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About WildernessSafaris

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    Sustainable ecotourism, conservation, luxury safari, community and culture
  1. We are thrilled and truly honoured to have won the Environment Award for our Botswana Rhino Conservation Project at the World Travel & Tourism Council Awards in Dallas last night. If you don't have time to watch the full ceremony (it's about one-and-a-half hours long) click on Session 5 on the home page and fast forward to 01:23 for the introduction to our project by lead judge Dr Graham Miller, and then Simon Stobbs' acceptance speech http://www.wttc.org/#. Our hugest thanks must go to to the Botswana government officials, pilots, scientists, vets, the people who build the bomas, the people on the ground who track and protect the animals. You are the true heroes...
  2. April 2016 – Wilderness Safaris and the Governors’ Camp Collection are delighted to announce a new strategic partnership as a result of an acquisition of equity in this premier East African safari brand through Wilderness Holdings. In addition to being one of East Africa’s oldest and most respected safari brands, the Governors’ safari camps are located in undoubtedly the best locations in two of Africa’s bucket list destinations, Kenya’s Masai Mara and Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park. “With over 40 years’ experience in pioneering safaris and ecotourism in East Africa and a very similar approach to our core 4Cs ethos of Commerce, Conservation, Community and Culture, Governors’ are the perfect, likeminded partners for us to extend our sustainability and authentic ecotourism footprint into the region. This will in turn help us to achieve our vision to continue building further sustainable conservation economies in Africa”, said Keith Vincent, Wilderness Safaris CEO. “Not only do the Governors’ brand and the Grammaticas family share our values and vision for the role ecotourism can play in African conservation, but our two companies operate in complementary geographic areas, do not compete and can both enhance each other’s businesses. We are therefore proud to invest in this well-known and long-established family-run business, and to partner with one of the oldest and most respected brands in the region”, Vincent added. According to Dominic Grammaticas, Managing Director of Governors' Camp Collection, this powerful partnership of two strong brands in African ecotourism will not only provide the Governors’ Camp Collection with the capital required for an exciting investment programme, but will create great benefits for all stakeholders in many different areas. “It’s a very exciting time to be part of Governors’”, he said. “We have been a very successful family-owned safari operator for almost 45 years and have pioneered many aspects of luxury safari tourism now taken for granted across the continent. This strategic partnership with Wilderness allows us to retain the unique benefits of a family-owned and run company, whilst at the same time offering an exciting future for growth opportunities within East Africa and other regions”. Governors’ and Wilderness Safaris, with over 75 years of combined experience in the industry, share deep roots in owner-managed operations, and share a vision that commercial operations can and must support community and conservation initiatives which protect and sustain some of the greatest wildlife areas remaining on the planet. Both organisations will maintain their individual identities, brands, structures and independence. Governors’ will remain owner-run and will continue to conduct all its own marketing, sales and reservations activities. For its part, Wilderness Safaris will sell Governors’ as a preferred partner in Kenya and Rwanda. Agents with an existing relationship with Governors’ will continue to deal with Governors’ directly.
  3. Hi there, our prices for a private vehicle in Botswana range from US $544 to $708, depending on the camp. If there are six people on the vehicle there is no charge. Thanks and regards Josephine
  4. Hi @@egilio - it's a different project entirely from that of GP/&B... Have a look here: www.wildernesstrust.com/portfolio/botswana-rhino-relocation-and-reintroduction
  5. We are thrilled to note our ongoing black rhino reintroduction project in Botswana was recently bolstered by the arrival of additional animals that were transported to the country by the Botswana Defence Force. At least four more moves of black rhino will take place over the coming month, meaning that nearly1% of the continent's black rhino population will have been resettled in Botswana in this joint effort.
  6. Linkwasha opened as scheduled on 1 May 2015. We will leave the images to do the talking, though suffice it to say it is living up to expectations as Hwange's most luxurious safari camp in one of the most productive wildlife areas of the National Park... Here's a little taster to whet your appetite, hope you enjoy!
