Maun In Botswana Is The Gateway To The Okavango Delta – Must See

Maun is Botswana’s tourist capital. It is a busy center in the country and a real travel hub with daily flights from Gaborone, Victoria Falls, South Africa and Namibia.

The Delta is the main attraction in the region. Within few hours of travel from Maun, travellers can find themselves in the Okavango, Moremi Game Reserve and the Chobe-Zambezi Area.

The best time to go is during the winter months from May to October when there is little or no rainfall and the days are warm and cloudless. Nights can be cold though so take a jacket. November to April can be very hot, with most of the rainfall between December and February.

Maun has developed rapidly from its early days as a rural frontier town and has spread along the wide Thamalakane River. It now boasts shopping centres and 4-wheel drive vehicle hire. However, it retains a rural atmosphere and local tribesmen still bring their cattle here to sell. You will see antelopes grazing the river banks.

Maun, situated at the gateway to the Delta. Maun is the administrative centre of Ngamiland. It is also the headquarters of countless safari and air-charter operations whose signs and offices dot almost every intersection.

Since the town’s establishment in 1915 as the tribal capital of the Batawana people, Maun has had a rough and ready reputation as a hard-living ‘Wild West’ town servicing the local cattle ranching and hunting operations. But with the growth of the tourism industry and the completion of the tar road from Nata in the early 1990′s, Maun has developed rapidly, losing much of its old frontier town character. It is now home to over +- 30000 people.

Regular supplies of almost everything can be bought in Maun, and the town boasts several good shopping centres, filling stations, a choice of hotels and lodges. The Maun Airport, which was officially opened in 1996 after extensive renovations, is – if one counts the light aircraft charters to the various Delta camps – one of the busiest airports in Southern Africa.

The name Maun is derived from the San word “maung”, which means “the place of short reeds”. The village began in 1915 as the capital for the Tawana people. The capital was moved from Toteng after glorious victory over Ndebele King Lobengula.

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They Cared: The Story of Delta Air Lines and Katrina

As we watched the horrific pictures of the Katrina victims in various parts of the gulf, and in particular the sad and sometimes infuriating pictures of those stranded in New Orleans, it never occurred to me that there would be anything good we could see come out of this. Almost an entire city destroyed, countless lives lost, and other lives changed forever. And as I received word that we had family members involved in the nightmare, that belief seemed to be reinforced. But there was a beautiful light at the end of this dark tunnel.

The outpouring of help that came from this situation was something that one has to experience at least once in a lifetime to renew one’s faith in humanity. Family, friends, friends of friends, even strangers, rushed to the rescue of not only my family, but members of countless other families in the face of this tragedy. Our gratefulness cannot be measured and the gifts of love will always be treasured.

But there was one act of kindness that was definitely surprising…and welcomed! There were 17 members of the family who had lost virtually everything. Of that number, five members were stranded in Mississippi without any means of transportation. They had fled their homes with almost nothing but the clothes on their backs. We had to get them to San Diego to my sister DiAnna’s home where they could try to pull their lives together. We just had to find a way.

Money was pooled together, thanks to the kind assistance of many generous people. We thought about the bus, but that wouldn’t work. They were not running. Then, my hardworking sister discovered another route: Delta Air Lines. She discovered Delta was discounting their flights for Katrina victims trying to get to the safety of their families. Whatever they could do would have been welcomed and my wife Lisa and I were prepared to make up the difference. They just had to find transportation to Jackson, which was 90 minutes away.

To our comfort, the Delta representative–Margaret–was an angel. Delta was able to discount their normal ticket fee by over 85%! That was more than anyone could have reasonably expected! After all, Delta is a business and their primary concern, as all businesses should be, is with profit. Their job is to deliver the best service at a profit. But in a disaster, when the choice came down to lives versus making a profit, they chose lives in this situation. I was impressed and there is definitely a moral and business lesson to be learned from their choice.

There is an old business adage that every salesperson has heard in seminars, sales meetings, and training courses: People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. I don’t think I will ever hear that phrase again without thinking about the kindness shown to us by Delta Air Lines. Sometimes, you have to put profit aside–even if partly–when it is necessary to serve your customer. They will appreciate it and they will never forget it. Why? Because they know you care.

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Okavango Delta Botswana – The Ultimate Safari Experience

A year round destination for safari lovers, an Okavango Delta Safari has the abundant wildlife and scenic wetlands to make adventurous travelers want to stay and see more!

This outstanding river flows into northern Botswana and creates a huge oasis for Africa. It then stretches to reed beds, floodplains with palm-fringed islands. Here, you will find camps, competing against each other for the opportunity to wow their guests with world-class wildlife viewing extravaganzas. Each camp has its own character, attractions and professional guides.

Okavango is shaped like a splayed hand with its wrist featuring a narrow stretch area called Panhandle, in between the delta proper and Shakawe. A third of the delta is part of the Moremi Game Reserve, which is home to the Chief’s Island. The island is known for its 400 square miles of dry sand, and its mopane woodland that resembles a cathedral.

