Crossing the equator in a staff exchange

Dumela!  Jambo!

What do you do when you have dream Great Plains Conservation staff in Botswana and Kenya who haven’t met? You send them on safari!

If there’s one thing we know, it’s that travel broadens horizons and teaches you more than any class ever could. With this in mind we launched our Guide (and chef) Exchange Program to share the differences between Botswana’s and Kenya’s environments, guiding styles and camps.

In May 2016 the first cross-country exchange occurred when Mots from Selinda travelled across the equator to Kenya. He visited both ol Donyo and Mara Plains and had an incredible time. In his words “It was great for me to see another part of Africa and learn how things are done. I went to see Maasai people. I went to talk to them – lovely people. I ate the Maasai food which I really liked. Well done and thank you”. He earned himself the nickname Mots from Bots which seems to have stuck!

Great Plains Conservation staff exchange BotswanaTim and James from Ol Donyo were the Kenyan ambassadors who arrived in Botswana in June. Tim came to share his kitchen skills and spent time learning Botswana’s unique challenges and logistics and cooking up a storm with our executive chefs. Wherever he went, his height was remarked on as the Batswana people are generally not very tall!

Tim commented on the fact that Great Plains Conservation is so much bigger than he realised, and that realisation made him even prouder to be part of the company. “In general the whole experience was an eye-opener for me as far as where we stand compared to the rest of the Great Plains family. I’ve learned to take pride in my camp’s uniqueness and appreciate the team that I lead even more. It has nourished my thinking in the sense that I have an aspiration to make my kitchen team’s work environment even more exciting, smart and involved”

James represented the Kenyan guides and also visited the different camps and experienced our activities and he shared his joy of exploring the beauty of Botswana.

We are all so pleased that the initiative is achieving its goals of bringing the two country’s operations together, finding opportunities to learn from each other and gaining respect for our individual roles.

We are all hard at work at the moment with our high seasons in full swing, but look forward to the next exchange at the end of the year where there will be more opportunities to explore Great Plains Conservation camps in each other’s beautiful countries.