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Botswana Trade March 2014

In this Issue:

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Spotlight On Spotlight on: Botswana Hospitality and Attractions

Discover Botswana’s Natural Beauty with Planet Wilderness
A locally owned mobile safari company based in Maun, Botswana, Planet Wilderness’ mission is simply to parade all of Botswana’s natural beauty to your valued clients, offering them the best wilderness safari they will ever experience.

Mobile safaris are for the true nature enthusiasts who want to enjoy the more authentic experience of being deep in the African bush.  From the Kalahari through Moremi Game reserve, all the way to Chobe National Park and Victoria Falls, Planet Wilderness specializes in mobile tented/camping safaris throughout Botswana.

The range of safari products covers all of Botswana’s top wildlife areas. Safaris are fully catered by a professional crew, including expert guides, a chef and camp crew, whose sole purpose is to make holidays a dream come true. Planet Wilderness uses private and exclusive campsites only, bringing guests to nature’s doorstep, with large dome tents and en-suite bathrooms. Hearty three course meals, accompanied by all wines and soft drinks are included in the package. While the crew moves ahead to prepare the next camp, guests are able to enjoy ample time with the African wilderness.

Spotlight On

Mobile tented safaris allow your clients to explore nature at its closeness, while camping in the pristine areas away from the crowds. Invite your clients to explore with Planet Wilderness. For more information, please visit www.planet-wilderness.com.

One-Stop-Shop Travel Portal – BotswanaTours.com
BotswanaTours.com is an online travel portal offering a one-stop shop for all quality Botswana safari products. Through a team of experienced Africa-based safari consultants, BotswanaTours.com provides guidance on a comprehensive range of unique tours and safari packages, superior accommodation options, and different tour possibilities, with a particular emphasis on wildlife, nature, eco-tourism and cultural heritage and activity-based itineraries, all tailored to meet your client specific needs.

BotswanaTours.com’s extensive range of package options, sourced from the best tour and safari operators in Botswana, are varied in their offerings, from budget safaris to fly-and-lodge safaris. In addition to fixed itineraries with fixed departures, BotswanaTours.com offers tailor made, bespoke travel solutions, backed up by 16 years of extensive local knowledge and excellent industry contacts.

Spotlight On

Active on the ground in Southern Africa, BotswanaTours.com offers unmatched customer service, prompt response times, and reliable travel advice, all ensuring unforgettable African wilderness experiences. For more information, please visit www.botswanatours.com.

Congrats to Botswana’s 2014 Safari Award Winners
The Good Safari Guide recently announced the 2014 Safari Award Winners, and we are proud to see Botswana represented so highly! With nominations from over a thousand luxury travel professionals, these awards reveal the very best safari lodges, camps and houses alongside the most outstanding safari guides and ground operators in Africa – the ‘who’s who’ of the safari community.

Congratulations to these Botswana winners, by category:

Best Safari Property in Africa:      
WinnerZarafa Camp;
Highly CommendedKanana Camp

Best Mobile Safari Operator in Africa:  ­
WinnerUncharted Africa Safari Company;
Runner UpSelinda Canoe Trail

Best Riding Safari Operator in Africa: 
WinnerRide Botswana;
Runner UpOkavango Horse Safaris;
Highly CommendedAfrican Horseback Safaris

Best Value Safari Property in Africa: 
WinnerMachaba Camp

Best Ecologically Responsible Safari Property in Africa: 
Runner UpZarafa Camp

Best Community Focused Safari Property in Africa
Highly CommendedAfrican Bush Camps and Kanana Camp

Best Safari Guiding Team in Africa:
Highly CommendedUncharted Africa Safari Company

Best Safari Guide in Africa:
Runner Up - Super Sande (Jack’s Camp guide)

To nominate or vote for your favorite Botswana property, outfitter, or guide for the 2015 awards, click here.

