Page 1

Namibia TRAVEL NEWS

VOLUME 27 No 6 | SPECIAL EDITION 2020

DISCOVER

Wild Namibia

How to be a green traveller

Local

FOODS TO TRY

VISIT NAMIBIA'S

The most

extraordinary NAMIBIAN EXPERIENCES

lesser-known places

www.travelnewsnamibia.com


THE

WINDHOEK COLLECTION

www.thewindhoek.com | www.hillsidewindhoek.com | www.thestellenboschwinebar.com | www.tastingroom.com.na | www.namwine.com


Namibia is the land of contrast. With Journeys Namibia you can experience this diverse land at your own pace. We offer a portfolio of uniquely located lodges, situated near Namibia’s great attractions. Feel at home and enjoy every moment of your adventure with us.

With a strong focus on eco-tourism, our lodges and experiences also benefit the communities within which they are located. Our partnerships with communal conservancies ensures that tourism benefits both conservation and the people who call the land home.

Immerse yourself in the wilds of Namibia with our selection of epic adventures and activities. Hiking, biking, canoeing, rhino tracking and so much more. Create your active journey and lasting memories with us.

Auas Safari Lodge | Fish River Lodge | Grootberg Lodge | Hoada Campsite | Hobatere Lodge | Shipwreck Lodge

+264 61 228 104 | www.journeysnamibia.com


ABOUT VENTURE

VENTURE MEDIA Venture Media is the pioneer of Namibia tourism promotion. We are the leader in spreading the tourism word around the world. We distribute accurate, credible, up to date and regular tourism-related information on paper, in social media, on the World Wide Web, and on mobile apps. We have reached hundreds of thousands over more than two decades. Be part of our community and let’s do it together.

MAGAZINES BY VENTURE MEDIA NAMIBIA TRADE DIRECTORY 2019/20

A Manufacturing Basket filled with Opportunities...

NETWORK

THE GREEN ECONOMY

2019/20

A review of Namibian Trade and Industry Vo l 2 8

TRAVEL NEWS NAMIBIA is a high-quality glossy Namibia travel and lifestyle magazine tasked with promoting Namibia to the world. Travel News Namibia is published quarterly in English and annually in German. The NAMIBIA HOLIDAY & TRAVEL is an annual tourism directory with over 200 pages of updated information on the country, regions, people, activities and wildlife. The NAMIBIA TRADE NETWORK is an annual trade and industry portfolio and is the pillar of information dissemination to the private sector and the promotion of foreign investment.

WE'RE A SOCIAL BUNCH

Travel News Namibia PO Box 21593, Windhoek, Namibia Tel +264 (0)61 383 450 www.travelnewsnamibia.com

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WWW.TRAVELNEWSNAMIBIA.COM

Publisher Venture Publications Pty Ltd Managing Editor Riéth van Schalkwyk Production Manager Elzanne McCulloch Design & Layout Liza de Klerk Public Relations Janine van der Merwe Editor Christina Rockstroh Content Elzanne McCulloch, Nina van Zyl, Le Roux van Schalkwyk Print John Meinert Printing, Windhoek Cover photo Elzanne McCulloch


EDITOR’S LETTER

YOUR JOURNEY BEGINS HERE

C

BE INSPIRED BY NAMIBIA’S MOST EXTR AORDINARY EXPERIENCES

ongratulations for choosing Namibia as your next travel destination.

In the world today, with the myriad of options presented in the most tantalising way, it is quite a compliment for Namibia, tucked away in the far south-western corner of the African continent, to grab your attention. We have to thank the pro-active team at the Namibia Tourism Board office in Frankfurt for spreading the Namibian tourism message so effectively all over Western Europe and the United Kingdom. Now that you have taken the first step to contact the NTB office and then receiving this special edition of Travel News Namibia upon request, it is our honour to introduce you to Namibia and help you choose the type of holiday that suits your purse and your personality. Whether you are an adventure seeker or a green traveller, an independent off the beaten track kind of being, a nature lover or a people person - Namibia has it all. You just need to know where to find it. To make your search in this magazine easier, we inspire you with 8 equally important

