LOCAL IS LEKKER: A Peak into Local Business Offerings at Wilderness Expo 


Government departments, parastatals and financial institutions were on hand to guide the businesses participating in the expo. Staff Writer GOSEGO MOTSUMI reports

It was a bustling scene at the offices of Okavango Wilderness Safaris in Maun last Wednesday when 110 local businesses displayed their products and services in ceramics (tableware and decorative), uniform, linen, towels, engine lubricants, curios, food and beverage, tyres, light bulbs, toilet paper and cleaning materials for possible future collaboration with Wilderness camps in Botswana.

The inaugural Wilderness Local Suppliers Expo was about reaffirming and enhancing the company’s commitment to the local value chain and procurement ecosystem.


Local businesses have lauded the opportunity to penetrate the tourism market through such an expo where government departments, parastatals and financial institutions were on hand to guide the businesses.

Founded in 2018 by Kealeboga Mosinyi, the Maun-based youth-owned House of Moremi was one of the exhibitors providing interior styling and products to clients across Botswana and neighbouring countries. Mosinyi’s emphasis is to supply handmade products sourced from across Africa through collaborating with individual artisans and craft co-operatives to create both classic and contemporary designs.

“Our emphasis is on African crafts,” said Mosinyi. “We are a love letter to travel and collected objects that become treasured memories in the home and on your table.”

A great initiative

Founded by Ipeleng Chabata, Gold Breeze is a three-year old procurement company based in Gaborone that supplies lodges in the Okavango Delta with products that include morula fruit jam and achaar, among others.

Chabata told Time Out that the expo was a great initiative as it shows that Wilderness is in with local enterprises. “The response to our products has been positive and there was a lot of exposure for us who are exhibiting,” she said. “We also got to learn about the safari business, which is useful for supplying what is in demand. We have the capability.”

Sele le Sele, which loosely translates into “This and That,” is a local store that stocks 100% Botswana-made products from jewellery and clothes to scented candles, fine art, raw honey, leather goods and woven baskets. Established in 2022, the platform supports local brands that struggle with business operations and market side dynamics of the creative industry.

Rural Botswana

Tjipo Keaikitse described the store as a great opportunity for artists to share and sell their stories.  “Most of our artists are from very poor and rural parts of Botswana using their creativity to feed their families,” she said. “So each time you buy a piece of craft, you are contributing to the well-being of a family.”

Founded by Doembie Seymour and Yolandi van Rensburg, Okavango Essence is an amenities business based in Maun’s Boseja neighbourhood that manufactures all their products from scratch. The products are a range of natural shampoos, conditioners, body washes, hand washes, room sprays, and hand and body mists.


Said Seymour: “The products are all natural, which means that they can be washed down the drain and are safe for the environment.

“The idea is to sell 200ml bottles so that you can buy a 2lt or 5lt bottle to refill which can be returned to us for refilling, thus helping with recycling. We have the morula range and hope to develop other ranges such as the Kalahari melon.”