Rhinos Without Borders

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Anna Rathmann: Great Plains Foundation

Have you ever seen a rhino fly? Well, we at the Great Plains Foundation have. And our goal is to see 100 rhinos fly.

In 2014, Great Plains Conservation partnered with fellow conservation-minded safari company, &Beyond, to embark on one of the most ambitious rhino conservation projects to date: Rhinos Without Borders. By bringing together a community of dedicated wildlife conservationists, individuals, and travel industry leaders Rhinos Without Borders relocates rhino from poaching hotspots in South Africa to carefully selected remote wild areas deep within Botswana. Rhinos Without Borders, was created as an immediate response to the growing rhino poaching crisis in southern Africa, but at its core it is a project of hope.

Why Botswana? Because Botswana currently has one of the lowest poaching rates in Africa where the country’s conservation officials are supported by an official anti-poaching unit and political will from the President down to help save rhinos.

By allowing the rhino to roam free in their undisclosed locations, Rhinos Without Borders is creating a viable breeding population of rhino in Botswana, thus broadening the gene pool and increasing the habitat for rhino in Africa.

To date we have successfully relocated 26 rhino with plans for multiple additional relocations in 2017. On a recent relocation the rhino team was joined by film-makers from GoPro Cameras. The footage produced captured the attention of nearly 2 million people through YouTube and evolved into a special campaign and partnership with GoPro cameras resulting in two additional films and funds raised to move two more rhino. Below is one of the films produced.

One of the truest measures of success has been the birth of 5 calves to the group of already relocated rhino. We see these calves as a sign of hope not just for these specific relocated rhinos, but for the entire species.

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The cost to relocate a single rhino through Rhinos Without Borders is $45,000 USD. This amount covers the costs associated with moving a rhino, funds a dedicated team of rhino monitors and anti-poaching patrols, and supports community conservation education initiatives in the rhinos’ new home. Those who fund an entire rhino move are given the opportunity to name a relocated rhino, with the names ranging from humorous to sentimental. We are honoured by the individuals and travel companies who stepped forward and partner with us in this project.
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Rhinos Without Borders is an example of privately led conservation having a positive and marked impact on outcomes, where the private sector can identify needs, solutions and then work with governments to achieve quick decision making and goals that substantially change the face of conservation. Through such a project, the travel industry and individuals are giving hope to a species of animal emblematic of Africa and entrusted to all of us to protect and preserve. To learn more and join us in our efforts please visit:

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Great Plains Conservation Foundation: Mission
The Great Plains Foundation, is the charitable foundation arm of Great Plains Conservation, and is a US Section 501(c)3 charitable Trust whose mission is to fund the development of best practices for world class conservation with a long term commitment to the environment, wildlife and local communities in Africa, including but not limited to the promotion of responsible tourism to help alleviate poverty and to support community development in Africa.

 

GP-Foundation

Proactive Reservations | Managing your reservations & maximising your channels

What do you do if your establishment is too small to rent or manage a reservation software solution?

Have a look at Proactive Reservations has to offer…

Proactive Reservations have years of combined international and local experience in various hospitality and tourism positions and offer in depth knowledge of all aspects of front office, hotel reservations and tour operating. Their team members have worked for a number of highly regarded companies and offers expertise in:

• Hotel openings

• Property management system set ups

• Set up and implementation of standard operating procedures

• Product and content implementation

• Set up and managing of Channel Managers

• Set up and managing of OTA’s

• Revenue Management

• Training of staff

They pride themselves on their quality service delivery and providing a means of maximising your revenue opportunities for your property.

SERVICES

Implementation and Management of OTA channels

By providing a simple streamlined process for all distribution updates so hoteliers can minimise errors for channel management and in this way, increase revenue. They manage the online profiles and implement a revenue strategy on behalf of the property or marketing team, along with uploading of information and new set up required and can continuously monitor what the OTA partners are introducing and what the trends are showing.

Implementation and recommendations of systems

Proactive Reservations implement and recommend the best systems for each individual property which leads to a better user experience and increased sales.

Training of Reservations staff

Training your staff can improve business performance, profit and staff morale. Giving them the tools to contribute to the business and building their self-esteem will improve productivity and customer service. A reservations audit is done on the processes applied within the day to day running of the property and recommendations on improvements are made. Furthermore, they can facilitate training on time management, telephone etiquette, email correspondence with the customer and more.

