Sunday, 25 October 2015

Botswana: Desert Delta Safaris news


Desert Delta Safaris news

We would like to take this opportunity to update you on some important developments at Desert & Delta Safaris.

Most of you may have heard that Camp Okavango is undergoing a complete rebuild. We are very excited about the project and are looking forward re-opening the newly designed Camp Okavango in April 2016. Importantly please note that Camp Okavango will be closed from the 27 November 2015.

Camp Okavango Botswana

Part of the Camp Okavango rebuild is to include a new family unit. Further to this we are building family rooms at Camp Moremi and Savute Safari Lodge. These new family units together with our existing family rooms at Chobe Game Lodge and Chobe Savanna Lodge will allow you to book a complete Desert & Delta Safaris circuit for your family travelers. More details on the rooms can be found below.

Camp Okavango Botswana

We are very excited to announce that we have a new team member joining our marketing department. We have put together a brief introduction of Stuart's background and what his role is within Desert & Delta Safaris.

Chobe Game Lodge together with Freedom Won have been hard at work on the construction of their first solar powered boat. As an Eco Tourism Botswana certified property, Chobe Game Lodge continues to develop sound environmental sustainability projects. We are very proud of the hard work done at Chobe Game Lodge as they continue to lead the way in Eco Tourism.

Lastly, we would like to invite you and your staff to share your  #ILoveDDS moments that showcase what makes a Botswana safari with Desert & Delta Safaris truly unique. We are offering two amazing prizes for the best #ILoveDDS moments and encourage you to join in.

Rebuild of Camp Okavango
The new Camp Okavango will open on 14 April 2016 following a full rebuild of the entire camp. Stunning public areas accessed by raised walkways will be linked with the new luxury suites boasting expansive views right across the Okavango Delta. The new Camp Okavango will consist of eleven guest suites and one family suite. The company has taken a good look at the layout of the existing camp and we recognise that for future years, ensuring a true and unique Okavango Delta experience can be achieved from within the camp as well as on activities.

Camp Okavango Botswana

Camp Okavango, located on the remote Nxaraga Island, in the heart of the permanent Okavango Delta, has a rich history, not only within the Botswana Tourism Industry as a whole, but more so in the establishment and traditions of what Desert and Delta Safaris as a company, is today. Camp Okavango has hosted and been the base for Okavango Delta travellers for 35 years. In recent concession lease renewal process, Desert and Delta Safaris has been granted further lease rights to operate Camp Okavango for future years. Given this extended lease period to operate Camp Okavango, the company has taken the decision to completely rebuild the camp within the 2015/2016 camp closure period.

Room structures will encompass a blend of timber and canvas, ensuring that the best use of ventilation and light can be achieved. All rooms will be raised off the ground (floor level at least 2meters / 6.5 ft off the ground) ensuring that each room enjoys a unique view of the Okavango Delta ecosystem. Rooms will be accessed via raised decks, which all lead to the main camp public areas. The standard rooms will encompass a foyer and lounge, large bedroom area and en suite bathroom containing double vanity, double shower and separate toilet. Expansive decks lead out from both the lounge and bedroom area through stacking doors. The family suite will have an additional bedroom built to the one side of the suite with separate access to the bathroom area.

The public areas will be uniquely built to ensure that expansive views of the Okavango Delta can be utilised. The main area, which will include a lounge and bar area, separate dining area, library and computer room, curio shop and various areas for guests to relax, will be built on the site and to the front of the current Okavango Suite. Expansive decks, with a fireplace and stargazing decks will lead off from this towards the jetty where most activities depart and arrive from.

Recognising the UNESCO World Heritage Site status of the Okavango Delta, Desert and Delta Safaris is committed to ensure that the new Camp Okavango not only offers a unique and premier location and experience for those wanting to visit this incredible water wilderness in future years, but the new camp is built in a manner in which the impact on this fragile environment is kept to a minimum. The Okavango Delta is one of the world’s last true remaining natural heritage sites and the new Camp Okavango will allow future visitors the opportunity to truly immerse themselves into this environment without compromise of comfort and luxury offered by this new facility. Camp Okavango’s power demands will now be provided for by a renewable solar energy source. An off the grid solar plant installation will provide quiet, environmentally friendly electricity 24/7. We have reduced the power demands through the installation of energy efficient appliances and equipment (thermodynamic geysers and solar panels for hot water, LED lighting) by 25%. Sophisticated state of the art water recycling plant will recycle 100% of water waste for irrigation needs for the grounds and the natural grass covered airfield on the island. All timber and furniture used in the construction is from renewable commercially grown timber plantations.

On 27 November 2015, Camp Okavango will close.  The entire infrastructure as it is will be broken down and the new Camp Okavango will take establishment – opening for new guest arrivals on 14 April 2016. Camp Okavango redecorated the tents and public areas in February 2015. We assure that all guests travelling prior to the rebuild will enjoy the exceptional Okavango Delta experience for which Camp Okavango is renowned.

Construction on the first five rooms, located in an undeveloped area to the south of the existing Camp Okavango has commenced.  All of the rooms are linked by means of an elevated walkway, in a manner which has not had any effect on vegetation.

We will continue to update our industry colleagues on the progress of the New Camp Okavango as this project progresses.

New Family Rooms

It is with great excitement that we announce the development of new family room units at Camp Okavango, Camp Moremi and Savute Safari Lodge.

