s booking portfolio includes the following:

Campsites
Mokoro Trips
Game Drives/Safari Trips
Car Hire
Boat Cruise
Hotels/Guesthouses
Lodges
Chalets
Scenic Flights

Spotlight On

Come and experience the touch of nature with Leisure & Travelling Booking Agents. For more information, please visit www.leisureandtravelling.com.

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What's New What’s New: Product News and Updates

Airline Update: South African Airways Shares Updates Regarding South African Immigration Act
South African Airways has shared some important changes in South African immigration policies. Several new regulations were recently passed under the South African Immigration Amendment Act, with an effective date of the most significant new regulations of September 1, 2014. Both Botswana Tourism and South African Airways want to share this information so that both you and your clients can be prepared when these regulations take effect. For updates on changes, please click here. South African Airways will continue to communicate any new information or updates as they become available.

What's New

South African Airways, a proud member of the Star Alliance network, and its regional partners, South African Express and Airlink, continue to offer the most convenient direct and non-stop service from the U.S. into Johannesburg, with frequent and convenient onward connections to destinations throughout Botswana. Daily flights from New York-JFK Airport and Washington, DC-Dulles Airport offer affordable fares and convenient connections via Johannesburg to three key business and leisure destinations in Botswana, including, Gaborone, the economic and business capital, Kasane, the gateway to the Chobe National Park, and Maun in the Okavango Delta. For more information and flight schedules, please visit www.flysaa.com.

Airline Update: Air Botswana Appoints General Manager
Air Botswana is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Tozivazvipi Benster Dahwa (commonly known in the industry as Ben Dahwa) to the position of General Manager (CEO), effective from May 1, 2014.

Mr. Dahwa is well vested with aviation and airline experience, having been in the industry for 30 continuous years. With an aviation engineering and operations background, he has had wide exposure and experience across all sectors of the aviation environment within the SADC region, stretching from military aviation environment, general aviation environment and wide body aircraft operations. He has held various aviation leadership and management positions such as: Group Avionics Manager (Aerotech, Zimbabwe), Corporate Quality Assurance Manager and General Manager (CEO, Alpine Aviation South Africa), General Manager Technical and Operations (Accountable Manager, Air Namibia) and Director/Principal Member of Track Aviation Associates Pty Ltd, as an aviation consultant, at the time of his appointment.

What's New

Air Botswana is excited to welcome Mr. Dahwa on board and is hugely eager to benefit from his expertise, strengthening the existing airline team to generate the highest level of satisfaction for Air Botswana customers. For more information on Air Botswana, please visit www.airbotswana.co.bw.

Zarafa Dhow Suites Open Its Grand Doors
After much anticipation, Great Plains Conservation is pleased to announce that the Zarafa Dhow Suites opened it Zanzibari doors in May. Located in Botswana’s 320,000 acre Selinda Reserve, the villa concept of the Dhow Suites was so coveted that its opening season already has limited availability, purely through word-of-mouth and the reputation of its award-winning neighbor, Zarafa Camp. Constructed entirely under canvas as one of the largest tents ever built in Africa, its spacious 2,260 square foot design encapsulates all the romance and intimacy of the main Zarafa Camp, but with the added exclusivity of a private vehicle and guide, chef, manager, and entrance.

“We don’t love the word luxury, but it is private and exclusive, and designed with the same vision and old world elegance as the main Zarafa Camp. But this is our ‘beloved suite,’ ideal for families or close friends," says Dereck Joubert. “At Great Plains Conservation we believe that stories are important and those told around the camp fire are probably the most enjoyable,” says CEO Dereck Joubert. “Zarafa is the true story of the first giraffe to leave Africa from Egypt, given as a gift to King Charles X of France. It was found in Nubia, sailed down the Nile in a dhow, to Alexandria, to Marseilles and walked to Paris in 1826. Along the way, the name developed, ‘Zarafa’ means ‘Beloved One’ and evolved into ‘Giraffe.’ When we wanted to include a new private suite at Zarafa it made sense to use the dhow journey that Zarafa went through as an architectural and design reference.”

What's New

The Dhow Suites at Zarafa Camp have two main bedrooms, a central living and dining area, and its own pool and fireplace. Guests staying in the Dhow Suites are secluded from the main camp so privacy is ensured. Each suite has a large fireplace, copper bath, and private outdoor shower made in the interesting Victorian needle shower style overlooking the lagoon. Evening private dining is either outside under the stars, or in the spacious private dining room. It has an exclusive wine list of new world and French wine, and excellent Relais & Châteaux standard cuisine. This is Africa as it has never been experienced, under canvas for authentic “beyond five star” experiences in “beyond five star” accommodation. For more information, please visit www.greatplainsconservation.com.

