Staff Profiles

Prof. Joseph Elizeri Mbaiwa

Prof JE Mbaiwa, Director-Okavango Research Institute, University of Botswana

Okavango Research Institute

Director & Professor of Tourism Studies

Location: ORI, 14
Phone: +267-681-7224
Email Prof. Joseph Elizeri Mbaiwa

  • PhD - Park, Recreation & Tourism Sciences, Texas A&M University, 2008
  • M.Sc - Environmental Science, University of Botswana (UB), 1999
  • PGCPM - Postgraduate Certificate in Project Management (BAC), 2018
  • PGDE -Postgraduate Diploma in Education - (UB), 1993
  • B.A. - Environmental Science

Prof Joseph E. Mbaiwa is the Director of the Okavango Research Institute (ORI), University of Botswana. His credentials also include: Professor of Tourism studies (2013 to present), Associate Professor of Tourism Studies (2010-13), Senior Research Scholar (2005-2010), Research Scholar (2000-2005). He has over 20 years’ experience in tourism and natural resource management research and consultancy experience in Botswana. He is widely published in areas of tourism development, rural livelihoods and biodiversity conservation issues with focus on the Okavango Delta Botswana.He has published over 150 publications including: 4 books, 63 journal articles, 42 book chapters, 22 referred conference proceedings, 11 technical reports, 32 consultancy reports and presented over 92 papers in international and national conferences. Prof Mbaiwa has supervised and graduated 15  Masters and PhD students. He was a taskforce member that prepared a proposal dossier that resulted in the listing of the Okavango Delta as the 1000th World Heritage Site. He is also a Board Member of the Botswana Tourism Organisation.

  • Tourism development
  • Environmental Management
  • Biodiversity Conservation
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Rural Livelihoods

Prof JE Mbaiwa was trained in Environmental Sciences, Natural Resource Management and Tourism Sciences. His research interests include: tourism development, rural livelihoods, community-based natural resource management, environmental management, natural resource use and biodiversity conservation. Prof Mbaiwa has used the Okavango Delta in Botswana as his study area hence he rhetorically describes the Okavango Delta as his "research laboratory". 

Prof JE Mbaiwa has supervised and graduated 16 Masters and PhD students in the following areas:

  • Tourism development
  • Rural livelihoods
  • Community-Based Natural Resource Management
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Environmental Management
  • Ecotourism


  • Mbaiwa, JE & Hambira, W.L. (2020) Enclaves and Shadow State tourism in the Okavango Delta, Botswana, South African Geographical Journal, 102:1, 1-21.
  • Kgathi, DL, Mosimanyana, E., Mbaiwa, JE, & Masamba, WL (Eds.) (2018). Ecosystem Services and Human Well-Being at Lake Ngami, Botswana, Nova Science Publishers, New York. 397pages. ISBN: 978-1-53613-988-4.
  • Mbaiwa, J. E. (2018). Effects of the safari hunting tourism ban on rural livelihoods and wildlife conservation in Northern Botswana. South African Geographical Journal, 100 (1):41-61.
  • Mbaiwa, J.E. (2015). Ecotourism in Botswana: 25 years later. Journal of Ecotourism, 14(2-3):204-222.
  • Mbaiwa, J.E. & Stronza, A.L. (2011). Changes in Resident Attitudes towards tourism development and conservation in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Journal of Environmental Management, 92(8): 1950-1959.
  • Mbaiwa, J.E. (2005). Enclave Tourism and its Socio-economic Impacts in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. Tourism Management, 26(2): 157-172.

In pursuit of academic excellence