BY MISHMA CHAKANYUKA
Local tourism entity Africa Albida Tourism (AAT) has sold its management contract on Botswana-based Ngoma Lodge Pty (Ltd) to tour operators Machaba Safaris, also based in the neighbouring country, for an undisclosed amount effective August 1, 2019.
Ngoma Lodge is owned by Botswana community organisation Chobe Enclave Conservation Trust (CECT).
“They (Machaba) were looking for a property in that region and we were open for disposal. We had a management contract on the Ngoma Lodge. As you see in the Press release, the community are the owners of the lodge and we had an agreement with them to operate it, market it and manage it. But now, Machaba has bought
that agreement from us,” an insider, who asked for anonymity and is close to the matter, said.
In a statement, Kennedy and Rankin said negotiations and discussions between the two parties, including CECT and regulatory authorities in Botswana, were
complete and that the handover process was at an advanced stage.
“We must recognise and thank CECT and their leadership, as well as the Botswana Tourism Organisation for their partnership, support, guidance and
collaboration during the project build and operations. We are proud to have delivered more jobs, more revenue and more contribution to the community than we
committed to at the outset,” Kennedy said.
Rankin said: “We have taken a long and deliberate time to find the perfect match for our brand in the Chobe region, and we feel Ngoma Safari Lodge not only
fits, but surpasses our expectations. We now have a circuit of top-class camps and lodges across the Okavango Delta and Chobe regions”.
“AAT has created an incredible lodge and with CECT, have raised the bar when it comes to lodges in Botswana and look forward to the challenge of growing this
iconic destination. We are excited to work with our new partners, CECT, and look forward to many years of delivering life changing safaris,” Rankin continued.
AAT operates a portfolio of properties in Victoria Falls – Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, Victoria Falls Safari Club, Victoria Falls Safari Suites, Lokuthula
Lodges – Victoria Falls and The Boma Dinner & Drum Show.
Machaba Safaris operates luxury tented safari camps and lodges in Botswana and Zimbabwe which focus on offering authentic safaris in wild iconic destinations,
while ensuring the conservation of these rare places and the upliftment of the communities that live alongside them.