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2019 Annual Meeting: Botswana

2019 Annual Meeting: Botswana
2019 Annual Meeting: Botswana

We are excited to announce that our 18th Annual Network Meeting will take place from 28-30 April 2019 at Gaborone International Convention Centre (GICC) at The Grand Palm Resort in Botswana.

Download our online brochure for full details.

IATA reports that global air freight is growing at its fastest rate since 2010. Last year, Africa posted the strongest growth among all regions, up 24.8%, with Africa-Asia trade increasing by more than 64% following an increase in the number of direct flights between the continents and driven by ongoing foreign investment into Africa.

Despite Africa’s robust growth, there is still much untapped potential for exporters, importers and therefore freight forwarders. We want to provide the opportunity for UFO Members to understand, explore and secure business in this rapidly expanding marketplace.

We have an exciting schedule planned with special guests, a Game Drive and Bush Braai Dinner at Mokolodi Nature Reserve and a grand finale at a wonderful outdoor setting adjacent to a picturesque lake where a feast will be enjoyed whilst seated around a blazing bonfire under the African sky. Register here (strict deadline 12 April 2019)


Botswana is considered one of the safest and most stable countries in Africa. Botswana has a small population of 2.2 million; however, it has the potential to leverage its position in the region to serve as a gateway to the southern African market. Botswana is a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), a regional intergovernmental organization of fifteen African states. The SADC Trade Protocol provides each member state special treatment on import and export duties.

SUN 28 APRIL 2019 MON 29 APRIL 2019 TUE 30 APRIL 2019
18:00-19:00 Welcome Reception 09:30-16:00 1-2-1 Meetings 09:30-17:00 1-2-1 Meetings
19:00-22.00 Gala Dinner 17:00-22:00 Mokolodi Reserve 19:00-22:00 Dinner at Boma


Our first chance to meet will be on Sunday evening when we will gather to collect name badges, meet fellow delegates and enjoy a welcome drink before settling down for a spectacular Gala Dinner when we will be entertained by a traditional African band and dancers.


We look forward to announcing special guests for our Opening Session – watch this space! Plus… all delegates gain access to our online Meeting Manager system, so that private 20-minute business meetings can be arranged prior to arrival. During these important sessions, delegates highlight their specialist areas, discuss cross trade, existing and new business as well as information regarding their country’s regulations and requirements. These crucial meetings also provide an opportunity to share key import and export trade information.


We will start with welcome drinks at the Mokolodi Game Reserve Reception and then enjoy a one-hour game drive in a safari vehicle, followed by a Bush Braai consisting of marinated steak, chicken, boerewors, vegetarian sausages, vegetable lasagne, fresh homemade garlic bread, roast butternut, coleslaw, salad, chakalaka, desserts and finished off with coffee around an open fire. An extra special treat will be an added element of traditional Botswana fair with Ditshwene Traditional Dancers. The evening ends with a slow night drive back to the front gate and then return to the hotel via coach.


We will enjoy a spectacular finale to our special event with an exclusive group dinner at The Boma… a wonderful outdoor setting adjacent to a picturesque lake where a feast will be enjoyed whilst seated around a blazing bonfire under the African sky.


The Grand Palm Hotel Casino and Convention Resort contains two Peermont hotels with the following room rates:

  • Metcourt Inn Room Rates: Approx: BWP 1331.00 (USD 138) inc. Breakfast + Tourism Levy 10.00
  • Walmont Hotel Room Rates: Approx. BWP 3070.00 (USD 318) inc. Breakfast + Tourism Levy 10.00

The resort contains 4 restaurants; the Mokolwane Bistro, The Beef Baron Grill & Rib Room, Bai Sheng Asian Cuisine and FLAG Café. Additionally, the Fig Tree serves a selection of light meals and cocktails and is situated next to the hotel’s Olympic size pool. The Kalahari Bar has both non-smoking and smoking areas overlooking the lush gardens and offers a light snack menu, various cocktails and showcases live entertainment.


UFO recognises the importance of actively contributing to charitable causes and that a small effort from each Member can make a big impact to those in need. The UFO Foundation has raised over US $30,000 since it began (read more). During registration for our event, we are raising funds for Sentebale, a charity founded in 2006 by Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso, to support children and young people affected by HIV in southern Africa. Please click here for details.


To avoid connecting flights, we are organising a private coach transfer option from Johannesburg (OR Tambo Int Airport) at 10:00 on Sunday 28 April so that we can travel together to Gaborone whilst taking in the sights on the 4.5/5 hour journey. The cost is GBP 80 per person both ways including air conditioning , fridge, on-board toilet, reclining seats, undercarriage luggage storage compartment. The coach returns on Wednesday 1 May with a 10:00 departure from our hotel. Spaces are limited so early booking is essential.

Additionally, if you would rather take a connecting flight to Gaborone, the Grand Palm offers UFO Members complimentary airport transfer from Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (GBE) which is just 12km from the hotel. There are direct flights to Botswana from OR Tambo International Airport (JNB), Johannesburg and Cape Town International Airport (CPT). Please check Skyscanner or Expedia for flight options.


Botswana has an abundance of big African animals such as the elephant, giraffe, hippo, buffalo and zebra. Wild cats aren’t as prevalent, but there are still plenty of lions to spot. The rhino is also making a comeback. If you’re keen on seeing rarer animals, you can find endangered antelopes and African wild dogs in some of the country’s northern parks, whose water sources are more reliable than those of parks in the south.


April is a wonderful time to visit Gaborone! It is start of the dry season, with very little rain and an average temperature of 25.0°C (77°F). See Forecast.


A passport valid for at least six months and a return ticket is required for all foreign visitors. Citizens from most nationalities do not require a visa and can obtain get a 30-day entry permit on arrival. Entry requirements can change, so please refer to your local Botswana Embassy. Please note that we have made arrangements with the Botswana High Commission in London to gain assistance with visa applications for UFO Delegates of all nationalities. Please email us for details.


We aim to include as much in the Registration Fee as possible to keep each delegate's expenses to an absolute minimum. This year the fee of GB £650 per delegate includes all the following:

  • Welcome Reception & Gala Dinner (Sun)
  • Meeting Room Hire including AV Equipment (Mon & Tue)
  • Buffet Lunch including 1 natural juice, coffee and tea (Mon & Tue)
  • Bush Braai Dinner at Mokolodi Nature Reserve (Mon)
  • Group Dinner at The Boma (Tue)
  • Conference Bag & Administration
  • Access to Meeting Manager System
  • Event Photography

Delegates must be fully employed by a UFO Member either on a full or part-time basis and not employed by any other company. Breach of this condition will result in the immediate cancellation of attendance with no refund. Only fully paid registered delegates with conference lanyards are permitted to enter the meeting room.

The Spouse Fee of GB £160 only includes Gala Dinner (Sunday), Game Drive & Bush Braai (Monday) and Dinner at Boma (Tuesday). Please note that if your spouse intends to join you for lunch please arrange with the hotel directly in order to avoid any confusion or embarrassment.