Okavango Wilderness Safaris Managing Director Kim Nixon is set to leave the safari operator at the end of July, after a sterling 7 year stay at the helm of the company.
Okavango Wilderness Safaris, Board Chairman, Kabelo Binns has confirmed that Nixon will be separating with the company for personal reasons.
“Okavango Wilderness Safaris (OWS) does not, by practice, comment on matters of employment, with respect for the confidentiality of all involved, regardless of the seniority. What we can confirm is that, after 7 years with OWS, Kim Nixon will be separating with the business for personal reasons. We thank Kim for his time with us and wish him the best of luck in his next chapter. His last day with us will be at the end of July 2023,” Binns said.
On the replacement of Nixon, the board Chairman, said “The business will lean on existing business and talent continuity plans in this period. Details on a new Managing Director appointment will be made in due course, in line with necessary protocols and best practice.”
Nixon has also confirmed that he will be leaving the company he has worked for almost 20 years, 7 of which was at the helm of Okavango Wilderness Safaris as its MD.
“I have enjoyed a 19-year journey with Wilderness Safaris (as it was known then in the trade) in a variety of positions (product development, international sales and Operations Management). The past years as Managing Director for Okavango Wilderness Safaris have been my most rewarding and much was accomplished, with many lives improved,” Nixon told The Ngami Times.
Sharing his views on the company he worked for almost 2 decades, Nixon had this to say, “Wilderness is a superb company, with people at the heart of it all. There is a rich 40-year culture of excellence and success led by a knowledgeable team yielding unrivalled benefit of all stakeholders. Long may it continue to excel and lead the industry to greater heights. I wish the company a great success into the future.”
Nixon has been at the helm of OWS for the past 7 years, and had to see the company through the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, which brought the tourism industry to a halt.
This was the most challenging period of his leadership. Despite the challenges, with travel restrictions that led to the closure of tourism facilities and business coming to its knees, OWS went on to initiate the food hamper donations to the Okavango Community Trust villages of Seronga, Gunotsoga, Eretsha, Beetsha and Gudigwa through multiple cycles. This was done through the eco-tourism company’s non-profit making organisation Children in the Wilderness (CITW). The same gesture was extended to Tubu, Habu and Sankoyo.
These are all communities that OWS operates and does business in, most of its employees from camps are from these areas, and were during this period were home as camps remained non-operational due to the travel restrictions.
As the pandemic travel restrictions were finally lifted globally, Nixon also led the organisation out of the pandemic, to a period where the industry is heading towards the pre-Covid era in terms numbers of travellers and bookings.
It was also under his years at the helm, that the company enhanced its assistance to the communities, especially in the Okavango – in areas of education. Health and Agriculture.
The company has been assisting farmers with farming implements, field de-stumping, seeds and also partnering with other organisations to teach farmers about conservation agriculture.
These also included the drilling of boreholes for those communities, and cluster fencing to address issues of human wildlife conflict especially elephants that destroy crops.
On the education front, Nixon leaves at a time when his tenure saw the construction of Eretsha Primary School in Eretsha – which is ongoing and having adopted the Sankoyo Primary School shoes PSLE results have improved dramatically over these years. Still through CITW, a number of girls Science camps have been held for the girl students in the Easter panhandle.
Just recently, Nixon’s OWS announced a three-year sponsor for Ngamiland’s once favourite Sankoyo Bush Bucks, whose performance over the years has been on the decline due to a lack in financial and other forms of support.