New Botswana Concessions

Old Apr 5th, 2008, 10:52 PM
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sniktawk
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New Botswana Concessions

Does anybody have any news on the concessions recently granted?

I know that two have gone to Kwando, who got the rest and where are they?
 
Old Apr 5th, 2008, 11:25 PM
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Sniktawk: I've been wanting to post about this for a couple weeks but just haven't been able to get much time free.

The Botswana Government placed out 15 new lodge sites in "prime" tourist areas.

Interestingly all the sites were awarded to citizens of Botswana by name - I do not have all the details but will pass on what I know.

Owner of Kwando got two sites, at Nxai Pan area and Deception Valley inside Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Interesting since the Kwando camps offer huge private concession experiences with very low densities of beds per hectare and these new locations will be driving in public park areas the product will become a mixture.

A citizen consortium called Jeera Safaris promoted by Karl Heinz Gimpel received 6 sites making them a potentially significant new player in the market. The sites are:
The Kalahari Transfrontier Park (Nossob Dune Lodge & Mabuasehube Pan Lodge)

Central Kalahari (Manoga Camp) which is outside the Park but bordering the Northern fence (it is east of Deception Valley Lodge)

Makgadikgadi Pans area(Tsoe Lodge) which is actually on the Boteti River so maybe near Meno somewhere? I'm not sure.

Chobe National park (Ghoha Hills) east of savuti and (Mapororo Lodge)in North eastern Chobe.

This new group will probably offer a more competitively priced product. I don't know much about them or if they have any plans for camps in the Delta but out of those new holdings that would be a big missing hole.

I'm not sure of the remaining 7 sites so hopefully someone who knows more about this than me will chime in, as well as confirm the accuracy of my details from above. I think some if not all the remaining 7 though will end up with Wilderness Safaris new company the Safari & Adventure company as they need camps for Botswana. The Safari & Adventure company segment already has offerings in Namibia, South Africa and Zambia but nothing yet in Botswana.

Hope someone else can give better details.
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Old Apr 6th, 2008, 12:29 AM
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Haven't been to any of these areas as yet - so haven't a clue.
Certainly a lot of new additions to Botswana and i suppose there will be plenty of buzz when all these camps go into operation.

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Old Apr 6th, 2008, 05:26 AM
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with these additions, what percentage of the country is available for folks to directly make a living off it, I guess mostly by farming, and what percentage is reserved for tourism by concessions and parks?

And, what percentage of the concessions are owned by Botswanans? And, are there more parks, or concessions?
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Old Apr 6th, 2008, 05:56 AM
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Momliz,

Concessions are all owned by the Government, yet leased to the various companies that tender. The majority of these concessions are within the boundaries of existing national parks and controlled hunting areas from what I can read.

So overall, its impact on the average Motswanan is limited. The majority of the population live in the South-East of the country, far away from these changes.
 
Old Apr 6th, 2008, 05:58 AM
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Added to that, in certain areas, the direct revenues may go to community in regard to the concession. This applies to areas in the Delta, where historically people were moved out.
 
Old Apr 6th, 2008, 06:49 AM
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good to know - thanks. How much do the leases cost, and does the government have any way to make up for the lost tax revenue due to the national parks being owned by the government? Although, Botswana is not a poor country, is it?
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Old Apr 6th, 2008, 07:16 AM
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i am going a bit off now.....but does anybody know whether the san people have been given their land back means are the san already living in their space or is the battle for relocation still going on?
 
Old Apr 6th, 2008, 08:10 AM
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Momliz,

I meant to add, that most of the new concessions seem to be based within national parks. (less visited Nxai pan and CKGR) The ones mentioned in the thread. Lodges are still built in National Parks, though as the areas are open to the public with camp grounds too, the fees are lower. There are still national park fees to be paid.

Concession fees vary greatly. A photographic operator, if in a controlled hunting area, may not only pay for the lease, but the trophy hunting fees for animals assigned to that concession too.
 
