Mwahamubi Muluwani – Chimney
Can you tell me something about what you do?
I have been a mobile safari guide for 14 years, leading international visitors to all the highlights of Botswana. Guiding for mobile safaris, I developed a deep knowledge of all the various areas in Botswana, learnt a lot about customer service and guest relations, and gained a broader perspective on the tourism industry and the specificities of welcoming international visitors to Botswana. I had previous experience as motor mechanic, which helped me handle any problems that could occur in the wild, and understand better our custom-built vehicles. Early 2013, I became Camp Manager of an eco-friendly lodge, Chobe Elephant Camp, which accommodates up to 24 guests in the Chobe enclave. It has been a fantastic challenge and opportunity, especially as we are located in my home district. Not only do I have the responsibility to run the lodge, host guests and deliver the greatest Chobe experience they can expect; I also have the privilege to work very closely with the communities and bring together the people I grew up with and the international travelers staying with us.
How did you get to the position where you are right now?
I guided for Bush Ways for 8 years, and they gave me the chance to grow within the company from day 1. When they started planning their second lodge, I immediately showed interest. Appreciating the experience I had in the fields of guiding, camp maintenance, mechanics, being able to speak not only English but also German, and the skills I had developed during almost 15 years of escorting international visitors into wildlife areas, my directors agreed I was ready to take a step further in my career, expanding my sphere of responsibilities and taking full advantage of the expertise I had gained all these years.
In your opinion, why should clients choose Botswana for an African safari?
A true nature experience, the government’s eagerness to protect the environment, political stability, Zero tolerance to corruption and low crime rates make Botswana the most pristine and safest African destination. There is an incredibly wide variety of wildlife and sceneries from one area to the other: desert, pans, delta, floodplains, etc. All these places have a unique character and provide a different experience to travelers. There has been a major focus from local authorities to control the flow of tourists and avoid mass tourism and we are immensely lucky to enjoy untouched nature with an extremely low density of visitors. But first and foremost: the friendliness of the people (Batswana) and their willingness to introduce Botswana to each and every visitor and provide adequate assistance and advice.
From your point of view, what do visitors enjoy the most about Botswana?
Interacting with local people and learn about the country and culture. Exploring the country taken by the hand by the people who grew up here, who live here and are passionate about their land, and discover thanks to them the fantastic wildlife and landscapes.
What is your favorite spot in Botswana?
Depending on different seasons of the year, each spot has a special place in my heart. I like to be in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve and Chobe National Park at the beginning of the raining season. At that time of the year, there is plenty of food and water, therefore animals are happy and have babies, and the migrating birds come back. The Okavango is flourishing all year round. Makgadikgadi is best just after the rains when the flamingoes are breeding.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
I would like to be involved on a development and strategy level. Assisting local communities to develop through sustainable tourism projects and activities, participating in the wild areas conservation management. I believe this is what make Botswana tourism unique and I would like to be a part of it and make sure we keep on going towards the right direction.