Thursday, January 18, 2018

Waterlilies, a plant steeped in history and tradition

In 2017,  Desert & Delta Safaris supported the Peter Smith University of Botswana (PSUB) herbarium. PSUB is making their collection of preserved plants useful and accessible to a wider public, including those who plan for and manage the future of the Okavango delta.

The legacy collection of specimens of the flora of the Okavango delta in northern Botswana housed at PSUB are gradually being prepared for digital scanning so that the digital image can be used to enter data into the BRAHMS database that is specifically designed for herbarium management. PSUB’s work focus this year has been on the personal collection of Mr. Peter Alexander Smith who spent more than thirty years living and working in Ngamiland. His collection of specimens dates back to the early 1970s, having digital images of them will remove the need to handle the actual specimens.

 As part of the project Mr. Mmusi Mmusi, one of the PSUB Herbarium Assistants wrote an article about the waterlilies of the Okavango Delta. For more information access the full article on the link below:

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Effects of the safari hunting tourism ban on rural livelihoods and wildlife conservation in Northern Botswana by Joseph E. Mbaiwa


 This paper examines the effects of the safari hunting ban of 2014 on rural livelihoods and wildlife conservation in Northern Botswana using the social exchange theory. The paper used both primary and secondary data sources. Data were analysed qualitatively. Results indicate that the ban led to a reduction of tourism benefits to local communities such as: income, employment opportunities, social services such as funeral insurance, scholarships and income required to make provision of housing for the needy and elderly. After the hunting ban, communities were forced to shifts from hunting to photographic tourism. Reduced tourism benefits have led to the development of negative attitudes by rural residents towards wildlife conservation and the increase in incidents of poaching in Northern Botswana. The implications of hunting ban suggest that policy shifts that affect wildlife conservation and rural livelihoods need to be informed by socio-economic and ecological research. This participatory and scientific approach to decision-making has the potential to contribute sustainability of livelihoods and wildlife conservation in Botswana.


Thursday, December 07, 2017

JRS Award to Develop a Low Cost Fisheries Monitoring Program for the Okavango Delta

 The JRS Biodiversity Foundation has announce  $180,900 grant to the University of Botswana Okavango Research Institute (ORI) to implement a pilot project to develop a scalable fisheries monitoring system in the Okavango Delta using low‐cost technology. Professor Keta Mosepele will lead the project.  

The Okavango Delta is a globally important freshwater wetland that supports a rich and diverse ecosystem in the otherwise arid southern African region. In addition to supporting unique flora and fauna, the ecosystem supports services ranging from crop irrigation to a growing tourism economy. Of particular importance is the Delta’s support of subsistence and small-scale commercial fisheries, which comprise the livelihoods of thousands of people.

Continue reading:

Friday, June 30, 2017

The Wildlife Techniques Manual, Volumes 1 & 2

Volume 1: Research.
Volume 2: Management

An outstanding resource on wildlife biology, conservation, and management. This comprehensive two-volume set provides detailed information on methods used in the field and laboratory.
Volume 1 focuses on research techniques.Volume 2 covers management methodologies. Topics include: experimental design, wildlife health and disease, capture techniques, population estimation, telemetry, vegetation analysis, conservation genetics, wildlife damage management, urban wildlife management, and habitat conservation planning.

A complete set of this book is available in the library.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Fisheries governance, management and marginalisation in developing countries: Insights from Botswana

 By Ketlhatlogile Mosepele  and Oluwatoyin Dare Kolawole


Globally, fish is a key source of food and nutrition security for all marginalized riparian communities. This is particularly so for Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Indeed, debates about power relations on fisheries governance underscore issues bordering on the quality of life and livelihood opportunities for marginalized, riparian communities. The fundamental problems impeding the ability of fisheries resources in a developing country like Botswana to contribute to food and nutrition security are governance issues and poorly-thought out management approaches. This study reviewed relevant literature and key informant interviews to elicit secondary and primary data on the management of the fisheries sector. Despite its middle income status, Botswana is still faced with food and nutrition insecurity. These can be ameliorated by increased supply of fish, especially to marginalised riparian communities. However, the fisheries sector is maligned in terms of access to human and financial resources. Governance of the sector is also misaligned between food production needs and conservation imperatives. Consequently, poor physical infrastructure (due to low government support and investment) has limited the optimal performance of the sector in enhancing people’ livelihoods. Key recommendations from this study include: (i) realigning fisheries legislation and governance, (ii) paradigm shift in management, (iii) increase funding for research and marketing, (iv) infrastructural development, (v) cultural shift in fish valuation, and (vi) participatory inclusion in decision-making. Ultimately, marginalisation can be reduced through devolution of power from the centre to the margins. This would contribute towards alleviating food and nutrition insecurity in the developing world.

 Continue reading:

Friday, June 16, 2017

Call for good and promising practices on the use of ICTs for Agriculture

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and the e-Agriculture Community of Practice (COP) are launching a call for good and promising practices on the use of ICTs for Agriculture.

The call aims at collecting lessons learned and recommendations of ICT for agriculture initiatives around the world and sharing them among the members and followers of the e-Agriculture Community of Practice and beyond.

The selected good and promising practices will be disseminated on the e-Agriculture platform and social media and will be part of an online FAO publication “Good Practices on the use of ICTs for Agriculture”.

A webinar on the topic of experience capitalization and good practices in ICTs in agriculture will be organized to provide the members of the COP and other interested participants with the necessary tools and methodology.

The webinar will be delivered in three languages (English/Spanish/French). Participants will have the opportunity to request methodological support from FAO and CTA via a dedicated forum page or via email (

Read more:

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


ORI library will from the 19th June to 28 July close late in the evenings . The extended opening hours are as follows:

Monday - Thursday #  7:45 - 20:00 hrs
Friday -                         Normal Opening
Saturday -                    10:00 - 16:30 hrs
Sunday                         10: 00 - 15:00 hrs

Please note that the library will be closed during public holidays.