A year in review from our camps and lodges, plus a special Christmas video from the work of Dereck & Beverly Joubert and Seek Santa game

If you don’t have time to read this abridged review of 2012, then at least watch our video below. It features a 2:45 minute video of “How Great Plains does Christmas” filmed by our very own Emmy award–winning duo of Dereck & Beverly Joubert, with an added “Seek Santa” game (think Where’s Wally). Find all 11 Santas in the video!
Great Plains Christmas video
Click video above or here to watch and play

2012 Review

It’s almost the end of 2012 and we at Great Plains Conservation have had a very eventful and memorable year to reflect on.

January saw the introduction of Swarovski HD field binoculars in each and every tent and suite in the Great Plains collection of permanent camps, bringing the wildlife even closer to what your guests have travelled so far to see. Valentine’s Day saw the meeting of the Okavango waters with those of the Linyanti along the Selinda Spillway, allowing for an earlier start to the fourth Selinda Canoe Trail season in mid–April. However, those waters dropped quickly in September and we look forward to a good rainy season for our 2013 season. Historical records show a 20–30 year dry period followed by a 5–10 year wet period of abundant waters. Could 2013 be the last of the canoeing along the Spillway? The wildlife along the Selinda Spillway has been phenomenal in 2012 and one of the highlights was watching two bull sable fight in the shallows for hours. August saw the opening of our new Selinda Explorers Camp on the banks of the Spillway. A camp allowing you to get back to nature in a very authentic and affordable manner.

The year has been dog–tastic with denning and regular sightings of wild dogs as ever around Selinda and Zarafa camps, and for the first time anyone can remember wild dogs in the Masai Mara running past Mara Plains Camp in September. The wild dogs of the Selinda Reserve were observed to hunt elephant near Zarafa, something that even lion rarely do but which have been documented and filmed by the Jouberts in this part of Botswana. The dogs eventually retreated, but we do think we have the toughest dogs in all Africa!

The migration of wildebeest and zebra arrived a little later into the Masai Mara this year, then they went and returned back again in October. It has been a spectacular late showing in the Masai Mara ecosystem and guests virtually had the reserve and conservancies to themselves. The end of the year saw major exposure of Ride Kenya Horse Safaris gracing the cover and inside pages of this month’s Tatler Travel Guide 2013, and ol Donyo Lodge and Zarafa become the first accredited members of Relais & Châteaux in Kenya and Botswana respectively.

Investment in infrastructure and personnel is always an on–going process. Duba Plains had a new bridge built, as well as a new fleet of “puddle–hopper” game drive vehicles to cope with wetter conditions. Mara Plains also received vehicles with inverter batteries, electric fridges and designed for optimal game viewing and comfort in mind. April saw the opening of Great Plains’ own reservations office in Cape Town (+27 (0)21 434 5208 or reservations@greatplainsconservation.com) enabling us to channel more money into conservation projects. Rounding off this Olympic year on December 22nd is the Maasai Olympic Games taking place in Maasailand close to ol Donyo Lodge.

Next year will have further exciting game encounters, discoveries and developments. 

From all of us at C4 Global, on behalf of Great Plains Conservation, we would like to wish you a very happy holiday season.

Best wishes,

Caroline Graham

C4 Global Communications
+1 310 899 2727

January - Swarovski binos

Feb-Valentines Spillway

March - Duba Bridged

April - Res office opens

May - Fighting sable

June - Selinda Pups

July - Migration arrives

Aug - Selinda Explorers

Sept - Dogs in Mara

Oct - Dogs vs Eles

Nov - Relais & Chateaux

Dec-Tatler Covered

Coming soon - Maasai Olympics

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