Wilderness Safaris Launches New Explorations Camp in the Delta
Wilderness Explorations, the guided journey division of Wilderness Safaris, is delighted to announce the opening of Gomoti Tented Camp situated in the heart of Botswana’s 6,000-hectare community-owned Santawani Concession, in the south-east corner of the Okavango.

The camp is nestled under large acacia trees in a diverse and game-rich area. Most of the concession is comprised of a mixed woodland habitat and open grasslands that are transformed into floodplains in years of plentiful water. The main area includes a thatched dining room where guests will enjoy freshly prepared meals as well as a cozy lounge.

The camp accommodates a maximum of eight guests in five spacious and comfortable canvas tents. Designed to recreate the style of the early explorers, the tents feature richly-coloured teak director chairs and comfortable interiors. Separate bedside tables with 12-volt reading lamps, wooden-framed wardrobes, comfortable twin beds and mirrors are provided. Each tent has a private en-suite toilet and shower.

Interpretive day and night drives and guided bush walks are led by experienced Explorations guides, where guests are likely to view a multitude of grazing animals in the fertile and grassy surrounds. Wildlife is plentiful with regular sightings of leopard, lion, wild dog, cheetah, giraffe and elephant. Guests can also choose to relax and take in the views from under the shade of their veranda. In the evenings, paraffin hurricane lanterns and a crackling campfire set the ambience.

“We are thrilled to add this intimate camp to our Explorations portfolio within Botswana. We are investing a lot of time and energy into our guide training and camps to ensure we remain the leaders in guided safaris operations in Botswana. We are also proud that this new community partnership has allowed us to continue our proactive 4Cs philosophy (Conservation, Community, Culture and Commerce). Staff are employed from the local Sankuyo community and the camp is completely eco-friendly with no new permanent structures – ideal for adventurous travellers,” says Simon Collier, Wilderness Safaris Explorations Manager.

What's New

Gomoti Tented Camp will replace Khwai Discoverer Camp in the Great Wilderness Journey itinerary. For more information, please visit www.wilderness-safaris.com.

Updates from Footsteps in Africa
Footsteps in Africa continues to make Botswana travel easy. Read on to learn more about product updates and information:

2015 Rates are Available – Please contact Footsteps in Africa at tara@footsteps-in-africa.com  for login details to the 2015 rate offers.

Unwind with Massages – There is nothing quite like having a relaxing massage in the tranquil surrounds of the bush. The wonderfully talented in-house masseuse, Dipsy, offers massages in the specially-designed massage rooms at Delta Camp and Oddballs’. Each is tucked away in the bush, open to birdsong, visits by friendly elephant and filtered Okavango light.

New Deck at Delta Camp – 21 years of hard use have finally taken their toll on the Delta Camp’s deck, and Footsteps in Africa is excited by the look the newly completed deck, named Red Ballau, gives the camp. While rebuilding this deck, Footsteps in Africa also completed the rebuild of the new satellite viewing deck, which was lost to a fire some time ago. This will add a private space to the communal areas, perfect for romantic al fresco dining under the stars or lazing the afternoon away watching the elephant bathe.

What's New

For more information on Footsteps in Africa, please visit www.footsteps-in-africa.com.

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Just In Just in: New Botswana Supplier Travel Specials

Pre-Season Safari Specials from MizMundo Adventure and Leisure Travels
Discover a pure, hidden world in Botswana with MizMundo Adventure and Leisure Travels’ pre-season safari specials. Spend six nights discovering the Okavango Delta, Chobe and Savuti for only $4,950 NETT per person sharing. This includes two-nights in a luxury camp deep in the Okavango Delta, two-nights in Savuti Camp and two-nights in Chobe Under Canvas for a more rustic feel to end the safari. Safaris are all inclusive of meals, drinks, butler service, professional guides and laundry service.

Just In

For more information, please contact enquiries@mizmundo.com or visit www.mizmundo.com.

Belmond Safaris Introduces Long-Stay Rates and More
Belmond Safaris (formerly Orient-Express Safaris) is proud to announce the introduction of its Long Stay rates for the remainder of 2014 and into 2015. With the combination of their three luxury safari lodges working in perfect synergy, the eagerly awaited long-stay rates will be a great benefit for clients wanting to get a full experience of the three amazing, yet completely contrasting, ecosystems of Northern Botswana. These include the floodwater of the Okavango Delta; the leadwood forests of the Moremi Game Reserve; and the semi-arid region of the Chobe National Park. The three Belmond lodges are:  Savute Elephant Lodge, Eagle Island Lodge and Khwai River Lodge.

