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Botswana Tourism's Story

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Destination

Destination
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Botswana Tourism's Story

Destination

Destination

The Botswana Tourism Organisation was established in 2009.

It aims "to develop Botswana into a unique preferred tourism destination of choice in order to increase the sector’s contribution to the nation’s economic growth, through active participation of the local and international communities for the sustainable utilisation of tourism resources."

Botswana Tourism's Story

Botswana is made up of many amazing regions including Chobe, Makgadikgadi and Okavango Delta, to name a few. 

Chobe is home to around 50,000 Kalahari elephants - the largest of them all. This is probably the highest elephant concentration in all of Africa and a part of the largest continuous surviving elephant population. 

Makgadikgadi is one of the largest saltpans in the world. Stretching out across an area the size of Portugal, this vast expanse of salt-saturated clay is an unearthly domain, where endless horizons merge with the stark land below, appearing utterly inhospitable to life. Yet when the rains come, tens to hundreds of thousands of bright pink flamingos appear, making the scene even more surreal for a few weeks each year.

Through focusing on high-end, low-impact nature-based tourism, and the many services that support it, around 60,000 jobs have been created and US$650 million has contributed to Botswana’s GDP.

The Okavango Delta was declared the 1000th UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014. When it floods each summer, the water covers an immense network of inland channels and marshes, an area slightly larger than Belgium. It also attracts one of Africa’s greatest concentrations of wildlife with more than 200,000 large mammals descending upon the Okavango at this time.

While the animal populations are sometimes incredibly dense, the human population is not. Across these three regions, the population around Chobe stands at 25,876 while the population around Makgadikgadi is at 56,209 and 59,421 for the Okavango Delta. With few population centres of any note, nature-based tourism is one of the only sectors that can provide sustainable employment.

Through focusing on high-end, low-impact nature-based tourism, and the many services that support it, around 60,000 jobs have been created and US$650 million has contributed to Botswana’s GDP.

To achieve eco-certification in the area, companies must demonstrate that they offer tangible benefits to the community through ongoing, multi-year financial and/or in-kind support, and at least 2% of their gross profits must be provided directly or in-kind for community-based projects. 

 

These efforts, led by the Botswana Tourism Organisation, continue to pay off. Whether collaborating with it neighbours including Angola, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe on the even larger Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (of which Chobe, Makgadikgadi, and Okavango Delta Ramsar Sites make up 30% of the area), or ensuring that all eco-certified companies sell locally produced handicrafts on site, there is no vision too large, nor any detail too small in the commitment to keeping Botswana as a rare beacon of hope for Africa’s wildlife and people.