The other parts of the delta is occupied by a number of private reserves housing lodges and camps providing five-star accommodation and service. If you are staying with one of these camps, they will arrange all the safari adventures you desire. Some of the top game-driving areas include Chitabe, Vumbura and Duba Plains. Jao Island and Eagle Island are also favorite tourist destinations due to their diverse water-based activities, including memorable canoe trips.

Okavango Delta can be visited year round, but the best time to visit this amazing attraction is undeniably between June and August, as this is high water or flood season, giving you the best chance to watch animals migrate to the delta. The floods that occur in the delta during this time are usually not human life threatening; they instead fill the swamps, lagoons and floodplains, attracting animals like buffalo, elephants and hippopotamus. This dry winter period is also perfect for boating and canoe safaris. Consider exploring the delta in a traditional dugout canoe called mokoro. This special and unique canoe is usually poled along a gondolier so you don’t have to gather all your strength just to get to one place in the river. All you have to do is sit back and relax and watch Mother Nature at its best.

If you can’t visit from June to August, try to make it in September or October when the temperature is hot and dry and a huge number of animals tend to congregate on the fringes of the delta. These months also favor avid anglers as it is the season for the barbell run. If you have no idea what this event is all about, try to picture the river filled with shoals of barbel and tiger fish. At this time, Okavango becomes every fisherman’s dream!

The small Kalahari town of Maun has been the main gateway to Okavango for decades. Despite its size, it is considered the safari capital of the Delta. From Johannesburg, you can take a flight to the Maun Which takes only 90 minutes. Some tourists opt to take a light aircraft from Maun to fly into the delta. This is a fantastic way to see Okavango’s beautiful landscape. Most camps operating in the delta maintain their own landing strip. However, you also have the option to reach the delta by land via a five-hour drive on decent roads. Several mobile-camping safari operators offer that option.

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When Giving Service, Give It Cheerfully

Customer service — especially when it delivered both professionally and consistently — will beat price both as a customer retention and as a customer attraction tool just about every time.

But customer service is not always what its name would imply.

Like you, I observe many so-called service providers performing their day-to-day activities: store clerks, automobile service writers, airline ticket agents, airline gate agents, rental car agents, hotel desk clerks, all kinds of home service personnel such as plumbers and electricians, plus quite a few salespeople who claim to offer their customers outstanding customer service.

Even when I observe customer service being delivered, it’s frequently not delivered cheerfully.

“Well, yeah, we can get out there and pick it up, but we’re pretty busy right now. It’s Monday morning, you know. How big of a hurry are you in?”

“Sure, we can make the change, but it’s going to cost you an extra $100.”

After purchasing some new garage doors yesterday, I asked how soon they could be installed. The salesperson answered, “We’re in our busiest season, so we’re pretty backed up right now. If you wanted them installed fast, you should never order in the spring. I believe I can get an installer out there in a couple of weeks. Is that okay?”

#1 CUSTOMER SERVICE RULE: If you’re going to give service, give it cheerfully.

Here’s one I heard a few days ago when I called to place an online order, “All of our customer service personnel are busy right now, so please hold. If you hang up, you will lose your place in line. Please understand that your call is important to us, but we anticipate that you’ll be on hold for approximately 20 minutes.”

Returning from a mission trip to Mexico a few weeks ago, I met an elderly lady who had a four-hour layover in the Atlanta Airport. Being a seasoned traveler, I asked an airline agent if she had plenty of open seats on an earlier flight. She answered that the flight had plenty of open seats. I then asked her if she could help this lady out by booking her on that particular flight that left three hours earlier. The agent said, “Yes, I can do it, but it will cost her a $25 change fee.” To which the old lady quickly responded, “I can’t afford an extra $25, I’ll just wait the four hours for my flight.”

With a big smile on my face, I said to the agent, “I just thought you might be able to show this lady some old-fashioned Southern hospitality.”

The airline agent responded with a priceless statement that speaks volumes about some company’s attitudes toward customer service, “Mr. Lee, Delta Airlines no longer allows us to show Southern hospitality.”

Syndicated radio talk show host Clark Howard frequently refers to customer service departments as “customer NO-service.” Howard is referring, of course, to the poor service frequently offered from customer service personnel.

Almost everyone enjoys doing business with people that are cheerful, and almost no one enjoys doing business with a sourpuss. Granted, as customers, we have no choice sometimes, but as salespeople, customer NO-service is no way to grow your customer base. Customer NO-service is not an option.

Delta Airlines is hemorrhaging red ink, as are most airlines. Airlines desperately need more customers to cover their out-of-control operating expense levels. The Delta agent missed out on a golden opportunity to make a customer for life. All she would have had to do was say something like, “It would be Delta’s pleasure to help this nice lady out. Let me see your ticket and I’ll see what I can do.”

