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Ta Shebube Rooiputs: Safari bliss in middle of the Kalahari

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar global industry as people travel all over the globe looking for fun and new experiences.

Some end up in our country to visit the world famous Okavango Delta, the Makgadikgadi Pans or one of our game reserves to see the big five.

Accommodation is one of the things that they look out for before deciding to visit a place. And while Kasane, Maun and other popular tourism destinations in the northern part of the country have abundant facilities, it is not the case in other parts of the country.

However, the situation is changing as facilities are mushrooming in other parts of the country.

In the western part of Botswana, right at the heart of the Kalahari trans-frontier park, lies a new upmarket and exciting tourist destination called Ta Shebube Rooiputs Lodge.

It is a beautiful safari destination, the place to be for those who want a luxury tented lodge and to explore new frontiers in the remote Kalahari Desert.

Located in a private concession area 25km north of the Two Rivers Airstrip, the Ta Sehube Rooiputs offers a broad portfolio that touches nearly all aspects of tourism in the Kalahari.

It is 100 per cent wholly owned by Batswana, and the lodge’s chalets are set along a red sand dune, offering views of a waterhole in a spot that is frequented by lions and gemsboks.

The lodge has 11 luxury thatched chalets constructed out of a mix of wood, canvas and glass with furnishings reflecting the rich ethnic textures of Africa and the desert.

Each en-suite unit is built on a raised deck with a comfortable screened veranda that allows visitors to enjoy the beautiful sunsets and the magnificent Kgalagadi sky in the privacy of their own rooms.

One of Ta Sehube Rooiputs’s main attractions is the fact that one can see a number of lions at any time.

Internationally, the lodge has a reputation as one of the best game viewing destinations in Africa.

Raptors and predators are a common feature and leopards, brown and spotted hyenas, jackals and wildcats are often sighted at Ta Sehube Rooiputs.

Ms Astrid Ndzinge, the chief executive officer of Ta Shebube Rooiputs, said the lodge opened its doors in June last year.

She revealed that the company won three tenders in 2008 along the game-rich Nossob River Valley and Mabuasehube Game Reserve.

“Rooiputs and Polentswa lodges are successfully operating along the Norsoob River while the project at Mabuasehube has water challenges,” she said.

She acknowledged that it’s not easy to start a huge project such as a safari lodge in a desert, especially because most people don’t know the area. She noted that the area is more famous for 4×4 drives.

She revealed that their project was funded by the Citizen Enterprenuership Development Agency after two years of working hard to convince them to back the project.

She said a lot of challenges were experienced during construction such as transporting materials from Ngamiland into the Kalahari.

The threat of wild animals was also ever present, together with delays caused by unforeseen challenges. “But we soldiered on because we believed in our project.

This lodge will be a success because it diversifies the national tourism bouquet,” she said.

She added that the lodge offers guests a feel of the desert, and has generated a positive response from visitors who praised her staff for their hospitality.

Ta Sehube Rooiputs offers a complete package of accommodation, nice food and reading area together with excellent game viewing and photographic opportunities.

To overcome increasing competition from South African lodges, the lodge also offers excellent service as well as fantastic beds and furniture.

Ms Ndzinge added that they are currently negotiating with the government to start offering night drives just like their South African safari counterparts who use the same roads.

She thanked the government for promoting indigenous investment in tourism and encouraging economic diversification by availing the park to them.

The lodge manager, Mr Martin Mathumo said the business is doing well even though they are not that busy because of the rainy season.

He also revealed that the lodge employs youth from Struenzidum and Bokspits.

Ta Sehube Rooiputs Lodge is located in a former Afrikaaner settlement that has a rich history.

Plans are also underway to set up a cultural centre in collaboration with villagers. ENDS