Welcome to Baobab Holiday Resort
Greetings is a very powerful tool in this context of the business.
AN INTERVIEW WITH….Baobab Holiday Resort
Tell us a brief background about your business.
I have always harboured ambitions of doing something for Africa, but could not figure out what it really was. I have always wished to make a difference in people’s lives in a special and unique way that no one else has done to a targeted community. It has been difficult to identify one such project and particularly that type of targeted group which I have always envisioned that would feed into my dreams. As I believe that tourism includes cultural exchanges, I discovered that the Malawian culture could easily be forgotten as modernity and urbanization creeps in. I found Salima, and particularly Chipoka, to be the best place to market the culture and as well as impact the community. It was fulfilling to realize that the community were equally excited about the concept. So we agreed with the community that cultural festivities will be the mainstay of the project.
What do you love about the hospitality industry?
Hospitality, as the name says, is about healing, relaxing and recuperating from busy schedules. It feels good to see people relaxing and especially being I provide that facility. It also creates a sense of connection and belonging. The community develops the sense of feeling of not being left behind.
Who inspires you in the hospitality industry?
I have been inspired by most hotel staff where I have stayed for longer than three days across the globe. Usually, I get the sense of a place being hospitable the first day I check-in. Several times, I have left the hotels or holiday places the same day or the next day and demanded my money back because of the negative attitude by the staff. So, where I have stayed for longer than three days, has all inspired me.
What are three tools you couldn’t do your business without and why?
Business is about relationships. I could not do without getting ideas from other people, but without necessarily duplicating them but blending them with my original dream of contributing to the social, cultural and economic development of our continent.
I would not have come this far without the support of Chipoka community, the women and the youth, including the traditional leaders in Chipoka, They have embraced the project as their own and they are so proud and protective of the project.
What is your secret to success in the hospitality industry?
The secret to success in the hospitality industry is to meet the aspirations of all guests by blending all cultures more importantly the African culture for which people travel from different places to experience. Guests should feel the uniqueness to go back and tell a story about one’s place.
Greetings is a very powerful tool in this context of business. Saying hello to the guests and checking if their needs are being met and requesting feedback periodically are key to success.
Connecting to the media can tell stories of the experiences of the guests in a way that attracts others to come and experience the same.
What is the moment that you are most proud of?
The moment I put my dream of developing a lodge on to paper as a plan, gave me a great sense of achievement. I am very proud to start something at the local level where everybody can have space for communal engagement. Involvement of the youth and women in the hospitality industry and seeing them acquire new skills and economic independence- meeting community aspirations is my pride. For example, right from the start, some women have been able to buy blankets and pots, and send their children to school with little money that they received from the project. This small contribution makes me proud that we as the community are mutually benefiting from each other.
Is there anyone you would like to say thank you to?
The local community and traditional chiefs, the government of Malawi and the relevant government ministries have been very supportive, including the Salima Local Government in providing guidance.
What are your future plans?
Our future plans are to host daily events and provide a decent nightlife ranging from dinner on the houseboat to cultural exhibitions and introduce jazz nights. We also plan to introduce speed boat races and other water competitions. We plan to sell Baobab Tree products, too.
How can people find you?
You can find Baobab Holiday Resort, in Salima, Chipoka, Nazareth, a few meters away from Chipoka police post and the clinic. WhatsApp +265991330791 for details.
Online you find us www.baobab.holiday.resortchipoka.