Nestled within the Moremi Game Reserve lies Xigera Safari Lodge. Xigera's partnership with Wild Entrust Africa's (WEA) Community Coexistence Program shines as a beacon for northern Botswana's communities. This partnership isn't solely about conservation; it's about pathways out of poverty, providing education, and improving lives.  

At the heart of these efforts is the ‘Village Greens’ project, a thriving endeavour set against the backdrop of Habu Village. Habu Village is Xigera’s nearest local village; it is here that we have invested time and resources into developing projects with the community. This journey has had its challenges, wind-damaged solar panels cast doubts on success, but thankfully progress persisted. The village garden, once a mere single plot, now flourishes across two hectares, with every inch cultivated. Its productivity has surged, bearing the tangible fruits of the local people’s unwavering dedication. 

We have seen some distinct improvement in the productivity of the village garden in the first half of 2023, which we are eager to share. The first vegetable shipment to Xigera occurred on 4th August, and this marked a celebration of growth and collaboration. The SACREEE project, contributing new boreholes, solar pumps, shade nets, and fencing, played a key role.

The garden was officially handed over to the community on June 14th, marking a new beginning. The community now manages the garden entirely independently. Guided by WEA’s insights, the village can self-sufficiently tackle any remaining obstacles that the project may encounter. On June 27th, a consultant drafted a blueprint for the garden's future and series of management options supported by WEA's Enterprise Development Coordinator's insights now await the community's approval. 

Another narrative unfolds at Habu Primary School. The Village Kids project, designed to nurture knowledge and understanding, faced hurdles due to new educational rules from the Ministry of Education that requires a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for all external organisations engaging with schools, which is a measure to ‘establish sustainable cooperation between students and general assistance from external organisations’. After extensive consultations, WEA managed to receive endorsement from the Ministry of Education in April, which will be finalised in due course. In the meantime, WEA is collaborating with a UN Environmental Education Officer to create positive changes in the school, from clubs to Village Lights programs, setting the evolution of education in motion. 

The promises of coexistence and growth resonate throughout this story, as challenges were embraced and overcome. Xigera's initiatives bridge humanity and wildlife. The commitment showcased by Xigera Safari Lodge brings hope for brighter tomorrows in Habu and beyond. Just as the Botswana landscapes flourish under Xigera's care, the flame of possibility lights the path to a harmonious future.