Game Warden

Your chance to ask the questions: Wilderness Safaris.

8 posts in this topic

gallery_1_155_54701.jpg

View of deck, lounge and dining area from Lango Bai. Courtesy Wilderness Safaris, copyright Andrew Johnson.

 

You may have heard of Wilderness Safaris plans for two new camps in the Congo's Odzala-Kokoua National Park.

 

Odzala-Kokoua National Park in Congo’s remote north-west is one of Africa’s oldest national parks, having been proclaimed by the French administration in 1935. It is some 13 600 square kilometres (1 360 million hectares) of pristine rainforest and is an integral part of both the Congo Basin and the TRIDOM Transfrontier Park overlapping Gabon, Congo and Central African Republic.
Wilderness has partnered with Congo Conservation Company and African Parks in its Odzala Project; through building the two Odzala Camps, Wilderness’ ecotourist facilities are seen as essential to bringing benefits of the Park to its communities and neighbours and consolidating it as a wildlife enclave.

 

African Parks is a non-profit organisation that takes total responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of national parks in partnership with governments and local communities.

 

African Parks signed a 25-year mandate for the management of Odzala-Kokoua National Park in November 2010. In terms of the agreement, an independent non-profit organisation, the Odzala-Kokoua Foundation, has been established as the overall authority over the Park.

This is your chance to put questions to the following people involved with the development of the two camps:

 

  1. construction and development: Andrew Johnson (group project manager for all development)
  2. operating and marketing: Bruce Simpson (MD of Wilderness Collection and specifically responsible from Congo once open)
  3. rationale, biodiversity, partnerships etc: Chris Roche

Please add your questions and to whom they are addressed in the comments below.

 

For more details of the camps, visit the website here: www.odzala-kokoua.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although in line with your overall philosophy of preservation, these camps take you into a new habitat of the rainforest. What are some ot the challenges this new venture presents?

 

In Botswana you have integrated the means of transport to the camps into your operations with Sefofane. Will you do something similar in Congo?

 

Do you envision a similar time frame to Botswana or other locations for when this venture becomes profitable?

 

How did you embark in this region? Do members of your team have familiarity with the area? Have personal trips made to Congo offered inspiration? Are you partnering with interests already established in the area? This seems like a bold initiative so I am interesting in what sparked it.

 

In general, not pertaining to Congo necessarily, where do you see the low to mid-budget traveler who is a keen nature enthusiast fitting into your offerings?

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is access excpected to be through Congo or through Gabon and what do you expect people to combine trips here with? Presumably you have some things already lined up?

 

What pre-existing tourist facilities were there in this park? (And if any, what was their status before you moved in and how do you see yourselves working with them?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What makes you think the Congo will work?

 

What do you envisage the client base for these 2 camps to be?

 

What made you choose Odzala-Kokoua National Park?

 

How easy has the process been from the initial idea, to selecting 2 locations, through the EIA process etc? How supportive has the Govt been?

 

What is your expected occupancy rate in the first year of opening?

 

What lessons have been learnt from other camps that you have put into practice with these two?

 

What are the green credentials of each camp, in terms of water supply and waste disposal, grey and black water, electricity generation, impact on the environment and so on?

 

How much local produce will you be using in your menus, and how are you engaging local communities to help with the running of the camps? How much employment will they provide to local Congo people?

 

How will the success, (or not) of this project influence decisions on future out of the way locations? Is the Congo project a forerunner of further such expansion into other less oft visited safari destinations? Indeed, how do you envisage the future of safari tourism? The safe and trusted model, ie maintaining the status quo, or gambling somewhat and appealing to the more adventurous safari goer?

 

What are the instances of poaching in these 2 parks, and how do you see your presence as being a deterrent?

 

In light of the following comment "In the current trading environment it is necessary to do more with less and so we have re-aligned the business for lower demand.", (Source - http://www.wilderness-group.com/system/assets/115/original/Year%20end%20results%20Feb%202012%20web%20version.pdf?1338300628) how do the two new camps fit into the portfolio, and when do you expect to break even?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you are building in a wildland of a special land,plants and animals, is your design based on using as little of the land as practible?

 

is the camp to be fenced ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anybody else with questions?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

in an effort to keep the area as natural as possible are you not going to have at the lodge landscaped gardens using exotic and non endemic plants , maintained using lawn mowers and chemicals ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, as no more questions were forthcoming, I have sent them to Wilderness, and thus I am closing this topic. Cosmic Rhino, I edited your questions slightly to make them read better. Matt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


© 2006 - 2018 www.safaritalk.net - Talking Safaris and African Wildlife Conservation since 2006. Passionate about Africa.