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

Wilderness Safaris’ Guide Wins OUTSIDE Travel Award 2014
OUTSIDE, America’s leading active lifestyle brand, has selected Wilderness Safaris’ guide, Thuto Moutloatse, as one of the “seven best adventure guides on the planet” in its annual Travel Awards, which celebrate the top destinations, companies, products and travel providers that inspire people to participate in an active lifestyle.

“This is an incredible endorsement, not only for Thuto, who is a remarkable guide, but also for Wilderness Safaris and our commitment to guide training to ensure that our guides remain amongst the best in the world. Thuto is an accomplished naturalist with a larger-than-life personality. He is able to transform each game drive into a fun, vibrant, informative, and life-changing wilderness experience,” said Grant Woodrow, Wilderness Safaris Botswana Managing Director.

Based in Botswana, Thuto grew up paddling the Okavango Delta, climbing mountains, and walking in big game territory. In his 13 years of guiding, he has a perfect safety record, and has led guests safely through numerous wildlife interactions. He is a keen photographer and conducts photographic trips throughout southern Africa sharing his knowledge and passion for photography with his guests. Thuto loves cooking meals in the bush, from “breakfast-on-a-spade” to dinner under the African sky. His enthusiasm and passion for the wilderness is contagious, which is evident in the number of guests who return. According to Thuto, “Guiding is about people and patience – you experience the most rewarding sightings when you wait and observe animal behaviors and interactions – regardless of how long it takes.”

What’s New

Click here to read more about Thuto’s OUTSIDE Travel Award, and here for his biography. For more information on Wilderness Safaris, please visit www.wilderness-safaris.com

Selinda Explorers Camp now for FITs
You talked. Great Plains Conservation listened. Both travel professionals and clients alike expressed their love for Selinda Explorers Camp, but wish it wasn’t just for exclusive groups. Starting June 1, 2014, Selinda Explorers Camp will now be open to couples and/or single travelers!

Great Plains Conservation has recently released new revised rates for their Botswana camps, including the new rate structure for Selinda Explorers Camp. Other updates include the inclusion of the new Zarafa Dhow Suite (opening in May), the elimination of any single supplement in the calving season (November 1 – June 15) and the added dates for the Selinda Canoe Trail

What’s New

To review new rates, click here. For more information, please email reservations@greatplainsconservation.com or visit www.greatplainsconservation.com.

Ker & Downey Botswana’s Kanana Camp Adds Family Tent
Family travel has always been a core Ker & Downey Botswana value. Because of this, they are pleased to announce the addition of a family tent at Kanana Camp, providing your clients the opportunity to book the perfect family safari. This family tent features two bedrooms with a shared bathroom.

A hidden jewel on the Xudum River, Kanana is located southwest of the Okavango Delta. Due to its location in the Kanana Concession, the focus of activities varies with the rising and falling levels of the Okavango Delta. Activities can include morning and late afternoon game drives, with afternoon game drives often continuing into the evening. Alternatively, clients can also explore the crystal clear waterways by mokoro or motorboat, enjoying the magnificent variety of birds, plants and reptile species found in the area.

What’s New

For more information, please visit www.kerdowneybotswana.com.

Ngoma Safari Lodge Welcomes New Management
John and Babs Lawrence are a team to contend with. Married for 30 years, with two adult children and boasting varied management experience, the couple brings passion, dedication, experience and hospitality to Ngoma Safari Lodge.

An exclusive eight-suite luxury lodge, Ngoma Safari Lodge overlooks the Chobe River and Caprivi floodplain within the Chobe Forest Reserve. Bordering the western edge of the Chobe National Park, Ngoma Safari Lodge offers guided walks and night drives among a number of other activities.

Both born and schooled in Zimbabwe, John and Babs spent their youth exploring the untouched areas of the district. John, the General Manager, is a qualified FGASA level 1 and FGASA Trail Guide (lead guide) with two years of experience in anti-poaching and a stockpile of ‘bush knowledge’ built up from childhood. Babs joins the Ngoma Safari Lodge team as the Lodge Manager, with years of lodge hospitality and management experience.

