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Botswana Trade September 2014

In this Issue:

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News Break News Break: Become a Botswana Specialist Today

Do you want to increase your knowledge about Botswana, and have more confidence as you promote the destination to your clients? Now you can, by completing the Botswana Specialist Training Program, an e-learning program created specifically for travel professionals in North America.

This six-module, online course will enhance your knowledge of Botswana’s history and culture, its prime and emerging tourism regions, and provide essential travel planning information. In addition, from the program platform you can also access tips on selling Botswana as well as order destination collateral materials.

What are you waiting for? Become a Botswana Specialist today. To access the Botswana Specialist Training Program, go to www.botswanaspecialistprogram.com.

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Spotlight On Spotlight on: Botswana Hospitality and Travel

Encounters with Nature, Discoveries of Magic – Mokolodi Nature Reserve
Do you have clients visiting Gaborone who want a convenient day (or weekend) trip into nature? Send them to Mokolodi Nature Reserve. Established by the Mokolodi Wildlife Foundation in 1994, the Mokolodi Nature Reserve is situated in a magnificent acacia bushveld valley just south of Gaborone. Home to a wide variety of indigenous wild game (including rhino), bird and reptile species, Mokolodi Nature Reserve serves as a protected environmental and conservation education area, placed in trust for the children of Botswana. Its core focus is environmental education and conservation of the country’s endemic wildlife. As a registered non-profit charity organization, Mokolodi relies on a number of commercial tourism activities and public donations to provide much of the needed funds for the management of the Reserve.

Mokolodi’s Environmental Education Program offers a holistic and child-learning centric educational approach to ecological, social and cultural aspects of Botswana’s natural heritage. Learning is linked to scenarios that are familiar to children in their own home environments, so that lessons learned have a practical real life value. Children from across Botswana have visited Mokolodi to stay at its Education Center and take part in activities that nurture greater knowledge and respect for the environment and experience the natural wonders increasingly lost to Africa and the modern world.

Over 60,000 people pass through the Nature Reserve’s gates each year. Specialist activities such as rhino tracking and giraffe tracking allow visitors the opportunity to track these animals on foot and to get up close and personal – an experience not to be forgotten. Other activities and facilities offered by the Reserve include: game drives, accommodation (chalets and camping), conference facilities at World’s View Centre, dining at the Mokolodi Restaurant and bush braais (barbecues).

Spotlight On

For more information, please email bookings@mokolodi.com or visit www.mokolodi.com.

A Taste of the Real Africa with Safari Life Africa
Safari Life Africa is an owner-run company with more than 20 years experience in the safari industry.  Owner Clinton Edwards and his team create affordable, tailor-made safari itineraries focused on providing the ultimate game viewing experience for each and every guest.

Safari Life Africa arranges tailor-made trips throughout select areas in Southern Africa, with an emphasis on mobile safaris. Local knowledge and passion is used to create value-for-money safaris for a variety of budget levels. A privately-guided mobile safari is a unique way to encounter the wilderness. Guests travel with a guide and camp assistant that takes care of all camp chores while the guests focus on game viewing experiences and being immersed in nature far from life’s normal hectic pace. Guests sleep in tented accommodations, right in the wilderness.

Safari Life Africa is also well equipped to arrange and host filming expeditions. They have many years of experience in guiding large film and wildlife productions and have worked on a number of well-known television and wildlife documentaries including Top Gear and National Geographic.

Spotlight On

To work with Safari Life Africa on your clients’ private-guided, unique African safaris, please visit www.safarilifeafrica.com.

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

Tuli Safari Lodge Reopens after Full Refurbishment
Tuli Safari Lodge is delighted to announce its reopening following a major refurbishment. The lodge celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2014, making it one of Africa’s longest established photographic safari lodges! As many are aware, the lodge had been closed for a little over a year- and-a-half due to the devastating floods in the Limpopo in 2013.

The ‘new’ Tuli retains what everyone loved about the lodge – its charming, relaxed and authentic ambience and strong historical elements – while rectifying the differing size and standard of rooms. Updates include:

8 Brand New Suites – the stunning canvas and concrete suites are designed to meld with the bush
3 Fully Refurbished Suites – three existing suites will be retained and refurbished to the same standard as the new suites
New seating areas to make best use of the lodge’s relaxing gardens
– Refurbished swimming pool and changing facilities
– Modernized back-of-house facilities with an upgraded kitchen, new laundry and improved staff facilities

What's New

Read more about Tuli Safari Lodge’s updates here. For more information on Tuli Safari Lodge, please visit www.tulilodge.com.

