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As way of playing an active role in the tourism value chain, Pangolin Photo Safaris recently conducted training for some local wildlife photographers also with an aim of enhancing their skills and familiarising them with different tourism destinations in Chobe.
Pangolin Photo Safaris is a dedicated photographic safari company operating in Kasane, taking guests into Chobe National Park, the Okavango Delta, Kalahari, Zambezi river and as far as the Masai in East Africa.
The training which was held in Kasane also sought to enhance the skills of the photographers and familiarise them with different tourism destinations in Chobe.
The opportunity and sponsorship was also extended to six members of the BW’s Finest, a local wildlife photography club. The beneficiaries were Brains Monekwe, Mabedi Letsholo, Isaac Lesole, Oteng Lekgowe, Joe Misika and Thuso Ramatu.
In an interview, one of the program facilitator and beneficiary Brains Monekwe said the program is a step in the right direction of inclusivity by having locals playing an active role in the tourism value chain. He appreciated that the program will develop and enhance their skills as wildlife photographers.
He stated that the profession is very expensive owing to expensive equipment, the training required and access to national parks especially in a country whose tourism is amongst the most expensive in the world. “This offer by Pangolin Photo Safaris to host us is going to be very helpful furthering our mandate to learn closely from these experts,” he appreciated.
Monekwe noted that photography teaches one to love and respect nature, this he said is demonstrated by the respect they afford to the wild animals and birds that form their subjects. He added that wildlife photography play an important role in selling the beauty of the country, starting with compatriots all the way to prospective tourists from afar.
“That love and respect for nature is the root of sustainable conservation, a model our tourism holds dear to heart,” he stated. Monekwe noted that they are currently working full time jobs to support and finance their passion for wildlife photography.
Monekwe said that their aim as BWsFinest is to see stories from Botswana being told by Batswana from their own perspective. “As the group we have so far partaken on self-financed photographic workshops in Savuti and Mashatu in the past two years, our aim is to first grow our skills, expertise in order to become better story tellers,” he stated.
Monekwe noted that they have already started inspiring the new generation and already started mentoring new guys who regularly come to them and want to start the craft.