October 2014 – In an amicable agreement between both parties, Wilderness Safaris has sold its stake in Wilderness Safaris Malawi to long-time partners Chris and Pam Badger who are now the sole owners.
Chris and Pam joined Wilderness Safaris in Botswana in 1986. After several years running expeditions across the Okavango and Chobe ecosystems, they exported both themselves and the Wilderness model further afield to Malawi. In the intervening 20 years they have created an exceptional collection of lodges in Malawi’s most magnificent areas – from the Shire River lowlands of Liwonde National Park, to the languid shores of Lake Malawi and the biodiversity and unique scenic splendour of the Nyika Plateau in the north of the country. Even more importantly, they have demonstrated an inherent commitment to ecotourism in its most admirable form through their extensive community and conservation work.
“The sale of our share in the business allows Chris and Pam the latitude to continue their pioneering ecotourism model in this delightful south-central African country”, says Wilderness Safaris CEO, Keith Vincent. “Of course, we’re going to miss them and Chris’s impromptu harmonica sessions, but expect plenty of nostalgic catch ups at the various trade shows around the world.” This is a sentiment echoed by Chris: “Since 1986 we have been privileged to have worked and grown with the company and its unique group of people and places, always having a lot of fun and regarding our employment more as a quest than a job! We look forward to our shared commitments to conservation, community and service growing even stronger and to sharing some exciting new developments with our partners in 2015.”
The new company has been rebranded as Central African Wilderness Safaris with the borassus palm silhouettes in the logo representing the distinctive fringing vegetation of the Shire River, where it all began in the early 1990s.
Other than the shareholding, and the evolution in visual identity, there are no dramatic changes foreseen. According to Keith Vincent, “Wilderness Safaris remains a major supporter and supplier of this new company and continues to work jointly with the Badgers in implementing Children in the Wilderness programmes across the country. Likewise, the Wilderness Wildlife Trust remains a committed supporter of rhino conservation and other work being done under the umbrella of CAWS and we wish the Badgers every success in their next Malawi chapter.”