Reservations recruitment

Assisting with the placement of the right candidate with the correct experience to match the property requirements is another one of the many services they provide.

BOOKINGS TO COMPLEMENT YOUR REVENUE STRATEGY

Online distribution is key to maximise your revenue opportunities. Reach across multiple channels and platforms.

CHANNEL MANAGERS

In order to maximise the effectiveness of listing on various booking sites, Proactive Reservations recommend that all clients utilise the integration of channel managers. These channel managers provide the capability of accurate availability being displayed and ensuring the property is available to be booked. Through their partnerships with some of the world’s leading travel and tourism organisations, they can guarantee improved online visibility.

The team at Proactive Reservations facilitate and manage the engagement with the OTA partners and set up new agreements on behalf of clients and upload images, text, packages, special offers and standard rates.

 

For more info or a quotation contact Joanne: info@proactive-reservations.com

See, Sample, Sow – How you can benefit from ResRequest on-site

We turned off the tar road from Karen and went through a security gate which allowed us passage into the Nairobi National Park. Our bumpy progress was soon brought to a halt as a uniformed orphan keeper crossed the road with a four month old giraffe in tow. A short distance further we passed Max, a blind but content Black rhino and after parking we were introduced to two tiny orphan elephants – newcomers from the previous day. Welcome to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust! It set the tone for our time at the David Sheldrick offices and interaction with the team – a small group of wonderful people passionate about their work with wildlife and striving to keep the organisation running smoothly. Every organisation, although essentially the same, has it’s quirks making it unique and this is when onsite training makes customising the fit for both the property / res office and ResRequest easier.

Basic training like How to make a reservation or How to add an extra is just the start, but integrating that knowledge with your business processes is the real challenge. Jill headed up the three full days of training which is standard for our onsite training programme. It was intense but certainly worthwhile as we had ascertained a number of suitable reports that were relevant to the organisation and smoothed out a number of business processes that could now be handled by ResRequest.

“Basically I am absolutely loving ResRequest and how much easier it has made my life and streamlined all the bookings. The training was great and it was so nice to meet Jill and Jen and put names to the people who helped set it all up as well as faces and so far have so enjoyed working with you all. Having Jill and Jen come here for the training was the best option as it is so much more personalised that way.” Lina – Reservations Management, The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

Sine we were already in Kenya, we had the opportunity to visit Angama in the Mara. Apart from the thrill of soaring over the expansive Mara in a light aircraft and enjoying the breathtaking view from Angama’s deck, the two days we spent with the team was extremely valuable. Having already worked with the system for several months, the res team wanted to hone certain processes to ensure clean data and effective reporting.

“Their visit was a huge success – Thanks to the ResRequest team for taking the time to travel to the Maasai Mara – always more fruitful for discussions to take place at the source as new issues are unearthed no matter how much advanced planning has happened, and face-to-face communication offers a much more efficient way to solve complex issues.” Steve – Director, Angama.

“I agree with Steve – it is beyond beneficial – sitting with Jill and Jen was fantastic, I learnt so much and great tips on how to do things smarter and faster. I recommend this to any client. No matter how good you think you are in the system… you will learn sooo much from having a ResRequest team member sit with you for a full day.” Kristen – Reservations, Angama.

We visited a number of clients during our Kenya trip – both new and advanced users – and were encouraged by the system-strong and enthusiastic people using ResRequest. Our primary goal with initial and ongoing training is not just to teach the ‘how to’ but to empower our users to utilise ResRequest to it’s fullest, because even with software the clichéd adage holds true: “You get out what you put in.”

On safari in the Congo

http://www.safaritart.com/on-safari-in-congo/Written by: Carrie Hampton alias the SAFARI TART!

Seasoned travellers will be interested in the Odzala Discovery Camps in the Odzala-Kokoua National Park of the remote north of the Republic of Congo’s river basin. It’s the world’s second largest tropical rainforest after the Amazonand one of the earth’s largest lungs, playing an essential role in global climate control. The region has been a National Park since 1935 – making it one of the oldest on the African continent.