New Honeymoon Suite at Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero
Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero is a luxurious riverside retreat in the heart of the bush on the edge of Chobe National Park. The lodge offers unparalleled panoramic views across the islands and floodplains as far across as Namibia. With a new honeymoon suite, Chobe Chilwero is the perfect setting to fall even more deeply in love!

The new honeymoon suite features a private plunge pool and deck where couples can enjoy private dinners for two under the stars (weather permitting) and special turn down service every evening. Guests booking the honeymoon suite automatically receive a private vehicle and guide for all game viewing activities.

What's New

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

andBeyond Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge – Jewel of the Delta Reinvented
Luxury experiential travel company andBeyond has called on leading creative teams from around the globe to achieve a dramatic transformation for Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge in Botswana.

Sandibe has been designed with a light footprint and a heavy focus on sustainability and efficiency. Inspired by elements as diverse as the unique body shape and nesting habits of African animals and birds, the lodge features distinctive and innovative designs using organic materials such as wood to execute the major structural design.

Designed for both privacy and views, guest suites are raised above the papyrus like nests, peeking out from a canopy of wild palms and fig trees. Simple and organic, low-key décor complements the powerful lines of the new buildings and celebrates the very best of Botswana craft. In summer, Sandibe is all about outdoor living, with private plunge pools and two large outdoor day beds, one by the side of the pool and the other on an upper level, which is also ideal for private dining. In winter, the suites become private cocoons warmed by a wood-burning fireplace.

What's New

Now accepting bookings. For more information, please visit www.andBeyond.com.

Savuti Camp Introduces Unique ‘Sleep-Out’ Experience in the Linyanti
Wilderness Safaris’ Savuti Camp has introduced a unique, sleep-out option for adventurous guests on outdoor decks overlooking the wildlife-rich Savute Channel in Botswana’s Linyanti Swamps. A 20-minute drive or 45-minute boat trip away from the camp, the two new ‘sleep-out’ decks offer guests a truly secluded, up-close and personal wilderness experience and the exceptional opportunity of sleeping under the stars.

Famous for the fact that between 1980 and 2008 it stopped flowing altogether, the Savute Channel is now a deep, clear waterway that attracts a variety of wildlife and anything can be seen from the deck, including hippo, kudu, buffalo, waterbuck, impala, baboon and good birdlife. Guests enjoying the sleep-out experience will be treated to a range of night sounds as they drift off to sleep, as well as an array of sightings as they wake up to a beautiful sunrise over the channel.

The two sleep-out decks, accommodating up to four people each, will be set up complete with comfortable beds and mosquito nets and basic ablution facilities nearby. A highly-qualified guide will be on standby to ensure the guests’ safety at all times and in case they need any assistance during the night. All needs will be catered for, including a cozy dinner around the campfire and a delicious breakfast the morning after.

For guests preferring to overnight in the camp, Savuti Camp has front-row seats to view the abundant game that has congregated and adapted to the returning waters of the Savute Channel. Accommodation comprises seven large en-suite canvas-and-thatch walk-in tents that are raised off the ground and face onto the Channel. From the thatched dining area, a plunge pool and large viewing are with fire pit extend outwards on raised wooden decks towards the new waters that flow past the Camp. Activities on offer and included in the rate are day and night drives and nature walks with a highly-trained Wilderness Safaris guide.

What's New

For more information, please visit www.wilderness-safaris.com.

Enjoy Unimpeded Views with Kwando Safaris
Kwando Safaris, a citizen-owned company, has always endeavored to provide your clients with the best Botswana safari experience. To this end, while Nxai Pan and Tau Pan were closed for routine maintenance, it was decided that all vehicles in these two camps would be updated to guarantee a window seat for everyone during game drives! These new 6-passenger vehicles will match those of the other camps within Kwando Safaris’ portfolio – Kwara, Little Kwara, Lagoon and Lebala – providing three rows of two during game drives. This translates into front row seats for all to enjoy and capture nature’s biggest show.

What's New

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

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Just In

Just in: New Botswana Supplier Travel Specials

Special Reopening Offer from Tuli Safari Lodge – 5 for 4
With the reopening of Tuli Safari Lodge comes a delightful special offer for your clients to enjoy a night on them! Stay five nights for the price of four. This offer is valid on stays up to and including February 28, 2015 for guests staying on a fully inclusive basis. Not applicable to Dinner, Bed and Brunch rates or for group rates; cannot be combined with other offers.

