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Botswana Trade News for November 2010

In this Issue:

From 'Green' to 'Eco'... Seven Camps and Lodges now Botswana Ecotourism Certified
Tourism Industry Partners Win Awards from Conde Nast Traveler & Travel+Leisure
Botswana Suppliers... Doing Well by Doing Good
Announcing Green Season Travel Specials and Online Campaign
Keeping You 'In the Know'...Updates from Botswana Camps and Lodges
Spotlight on... Botswana-based Companies
Direct Maun-Johannesburg Air Service Reinstated

line Seven Camps and Lodges now Botswana Ecotourism Certified

The Botswana Ecotourism Certification Program is a voluntary industry program that covers more than 240 performance standards encompassing environmental management, cultural resources protection and community development, socio-economic responsibility and fundamental ecotourism criteria.

Certification structure is three-tiered, designed to incorporate the broadest cross-section of tourism operations while still distinguishing an urban facility from a true ecotourism product in a pristine natural environment. The three-tiered structure promotes progress and is designed to encourage operators to improve their performance towards the achievement of the next higher level. The three levels are as follows:

  • Green 
    lineEntry level certification: Primarily focused on meeting all BASIC standards for the environmental management systems of the facility.
  • Green +
    lineMiddle level certification: Meets all Green level standards, plus:
    • Additional enhanced standards for the environmental management systems of the facility.
    • Encourages, where appropriate, additional focus on visitor experience and/or community benefits standards.

  • Ecotourism logo
    lineTop level certification
    • Accommodation and eco-tour operators that have met ALL the principles of ecotourism, as defined in the Botswana National Ecotourism Strategy (2002).
    • Reflects supplier commitment and involvement of communities including cultural resources enhancement and socio-economic responsibilities, nature conservation, environmental management and interpretation of the surroundings. 

These lodges and camps are the forerunners of this recently introduced program, having completed the Botswana Ecotourism Certification program. Property name, company, and respective certification level are listed below.  

Vumbura Plains, Wilderness Safaris Green
Chobe Game Lodge, Desert & Delta Safaris Green +
Jao Camp, Wilderness Safaris Green +
Kwetsani Camp, Wilderness Safaris Green +
Little Vumbura Camp, Wilderness Safaris Eco
Savuti Camp, Wilderness Safaris Eco
Zarafa Camp, Great Plains Eco

To learn more about Botswana’s commitment to ecotourism and the Botswana Tourism Certification program, visit the Botswana Tourism Global website,
click here

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a Congratulations to Award-Winning Botswana Properties and Companies

Twelve Botswana Camps and Lodges Ranked Among the Top Properties in the WorldTwelve Botswana safari lodge properties have made the 2010 Condé Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Travel Awards as top resorts in Africa. Four of the twelve properties, Mombo and Little Mombo Camps, Jao Camp, Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge and Duma Tau Camp are also prominently ranked in the TOP 100 resorts and hotels worldwide category. The following Botswana camps and lodges in the 2010 Readers' Choice Travel Awards are listed below by their rating and rank in the top-50 resorts in Africa. The first four properties listed also have a ranking listed in bold for the TOP 100 resorts and hotels worldwide category - the list described by Condé Nast as being those with “sky-high scores and planet-wide choices.”

For more information on these award winning camps and lodges visit their respective company web sites.

Great Plains Conservation Wins Travel + Leisure Award
Botswana Tourism also congratulates Great Plains Conservation for winning the Travel + Leisure 2010 Global Vision Award in the conservation and land management category. Through these awards, Travel + Leisure honors companies and organizations that are harnessing travel to positively impact the world.
Travel + Leisure comments on Great Plains Conservation stating -“It’s hard to tell whether Great Plains is a conservation organization or a safari lodge company—a testament to how well it wears both identities. The six camps under the Great Plains banner all embody the highest standards of service and design, and together they are situated on some 955,000 acres of conserved land.”
Great Plains Conservation CEO, Dereck Joubert, also commented on the award, “It’s a delight to be recognized by Travel + Leisure this year and a testament to the unified vision shared at every level from managers to our housekeeping staff. Great Plains, at its very core, is a conservation company that is defined by this ethic of conservation tourism.”