Odzala has other faces than the rainforest with vast savannah in the south and wide, meandering rivers crossing the region. A distinctive feature of Odzala are marshy clearings in the middle of an ocean of trees called bais. Even the shiest inhabitants of Odzala like forest elephants and gorillas come here to drink and take in precious minerals and salts contained in the bai soils.

Birds, Mammals and Primates
Over 400 bird species and 100 different mammal species are found here, including western lowland gorillas, chimpanzees and red-tailed monkeys along with forest buffalo, sitatunga (a rare sight anywhere on safari) and duikers antelopes not much larger than rabbits. Herds of shy forest elephant move along ancient pathways, avoiding the 70 villages, some with just a handful of inhabitants. The local people are primarily Bantu and forest dwellers (pygmies).

There are three camps; Ngaga, Mboko and Lango. 

Ngaga Camp in primary forest just outside the park boundary, overlooks a beautiful open glade and is within overlapping ranges of several groups of western lowland gorillas. Two of the gorilla groups are becoming habituated to being watched. It’s a focal point for world-class research and gives unforgettable primate encounters. Ngaga Camp’s unique design evokes the fun of childhood tree houses, with six canopy rooms with wraparound walkways.

Mboko Camp has 12 guest rooms extending along the banks of a tributary watering a lush meadow-like savannah. It’s the interface between tropical rainforest and grasslands, with hundreds of towering termite mounds creating an other-worldly panorama. Watch out for the forest buffalo, forest elephant and spotted hyena.

Lango Camp with it’s six bedrooms has one of the most arresting views of any camp in Africa! Raised high the camp spans the forest gallery and beyond to the marshy bai, which holds a magnetic attraction to huge flocks of green pigeons and grey parrots, as well as herds of forest buffalo by day and forest elephants by night. In the south-central part of Odzala with its variety of converging habitats and rivers, the highlight is travelling on the waters in by motorboat, traditional mokoro or kayak and exploring the streams and marshes on foot in safety – a truly immersive experience!

One thing’s for sure – you will be one of very few who have visited this remote area and if you get there before me, I’ll be very jealous.

 

Working with specials

Applying-specials

Written by Paula Chaplin

Offering discounts is a practise many of our customers use to ramp up sales. When you implement a discount strategy, it’s important to ask yourself strategic questions like:

  1. How will this affect my profit margins?
  2. What are my competitors doing?
  3. Are there options for promoting sales before we reduce price?

It’s also important to find out how your discount strategy can be automatically applied by the system.

To help you plan your strategies, here’s a list of what’s available in our Specials module:

Stay, Pay Specials: e.g. if you Stay for 4 nights, you only Pay for 3 (or you get 1 night at 50% off)
Honeymoon Specials: e.g. 50% off the Bride’s stay
Length of Stay Discounts: e.g. if you stay more than 5 nights, get a 5% discount on your stay.
Booking Period Special: e.g. 10% of all bookings made in November
Booking Period Special: e.g. if you book in April – children stay free
Travel Period Special: e.g. 10% of all bookings travelling in February
Travel Period Special: e.g. if you travel in May – children pay half price
Circuit Discounts: e.g. if you stay at 3 properties, you get a 15% discount on the last one
Circuit Discounts: e.g. if you stay at 4 properties, you get a free night

Setting up specials
Specials are linked to our Rates module and are applied to Rate Types, Rate Periods and Room Types. This means you no longer need to create new rates to apply your discount strategy.

Applying specials
Specials can be applied manually or automatically depending on the user’s access permissions.

If you need any assistance or guidance with specials, please contact support@resrequest.com.

ZRA certifies another ResRequest customer

The Zambian Revenue Authority put us through our paces and another ResRequest customer is certified.

The Zambian tax authorities require that any business producing Tax Invoices from a computer system, has to have their specific use of the system certified. This certification means that VAT registered customers are able to claim input VAT supported by such invoices. The certification process entails a session with ZRA representatives for them to satisfy themselves with the controls and security features applied. ResRequest meets the requirements and we are familiar with the certification process. We recently assisted another customer in achieving this certification.

