Okavango Wilderness Safaris Names Joe Matome Interim MD

  • Matome is a highly respected figure in tourism and conservation
  • Ex-Debswana Tourism Project and Kalahari Conservation Society


Joseph “Joe” Matome is the Caretaker Managing Director of Okavango Wilderness Safaris (OWS) effective from 1st November 2023, the company has announced.

Matome, a highly respected figure in the field of tourism and conservation, is set to steer the company until the search for a permanent Managing Director concludes, which is estimated to take three to four months.

“We have chosen not to rush this process to ensure we secure the most suitable leader for this exceptional business,” OWS stated, emphasising their commitment to finding a candidate who aligns with their vision and values.

Unique skills set

Matome’s extensive experience, including leading the Debswana Tourism Project and serving on the board of Kalahari Conservation Society for over two decades, positions him as an ideal guide in this transitional phase.

The Chairman of the OWS Board, Kabelo Binns, expressed his enthusiasm about Matome’s appointment, emphasising his passion for conservation, community, and safari.

Binns noted that Matome’s unique skills set is instrumental in laying a solid foundation for OWS’s future endeavours.

Founded in Botswana in 1983, OWS has emerged as a pioneer in sustainable tourism, leaving a positive footprint on the communities, ecosystems, and conservation efforts in Botswana’s pristine wilderness.

1,000 employees 

With over 20 camps and a workforce of more than 1,000 employees, the majority of whom are Batswana, OWS has become a significant contributor to the country’s economic and social development.

The Wilderness Training Academy, established over 18 years ago, has trained over 1,000 Batswana, offering free Botswana Qualifications Authority (BQA) accredited courses.

Additionally, OWS directs at least 80 percent of its procurement expenditure towards Botswana-registered entities, underlining its commitment to supporting local businesses.