Another year (almost) done and dusted. As much as December is a time for giving and celebrating, it is also a time for reflection, acceptance and looking ahead. As you reflect on 2017 as a whole, would you say it was a good year? Did you meet your goals, tick off a few bucket list items, connect with your tribe and explore new horizons?
Take comfort in the fact that no year is perfect. They all have their ups and downs, victories and defeats, smiles and tears, and of course wisdom and inexperience. As you ponder the last 365 days of your life, we hope that the good far outweighs the bad and that your year has been filled with love, laughter, learnings and lasting memories. And remember, every new year is a chance to start over, so take a moment to simply inhale the future and exhale the past.
Here are some of our happiest, proudest and most favourite moments of 2017…
1. A story of hope
Rhinos Without Borders translocated and safely released an additional 40 rhino from South Africa to Botswana (the largest translocation we have ever undertaken). With 77 endangered rhino now moved to safety, we are within close reach of our overall target.
Image © David Murray.
2. A positive impact
Although we have been fully committed to caring for the land, wildlife and people for more than 25 years, this year marked the official launch of our first-ever impact review and we’re thrilled to finally share it with the world.
3. New lodge luxury
Why not treat yourself to the ultimate and unashamed luxury of staying in a brand new lodge? Here are the plans and creative inspiration behind some of our most talked about new lodges for 2018 (as well as a look back at our two grand openings of 2017).
4. Leave a light footprint
The first system of its kind in Botswana and only the second on the African continent, &Beyond Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp’s state-of-the-art off-grid electrical microgrid incorporates a solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant and a Tesla Powerpack battery energy storage system (BESS).
5. The definition of greatness
Our annual &Beyond Bateleur Awards celebrate &Beyonders that are paying it forward by nature. This year’s incredibly talented, selfless and hard-working finalists all embody exactly what it is to be an &Beyonder and they truly deserve the recognition.
6. Care of the people
2017 marked an important milestone for our long-time community development partner, Africa Foundation. To celebrate its 25-year anniversary, the Foundation launched the inaugural Africa Foundation Robin James Award in honour of one of its original trustees.
7. A new discovery
This year we celebrated the exciting discovery of a brand new species and it’s all thanks to &Beyond Private Guide Daryl Dell and his insatiable quest for knowledge and love of all creatures, great and small.
Image © Daryl Dell.
8. Mother Nature’s blooper reel
Back by popular demand, our recurring blog of funny wildlife photos continues to make readers smile. This three-part collection of wildlife funnies is living proof that Mother Nature has a wicked sense of humour.
Image © Andy Biggs.
9. Give, move, learn
2017 marked the official launch of &Beyond Life, an in-house health & wellness programme aimed at improving the lives of our staff. It educates and inspires &Beyonders to take charge of their own wellbeing and take the necessary steps toward living healthy and fulfilling lives.
10. You are stronger than you think
Courage comes in all shapes and sizes. This personal journey of bravery and sheer determination epitomises the human spirit and the undeniable power of positive thinking.