Botswana: German Envoy Hails Tourism Sector


Daily News

Date Published
Ambassador Rolf Ulrich of Germany has hailed Botswana for a thriving tourism sector that contributes significantly to the national economy.

He said Botswana tourism was of world class noting that it was worth visiting the country especially the Ngamiland region.

In an interview after a courtesy call he paid on the district commissioner, Mr Ulrich said Ngamiland was a prime location for tourism citing some of the major attractions as game reserves and national parks, camping, arts and crafts, culture, safari, and Okavango Delta.

He said his visit to Ngamiland region was to appreciate the beauty of the area and visit the Okavango delta.

He was accompanied by the France ambassador, Ms Anne de la Blanche and the two honorary consuls of France and Germany in Maun.

Meanwhile, during the courtesy call to the district commissioner, different departments from the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism had an opportunity to brief the ambassador about their mandates.

The regional coordinator from department of Wildlife and National Parks, Mr Bolt Othomile briefed the ambassador about the economic benefits derived from wildlife resources through Community Based Natural Resources Management (CBNRM).

He said the government effort in supporting communities living adjacent to wildlife areas over the years is commendable. With the inscription of the Okavango Delta as a World Heritage Site, he said it is their hope that the benefits of the listing would go a long way in improving the livelihood of the communities.

He said in turn, they would see wildlife as a tangible heritage which must be guarded for the rest of humanity. Mr Othomile explained that the district has more than twenty registered Community Based Organizations (CBOs) which have been allocated wildlife management areas for use.

Another area which attracted a lot of attention from the visiting delegation was human/wildlife conflict as they were interested on the interventions to mitigate the situation.

Mr Othomile informed them about the Northern Botswana Human/Wildlife Co-existence Pilot Project which aims to mitigate human-wildlife conflict through proactive prevention interventions in selected rural communities in Northern Botswana and to offer local people in the project areas employment choices in wildlife-based tourism to benefit directly from the presence of wildlife.

He said the project has produced positive results noting that the project focused on prevention measures on tested conflict mitigation based on elephant deterrents which can easily be demonstrated and supported, while also piloting additional approaches to mitigate livestock-predator conflict.

The delegation learnt that the farmers were taught to use chilli pepper as an elephant deterrent, use of livestock guard dogs and innovative predator proof kraaling techniques.

The principal curator from department of National Museum and Monuments, Mr Milton Tapela explained that their mandate is to conserve and preserve the monuments in the area.

He said Ngamiland is very rich in cultural background in terms of tangible and intangible artifacts noting that his department and some non-governmental organizations are promoting culture in the area to ensure it passes to new generation.

He also informed the delegation that the district is blessed to have two World Heritage Sites being Tsodilo Hills and Okavango Delta which are not far from each other.