The Okavango Polers Trust was registered in June 1998. The Trust was formed by the community to establish a viable eco-tourism business which would benefit all the people in this area. No non-citizen or safaris company has any financial interest in the Okavango Polers Trust. It is owned and operated by the members themselves. The Trust currently provides employment for:
- 75 poler members
- 4 women catering traditional dinners
- 8 – 15 traditional dancers and singers
- 2 drivers
- motorboat operators
- 2 co-ordinators
- 2 office workers
- an assistant manager
- a business manager
- 3 caretakers/guards
- up to 30 casual polers and labourers
It is our policy to use locally made fibreglass mekoros in an effort to conserve the large trees in the area. Each poler owns or is buying his own mekoro and the Trust owns a few that it hires out.
Are all local men who learnt their poling skills as small children as they helped catch fish for their families and travelled between villages by water. All the polers are working hard to improve their English and communication skills. Your patience and help are appreciated.
The Head Poler or Guide
Has worked hard to attain a high level of knowledge about the local area and the animals that live there. Some people enjoy long bush walks, others like to spend more time in the mekoros discovering the abundant wildlife. You can have a refreshing dip in a safe pool or just laze around and read a book. It is your holiday and you must let your Guide know what you want to do. The initial development of the campsite was made possible by a grant from the African Development Foundation.
The Trust has recently received a grant from the European Union enabling us to purchase a new truck for passenger transfers, carry out training of polers, staff and local community members and generally assist our business to grow and remain competitive. The aim of the Trust is to offer an affordable trip to allow more people to enjoy the Delta and to provide more jobs in this disadvantaged, economically impoverished rural area.