Back from the wilderness

Tshepo Kehimile
OPTIMISTIC: OWS Board Chair, Kabelo Binns

Full steam ahead for Wilderness Safaris

Okavango Wilderness Safaris (OWS) has announced that their business operations are returning back to normal after two disruptive, Covid-19 derailed years.

One of Africa’s biggest and best known safari brands, Wilderness Safaris was established over 27 years ago. As well as Botswana, it operates camps in operates camps and safaris in: Namibia, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the Seychelles.

Hinting that the good times will soon be here again, the company recently released a press statement revealing all their camps were fully operational again – with the exception of Kalahari Plains, which is scheduled to open again in December.

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“Accordingly, the vast majority of staff is back at work, following significant periods spent at home on reduced pay. We are grateful to our staff for their understanding and support during what was undoubtedly a most difficult time for them,” reads the release.

It goes on to highlight OWS contribution to the development of local communities and conservation since the pandemic hit.

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“All financial and other obligations to government agencies and communities, arising under leases, were fully honoured. Five tonnes of seed was acquired and distributed to farmers in Ngamiland to help support Government’s desire for food security within our communities.

“OWS, in partnership with the Ngamiland and Okavango District Health Management Teams, HATAB and other prominent lodge and helicopter companies, led an initiative to advance vaccination of tourism workers. We are working and engaging with the Gumare Council for the drilling and fitting of six boreholes for remote settlements around the areas of Mokgacha, Seronga, Gudigwa, Eretsha and Beetsha. A borehole has also already been equipped and fitted at Shokomokwa just to mention a few,” states the Press Release.

Optimistic for the future, OWS conclude, “As we finally see the end of the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic effects of it we are starting to see new bookings growing at satisfying rates once again.

“These new bookings are being added to those rolled over from 2020 and 2021 owing to tourists’ inability to travel. Premium products are once again demonstrating their resilience to external shocks by bouncing back quickly to previous occupancy levels. The lower-priced products are also recovering, albeit at a slower rate.”

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