But, as the agent said, “We’re no longer allowed to give awesome service.”

MY PLEASURE is the correct response anytime customers make a reasonable request that you can accommodate.

Even if you render the service, but complain about it, you’re negating the gesture.

“We have a crew that’ll be on that job at 7 a.m. in the morning. Can you guarantee that you’ll have this material on the job so they can get started on time?”

WRONG ANSWER: “Well, I guess we can. I’ll have shift some deliveries around. Everyone seems to be looking for a ‘first out’ today, but yeah, I believe we can do it.”

RIGHT ANSWER: “It will be my pleasure to check it out for you. Let’s see here…yes, no problem, we’ll for sure have it out there no later than 7 a.m.

If you’re going to give service, give it cheerfully.

If you cannot give customers the level of service that they are asking for, try not to say NO, but rather, do your best to offer an alternative choice. Something like, “All of our trucks are committed for first thing tomorrow morning, but I could get the material out to your job late this afternoon. Would that work for you?”

CUSTOMER SERVICE RULES

1. SMILE when you are dealing with a customer. A smile indicates that you are enjoying your job as a salesperson and appreciate your customers’ business.

2. Use courteous words, such as, thank you, you’re welcome, it’s my pleasure, no problem, would you be kind enough to, yes sir, no sir, anything else we can help you with today, etc.

3. When you learn that you cannot live up to a customer service commitment, call the customer before the customer calls you.

4. Following a transaction, extend your hand and shake the customer’s hand as you say, “Thank you for your business.”

5. Occasionally, call your customer after the transaction is complete as a follow up. This is really great customer service.

6. Demonstrate humility. By showing that you’re vulnerable; that is, that you aren’t a “know it all,” you gain credibility with customers.

7. Double check facts and figures. Repeat them to the customer to make sure that you didn’t make a mistake.

8. Avoid wishful thinking. If there is something about your product or service that based on your experience the customer is likely to misunderstand, point it out even if it might cost you the order. It’s better to find out now than after the product is delivered or worse yet, installed.

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Service Dog Training For the Hunting Dog

So What Is Service Dog Training?

Many of the sporting breeds are used for service dog training. A service dog is generally an assistance dog who is trained to help people with a disability.

Many private organizations raise service dogs with the help of prison inmates or families as puppy-raisers. Puppies learn obedience and basic life skills (socialization) until they are old enough for specific training. Other people train their own dogs at home.

Some Breeds Of Hunting Dogs Make Good Assistance Dogs

In the U.S. the disabled and their service dogs are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which gives them equal access to anywhere the general public is allowed, such as restaurants, taxis, and aircraft, as well as provides protection for handlers living in places “pets” are generally not allowed.

“Canine Companions for Independence” is one organization that helps people in need of service dogs. They primarily use Golden Retrievers and Labradors for service dog training.

How Is A Therapy Dog Used?

Hunting dogs also excel at therapy dog training. Therapy dogs visit nursing home residents, people in hospitals, and children in schools. They are used for emotional support and for educational purposes. Therapy dogs cheer and comfort people.

Therapy dogs usually need to be certified before some places will accept them. Therapy Dogs International, Inc., and the Delta Society are two well-known therapy dog groups. They provide a great service. Dog training is often performed using volunteers.

Rescue Dog Training Can Mean The Difference Between Life and Death

* The sporting breeds are also superb when it comes to rescue dog training.

* Many of the best search and rescue dogs are sporting breeds.

* They are agile, athletic, intelligent and aware of the job that need to get done.

* The same good nose and sensitivity that works in the field can be put to good use when it comes to finding a missing person or a lost pet.

* Some of the SAR (search and rescue) dogs used following 9/11 were sporting breeds.

What is seeing eye dog training?

People everywhere identify Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers as preeminent seeing eye dogs. Guide Dogs for the Blind base their breeding program on Labs and Goldens, with a small number of Lab/Golden crosses because these breeds excel at their tasks and have the specific qualities needed for seeing eye dog training.
How Does hearing dog training Work?

Hunting dogs also make good hearing dogs for the deaf and hard of hearing. With training, these dogs alert their owners to a variety of household sounds such as a door knock or doorbell, alarm clock, oven buzzer, telephone, baby cry, or smoke alarm.

Dogs are trained to make physical contact and lead their deaf partners to the source of the sound.

Any breed can be trained to be a hearing dog as they are generally small to medium in size. Hearing dogs are identified by an orange collar and leash and/or vest. (Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans) is the oldest continuing hearing dog program in the country.

Assistance dog training covers dogs with service dog training, hearing dog training, and seeing eye dogs. Some dogs can even be taught to recognize the signs of an impending illness, such as an asthma attack, epilepsy or a diabetic emergency.

Many dogs perform lifesaving actions by alerting their owners or other family members to a medical emergency. Sporting dogs, with their sensitivity and their intelligence, have frequently saved lives with their service dog training.

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