New Leadership at Kwando

Sep 28th, 2006, 01:23 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 9
My guide sent me an e-mail saying that Mel has resigned from Kwando as she was not getting any support from their Maun office and there are too many changes. He also said Harry and Monique from Lebala are now in town to replace Simon Blackburn so lots of management changes - not a good sign. Mel was the best manager ever - Little Kwara can never be the same again for me.
westernsafari is offline  
Sep 28th, 2006, 03:02 AM
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Hello, i was just at Little Kwara last month. I did meet Mel, and no, she is not resigning....she is very much at Little Kwara. I did meet her August 29 and she went on leave for a weekend for personal reasons and would hv returned to Little Kwara early September.

Yes, Harry Steyn being General Manager is a perfect replacement for Simon. I cant think of a better fit!!!

Sep 28th, 2006, 03:13 AM
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Your guide sent you an email from where....?

I can assure you that the Kwando product is still the same (I hv just returned). What do you mean by Little Kwara will not be the same again???

I am very fond of Mel myself and am in personal touch via email with both Mel and Grant (who operates birding safaris near Kwara). I met him also at the airstrip (inspite of his busy schedule with his own clients, he made it a point to drive up to say hello).


Sep 28th, 2006, 09:21 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 9
This is my third attempt at a reply - not sure why it does not work at the moment.

Hari - he replies to my mails when he is on leave in Maun, normally from the computers at the Kwando office. He keeps me informed about how the staff, camp and animals are whenever he gets the chance.

This information about Mel is current (yesterday) so I am sure it is correct or why else would he tell me this.

What I meant is that, as Mel had basically designed, decorated and managed Little Kwara it was in effect her camp. So Little Kwara without Mel will just never be the same for me. She made my visit so special.
westernsafari is offline  
Sep 29th, 2006, 06:23 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,306
Hmm, I don't know what to think about all of this. We will be at Little Kwara, Lebala, and Lagoon in early January and I guess we just have to hope for the best.
lisa is offline  
Sep 29th, 2006, 06:31 AM
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Here's my trip report from my very recent visit, just in case you havent read it yet....

Have a fantastic time!!! Let's hope the rains this up coming summer arent as much or as prolonged as last year.

Sep 29th, 2006, 06:32 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,087
I believe that the ownership of Kwando has remained the same, therefor it would be prudent to assume that the company would be doing all that it can to protect the goodwill of the brand name. I suggest that you reflect on the investment made by the private owners over the past ten to fifteen years and some to appreciate that a few personality changes are unlikely to upset the status quo of Kwando Safaris.

Yes Kevin will always be missed, yes Simon too, but there are many young "bucks" in the kawando camp that are eager for promotion and will through Kevin/Simons and others commitment to training and development ease seamlessly itno their management roles. It was afterall the managemnet philosphy to support the "rank and file" who worked with guests on a daily basis as oposed to building a management weighty ivory tower!
mkhonzo is offline  
Sep 29th, 2006, 06:35 AM
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well said Mkhonzo....

Lisa, i didnt get the correct link to my trip report...but, the thread is called, "Back from Kwando (Hari)"- just in case you didnt read it...

Sep 29th, 2006, 07:16 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,715
I agree with Mkhonzo and Hari. There is lots of talent in the Kwando organization and it is important for some of them to be able to advance up the chain. People continue to have excellent experiences and I would expect that to continue. Kwando is a great choice because they have the most important thing -- LOCATION -- more acres for less guests in prime wildlife habitat. They also are the choice in Botswana for guiding with a tracker. I would book them with confidence and excitement. Not likely to be any noticeable changes in quality.
PredatorBiologist is offline  
Sep 29th, 2006, 02:23 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,306
Hari -- I did read it and it is great, I can't wait!
lisa is offline  
Sep 29th, 2006, 06:31 PM
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Glad you enjoyed it, Lisa....thanks

Sep 29th, 2006, 11:40 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2
mkhonzo has hit the nail on the head! I know that none of the guides at Kwando camps have e-mail.. so just curious how this "guide" is feeding info!
safariexpert is offline  
Sep 30th, 2006, 05:54 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 189
Agree, all that is happening in Maun is that Kwando is moving office into town instead of the Tamalakane.
bots is offline  

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