With the ‘Discover Botswana with Belmond’ offer, clients booking four nights or more in July, August or September will be treated to a complimentary 35-minute helicopter safari from Belmond Eagle Island Lodge, followed by a secluded picnic in the bush and fishing excursion. Offer is subject to availability and terms and conditions apply. Bookings must include at least one night at Belmond Eagle Island Lodge and is applicable to new bookings only.

Just In

For more information, please contact safaris@belmond.com or visit www.belmondsafaris.com.

The Ultimate Botswana Camping Safari with Sunway Safaris
Sunway Safaris is excited to introduce a new 19-day ultimate Botswana camping safari for 2015.  Starting in Maun, this is a true exploration of the wilderness areas of Central and Northern Botswana. Combining Botswana’s favorite National Parks, this package is designed for those clients who are looking for adventure, wild camping, great game viewing and contrasting environments. The tour visits: the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Nxai Pan, a San Bushman Experience, The Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve, Savuti, Chobe and ends in Victoria Falls, Livingstone.

While Sunway Safaris offers a 14-day Botswana safari, this 19-day ultimate package highlights the Central Kalahari Game Reserve that many travelers would love to see, yet rarely have that opportunity. This tour can be shortened to 11 days (Maun to Maun) for those clients who either cannot do the full 19-day tour or would like to only see the CKGR, Nxai Pan and the Delta.

Just In

For more information, please contact Jayne Harley at marketing@sunway-safaris.com or visit www.sunway-safaris.com.

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Doing Good in Botswana Doing Good in Botswana: Rhino Relocation to Botswana – Initiatives Underway

Botswana as a nation has a strong, exemplary conservation mindset, in policy and practice. Many private sector companies stand committed alongside government and NGO industry partners to undertake a myriad of conservation efforts. This month we are focusing on three companies in particular, who are working diligently to make a difference for the rhino. Great Plains Conservation and &Beyond together, as well as Wilderness Safaris and the Botswana Department of Wildlife and National Parks, are all engaged in rhino translocation initiatives from South Africa to Botswana.

Great Plains Conservation and &Beyond are working together to move rhino into sanctuaries in the one country where they know they have a greater chance of survival: Botswana. By mid-2015, this relocation operation will take place with an assertive and elaborate anti-poaching force and strong commitment to save this species. To strengthen these efforts, the fundraising campaign, Zeros for Rhinos, has been started to ensure this relocation initiative is a success.

Wilderness Safaris has been working in cooperation with government bodies to translocate endangered black rhino into Botswana. The company is delighted to announce the successful capture of a small founder population of critically endangered black rhino in a joint collaboration with the Botswana and South African governments. The rhino are destined for a safe haven in Botswana. This follows the successful capture and release of a group of black rhino in May and is part of an ongoing conservation project to establish a core population of this threatened species in Botswana.

Doing Good in Botswana

These two major initiatives will hopefully make a positive and lasting change to help save rhino from extinction. To learn more about the initiatives, or donate to their causes, follow the links below:

Great Plains Conservation: www.greatplainsconservation.com
&Beyond: www.andbeyond.com/botswana.htm
Zeros for Rhinos: www.greatplainsfoundation.com/rhinos.html
DONATE: www.causes.com/campaigns/70125-support-zeros-for-rhinos 
Wilderness Safaris: www.wilderness-safaris.com
Wilderness Wildlife Trust: www.wildernesstrust.com

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Wildlife Sightings Wildlife Sightings

Wildlife Sightings

You won’t need binoculars to see the latest wildlife sightings sent to us from various camps throughout Botswana. Wilderness Safaris not only had a ‘chocolate zebra’ phenomenon at Vumbura Plains, but the elusive pangolin was spotted in the Jao Concession. Ker & Downey Botswana captured wild dogs on a morning ramble at Shinde. And Kwando Safaris is going to the dogs with three females in the pack pregnant! Check them all out and more below:

Wilderness Safaris
Ker & Downey Botswana
Kwando Safaris’ Sightings Reports
Great Plains Conservation

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We appreciate your, our valued trade partners, support in promoting travel to Botswana. We welcome your comments and ideas on ways our destination office can continue to support your efforts.

Yours in travel,

Botswana Tourism – U.S. Office

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