What's New

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

Special Offers from Sanctuary Retreats
Sanctuary Retreats is pleased to share the following offers with your clients:

– Botswana Green Season Offer: Green Season in Botswana offers wonderful sightings of newborns both big and small and exceptional bird watching. Spend a minimum of 6 nights at a combination of selected lodges and camps in Botswana and only pay $450 per person per night at Stanley’s Camp, Chobe Chilwero, or $850 per person per night at Chief’s Camp. This offer is valid for new bookings, for travel during these dates: November 1 – December 20, 2014, January 6 – March 31, 2015, and November 1 – December 20, 2015. These camps need to be part of the same itinerary to qualify for the offer. This offer excludes Baines’ Camp.

– Botswana 5 for 4 Offer: Stay a minimum of five nights at any lodges and camps in Botswana (or a combination thereof) and the first night is complimentary! This offer is valid for new bookings, for travel through October 31, 2014 and from April 1 – October 31, 2015. Offer excludes July and August 2015. A minimum of five nights need to be booked in order to qualify

– Botswana Family Offer: Book the perfect family safari getaway! Stay a minimum of two nights at any lodges or camps in Botswana and for every full-paying adult, one child under 15 (sharing with his/her parents) will stay free of charge. This offer is valid for new bookings, for travel from January 1 – December 20, 2014 and January 1 – December 20, 2015. Excludes July and August 2015. Normal child age restrictions apply per camp.

What's New

For more information on Sanctuary Retreats’ offers, please click here.

Guaranteed Space in High Season with Safari Destinations
Safari Destinations is still holding space for their most popular packages, which include some of Botswana’s most affordable safari camps. This includes high season from October onwards, meaning you can offer your clients last-minute affordable safaris when these camps may already be sold out for other tour operators. Package information below:

8 Night Botswana Focus – 2014
8 Night Botswana Focus – 2015
10 Night Authentic Lodge & Mobile – 2014
10 Night Authentic Lodge & Mobile – 2015

Safari Destinations is reserving space for these itineraries for instant bookings through November 2014, and for bookings from May to November 2015. Get your clients’ travel confirmed without having to wait!

What's New

For more information, please visit www.safaridestinations.net.

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Doing Good in Botswana Doing Good in Botswana: Biking with a Purpose – 2014 Nedbank Tour de Tuli a Resounding Success

The 2014 Nedbank Tour de Tuli has once again lived up to its reputation as one of southern Africa’s premier mountain biking events. Organized by Children in the Wilderness (CITW), the 10th edition of this event saw 340 participants cycle across over 250 km of challenging and remote terrain in Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa this past August.

Starting at the Pont Drift border between South African and Botswana, cyclists rode for two days, exploring the Northern Tuli Game Reserve on ancient elephant trails. From here, they crossed the Shashe River and entered Zimbabwe’s Tuli Circle with a further two days spent cycling through communal areas and expansive bushveld. The final day saw riders cross the Limpopo River into South Africa’s Mapungubwe National Park and over the finish line.

“While the magnificent landscape continues to amaze cyclists year after year, one of the high points was the opportunity for cyclists to meet with some of the communities that CITW works with and witness first-hand how funds raised from the tour make a difference in their lives,” said Dr. Sue Snyman, CITW Program Director. All funds raised by the tour are channeled directly into CITW, a non-profit organization that runs sustainable education programs to bridge the divide between communities and the wildlife areas they live next to.

The Nedbank Tour de Tuli is also a cross-border tourism success story, with the governments of Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa working closely together to ensure a seamless experience for participants, and in doing so, raising awareness of the importance of Transfrontier Conservation Areas. This year, cyclists and organizers were honored to have Botswana’s Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Tshekedi Khama, not only open the event, but also don a helmet and ride the first stage of the tour! During the official opening ceremony, the Minister emphasized the important role that ecotourism plays in creating sustainable livelihoods for local community members. He added that eco-sensitive events like the Nedbank Tour de Tuli serve as a catalyst for the ongoing protection of wilderness areas.

What's New

If you have clients who are mountain biking enthusiasts, encourage them to participate in next year’s event. It’s a great way to combine active adventure and safari in one trip!  For more information, please visit www.childreninthewilderness.com.

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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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