Old Apr 6th, 2008, 10:50 PM
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I heard that Wilderness safaris have won some concessions. Probably the one's missing of PB's list.

Also heard that the expansion of Maun airport has been cleared and the run will be expanded to extended to take planes 'larger than 737's '.
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Old Apr 6th, 2008, 11:06 PM
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As far as I understand it most land in Botswana is leasehold,the only exception being within the Tuli Block.
Thus in theory the government owns the land supposedly on behalf of the people.
I am pleased that leases have been granted to a variety of operators and await to found out who Jeera Safaris are. I think that WS has enough allready but nevermind.

As for the question about the San, I should not think they have got anything yet and will probably not do so in spite of the High Court ruling.They are treated as second class citizens, much like the Aborigine in Australia, don't hold your breath for a "sorry".

I have heard the same about Maun airport, but then again it was supposed to be redeveloped in 2001.
The main improvement would be to allow properly run airlines to use it!
 
Old Apr 6th, 2008, 11:09 PM
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Ken - I have heard jokes about Air Botswana and their abilities.

Closer to home - look at BA and the joke that is T5 at Heathrow. Just how difficult is it to take a bag and put it on a plane?
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Old Apr 6th, 2008, 11:12 PM
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Aircrafts larger than 737's? Where are they flying in from?

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Old Apr 6th, 2008, 11:14 PM
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I would say that there isnt a market for bigger planes to fly in directly from US/Europe, but who knows.
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Old Apr 7th, 2008, 02:20 AM
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In that case, a lot more needs to be done besides just the runway!
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Old Apr 7th, 2008, 03:30 AM
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The upgrade is not designed to take flights from the US or UK, you will still have to go through your traditional hub of Jo'burg. Right now, there are two Air Bots flights into Maun each day. They can reduce this to a single flight yet retain the same capacity, by using similar sized planes that fly to Vic Falls.

As for the safari companies, this also makes the scheduling far easier. The flight will be quicker and all guests will arrive at the same time. The problem air bots have at the moment is with their afternoon service. You arrive too late in Maun to get your activities in camp. Any delay also means that it could be too late for charters to go into the Delta or schedules cannont be alterd.
 
Old Apr 7th, 2008, 05:40 AM
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Here is the latest news on Air Botswana, regarding new management, it seems highly unlikely but is dated 2nd April!
http://www.examiner.ie/irishexaminer...208-qqqx=1.asp

Here is some detail of the Maun Airport development plan

2.2. MAUN AIRPORT DEVELOPMENT

22. Maun International Airport which services Botswana’s tourism capital Maun, is the busiest airport in the country. Most passenger traffic is destined for the tourist destinations such as the Tsodilo Hills, Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve, Chobe National Park and the Victoria Falls. Tourism has been identified as having the greatest potential for the diversification of the Botswana economy. The expansion of Maun Airport is critical for this potential to be tapped.

23. The Design Consultancy Services for Maun Airport Improvements at the existing site are ongoing and are expected to be complete by May 2007. The proposed improvement works involves development of a new parallel runway to accommodate second generation Boeing 737 aircraft on medium/long range flights. The present runway will become a taxiway. The proposed alternate airside layout will now comply with ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) specifications in that adequate land will be available to provide apron facilities outside flight strips. The main advantages are that the airport will now comply with ICAO safety standards, aircraft will not have to taxi on the main runway and the airport will be able to accommodate the increased demand.

24. A new terminal building will be constructed and the existing terminal building will be converted to offices for Departments of Civil Aviation and Meteorological Services. The existing apron will be strengthened and enlarged. The existing services and drainage system will be improved to accommodate the new movement areas that will be constructed. Other structures such as the security fence will be relocated. Sensitization meeting of the affected ward for relocation exercise has been done and assessment of the people/ property to be relocated is complete. The cost of construction as per the Stage Report will be P 252 million or about US$ 42 million.

Don't hold your breath on either of these.
 
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