Ker & Downey Botswana’s history can be traced back to East Africa at the end of the Second World War. In 1945, just as the Second World War was coming to an end, two East African professional hunters decided to combine their skills and venture into business together. Donald Ker and Syd Downey subsequently founded Ker & Downey Safaris, a Kenyan operation which soon became one of Africa’s foremost safari outfitters.

In 1962 Harry Selby (a renowned professional hunter made famous in Robert Ruarkʼs safari novels) became a Director and the company was renamed Ker Downey & Selby Safaris. The outlook for Kenyan hunting safaris was bleak at this time, and the trio sought pastures new. The company expanded its operations into Botswana and Ker Downey & Selby Botswana was born.

The Botswana government had granted concession areas to the original safari pioneers, in order for them to conduct safaris on a similar scale to those in East Africa. In 1968 Ker Downey & Selby Botswana opened up Botswana’s first ever photographic safari lodge, Khwai River Lodge. The company soon became instrumental in developing photographic safaris in areas previously restricted to hunting, including Mombo, Khwai, Xugana, Kwara and Pom Pom.

In 1975 the hunting season was reduced by three months, a move which severely impacted the profitability of the hunting business. Safari South, a successful African safari hunting company, investigated photographic safaris as a means of maintaining operations. Safari South finally purchased Ker Downey & Selby Botswana in 1978, a merger which created the largest safari company in Botswana. Safari South continued to conduct hunting safaris while the Ker Downey & Selby Botswana purely operated photographic safaris.

In 1993, Harry Selby resigned as a Director and the company became Ker & Downey Botswana, to correspond with operations in Tanzania and Nepal which also fell under the Ker & Downey Group. One year later, as a result of huge changes in the Botswana government’s land use and concession size policy, Safari South sold its entire photographic operation, and by 1996 Ker & Downey Botswana was operating independently.

The 1997 season saw the securing of the Shinde concession, and in 1998 the company created Footsteps Across The Delta, a walking safari operating out of Shinde. Footsteps provides a unique chance to experience a taste of the original East African safari which had been brought to Botswana thirty years before.

By 1998 Ker & Downey Botswana had acquired Okuti in the Xakanaxa region of Moremi Game Reserve, and in 2000 Kanana was introduced to the portfolio, situated in the southwest of the Okavango Delta on the Xudum River.

Ker & Downey Botswana became a part of the Chobe Holdings Group (a 100 % Botswana owned company) in 2009.

Dinaka is the latest of camps to be acquired by Ker & Downey Botswana and due for opening in March 2018. An exclusive private reserve hugging the northern edge of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Dinaka is host to one of the most unique biodiversities in Southern Africa. This ever-changing desert landscape gives refuge to the Kalahari lion, springbok, Oryx and brown hyena.

Today the company continues to evolve and develop, offering guests a safari experience drawn from over 55 years of operations in Botswana. The Ker & Downey Botswana portfolio covers an incredibly broad range of habitats to ensure each guest has the safari of a lifetime, each and every time they visit.