The Tswana translation of Motswari means to “keep and conserve” – a philosophy that has been faithfully adhered to. Motswari directly supports the conservation of an entire wilderness area, one of the last remaining intact eco-systems left on earth, with its extraordinary variety of wildlife and the fragile vegetation on which it depends. In addition, entire communities depend on Motswari – each staff member supports numerous others whose stature, skills, education, health and wellbeing are made possible through the continued existence of the lodge itself.
The survival of the lodge was ensured through the excellent morale, skills and dedication of some 48 employees who have been consistently trained, nurtured and recognized over the years. From the chef to the trackers, from the builders and maintenance crew to the field guides, almost everyone who works at the lodge comes from the local villages. Motswari empowers disadvantaged people before it became trendy, before Black Economic Empowerment was legislated, and have now embarked upon an ambitious ABET (Adult Basic Education & Training) programme, providing literacy and numeracy classes for their staff.
In 2008 Motswari signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Hlokomela Wellness Project, providing access to free medical care for all their staff. In addition, one of their employees was appointed as a Nompilo, or Peer Counsellor, and receives monthly training in primary health care. As part of their ongoing education programme, the lodge hosted an HIV/AIDS conference and holds regular workshops that have increased awareness and facilitated constructive dialogue.
Motswari has been awarded Fair Trade Certification for community upliftment, standards of training and mentorship. Each person employed at Motswari in turn supports, educates and motivates many more. As part of their commitment to the genuine upliftment of staff members, a former manager of Motswari, Kathy Bergs, decided to undertake a project to tell the stories of the Motswari women’s lives. These stories have now been bound in book format and are for sale in their Curio Shop. All Proceeds of the sale of this book goes to the women themselves, to help them provide for the education of their children and grandchildren. This project has also been endorsed by Fair Trade in Tourism.
Fair Trade Tourism Motswari
This family-owned destination has been accredited by both Green Globe and Fair Trade in Tourism. It prioritises conservation and people above cigar bars and individual plunge pools. Its eco-friendliness and social responsibility is certified by both Green Globe and Fair Trade in Tourism.