  7. Hi Russell, The two concessions that we lease there do overlap and so given that the same operator operates both of them we do traverse the entire area on occasion, regardless of which camp you are based at. That said … Linkwasha is optimally positioned for areas like Back Pans, Scott’s Pan and Ngamo Plain, and can easily access Linkwasha Vlei where productive areas like Madison and Airstrip 2 are located. Airstrip is quite far and won’t be a core area of game viewing for this camp though. Little Makalolo by contrast is quite far from Ngamo and Back Pans, but closer to Samavundla and Ngweshla, and can also more easily access Airstrip 2. The short answer is that there are no restrictions – just practical limitations of time and distance. The two concessions that we lease there do overlap and so given that the same operator operates both of them we do traverse the entire area on occasion, regardless of which camp you are based at. That said … Linkwasha is optimally positioned for areas like Back Pans, Scott’s Pan and Ngamo Plain, and can easily access Linkwasha Vlei where productive areas like Madison and Airstrip 2 are located. Airstrip is quite far and won’t be a core area of game viewing for this camp though. Little Makalolo by contrast is quite far from Ngamo and Back Pans, but closer to Samavundla and Ngweshla, and can also more easily access Airstrip 2. The short answer is that there are no restrictions – just practical limitations of time and distance. Warm regards Jo B
  8. Hi Russell There are currently no plans to do a logpile or other hide at that exact waterhole in front of camp (because every room looks onto the waterhole), but we are currently discussing hides and a sleep out deck for Linkwasha guests in the immediate vicinity. We view this as critical and want to ensure we choose exactly the right spots. Back Pans, Scott’s Pan and Ngamo are all obvious candidates for various versions of this experience. Scott’s already has a logpile but we plan to improve this. Thanks Josephine Bestic
  9. Thought you might like to see how the Linkwasha Camp build is coming along... Chris Roche reports from Hwange: On Monday we managed to get in to have a look at the progress taking place at Linkwasha Camp. It was a flying visit and the camp looks great, but it was the wildlife that stunned us. Some of the Hwange specials like eland and sable were a treat, as was a coalition of male cheetah, but the sheer abundance of wildlife around Linkwasha and on the nearby Ngamo Plains was the highlight! More on the build (and wildlife activity) from Mike and Marian Myers at http://www.wilderness-safaris.com/blog/posts/mike-marian-on-safari-linkwasha-build-update
  10. Wilderness Safaris' position on VAT in Zimbabwe for 2015 After some deliberation, a decision has been reached by the Zimbabwean Government regarding VAT in Zimbabwe. VAT of 15% has been imposed on accommodation services only, while other tourism services such as touring, transfers and flying are zero-rated. From the perspective of Wilderness Safaris, the situation is as follows: · For all our Zimbabwe camps – the rates remain the same as published. This was based on passing an increase of 7.5% on to the consumer, and Wilderness absorbing the other 7.5%. · For all other services (touring, transfers, flying) – rates have reduced as the 15% VAT that was previously factored into our rates for non-accommodation services for the 2015 rate season is no longer applicable. However, should the current ruling by the Zimbabwe Government change, we will have no option but to reintroduce the 15% VAT on these services. We have updated the relevant Wilderness rates in our system and await details as applicable from our partners in Zimbabwe. All bookings with non-accommodation Wilderness services that have been invoiced in full, will be credited in full and re-invoiced accordingly to show the correct rates. Your Journey Specialist will be in touch shortly with revised pricing and/or invoices as applicable.
  11. Kate Kenchington, Guest Relations Manager at Vumbura Plains in the Okavango sent through this footage shot at the end of December - a truly extraordinary sighting of a wild dog kill right in camp!
