Many companies spend thousands of their well-earned cash on sending their staff and clients on trips to a host of destinations that are used primarily as a reward for the value they may have contributed to an organization. In the case of staff, it is often in recognition of certain targets that they have achieved and value that has been created through innovations, cost savings initiatives etc.
Often, key members of the sales team are taken along to entertain their clients that have spent huge amounts of cash on the respective company’s products or services.
Traditionally sport has been the main focus of these excursions – world cup and tri-nations rugby , cricket tests and limited over internationals , grand prix events , golf tours , Hong Kong Sevens and many other sporting events across the globe . I have no doubt that these have been gratefully received by staff and customers alike , and do create some long lasting memories.
I certainly do get it but, having experienced many of these trips myself, the memories are often fueled by large amounts of alcohol intake and experiences that may not be shared at the next family get together!
Tropical Island breakaways probably still top the list whether it be Mauritius, Bali or one of the Portuguese Islands.
Great wild life destinations have become a popular option and many corporates are engaging in this as an alternative experience. In Southern Africa we have no shortage of offerings that will create an unbelievable memory in areas where the client or staff member may ordinarily not have the means to enjoy.
Before I share some options that I believe will create a more memorable experience, I would like to share what I believe the outcomes of a trip of this type should achieve.
Above all, an incentive trip should allow for new friendships to be made and existing relationships strengthened. I have no doubt that solid relationships , built largely on trust and understanding, are a huge factor in the ongoing success of a company.
This will certainly improve communication between people that, prior to enjoying each others company on a trip, may have been limited to emails , across the “great divide“ of a boardroom table, conference calls, telephonically via mobile or any of the host of tools that are available in the modern world.
Great communication and relationships between management will resonate throughout the entire company and assist in creating a positive culture that is a vital component in the ongoing and future success of organizations. Many of the excursions mentioned earlier do assist in developing this trait – but do they optimize the potential and give organisations value for the cost of the trip?
Would a unique experience assist in fostering greater relations and create an everlasting memory for the participant.
People also love to learn new skills and a trip with a photographic element may satisfy this need.
Having spent 30 years of my life in commerce and having experienced countless trips of this nature (excuse the pun!), I feel I am qualified to offer my thoughts on some of Wild Eye offerings that you may want to consider for your next trip.
1. Masai Mara Great Migration
This is undoubtedly one of the finest wildlife destinations in the world and the spectacle of the wildebeest and zebra crossing the Mara River in search of improved grazing is a joy to behold. Please excuse my bias, but in my opinion, this must be witnessed during the life of any person that has even the slightest semblance of appreciation for nature.
I have little doubt that the Wild Eye Mara camps will create an atmosphere that is conducive to great team building and will inspire all – from top executives to sales consultants – and valued clients will never forget the experience (and your organization!).
- The location of the Camp is ideally situated to maximize your experience .
- The authentic and well appointed tents are literally on the banks of the Mara River . The area is unfenced , and we have experienced a number of predators in the confines of the camp , which provides an experience that will be etched in ones memory for eternity . Several of our guests have witnessed huge wildebeest crossing from the comfort of camp .
- The camp can accommodate 12 guests , which creates an environment that will bond participants and build relationships like no other . There are not “ distractions “ that are often associated with hotels or resorts that sometimes may dilute the essence of what the company is trying to create .
This would undoubtedly lend itself to colleagues coming up with some great strategic thoughts!
2. Chobe River Safari – Live the Experience
During this experience, Wild Eye will accompany you on a trip to an exclusive lodge , Ichobezi , and houseboat that is situated on Impalila Island which is found on the confluence of the Zambezi and Chobe Rivers. These rivers support an impressive diversity of animal and bird species and the waters are home to the legendary tiger fish.
Hooking onto one of these fresh water game fish is an adrenaline rush of note and people from all over the globe visit this destination to experience this thrill. The Chobe Game Reserve is host to the Big Five and Wild Dog.
They are often witnessed from the boat, at close quarters , which gives people a unique view of these magnificent creatures.
- The lodge is luxurious and extremely comfortable with the rooms overlooking a series of rapids on the Zambezi River.
- Guided walks are conducted on the island which hosts many bird species that are endemic to the region. A pair of Pels Fishing Owls are currently nesting on the island!
- The Tiger fishing below the rapids is legendary . One of our guests recently landed an 8kg Tiger from the tender boat.
- The adventure will be 4 nights in total and will be limited to 6 guests.
- 2 nights will be spent at the Lodge and 2 nights will be spent on a house boat.
- The house boat travels deep into the Chobe National Park . The unique aspect of this offering is that Ichobezi is the only operator in the region that is permitted to dock on the Namibian side of the reserve . This allows for guests to experience the wonders of the Chobe is complete privacy . This seclusion is rare in any other great wilderness areas of Africa.
- There is a photographic boat that has been custom built and will allow guests to capture great images of their experience.
- A Wild Eye facilitator can be on hand to assist participants with their camera settings and the programme is specifically designed to support all levels of skill . A memorable journey with a learning experience . This will delight your clients and staff!
3. Madikwe Conservation and Photographic Safari
This safari is a great opportunity for Corporates assisting financially with the conservation of the Rhinos in the park and also enjoying the environment and photographing the many animals that inhabit this reserve. Madikwe is one of the best places in Southern Africa to witness and capture images of the threatened African Wild Dog. The safari will be based at the Tuningi Safari Lodge situated in the western sector of the park . Besides offering extreme comfort and luxury, they also boast a floodlit waterhole and the quantity of game that visits this water source is amazing.
- The adventure will combine conservation activities , photographic game drives or simply just sitting back and soaking up the beauty of this spectacular destination.
- The conservation activities may include some of the following : Immobilizing and notching of at least 4 black or white rhino
- Collaring of lion , buffalo , cheetah or hyena
- Immobilizing and branding of lions . Guests will be permitted to participate in the branding process and I can assure you , from experience , it is a real rush and unforgettable . Getting close up to all these animals in an experience that only a privileged few can recount.
- The safari will also be hosted by a member of Wild Eye who can provide tutorship on the art of wildlife photography so the participants will leave with a newly acquired skill.
4. Tuli Wilderness Experience
Now here is an experience for people that want to get off the beaten track and really put their team through their paces and leave with a real sense of camaraderie and unity. The experience will be led by one of the Wild Eye staff and a true “bush man!“ – Stuart Quinn .
He is a master tracker and his knowledge of the environment is awesome. The manner is which he shares his vast knowledge and experiences will captivate your team. The wilderness lends itself to many opportunities – the similarities between nature and business dynamics and how we can learn from them, tracking down predators (Lion, Cheetah and leopard) will certainly test the resolve of your teams and leadership qualities may emerge!
- The tented camp is situated on the banks of the Limpopo River which , especially in drier times , is the lifeblood for the animals and birds that share the Tuli.
- The experience will also include a “sleep out“ where the team will be situated in the middle of nowhere Just you, a pillow, sleeping bag, a fire and the stars keeping watch over you! …… OK Stuart will accompany us before it sounds too daunting.
- The members of the team will be required to do an hour of guard duty and , here , you are on your own . There is nothing better than enjoying the solace of midnight , experiencing the sounds of the bush and gazing endlessly into the milky way. One of life’s more memorable experiences.
So , when you are next planning a breakaway of sorts , stray from the norm and add some adventure and experience to the trip.
You will be amazed how it will bond your colleagues, foster improved communication amongst your staff and ensure that you are at the forefront of your clients minds in the decision making process!
Good luck for 2013 and ensure that your planner includes a trip with Wild Eye – we will Change the Way you see the World!
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