Appointed in September 2019, Neuman Vasco is the new Wilderness Botswana Mombo Operations Manager, bringing with him a decade of outstanding conservation, sustainability and camp management experience. A high-energy self-starter, Neuman’s dedication and ambition has seen him grow from a trainee management position to successfully running a number of Wilderness camps.
Neuman’s interest in tourism goes back to his childhood growing up in a village close to the Okavango Delta, where his innate passion for the wilderness and wildlife was born. Whether it was on the family farm, driving through the most remote areas of Botswana in a Magirus Duetz 6x6 truck or enjoying quality time with friends and family, the wilderness has always been home to Neuman, allowing him to appreciate the need for its conservation from an early age.
At the age of twelve he already knew he would become a safari camp manager, so after high school Neuman completed his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa, with a double major in Geographical & Environmental Sciences, and Tourism.
"Our flagship camp has always been a tremendously popular safari destination in Africa, and I plan to keep it this way, through our ongoing conservation of the area’s rich biodiversity.
His career took off at Wilderness Jao Camp where he was appointed trainee manager; five years later Neuman attained his goal of becoming the camp’s General Manager. Since then, he has managed eight Wilderness Botswana camps and also been involved in camp decommissioning, rebuilds and openings.
Over the years, Neuman has expanded his knowledge on back-of-house and front-of-house camp operations in order to understand their importance and reliance on each other. Also a qualified guide, he acts as a host guide for agents, and assists the guiding team when necessary.
Wilderness conservation-driven purpose to inspire positive action has become Neuman’s personal mantra. As he says, “In all my years at Wilderness , I had never seen rhino roaming freely in the wilds of Botswana until 2018! Without the company’s determination to conserve and restore Africa’s wilderness and wildlife, this sighting would have remained a dream for me. This is my foremost ‘reason to believe’. I have seen a vision realised for Botswana’s wildlife, and I am honoured to manage the area where it all began”.
In his new role managing undoubtedly one of Africa’s best wildlife and ecotourism destinations, Neuman will oversee the efficient operation and management of the camps so they continue to uphold Wilderness Safaris’ 4Cs sustainability ethos of Commerce, Community, Culture and Conservation. He will be at the forefront of Mombo’s Botswana safari activities and sustainability initiatives, ensuring that the guest experience is maximised.
Neuman is currently also the Kalahari Plains Concession Manager, as well as Relief Manager for other Botswana Concessions, including Abu, Kwedi and the Linyanti Wildlife Reserve. In addition, his keen interest in photography led him to being appointed Wilderness Safaris Botswana representative for the company’s visionary Olympus partnership.
Mombo, Botswana’s legendary “Place of Plenty”, has an important story to tell, and Neuman is eager to share this in the most effective ways possible. “Our flagship camp has always been a tremendously popular safari destination in Africa, and I plan to keep it this way, through our ongoing conservation of the area’s rich biodiversity”, concludes Neuman.
We are thrilled to announce that Neuman Vasco, Wilderness Operations and Concession Manager for Mombo and Kalahari Plains, has been shortlisted in the Rise Africa category in the We Are Africa Innovations Awards 2020. The Rise Africa category recognises those up and coming young stars making a mark in the African travel industry, the travel blazers in ecotourism.
"It is an honour and privilege to be part of change, not only in Botswana, but throughout Africa. This award ascertains that the future of the industry really is in our hands and it is imperative to stay motivated and remember why we do what we do. I am truly humbled.
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