The Chairman of Khwai Development Trust (KDT) Ronald Ntsogotho has confirmed to the The Okavango Express that KDT has been allocated the lodge site for Khwai River Lodge which until this year was operated by Belmond Safaris.
KRL is nestled on the edge of a Leadwood (Motswere) and fig tree forest, overlooking the vast Khwai River floodplains and beyond into the Moremi Game Reserve. The camp has for decades been one of Belmond Safaris flagship camps, renowned for its large concentrations of animals and exquisite Safari experience.
However, Tawana Land Board (TLB) resolved not to renew Belmond’s lease when it expired in 2021 and instead decided to allocate the site to KDT. For decades KDT has been fighting Government to be allocated the site together with Tsaro and Machaba Camps as per their 1996 NG19 management plan.
Ntsogotho recently confirmed their allocation of the site by TLB. He explained that they liaising with the technical advisory committee on best options to operate the lodge.
“We have acquired the lodge structures from Belmond at P 2 Million. Belmond had demanded P 18 Million for the camp or else demolish it but we managed to negotiate with them to sell us the camp at P 2 Million.”
Meanwhile The Okavango Express has it on good authority that Khwai Private Reserve, Regent Hotels, Chobe Holdings and Khwai Safari Grounds are amongst the companies that have shown interest.
It is understood that KDT was seeking a green light from technical advisory committee to directly appoint an investor for the camp.