  12. October 2014 – In an amicable agreement between both parties, Wilderness Safaris has sold its stake in Wilderness Safaris Malawi to long-time partners Chris and Pam Badger who are now the sole owners. Chris and Pam joined Wilderness Safaris in Botswana in 1986. After several years running expeditions across the Okavango and Chobe ecosystems, they exported both themselves and the Wilderness model further afield to Malawi. In the intervening 20 years they have created an exceptional collection of lodges in Malawi’s most magnificent areas – from the Shire River lowlands of Liwonde National Park, to the languid shores of Lake Malawi and the biodiversity and unique scenic splendour of the Nyika Plateau in the north of the country. Even more importantly, they have demonstrated an inherent commitment to ecotourism in its most admirable form through their extensive community and conservation work. “The sale of our share in the business allows Chris and Pam the latitude to continue their pioneering ecotourism model in this delightful south-central African country”, says Wilderness Safaris CEO, Keith Vincent. “Of course, we’re going to miss them and Chris’s impromptu harmonica sessions, but expect plenty of nostalgic catch ups at the various trade shows around the world.” This is a sentiment echoed by Chris: “Since 1986 we have been privileged to have worked and grown with the company and its unique group of people and places, always having a lot of fun and regarding our employment more as a quest than a job! We look forward to our shared commitments to conservation, community and service growing even stronger and to sharing some exciting new developments with our partners in 2015.” The new company has been rebranded as Central African Wilderness Safaris with the borassus palm silhouettes in the logo representing the distinctive fringing vegetation of the Shire River, where it all began in the early 1990s. Other than the shareholding, and the evolution in visual identity, there are no dramatic changes foreseen. According to Keith Vincent, “Wilderness Safaris remains a major supporter and supplier of this new company and continues to work jointly with the Badgers in implementing Children in the Wilderness programmes across the country. Likewise, the Wilderness Wildlife Trust remains a committed supporter of rhino conservation and other work being done under the umbrella of CAWS and we wish the Badgers every success in their next Malawi chapter.”
  13. Thank you for your wonderful post @@Kitsafari - hope you don't mind our asking @Game Warden to blur the specifics a little, due to our (mutual I'm sure) concern over the poaching threat. By way of some background, we posted this for World Rhino Day last year http://www.wilderness-safaris.com/blog/posts/wilderness-safaris-celebrates-world-rhino-day-with-20-years-of-rhino-conservation which provides a useful history and overview of our commitment to rhino conservation. And summed up on the infographic below. Regarding the current translocation project, we can indeed confirm that a small group of Critically Endangered black rhino will be translocated from South Africa to northern Botswana in the first quarter of 2014. This follows the groundbreaking agreements reached with both the North West Parks and SANParks boards in February 2014 to each donate a number of black rhino to Botswana. Thanks to extensive and ongoing fundraising efforts in preparation for this event by the Wilderness Wildlife Trust, the translocation of these special rhino will be taking place in the very near fu8ture.This is an extremely delicate operation which will involve the staff of North West and SANParks, the Botswana Defence Force, Department of Wildlife and National Parks Botswana and Wilderness Safaris. Our Group Biodiversity Conservation Manager, Kai Collins had this to say: “The transloation will involve an extremely high level of security both during the operation, as well as after the release of the rhino, and we are extremely grateful for the ongoing support of our sponsors, such as the Wilderness Wildlife Trust, International Rhino Foundation, the Tiffany & Co. Foundation, Empowers Africa and RHINO FORCE to name a few, to ensure the ongoing success of this project”. Our Wilderness Trust website has more information on the project including details on how to donate. Thank you for your interest, we'll certainly be keeping you posted!
  14. If you've enjoyed a particular dish at any of our camps, please let us know and we'll get the recipe to you! This scrumptious summer starter or lunch option is easy and delicious... Chilled Curried Apple Soup Serves 6-8 15g butter 1 onion, chopped 1tsp curry powder 1kg green apples, peeled, cored and chopped 1L chicken stock 175ml cream Juice of 1 lemon Salt and pepper to taste Method In a sauce pan melt the butter and sweat the onions. Add the curry powder and cook 1 minute. Add the apples, chicken stock and salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to the boil and simmer covered for 1 hour. Blend the soup and strain through a sieve and leave to cool. Add the cream and lemon juice. Season to taste. Serve chilled in chilled bowls.
  15. Serval at Mombo Camp, Okavango Delta - from the supremely talented Mr Dana Allen

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