Posted in Business, News, People on 21 April, 2022

Desert & Delta Safaris, founded in 1982 as one of the original safari operators in Botswana has nine camps in Botswana’s famous game reserves and national parks and is delighted to announce the appointment of Lempheditse Odumetse, or MC as he is known to his colleagues, as their new Group Managing Director.

Lempheditse Odumetse has revolutionised the hospitality industry in Botswana during his role in management for more than 10 years at Desert & Delta Safaris. Under his leadership, Desert & Delta Safaris has kept its roots firmly in Botswana, promoted female empowerment and implemented innovative environmental conservation practices, that consequently became one of the first luxury safari companies to be managed exclusively by local citizens in 2014.

From his humble start in life as a descendent of Basarwa (traditional ‘water bushmen’), MC was spotted in a bar wearing an aviation hat and goggles by a Desert & Delta Safaris manager and was instantly hired as a bartender at the Camp Moremi, celebrated for his incredible zest for life and captivating personality. He later qualified as a professional safari guide hosting international guests throughout the pristine wildlife areas of the Okavango Delta and soon after was offered a position in management. Through hard work, determination, and an incredible vision, MC has created an illustrious career at Desert & Delta Safaris and has transformed the company and the local communities.

“The development of MC’s career from barman to Group Managing Director shows how responsible tourism in developing countries is paying dividends. More than just creating jobs such as chefs, guides, or general staff, we are seeing a genuine growth in careers within management and share of ownership. However, it is important to say that although Chobe Holdings Ltd Group provides the opportunity to grow, MC’s journey to being promoted to Managing Director is down to exceptional hard work and dedication to learning and growing as an individual within the company. I cannot think of a better person to have at the helm as we look ahead to the next chapter of Desert & Delta’s future!” Enthuses James Wilson, Desert & Delta Safaris’ Marketing Director.

Beginning his leadership career as one of two native Botswana managers, MC instantly saw the importance of tourism in empowering the local community. This awareness resulted in him successfully leading a group localisation tourism initiative to identify young talent and guide more than 20 staff members into senior lodge management positions. He has also ensured that women develop their potential and now more than 50% of staff and management at all nine Desert & Delta Safaris lodges are women. This helps reassure solo female travellers of a safe and welcoming environment whilst providing a stable, secure income for local women and their families – a fantastic achievement for any company!

Community empowerment has not been MC’s only priority, under his guidance the environment has flourished! Being a Botswana resident himself, MC recognises the beauty of the diverse wildlife and understands the responsibility Desert & Delta Safaris has to ensure its conservation. He also deeply understands the needs of the local farmers and traditional landowners and has successfully led collaborations with the shared purpose to provide aid in line with protecting the unique wildlife of Botswana. As a result of MC’s exceptional efforts, Desert & Delta Safaris successfully raised approximately £20,000 in funding in 2020 for vital toolkits for communities where solar-powered systems have helped reduce human-elephant land conflicts.

Due to his admirable hard work, determination, and uniquely wonderful character, MC’s story shows how creative innovation and significant sustainable developments can benefit local rural communities, empower women, and revolutionise the hospitality industry – all while providing every guest with an unforgettable safari adventure!

One of the original safari operators in Botswana, founded in 1982, Desert & Delta Safaris nine camps are set in prime locations in northern Botswana’s famous game reserves and national parks with one just across the Chobe River in Namibia’s Eastern Caprivi Strip. Together these luxurious lodges offer an outstandingly diverse safari experience whilst providing the personalised service and attention to detail for which Desert & Delta Safaris is known. Guests are immersed in a safari experience which develops an understanding of the animals, people, and geography of this magnificent country.

At the heart of the company is developing the human potential of tourism in Botswana. Desert & Delta Safaris CARES philosophy is the foundation on which the company is built, highlighting their core values in developing human potential and building a sustainable tourism model. They employ approximately 320 staff members within the eight safari lodges and all the guides are recruited from nearby villages. The company places a strong focus on training through a highly successful skills development programme as well as focusing on healthcare, environmental responsibility, and equality.

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