Tongabezi Joins the Green Safaris Family
2019 was a big and in some ways 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 are officially part of the Green Safaris Family!
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.
These are values that our two beloved founders Benjamin Parker and William Ruck Keene in many ways pioneered in this part of the world, and these values are also the reason that Green Safaris was founded in the first place.
Not much will be changing on the ground at Tongabezi. The Parker family will still be living on-site and overseeing many aspects of the lodge but they will be able to take a step back and a much-needed breath. Vanessa will have time to steer the Tongabezi Trust School, which she has been desperate to do all year. Natasha Parker will continue to do marketing for Tongabezi (guess who is writing this right now?) and Tamara Parker, 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 sustainable lodge. We want our positive impact on the environment to be as powerful as our impact on the local Simonga and Mukuni community has 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, cutting back on plastic, or putting in air conditioning (although Ben was not a fan of that particular change).
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.
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.
Pleased head to the Tongabezi and Green Safaris websites for more information, or feel free to ask your usual Tongabezi or Green Safaris contact if you have any questions.
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.
Team Tongabezi (and now Green Safaris!)