5 December 2023 – Okavango Wilderness Safaris has kick started engagements to commemorate 40 years since the Wilderness brand was first born – a small outfit with a single safari vehicle in 1983. As the business reflects on the growth and progress made since then, it is the impact cultivated for colleagues, communities and country that have been the greatest marker of progress, shared the business’ MD, Joe Matome.
“The way I see it, this is a business of partnerships. We partner with purpose and we partner for progress – knowing the strength of any family is what makes for stronger and more meaningful impact. We are stronger together”, Joe said.
The Wilderness impact strategy is clear on this, engineered to unlock opportunity through collaboration. The impact strategy itself is premised on three key pillars:
- Empowerment: creating value for wilderness and wildlife; ensuring employment and small business support and integration to reduce reliance on natural resources
- Education: improved education increases economic opportunity, family resilience and support for conservation)
- Protection: human-wildlife co-existence and wildlife security programmes protect people from wildlife and wildlife from people
“We partner with our communities around which and with whom we work, giving us our social licence to operate; we partner with the environment, because without wilderness there is no Wilderness; and we partner with our people, who deliver the experience and the excellence for which we are now known, and of which we are so proud – 24/7 across every day of the year”, Joe noted. “We partner with our shareholders, Government, industry associations, community representatives through the Trust, our concessionaires, co-owners and business partners. And of course, last but not least, we are in a partnership in essence with every guest, both local and international, who comes into
our camps”, added Joe. “Our guests, in choosing to stay with us, keep the sustainability of Botswana’s pristine wilderness areas intact, and help create related positive impacts in empowerment, education, and protection”.
In commemorating 40 years, Okavango Wilderness Safaris has considerably more strides to make in unlocking further partnerships, and delivering more impact for and with Batswana, according to Joe. “From our strategy to our organisational structure and our resourcing, we are working to make an even bigger impression on Botswana’s socio-economic progress and to create value in infinitely more ways. It is through strategic partnerships and indeed because of the strength of such partnerships that Okavango Wilderness Safaris is able to serve as a formidable custodian of the areas in which we operate, a responsibility not taken lightly”.