Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Report
Title Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis of the Okavango River Basin: The Status of Tourism Development in the Okavango Delta, Botswana
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2009
URL http://www.the-eis.com/data/literature/Status of Tourism Development in the Okavango​Delta_Botswana.pdf
This report provides a description of the current status of tourism development in the
Okavango Delta, Botswana. The report is guided by the following objectives:
• Examine how national policies and plans will affect future development of
tourism in the Okavango Delta.
• Review literature on the different type of tourism activities dependent on
water resources.
• Carry out a trend analysis of the number of different types of tourists visiting
the Okavango Delta.
• Examine the impact of tourism development in the Okavango Delta on
• Review the level of development of tourism infrastructure within the
Okavango Delta.
National Policies and programmes which were analyzed in this report and are
considered key to the development of tourism in the Okavango Delta include the
following: The Tourism Policy of 1990 (under revision); CBNRM Policy of 2007;
Ecotourism Strategy of 2002; Wildlife Conservation Policy of 1986 (under revision);
Okavango Delta Management Plan; and the Ngamiland Tourism Development Plan.
Analyses of the above documents indicate that the major goal of the Botswana
Government is to expand tourism revenue in the Okavango Delta. This means tourist
numbers, tourist activities and tourism infrastructure such as lodges and hotels are
bound to increase. The increase of tourism development in the Okavango Delta is
thus bound to have socio-cultural, economic and environmental impacts in the
wetland. The report further notes that tourism in the Okavango Delta is characterized
by both non-consumptive and consumptive activities. Consumptive tourism activities
are mainly safari hunting while some of the non-consumptive activities include the
following: bird watching; game viewing; mokoro safaris; sex tourism; fishing; horse
riding; crafts; walking trails; and, hot air balloon
Tourism activities described above define the kinds of tourists that visit the Okavango
Delta. The report list the kind of tourists that visit the Okavango Delta to include the
following: ecotourists; business people; study tourists; family and friends tourists;
wildlife-based tourists (with the different price preferences); safari hunting and leisure
tourists. Between 1994/5 and 2007, tourist numbers have been on the increase in
Botswana and in the Okavango Delta. Tourist infrastructure such as roads, airstrips,
lodges and campsites have also been on the increase. Maun International Airport
has been expanded twice in the same period to accommodate bigger aircrafts and
higher tourist numbers.
The expansion of tourism development in the Okavango Delta impacts on
neighboring countries such as Namibia. For example, the Okavango region is one of
the areas affected by HIV/AIDS, while there is no evidence that the spread of
HIV/AIDS in the Okavango is related to cross border travelling, such a possibility
cannot be ruled out.
This report has also shown that the expansion of tourism in the Okavango Delta has
resulted in positive impacts rural livelihoods. For example, communities such as
Sankoyo, Mababe and Khwai Villages are involved in Community-Based Natural
Resource Management projects. Such projects are largely tourism based and have
led to the creation of employment opportunities, income generation, and the
provision of social services such as sponsorship to school children, funeral
TDA Botswana Tourism Development
insurances, construction of house for the needy and orphans, household dividends,
provision of transport and provision of water reticulation in households.
Finally, this report indicates that in order to achieve the sustainable tourism
management of the Okavango Delta, the Botswana Government has come up with
the Ngamiland Tourism Development Plan. This Plan provides for zonation of the
Okavango Delta where different tourism activities will be carried out e.g. Maun is
planned for mass tourism while Moremi Game Reserve which in the inner and most
sensitive parts of the Okavango Delta is being having tourist numbers in the area
controlled through the Limits of Acceptable Change approach.

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