Project Luangwa

South Luangwa in Zambia is a magical destination for a safari holiday and its beauty and wildlife leave a lasting impression long after you’ve returned home. But it can be harsh and unforgiving too, especially for the local people. Most are subsistence farmers who live side by side with Luangwa’s wildlife but whilst wild animals the attract visitors they also raid crops; an entire year’s supply of maize can disappear overnight with the visit of a few elephants.

Project Luangwa is a charitable organisation which aims to help the local community in South Luangwa benefit from visitors and improve their economic prospects.  We believe that the future of the area lies in the hands of the younger members of the community and that these kids should have access to a good education.  But all too often we find a sad scenario – too few classrooms coupled with an inadequate number of teachers means that it is not unusual to see up to 100 kids in a class and many will be sitting on the floor due to a lack of desks and chairs.  Teachers struggle with few resources and often there is just one textbook for the whole class. But these are the lucky ones; primary schooling is free but at secondary level it is not and many parents cannot afford school fees, uniform or even exercise books.

Girls have an even harder time. Early marriages are not unusual, families often favour a boy when it comes to education, abuse is all too common, a girl’s workload is higher than her brother’s, and once she reaches puberty, she may attend school for just 3 weeks out of every four.

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Project Luangwa looks for long term sustainable solutions that give a hand-up rather than a hand-out. We raise funds to build more classrooms, buy text books, build and put books into libraries. We run girls’ clubs to encourage more girls to go to school, to support each other and find solutions to their difficulties. One example of this is helping them make reusable, washable sanitary pads.

Due to HIV/Aids and other diseases many children have lost parents – at one small community school 210 of the 318 pupils are double orphans.  We arrange pupil sponsorship on a one to one basis enabling many kids to receive an education which they would not get without support.

The charity was formed in 2009 and is supported by five of the safari operators in the Luangwa Valley as part of their commitment to helping the local communities. At these lodges a small percentage of guest’s payment is passed on to us. This covers much of our administration costs and so we are very proud to say that 100% of donations directly support the community, education and children.

There’s a huge amount of information on our website with pages for sponsorship, volunteers, what to bring, suitable books to bring and even bras.

Website: www.projectluangwa.org
Call at the office: Chinzombo (ZAWA offices), Mfuwe
Post: PO Box 27, Mfuwe
Email: Directors – karen@projectluangwa.org, / dave@projectluangwa.org
Telephone: 00260 (0) 216 246 265 / 00260 (0) 974250152 /3

Pack for a Purpose initiative

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Providing positive presence on the internet

Written by Rebecca Rothney

Pack for a Purpose (PfaP) is a great way to achieve additional exposure, at no cost, for the community projects supported by your lodge on the Internet.

Our NGO is based in Raleigh, NC, in the United States. Our mission is to positively impact communities around the world by assisting travellers who want to bring meaningful contributions to the destinations they visit. We assist “PfaP travellers” by providing online lists of requested items for over 300 community projects, making it simple for travellers to make a big impact on every trip.

Travellers simply follow these five easy steps:  

1. Select destination.

2. Find a lodging and a project it supports.

3. Choose the supplies you wish to bring from the specific items requested.

4. Drop off the supplies at the lodging.

5. They will be delivered for you; it’s that easy!

Since Pack for a Purpose’s inception in December 2009, the global travel community has brought more than 9,400 kilos of supplies to schools, clinics and orphanages worldwide that are in need of assistance. By simply adding medical, school supplies, sport equipment and other requested supplies in their luggage, these travellers have made a big impact.

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Among the many lodging locations that participate with Pack for a Purpose many of lodgings are current ResRequest clients. These lodgings support community projects in Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zanzibar, Tanzania, South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique.You can take a look at all of Pack for a Purpose’s current destinations.
Submitting your lodging to Pack for a Purpose is simple and can be done directly at this link on our website. Once we receive your information and you have complied with the three easy steps on the form, we will have your lodging published on our website within 7 business days. Once published, we will spread the word about your lodge through our social media outlets: TwitterFacebook and Pinterest.
Pack for a Purpose has received a large amount of international media coverage. This all translates into additional exposure for the lodgings and tour companies listed on our website. To view the coverage, click here. We have received the 2012 Travel+Leisure Global Vision Award Editors’ Pick for Digital Iniative and are finalists for the 2013 Guardian’s Observer Ethical Awards in the Travel Category.