Bushman Plains is the only Botswana safari camp to be majority owned by Bushmen. The majority owners are three brothers, who were in the last generation of the Bukakwe clan of Bushmen to live the nomadic life of hunter-gatherers. Their people moved seasonally through the landscape, migrating within their lands to have the best access to food and water. This last generation was born in areas that are now the domain of famous safari camps. These Bushmen were the last to survive only due to the ancient skills of their parents and extended family. Daily they learned the skills that have been passed down for tens of thousands of years.
These Bushmen were not only the last to grow up in the lifestyle of the first people. They were also the first Bushmen to transition to the modern education system. The hunter-gatherer way of life came to an abrupt end as the Bushmen were setteled into Gudigwa Village around 1989. There are only a few Bushmen who lived the traditional life, yet were still young enough to become immersed in traditional schooling after settlement. The result was a small handful of unique safari guides who possess the magical bush craft of the Bushmen, but also acquired the language and modern personal skills to guide guests from around the world.
Now the circle is complete. Three uncommon Bushmen, following years of work in the safari industry, have returned to a piece of their historical lands to operate their own safari camp. Located within a magical area of the Okavango Delta, Bushman Plains is a place where the Heritage of the first people lives on.
Olatotse was among the first Bukakwe Bushmen to become a safari guide. Ola left guiding when he was elected as the District Councilman for the Guidigwa/Vumbura region of five villages. He was the first Bushman ever to be elected to office in Botswana.
Ditshebo ‘Dicks’ Tsima
Dicks is a very accomplished guide, known for his exceptional tracking skills, bush sense and ability to get his vehicle in position for the best photos – even if it means racing across a channel of water in the Okavango. Dicks had his start guiding at Mapula Lodge, before moving on to guide at Selinda Camp, followed by being a member of the well known guide team at the Kwando Camps. Dicks is thrilled to own a camp and be back guiding in the ancestral lands where his family hunted and gathered in his boyhood years. He knows this area and wildlife movements within it better than any one.
Peter is not a Bushman but he has great respect for the Bushman culture and was a natural selection to join the project to add his operational expertise. Peter moved to Botswana more than 30 years ago and has been delivering profound safari experiences in Botswana (and well beyond) ever since. Peter was one of the original mobile operators in Botswana and has vast experience in evaluating and training guides. He is believed to be the first white man to cross the Okavango Delta from North to South by mokoro (traditional dugout canoe). Peter is the author of five books, including The Field Guide to Botswana Mammals. Peter is acknowledged to be one of Africa’s leading guides and is particularly recognized for his pioneering spirit and flair for innovation.
Molatlhwa ’Toffee’ Tshosa
Molatlhwa ’Toffee’ Tshosa guided for the Desert & Delta camps for five years. He was then selected for the prestigious Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge tourism and guiding program. Disney selects a small number of participants each year from the African safari industry and it is a coveted opportunity to learn about, and interact with cultures from around the world.