Chobe Holdings: From Waiter to Group Managing Director

Gallivant Africa

Chobe Holdings Limited (Desert & Delta Safaris Botswana Stock Exchange listed holding company) announced the appointment of Lempheditse Odumetse as Group Managing Director.

The appointment is effective 24 February 2022. Mr Odumetse assumes the position of Group Managing Director from Mr Jonathan Gibson who remains the Group Chief Executive Officer and Deputy Chairman.

Born and raised in Maun, Mr Odumetse (Mc as he is known)  joined the Group in 1999 as a waiter at Desert & Delta’s Camp Moremi in the Okavango Delta.

After qualifying as a Professional Guide in 2000 he was transferred to Xugana Island Lodge, and has since managed Xugana Island Lodge, Camp Moremi and Savute Safari Lodge. In 2005 Mc was selected for Disney World’s year-long International Cultural Exchange Program where he was employed as a savanna guide.

Mc became the group’s most successful manager by winning “Best Desert & Delta Safaris Camp of the year” seven times out of the 10-years he managed the various camps. A record which still stands today.

Mc was later promoted to Group Assistant General Manager in 2013 and in 2014 was transferred to Ker & Downey Botswana, the Group’s five-star camp operator, initially as General Manager before joining the Board as Operations Director in 2017. 

In September 2020 he was appointed to the Chobe Board as the Group Operations Director.

Mc is a visionary; he has revolutionised the management of Desert & Delta during his ten-year leadership with us. Having started his career as only one of two local Batswana managers, Mc spearheaded the group localisation initiative to ensure that the group remains deeply rooted in Botswana. 

As living proof, Mc recognises the powerful potential of tourism. He has identified young local talent and successfully guided over twenty staff members into senior lodge management positions across the group.

Thanks to Mc’s hands-on attitude and innovative ideas, the group became one of the first luxury safari companies to be managed exclusively by local citizens. Moreover, women make up over 50% of the management team – an impressive and rare achievement for any African company! This pioneering approach has empowered communities and uplifted families.

As the group position themselves for the growth in demand for luxury safaris in the post-pandemic travel era, Mc will be a big part of Desert & Delta’s future success in his new capacity as Chobe Holdings Limited Group Managing Director.

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