France and the tourism industry in Botswana
With 38 percent of the land devoted to national parks, game reserves and wildlife management areas, Botswana is an unspoiled land of beauty that attracts more than 2 000 000 tourists every year. Around 7 000 French citizens discover the country every year and, some of them wanted to develop the country’s tourism industry..
The Embassy engaged with three members of the French community who decided to take the jump in this adventure: Mrs Isabelle Perrot, head of Africa Voyages and honorary consul of France in Maun and Mrs Sylvie Thuillat, head of Africa under Canvas. Both had a very long experience in the tourism sector and decided to create a tourism agency in the country that would offer francophone services. Mr Raphaël del Sarte recently joined this adventure by building the Lodge Feline Fields. Botswana was the country where they had the desire to stay because of its friendly welcome, peaceful environment and absence of mass tourism.
All three of them focus more on a careful listening of their clients’ desires. For example, Africa Voyages and Africa under Canvas offer trips with French Speaking tours. Feline Fields is centered on the quality and innovation of the Lodge by offering the possibility to play tennis or horse riding on the property and serves French cuisine during the meals.
This commitment is also willing to participate in the local communities’ development: Africa under Canvas hired Batswana guides that previously learned French while Mr del Sarte provides a free round-transfer for children to go to school on a daily basis and works directly with a San community that lends him horses for rides in the bush.
Moreover, this commitment has been praised by certain organizations: Feline Fields has been nominated in the category Community Engagement of the Pure contest, that will be held in Marrakech from the 12th to 15th of September, for its actions in favour of the children of the region.
Participating to this competition is a mark of recognition for the lodge as well as an outstanding publicity.