Dear Tongabezi Friends,
2019 was a big and at first devastating year for the Tongabezi Team, so we are beyond excited to let you know that one of Ben Parker’s personal visions for Tongabezi is finally coming to pass:
We’re getting engaged if you will. Since we’re coming on thirty this June (thirty!), it seems like the perfect time to commit ourselves to a family with the same passion and values that Tongabezi has always had: a belief in conservation, in positively impacting the local community, and that a magical experience for guests ought to be based on people as much as it is on luxury and beauty.
Not much will be changing on the ground at Tongabezi actually!
The Parker family will still be living on-site, overseeing many aspects of the lodge, and ensuring a personal connection to Tongabezi’s history for guests who visit us. But they will be able to take a step back and a much-needed breath. Ben’s wife Vanessa will have time to steer the Tongabezi Trust School again, which she has desperately missed for the last year.
Ben’s daughter Natasha will continue to do the marketing for Tongabezi (guess who is writing this right now?) and Tamara, the youngest Parker girl, might even have a chance to photograph a few of the other gorgeous Green Safaris Properties. She’s getting pretty good, be sure to check out her photos here.
Rudy Boribon has been the General Manager at Tongabezi for 14 years and this is not going to change either. In fact, he is going to be expanding his role and is particularly excited for the chance to share and receive wisdom from the other Green Safaris Managers.
The biggest change will be that Green Safaris will enable Tongabezi to achieve a goal that we have been aiming at for a very long time.
Thanks to Green Safaris’ endless passion for sustainability, we will have the support, the knowledge, and the drive needed to move Tongabezi towards being a truly eco-lodge. We want our positive impact on the environment to create as much of a positive change as our efforts in the local Simonga and Mukuni communities have been.
Tongabezi has never been a place to stand still in time, Ben always had too much energy for that and his urge for constant growth has seeped into even our floorboards. We are eternally changing, learning, and adapting to the needs of our wonderful guests, whether this means building a gym and second pool, cutting back on plastic, or putting in air conditioning (although Ben was not a fan of that particular change).
We have plans to build a whole new House and to make it as environmentally sustainable as possible from the ground up. We also want to focus on our power sources, and who better to help us with this than Green Safaris, who designed and built the first E-Landy and have fully solar-powered safari boats.
So who is Green Safaris?
Green Safaris is a leader in sustainable hospitality and tourism, pioneering Silent Safaris with its electric vehicles in Zambia and Malawi’s most beautiful natural areas.
A few ago Ben realised that Green Safaris might just be the perfect means for Tongabezi to take another wonderful step forward, but also for him to take a small step back. In this way, although he didn’t know it at the time, Ben was safeguarding the Tongabezi legacy as he always did.
The Tongabezi Legacy
Becoming a part of the Green Safaris Family means that the Tongabezi Team will still be the Tongabezi Team, but now they’ll be able to draw on a greater community of similar-minded people for training, ideas, and support. What is most important, the legacy, people, and personality of Tongabezi is guaranteed for years of guests to come.
We will be moving into this next stage with all of the joy and sense of adventure that has defined our story since we opened in 1990, and we (the Green Safaris and Tongabezi Family) can’t wait to share our next chapter with you.
PS If you have any questions, our reservations and marketing team will be more than happy to answer them! Please do contact your closest marketing representative, and otherwise send an email to our lovely reservations team at firstname.lastname@example.org and they will ensure that your question reaches the person most able to help.