Okuti Refurbishment Impacts Local Communities

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A project to refurbish Okuti – a safari camp that is part of Ker & Downey Botswana’s portfolio has been completed, retaining its uniqueness in terms of luxury and rustic charm. At the core of the project, was the company’s ethical commitment to support and empower local craftsmen and women.

The company announced last week that “the full refurbishment of Okuti accentuates its unique architecture of curved arches and doorways which pay homage to aspects of Botswana’s parliament building, where the arches represent unity, strength and

harmony.”

The Camp is located in the Xakanaxa area of Moremi Game Reserve and overlooks Xakanaxa lagoon and boast uninterrupted views of the Maunachira channel.“The complete transformation of Okuti’s look and feel is modern, and the camp is truly a one-of-a-kind, with a design that seamlessly blends into the natural surroundings. The room’s new layout and amenities have been rearranged to enhance the breathtaking views out over the lagoon and river, allowing guests to enjoy nature to the horizon from the comfort of their room.

Other new room fixtures, such as the flooring and lighting, have transformed the rooms into a more stylish and brighter space,” Ker & Downey Botswana’s Sales and Makerting Director Walter Smith said.

However, Smith highlighted that the project was more than just another safari camp refurbishment, but a first of its kind in terms of modern-day luxury travel product sustainability.

“The inspiration behind our design was the spaces of Okuti. The arches, the curves, the fine lines of the lethaka leading your gaze. We wanted to amplify and accentuate the essence of the camp , its flowing, curved nature and the gentle strength these bold arches represent,” he said.

Smith further highlighted that local artisans were involved in the making of the statement pieces throughout the lodge with Wayne the carpenter, and his team of men built the skeletons for most of the bedroom furniture, while Nomvula Design and her team of 3 local ladies did all things leather.

“Other exceptional artisans include Cabinet maker Wayne and his team of 6 carpenters, Steel worker Vitales who also oversees the palm weaving, whom all made never before shapes and designs for this project,” Smith indicated.

“Most extraordinary were the basket weaving ladies. This team of mother and daughter have never made anything but small baskets known to everyone as the Botswana basket,but Lala and her mother The-emo were asked if they are willing and keen to try something different and new.”

Ker & Downey Botswana, which is a 100% subsidiary of Chobe Holdings Limited operates five camps that include Dinaka in the Kalahari, Shinde Footsteps, Kanana, Okuti, and Shinde – all in the Okavango Delta. It has recently added Gays Eden, a newly build facility in Maun to its portfolio.

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