What’s New

John and Babs have had a long-standing love affair with wild Africa, making them a perfect attribute to the breathtaking Ngoma Safari Lodge. Yearning to live amongst free roaming animals once more, John and Babs believe they have found their “place in Africa” with Ngoma Safari Lodge. For more information, please visit www.ngomasafarilodge.com

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Just In Just in: New Botswana Suppliers’ Travel Specials

A Jewel for a Bargain with Roger Dugmore Safaris
Embark on a unique experience with Roger Dugmore Safaris and their Okavango Jewel package. 10 nights, three exclusive bush camps – Xaxanaka, Mboma Island, Khwai – only $480 per person, per night sharing. Inclusive of road transfers to and from Maun, all meals and drinks, all game drives on safari, a day of boating on the Okavango Delta, services of a professional guide, park and reserve fees and all camp services including laundry.

Just In

For more information, please visit www.rogerdugmoresafaris.com.

Mobile Safaris from Footsteps in Africa
Footsteps in Africa is pleased to announce the addition of mobile safaris. These packages combine Footsteps in Africa’s central Okavango properties with a traditional mobile safari, offering the best of both worlds – the luxury of being in the Okavango combined with the excitement and flexibility of a fully-serviced mobile outfit.

Currently Footsteps in Africa is offering a 9-night/10-day safari package. This package includes 3-nights at Oddballs Camp, followed by 6-nights on a mobile safari, inclusive of inter-camp transfers. Starting at $4,100 per person, with a minimum of two people.

Just In

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

Khwai Trail with Planet Wilderness
This 9-day trip is ideal for clients with limited time in Botswana. Planet Wilderness’ Khwai Trail touches Botswana’s northern highlights and is sure to produce the wildlife experience to satisfy any safari enthusiast. Accommodations throughout the safari are in large dome tents, en-suited with a private bath, all set by the professional safari crew, leaving your clients ample time to enjoy Botswana’s natural wonderland.

Just In

For more information, please click here or visit www.planet-wilderness.com.

Okavango Special Adventure with Kalahari Skies
After much success in 2012 and 2013, Kalahari Skies has decided to include their Okavango Special Adventure onto their Special Offers listings for 2014!

This trip has it all: The broad Okavango River making its way over through walls of papyrus, the Bushman paintings at Tsodilo Hills, a 5-day crossing of the Okavango Delta by boat, and adventure of a lifetime ending with the game concentrations of the Moremi Game reserve. This is the most “total” experience of the Okavango region, a must for any traveler!

Just In

For more information, please click here or visit www.kalahariskies.net.

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Botswana in the News Botswana in the News

From the ultimate horseback-riding adventure to a run-in with elephants, and on to an AFAR Experiential Travel Award for Botswana as the Best Safari Destination, Botswana continues to pop up all over the media... including print and blogs. Check out the recent coverage here.

Forbes.com recently sat down with Keith Vincent, CEO of Wilderness Safaris, to discuss Wilderness Safaris and 30 years of Ecotourism in Africa. Check it out here.

The Robb Report highlighted ultimate adventures, which included a 14-day horseback-riding journey through Botswana. Read more here.

The Calgary Herald shares how Botswana’s Okavango Delta has become a haven for elephants – just make sure you stay alert! Read more here.

AFAR recently revealed their “Experiential Travel Awards 2014” and who better to take home the prize for “Best Safari Destination” than Botswana. Read more here.

Discover a floating safari at Botswana’s Chobe National Park with ThisWorldRocks.com here.

Machaba Camp – a safari experience better than on TV. Don’t believe us? Check out Kelly Kidson’s post about Classic Safari Camps’ newest member, Machaba Camp, here.

LonelyPlanet.com releases their “Top 10 Extraordinary Places to Stay in 2014.” A panel of travel experts whittled down the submissions to 10 breathtaking choices. Read more here to see where Botswana makes the list.

Botswana in the News

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We appreciate the support of you, our valued trade partners, 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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