Wilderness Safaris has decided to rebrand Rocktail in the Maputaland Coastal Forest in KwaZulu Natal, after more than 25 years of managing and operating it.

From the end of May, Rocktail will join Gugulesizwe Dive Camp and Gugulesizwe Research Camp is falling with the tourism portfolio of Maputaland Travel.

Although Wilderness Safaris retains ownership in a continued partnership with the local Mpukane Community, this rebranding will allow a revision of the business model for this joint venture in a way the company believes will further enhance the local community and conservation impact.

“Wilderness Safaris first invested in Rocktail Bay as long ago as 1993. It was at Rocktail that we pioneered some of our initial community partnership models. It was through Rocktail that we won our first Tourism for Tomorrow Award in 1999. And it is at Rocktail that we will be evolving and innovating our long-running partnership with the Mpukane Community into something beyond Wilderness Safaris,” says Wilderness Safaris CEO, Keith Vincent.

The location of the lodge, the primary clientele, the guest experience and the nature of the joint venture partnership, are such that some changes will be made to the booking process. While Wilderness Safaris will continue to own, promote, and book Rocktail as an associated product, Maputaland Travel will launch an online booking portal to streamline the booking process. Relationships with long-standing travel trade supporters will equally be strengthened and streamlined.

Maputaland Travel is staffed by the same people who have represented Wilderness Safaris for the last 25 years and thus there is strong continuity in both the operation of the lodge, and the community partnership.

Patrick Boddam-Whetham from Maputaland Travel says: “We will ensure that all the underlying philosophies and practices that have underpinned Wilderness Safaris’ involvement in Rocktail will be continued. We also look forward to giving Rocktail the individual sales and marketing attention it requires in order to increase business to this remarkable region and to continuously evolve our guest offering so that Rocktail remains one of South Africa’s premier diving destinations and ultimate beach getaways.”