We are an interdisciplinary research center, focusing on geology, biology, anthropology. We do not belong to one University. We are on the North East border of the Okavango Delta where few research has been undertaken. To provide scientists from all over the world a facility to fullfill fieldwork research in the area.
The idea is for a scientist to collect data during the day and then to share his input with colleagues in the evening when he is back at the Research center.
One can collect samples around the Research center in a range of 1 to 3 kilometers on foot, or between 3 to 50km by 4by4 cars in a day, or in a range of 100Km by jeep on a two day excursion, or even fly with a little Cessna plane at a distance of 200km.
The aim was to build a facility, which will enable scientist from all over the world to come and do some fieldwork in the Okavango region. I got in partnership with a long time friend of mine, Mrs Rita Ridge from Maun, with whom we have acquired a nice piece of land of 25 hectares in the Chobe enclave where we have build the Research center. For more info see attached the land situation and main area description. This center is called the " Van Thuyne Ridge Research Center ". This center is equipped with one main house, one master house, 5 bungalows of 3, 2 and one room enabling a total of 18 beds to welcome scientists. Their is two laboratories, a geological lab and a biological lab and a computer room. We have a telescope and the center is equipped with the latest best Wifi, satellite dish, internet connection etc...we are using mainly local material for the construction, and we have the latest technology in solar panels backed up by a generator to provide us all the necessary energy.
The idea is to receive students, graduates, professors etc from different countries, we have a gentleman agreements with the Universities of Lausanne, Geneva, Basel, Zurich, the University of Botswana, and with the Universities of Sterkfontain and Wittwatersrand in South Africa to send scientists. We concentrate on three field of research: geology, paleoanthropology and ecology. Partnerships, agreements and funds are all handled in Switzerland. Sleeping accommodations, breakfast, lunches and diner is provided, cleaning and washing services are available, bar is open daily. Plane, boat, 4x4, guide are there if necessary. A responsible person is always there to welcome guests, explain the functioning of the labs, guide scientists to the area and explain dangers, risks and all related aspect of the region.
The goal is to receive scientist from different horizon and create an interdisciplinary environment, where people can go out for the day, collect data, information, samples etc...and then bring these back to the center and share knowledge and thoughts between each other. The interesting aspect of the facility is the diversity of material to study which is available in the area, the instruments at disposal to analyze the material and last but not least the conviviality, the openness of the center and the concept of exchanging ideas. People can come here, finish writing a thesis, start thinking about a new one, share and exchange thoughts on many different problematics. Any university student or university degree holder can check the center website to make an application for a stay and use the lab facility. He must mention his scientific aim, provide a copy of his degree or his university affiliation and mention the dates he was thinking of coming. Interested yet ? Apply now.
This center serves as a base for research purposes, it accommodate high tech electronic equipment to enables scientists from Botswana and abroad to carry out their research. This facility is not a commercial place, we do not receive tourist, it is a non profit research center at the disposal of scientists only. We emphasize environmental educational work with local students, and encourage scientists from Botswana, teachers and students in the region, as well as other centers such as the Okavango Research Institute to visit and make use of our facility. We are looking forward to collaborate with other national and international institutes. We are operational since June 1 2014.