Recently-opened Xigera Safari Lodge, situated in Botswana’s wildlife-rich Okavango Delta, has announced a brand new partnership with charity Wild Entrust Africa. The collaboration will see three community-focused projects introduced spanning conservation and education as well as the establishment of a female-led social enterprise.
The Botswana-registered wildlife conservation not-for-profit will work alongside Xigera Safari Lodge to deliver the projects within the nearby village of Habu. Wild Entrust Africa has been working with local residents since 2014, running an integrated community development and conservation program that aims to mitigate human-wildlife conflict and reduce bushmeat hunting in the area. The three new projects, launching in the coming months, hope to build on this existing work.
The first of the three new initiatives is the Village Greens and Women’s Empowerment Project, which aims to help alleviate poverty amongst women and out-of-school youth by creating a locally-led cooperative to produce and sell organic vegetables, both in the village and to the area’s growing tourism industry, starting with Xigera Safari Lodge.
The Village Light’s project will see the delivery of solar lights to school-aged children. With only a limited number of homes in Habu connected to mains electricity, the lights will enable children to read and study after dark.
The third project is the Coaching Conservation Program which sets out to engage primary school children, teaching the value of conservation through play, sport and mentoring. Year 6 students at Habu primary school will also spend an exciting day in the field to personally experience the native wildlife (which include elephants, giraffes, leopards and lions) in a positive environment.
Jonathan Raggett, managing director of Red Carnation Hotels, the eco-conscious hotel group that owns Xigera Safari Lodge, says: “Wild Entrust has been working with the community for almost a decade and we want to be a part of that too, now that we are here in Botswana.”
Situated on the western reaches of Botswana’s iconic Moremi Game Reserve, on the edge of a UNESCO world heritage site, the luxury Xigera Safari Lodge already takes its environmental and social responsibilities seriously. Spanning 12 meticulously designed suites adorned with hand-crafted African art and furniture, the lodge is powered by renewable solar energy and features eco-friendly thermodynamic geysers to heat hot water and an on-site composter that processes all organic kitchen waste.
Xigera Safari Lodge has also been working with Botswana’s Department of Wildlife and National Parks since it opened on monitoring the vast array of fauna and flora to ensure the continued protection of the special landscape. Raggett says: “In recent years, we have seen a growing appetite for socially conscious travel, and we expect this trend to continue to rise moving forward. Even more so in a post-pandemic world, we believe travelers will continue to seek conservation opportunities as a way of giving back and to preserve these beloved areas of the world.”
Xigera Safari Lodge start from $2,320 per adult per night sharing, xigera.com