Botswana: Survival Intl. criticises Wilderness Safaris for building lodge with swimming pool on ancestral lands of Bushmen who are denied access to water

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16 September 2010

Controversial tourism company wins ‘World Savers Award’ [Botswana]

Author: Survival International

Controversial tour operator Wilderness Safaris has won a ‘World Savers Award’, despite erecting a luxury tourist lodge with swimming pool on the land of Kalahari Bushmen who are struggling for water...Wilderness Safaris opened the Kalahari Plains Camp inside the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in 2009, having failed to consult the Bushmen on whose ancestral lands the lodge sits. The lodge sports a bar and swimming pool for tourists, while Bushmen in the reserve are banned from accessing a well which they rely on for water...Survival’s director, Stephen Corry, said today, ‘Tourist companies should no longer be able to brush off the rights of tribal peoples on whose lands they put their hotels and lodges. It’s not good enough to say it’s just the concern of the government and nothing to do with the company...'

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23 July 2010

[PDF] Kalahari Plains Camp – response to continued allegations

Author: Wilderness Safaris

The CKGR is a game reserve and has been open to tourism for more than a decade with more than 36 campsites for public and overland safari company use spread throughout the reserve but with greatest concentrations in the north...We then set about developing the camp and engaging with the broader a transparent process...We felt at the time of tendering that the matter under dispute was over access to water and that this was a matter between the Government and the Bushman Communities...Wilderness Safaris is in the business of building sustainable conservation economies, with ecotourism the economic engine or catalyst for those economies. The provision of water to a widely scattered Bushman community in a 5 million hectare (12 million acre) area is beyond our capacity. Wilderness Safaris is not a water utility and its business model is not robust enough to carry this responsibility.

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