Botswana tourism benefits from the World Cup spill over
The effect of the World Cup was this week evident in the tourism sector as, apart from the soccer frenzy, the local tourism industry also cashed in from the tourist spill over from South Africa.
While the main attraction is the actual soccer tournament in South Africa, many travellers have taken advantage of the local tourism peak season to explore Botswana’s various points of attraction. Among the busy tourist destination last weekend was the Khama Rhino Sanctuary (KRS) that provides prime habitat for white and black rhino as well as over 30 animal species including more than 230 bird species.
An elated KRS Manager, Moremi Tjibae said the sanctuary was experiencing one of the best visits in years and has attributed this to the ongoing World Cup in South Africa. “We’re getting a lot of South Africans and many international tourists, some of whom are en route to the Okavango Delta while some take advantage of our affordable rates to while up time while awaiting to get back to South Africa to watch their respective teams.”
Mario du Plessis, a South African farmer, was amongst the convoy of tourists that visited the KRS last weekend and said it was a perfect opportunity for him to take his family out. “We took advantage of the extended school holidays in South Africa and instead of visiting the already packed game parks I decided to bring my family and friends to Botswana. The rates here are quite reasonable and from here we’ll be heading to the Okavango and Chobe areas,” he said.
Retired German architect, Adrian Aloysius came to Africa last month and stayed with friends in Namibia. Last weekend he stopped by on his way to South Africa and watched his country play against Australia on Sunday from a projector screen at the sanctuary’s restaurant. “I’m having a blast here. It’s a totally different environment from home and after the world cup I’ll stay in Botswana for a while and visit the Okavango Delta.”
Principal Public Relation officer in the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Archibald Ngakayagae says the ministry expects more tourists to visit especially towards the end of the World cup. “I believe we’ll benefit a lot from the spillage in the coming weeks. The hope is that fans whose teams would be eliminated early would want to go back to their countries after seeing more of Africa and this will be good for the tourism sector.”