Dear friends, family and followers. What a year it has been, and what a cause to celebrate. From a global pandemic that shut down the world, to the last minute news of promising vaccines that give hope for the return of some semblance of normality before 2021. We wanted to take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas from all of us here at the NHFU. In the crazy year that has so far been 2020, never has there been a more important time to celebrate with your loved ones, both near and far. Over Christmas, we’re operating on a skeleton crew, while most of our staff reunite with family from all over the world. From employees that haven’t seen their families in over a year, to those whose parents can finally meet their new grandchild for the first time.
Santa bug, with hat kindly donated by Father Christmas, wishing you a Merry Christmas to all of our followers, near and far, big or small. Photo credit: Hannah Gormley.
While Coronavirus has had tragic consequences around the globe, it has also taught us some important lessons. Here in Botswana, we’ve had a brutal reminder of the importance of tourism both for the livelihoods of its citizens and the conservation of the Okavango Delta. Tourism is the source of stable jobs, regional funding for schools, conservation efforts and other government initiatives, and the driving force behind the local economy here in North-western Botswana. The preservation and conservation of the Okavango Delta relies on the continuation of this economic security, specifically for those that live within its reaches.
See these extraordinary creatures for yourself.
So, we remind you that Botswana is open and ready for tourism, and your visit would provide so much more than just a holiday. But Coronavirus didn't only have negative impacts on the environment. Across the world, nature rebounded with stunning speed. Swans swum in Venice's once ferry-filled canals, an elusive caracal roamed the famous Clifton beach in Cape Town, and turtles returned to typically crowded Indian beaches. Another important lesson we all learned was that given the space, nature can and will rebound.
Botswana reopened for tourism just as the lush rainy season begins. Photo credit: Hannah Gormley
Despite the trying conditions of this year, we’re thrilled to have welcomed some new additions to our team. The jack-of-all-trades Tyler Riggs joined us in January as a pilot, then mechanic, electrician, general maintenance manager and finally media processor, in combination with media manager Spence. Banyana joined manager TT Laletsang to make an epic power duo tasked with the running of our increasingly busy office, Seetsele came on as our latest trainee behind the camera, and I joined as production manager. As always, we’ve been hard at work and could not be more excited for what the future holds. While its easy to get stuck in the gloom and doom of 2020, we look forward to a new and fresh start in 2021, with families reunited, a Coronavirus vaccine rollout on the horizon, Botswana reopened for tourism, and, of course, countless more hours spent in the glorious Okavango Delta bush working with some of the most extraordinary animals on our planet.