Desert And Delta Safaris – 40 Years On….


Desert and Delta Safaris this week celebrated its 40th anniversary decorated with a success story premised on responsible tourism and human development. Having started with just one Camp in 1982, the safari outfit has grown exponentially to one of the most successful operators with a portfolio of nine facilities, spread in prime wildlife destinations of Chobe, Maun, Okavango Delta and Makgadikgadi.

At the event to celebrate the four-decade journey, the company prided itself in developing the human potential, by providing opportunities for all. The company’s growth has thus been credited to its founders, employees and other stakeholders

Leading the pack, are the torch bearers – those that saw the company from its humble beginnings among, them current CEO of Chobe Holdings Jonathan Gibson, Former DDS managing Director Derek Flatt, Former Back of House manager at Chobe Game Lodge Albert Ndereki and John Kata among others.

This crop of pioneers was to be followed by the current crop of citizen management executives, groomed and developed for senior positions over the years. One of the most celebrated progressions in this regard, is that of Lemphemetse Odumetse – the current Group managing director.

Odumetse like many other DDS employees, started his career as a waiter, rising up to the commanding position he currently holds.

Empowering the human resource was Gibson long held vision; “to give citizens the opportunity to play their part in management and ultimately ownership of not Desert and Delta Safaris, but in companies across the industry.”

“For many years all our managers at all our camps have been Batswana, and all every single line pilot, all ten of them are Batswana citizens,” he said.

Speaking the event last night Gibson said the growth of the company was a collective effort by various players, among them management, employees and communities from where they operate.

Chobe Holding, he said as well all its other subsidiaries has over the years abided by the laws of the country, including paying all the dues – leases and tax to government without fail.

Further, to all these, the company also took issues of gender equality serious and appointed female workers to key positions within the organisation.

The company, Gibson said the company has also been involved in community work to assist those vulnerable and hard done by economic misfortunes with a view to improve their livelihoods.

Desert and Delta marks the 4-decade milestone at time when it has added two new facilities to its potfolio – Nxamaseri Island Lodge in the Panhandle and Sedia Hotel in Maun.

The two facilities, fit well into the future plans of desert and delta safaris of tourism product offering diversification and youth empowerment in the tourism industry respectively.

Nxamaseri Island Lodge, an 8 roomed facilitity is key to the company’s plans to explore one of Botswana’s richest cultural and historic sites, the Tsodilo Hills. It fits well into the strategy by DDS to develop cultural tourism and promote community integration into tourism using the Tsodilo Hills as well as the Tsodilo and Nxamaseri communities. The cultural tourism product is expected to be packaged into the company’s offering, and help drive tourists to Tsodilo.


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