The 2010 Global Vision Awards detail why each organization is worthy of the award and offer “Take the Trip” information allowing travelers to experience first-hand the local cultures that have benefitted from their collective efforts. To learn more about the 2010 Global Vision Awards visit http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/global-vision-awards-2010

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a Tourism Industry Suppliers... Doing Well by Doing Good

&Beyond Making a Difference in Maun
Living up to the company’s core ethos of Care of the Land, Care of the Wildlife, Care of the People, &Beyond is making a positive difference in the lives of children in Maun, Botswana. &Beyond Foundation, with help from Africa Foundation USA, as well as guests and staff at &Beyond’s lodges in Botswana, have invested over a quarter of a million Botswana Pula in infrastructure development at the Motse wa Tsholofelo (The Village of Hope) Day-Care Centre in Maun. This new infrastructure improves access to education and nutrition for the 52 children between the ages of two and six who attend the day-care. The funds have been used to build a new kitchen, dining hall, bathrooms at the nearby counselling centre and a fence for a vegetable garden. Fresh produce from the centre’s vegetable garden is now used to prepare hearty, nutritious meals for the children and caregivers. &Beyond Foundation will now be raising funds for shade netting for the vegetable garden, a security system, tile for the kitchen and two new classrooms. To learn more about Motse wa Tsholofelo Day-Care Centre and how you can help, visit http://www.villageofhope.info/villageofhope/Welcome.html

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Kicking Off Botswana's Green Season with Travel Specials & Online Campaign

Sanctuary Retreats is delighted to offer your clients an outstanding green season package, valid for travel from January-March 2011. The package includes two nights at Sanctuary Stanley’s Camp, two nights at Sanctuary Chief’s Camp and two nights at Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero, allowing guests to experience the splendour of Botswana in one great package. Please contact Sanctuary Retreats at sasales@sanctuaryretreats.com for 2011 green season rates.

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Yoga Safari is offering a two day yoga retreat to Dqae Qare (pronounced Kung Kaaree). Dqae Qare is a game farm owned by the people of D’kar and is run by the San Bushmen. This yoga retreat is a great add-on for your health enthusiast clients. For more information visit http://www.yogasafari.com/itineraries.html.

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line Updates from Botswana Camp and Lodges

New… Private Villa at Royal Tree Lodge is Now Open
Royal Tree Lodge is a luxury furnished house, situated on a private reserve on the banks of the Thamalakane River, twenty minutes outside of Maun. The new villa has two bedrooms, each with its own en-suite bathroom, and includes a private detached guest cottage with a shaded porch. While staying at the Royal Tree Lodge, your clients can take in an abundance of wildlife including giraffe, zebra, springbok, ostrich, eland, gemsbok and kudu as well as an extensive variety of bird life. The lodge offers day trips to the Moremi Game Reserve and can arrange mokoro day trips as well. For more information on this exciting new Botswana travel product, visit www.royaltreelodge.com or contact treelodge@netspread.co.bw.

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Sanctuary Retreats… Mokoro Activities All Year Round!
The unusually high water levels in the Okavango Delta have allowed Sanctuary Retreat’s Baines’ Camp and Sanctuary Stanley’s Camp to offer your clients the very popular mokoro rides until the end of 2011. For more information on Sanctuary Retreats properties and services visit http://www.sanctuaryretreats.com/lodges/botswana/

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Spotlight on Botswana Based Suppliers

Okavango River Safaris
Okavango River Safaris offers mobile water based safaris across the entire length of the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Your clients will experience the waterways of the delta in a custom designed aluminum game viewing boat with accommodations in classic tented camps on remote islands along the way. They offer fully catered private safaris for groups of up to 12 people, scheduled safaris suitable for single travelers and couples, and luxury mobile safari. For more information visit www.okavangoriver.com 

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Time Travel Africa
Time Travel Africa is a tour operator based out of Maun, Botswana and has been in operation since 2002. Their expert knowledge, experience, and passion for Botswana allow them to create a personalized safari adventure of a lifetime for your clients. They are offering incredible green season rates from December 1, 2010-March 31, 2011. For more information, visit www.timetravelafrica.com or contact them at info@timetravel.com for a quote.

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line Air Botswana Reinstates Direct Flights Between Johannesburg and Maun

We are pleased to announce that effective November 5, Air Botswana has reinstated nonstop air service between Johannesburg and Maun. Flights on these routes have been loaded in CRS. Please contact Air Botswana at 1-800-518-7781 for re-issuing of tickets or any other questions.

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We appreciate all you do to promote and sell travel to Botswana. We hope you found this issue informative and a pleasure to read. As always, your comments and suggestions on ways we can work collaboratively to promote this breathtaking and inspiring destination are welcomed. We are only an email or phone call away: info@botswanatourism.us, 1-866-675-7660.

Tsamaya Sentle ("go well" in Setswana),

Botswana Tourism - USA office

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