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Posted by Danielle Harvey on 25 December 2020
Great Plains is a leading eco-tourism company with prestigious safari camps in Botswana, Kenya and Zimbabwe. The conservation tourism organisation was founded in 2006 by Dereck and Beverly Joubert, award-winning filmmakers, conservationists and National Geographic Explorers. Together, the Jouberts have created and operate sixteen stunning owned, and partner, safari properties and the company's charity, The Great Plains Foundation, which strives to preserve and protect landscapes, wildlife, and the communities who rely on them in Africa - meaning honeymooners will be contributing back in to the charity.
Great Plains has used the challenging period of COVID as the perfect opportunity to rebuild and refurbish their camps without inconveniencing anyone. All the camps carry the highest COVID safety protocols following safety standards set by National Geographic and Relais & Châteaux, which features majority of the Great Plains' portfolio. The conservation organisation has started offering a Private Jet Safari experience, a specially curated itinerary ensuring privacy and safety for small parties that stay in the same camp and travel between camps via private jet together. All camps retain the highest levels of service and quality whilst offering guests a personalised sense of storytelling in design or establishment.
In Kenya, Great Plains has just unveiled two new spacious family suites this month at Mara Nyika Camp, whilst ol Donyo Lodge received a refurbishing and brand new state of the art kitchen for Great Plains' vegan-trained specialist chefs. Mara Expedition Camp is being relocated to a new site hidden from any light pollution overlooking the rolling hills of the Maasai Mara. A very special new private 2-bedroomed villa, the Mara Jahazi Suite, is also being constructed and will be located up in the trees. The Mara Expedition Camp and Mara Jahazi Suite are scheduled to be completed in mid-2021.
Check out: greatplainsconservation.com
In Zimbabwe, the Victoria Falls' Mpala Jena Camp is being completely rebuilt with a new open-plan rustic thatch beach design. In addition, a brand-new Great Plains camp, Tembo Plains, is being constructed in the private 130,000-hectare Sapi Reserve adjacent to the Zambezi River. Both are scheduled to open in mid-2021.
Great Plains is also anticipating the launch of Bayei Camp, a new camp in Botswana just south of the Panhandle in the Okavango Delta. Raised in to the treeline and designed as giant fishing baskets in homage to the great fishing clans of the northern Okavango, the remarkable Bayei Camp is currently scheduled to be completed in mid 2021.
Great Plains and the Great Plains Foundation are positioned to support the Jouberts' mission to save Africa's wildlife and empower, educate and care for local communities. In an effort to save local rangers' jobs and stop the increasing poaching during COVID, Great Plains Foundation launched Project Ranger, which has so far funded over 130 rangers in 7 countries. Great Plains Foundation is also the charity behind Rhinos Without Borders, a rhino relocation initiative which transported the increasingly endangered rhino from South Africa to Botswana's wilderness safe havens where they are being monitored and protected. Another initiative Great Plains Foundation is supporting, Solar Mamas is a training program to teach rural, illiterate and semi-literate women to bring solar electric systems to their remote villages. The program was successfully launched in February 2020 in Botswana and the Foundation aims to expand Solar Mamas to Kenya and Zimbabwe, the other countries Great Plains operates.