Botswana opens Chobe National Park to local tourism investors

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Authorities in Botswana have invited citizen-owned companies and consortiums to submit proposals for the development and operation of tourism sites within Chobe National Park, for a lease period of 50 years.

Chobe National Park is in northern Botswana near the vast, inland Okavango Delta and is well known for its large herds of elephants and Cape buffalo, which converge along the Chobe Riverfront in the dry months.

According to the invitation issued Thursday, interested companies are required to have tourism licenses from the Department of Tourism, which should have been in existence at least for the past two years, while consortiums should have at least one company that has a tourism license that has been in existence for the past two years or more.

“There are eight sites available for offer, measuring three hectares each along Chobe Riverfront in the Chobe National Park, located two km from each other between Ihaha Wildlife camp to Kasika,” said Tuduetso Pretty Nkunyane, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism.

Nkunyane said they would start to accept bids on March 3 and the successful bidders will be expected to have developed and be operating their facility within a period of four years after formal allocation.

All the wildlife conservation areas in Botswana are governed by the Wildlife Conservation and National Parks Act which provides an economic opportunity for investment by individuals, companies and consortia into hospitality enterprises and related activities.

It is against this background that the department undertook to identify eight sites for potential development into tourism enterprises within Chobe National Park which could be leased out to companies and consortiums domiciled in Botswana and are 100 percent citizen-owned. Enditem

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