Desert & Delta Safaris have commenced the complete rebuild of Camp Okavango. The new Camp Okavango will open for travellers on 14 April 2016. Within this new development, Camp Okavango will boast a brand new family room. The structure of this room will be based on the eleven standard units which are also being rebuilt, however will have an additional bedroom, equipped with twin configuration, which will have access to the main room and bathroom.

Camp Okavango Botswana

At the same time, we have commissioned the building of a family room unit at both Camp Moremi and Savute Safari Lodge. At both of these properties, one of the existing rooms will be renovated and adapted so that an additional bedroom, the same size as existing bedrooms, equipped with twin configuration and access into the existing rooms.

The new family rooms at Camp Moremi and Savute Safari Lodge will be completed during the camp closure period of 01 February 2016 to 01 March 2016, ensuring that they are built and available for bookings and travellers post 01 March 2016.

Taking into consideration the existing family room units at Chobe Game Lodge and Chobe Savanna Lodge, these new family units at Camp Okavango, Camp Moremi and Savute Safari Lodge are going to offer the best value family safari options for future travellers to Botswana.

Desert & Delta Safaris accept children of all ages at Chobe Game Lodge and Chobe Savanna Lodge. Children 6 years and older are welcome at Camp Okavango, Camp Moremi, Camp Xakanaxa, Leroo La Tau, Savute Safari Lodge and Xugana Island Lodge.

Triple occupancy rooms can be configured at Camp Xakanaxa, Leroo La Tau and Xugana Island.

Stuart Parker joins Desert & Delta Safaris

Camp Okavango Botswana

We are very excited to announce that Stuart Parker has joined the Desert & Delta Safaris family. Stuart joins in the marketing department as a Business Development Manager, focusing on our Southern Africa based clients. He is also helping develop and implement our online content strategies. Below is a brief introduction on Stuart's background in the travel industry.

Stuart has worked in the Africa travel industry for over 10 years. After studying tourism management he started his career as a travel consultant based in Cape Town, specialising in tailor-made vacations throughout Southern Africa. He later moved to Johannesburg where he continued to work as a consultant but changed his focus to groups and series travel.

After several years in Johannesburg he had enough of the city life and moved up to Botswana where he worked as a lodge manager in a well known bush lodge. While here he continued to develop his life long passion for travel photography and discovered new interests in travel writing and social media marketing.

Returning back to South Africa, Stuart developed his own travel blog and social media presence sharing stories of his Africa travels. He worked closely with us in 2014 on our award winning #ThisIsChobe campaign which continues to showcase the best experiences in the Chobe National Park.

Camp Okavango Botswana

Stuart has an ingrained passion for Africa travel and we are very excited to have him as a permanent member of our team. Watch out for some exciting new online developments including our #ILoveDDS campaign (details below) starting this November.

If you haven't yet joined us on social media please do so through the social media links in this newsletter. We aim to use our social media platforms to support your travel business and assist you with promoting Botswana as a top Africa travel destination.

The Fist Solar Boat Safari

Exciting news from Chobe Game Lodge – work has begun on Africa’s first fully solar powered safari boat. Another major development that further enhances Botswana’s reputation as one of Africa’s leading destinations for ecotourism safaris.

10 panels are currently being fitted onto the roof of the safari boat which, when ready, will produce 255 watts each and generate enough power to travel more than 40km up river without the need for any other power source.  We’re confident we shouldn’t need to charge the boats with additional power unless weather conditions do not work in our favour.

Together with Freedom Won our dedicated team are working through the heat of the 37 degree day constantly dousing the roof with water to avoid burning their hands on the hot sun heated solar panels – no shortage of power in this part of the world that is for sure!

Follow Chobe Game Lodge on twitter, Facebook and Instagram as we’ll keep you posted on her progress and of course the first voyage!

#ILoveDDS Campaign

This October, November and December we have a number of familiarisation trips moving through our camps. We have invited those traveling with us to share their favourite safari moments and we'd like to extend the invitation to all our industry partner's who have experienced our camps. There is an exciting opportunity to win one of two amazing safari prizes through our camps.

Camp Okavango Botswana

We are looking for those special safari moments that make a Desert & Delta Safaris experience truly unique. We want to know what you loved most about your previous safari and why. Get creative! Share your funniest moments, your happiest selfie or even your deepest moment of reflection.

We invite you to follow the #ILoveDDS campaign for inspiration and look forward to receiving your messages.
How to Enter
Share your best safari moments from your Desert & Delta Safaris experience on social media using the tag #ILoveDDS and the tag relating to the camp where the picture was taken.

#ChobeGameLodge | #ChobeSavannaLodge | #SavuteSafariLodge | #XuganaIslandLodge | #CampMoremi | #CampXakanaxa |#CampOkavango | #LerooLaTau.

Camp Okavango Botswana

We will accept all posts on twitter, Instagram and Facebook. If you use Facebook please tag us (@DesertDelta) in your post together with the relevant hashtags or we wont receive your entry.

You can enter as many times as you like, in fact the more posts the better.

We will pick our top five posts and from there the one with the most votes wins. Runner up receives second prize. You will earn extra points if your company shares, retweets or regrams your posts.

Camp Okavango Botswana

Competition closes 31 December 2015. Winners announced 10 January 2016.

1st Prize
6 night Maun to Maun Desert & Delta Safaris circuit for two. Prize includes accommodation, meals, activities and drinks as per standard DDS includes as well as all scheduled light aircraft transfers starting and ending in Maun.

2nd Prize
2 nights at Chobe Game Lodge in one of our new suites including a private dinner for two. Includes accommodation, meals, activities and road transfers as per standard DDS includes and excludes.

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