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Teacher-Cum-Tour Guide's Risky Leap Reaps Rewards

KOKETSO KGOBOGE
The adoration of nature and adventure during school trips lured Benjamin Mogotsi, a teacher by profession, to realise his dream of becoming a tour guide.

Mogotsi left the profession to open Wild Guides and Tours, his own tour operating outfit .

A life changing experience ensued when andBeyond formerly known as CCAfrica, a luxury experiential travel company that makes exclusive safaris and tours in Africa and other continents, invited Plateau pupils where he was teaching to a trip into the Chobe National Park.

The trip sparked his hidden love for nature and even enrolled for a tour guide course in Maun, which he passed. Following graduation, Mogotsi doubled as a teacher and a volunteer assistant tour guide working in the park during weekends and school vacations.

“I was invited for the Disney Cultural Exchange Programme in the United States of America (USA), which I didn’t honour due to my permanent job. I decided to resign and went to USA and unfortunately when I returned it was not easy to penetrate the tourism industry,” he recalls.

According to Mogotsi, he then re-traced his steps back to teaching only to resign again as he wanted to follow his passion. He says he was forced to sell his personal car and replace it

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with a seven-seater car, which was suitable for his transportation business. He transported tourists to different tourism attraction areas around Kasane, Victoria Falls and Namibia.

“Before year-end I bought another seven-seater car and had companies that relied on my services in Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe,” he reveals.

Currenlty Mogotsi, who has a staff complement of 13, has a fleet of eight seven-seater cars and two game-drive vehicles. His company also provides overnights in the park, arranges annual tours into the park and boat cruises in the delta.

 “We have just completed building the lodge in Lesoma and it has started operating. We are working towards our dream and we are nowhere close,” says Mogotsi.

He admits quitting a sustainable job was a risk, but he says his new engagement is worthwhile. He says even though the business is doing well, he remains a tour guide at heart.

Mogotsi says he pays tribute to the day his primary school teaching job introduced him to the country’s pristine flora and fauna though his adoration for natural things and adventure overwhelmed him and ceased his teaching career.



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