destinations, all of them spectacularly scenic, beautiful and photogenic. But unless you have months to spend in this desert country, it will be wise to read our teams’ short informative pieces and lists, look at the images and make your pick. You may find something that you did not expect at all. As tourists in this day and age we have an obligation to be aware of the impact of our decisions as to where, with what and how to travel. In Namibia we make it easier for you to feel good about your contribution to the improvement of the lives of ordinary Namibians who make a living from tourism. The fact that you acknowledge the different cultures by engaging in local tours or local festivals, honour their heritage and encourage Namibians from the 14 different ethnic groups to treasure their customs and share it with visitors, gives them the incentive to be authentic in what they show you and share. In many parts of the country, rural Namibians live with wildlife and watch over wilderness areas and wild places for the sake of protecting biodiversity, which has been lost in many developed places globally. Visit those protected places here, but appreciate the fact that without these

custodians, there would be no wild animals roaming freely on unfenced land. Tourists are explorers and we want to encourage you to try local food and try experiences that can only be found in Namibia. Whatever your route, you will encounter some of them along the way. There are many secret spots that you may not stumble upon, especially on your first trip, but we have unlocked and listed some for you. As a first-timer we will not blame you for wanting to experience all of the famous Namibian highlights, but keep in mind that this country is vast and distances are formidable. Don’t make your wishlist too long. It may be much more rewarding to be aware of the obvious. Don’t miss the beautiful sunsets and the crisp early mornings with birdsong wherever you are. A spectacular dark night sky with brilliant stars or a yellow moon growing or waning is waiting for you at every destination. All you have to do is look up. Namibia is ready to beguile you.

Rièth van Schalkwyk

TRAVEL NEWS NAMIBIA SPECIAL EDITION 2020

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This can be your

Naturally Namibia story

‘Naturally Namibia’ brings together the country’s leading safari families to provide a journey of unforgettable experiences. We offer thoughtfully considered safaris through exceptional landscapes with time to appreciate the best of Namibia’s independent lodges. We are owner-run and all the partners are involved in every aspect of our safaris.

www.naturallynamibia.com

Am Weinberg Boutique Hotel Big Sky Lodges Okonjima and AfriCat The Mushara Collection Ongava Private Game Reserve Villa Margherita Namib Sky Balloon Safaris Skeleton Coast Safaris


Our wealth of exper ience and in- depth k nowledge of the incredibly diver se par ts of Namibia and its neighbor ing countr ies ena bles us to offer up mar ket tailor-made guided fly-in safar is , special interest group or self dr ive tour s .

w w w.profilenamibia.com PO Box 24119, Windhoek , Namibia, Tel: +264 61 253992/7, Fax +264 61 225326, tour s@profilenamibia.com

LAND OF CONTRASTS AND SWEEPING VISTAS

info@namibiacarrental.com Office: +264 61 249239 Mobile: +264 81 122 2500

TRAVEL NEWS NAMIBIA SPECIAL EDITION 2020

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Nina van Zyl

6

WWW.TRAVELNEWSNAMIBIA.COM


2020 CONTENTS

3

EDITORIAL

8

OUR FEATURED SPOTS ON THE NAMIBIAN MAP

10

MESSAGE FROM THE NAMIBIAN TOURISM BOARD

12

FAST FACTS ON NAMIBIA

16

DESTINATION: Etosha and the Central North

20

Wild things to see

26

DESTINATION: Kaokoland and the wild Northwest

30

10 Experiences you will only find in Namibia

35

Local Foods

36

DESTINATION: The Coast

40

Favourite eateries

42

Coffee lovers have it good

44

DESTINATION: Damaraland and the rugged surrounds

48

Special Spots

56

Local Brews and distilleries

58

DESTINATION: Deep South

62

How to be a green traveller

66

DESTINATION: Northeast

70

DESTINATION: Central

75

Why you need to take a local tour

76

DESTINATION: Sossusvlei and the Namib-Naukluft

80

9 most Instagrammable places in Namibia


3 6 Kaokoland

Etosha and the Central North

7 4 11

5 6

Damaraland

5

16 5

The Coast

9

2 4 7 9 11 17 13 8 14

1 3 5 6 8 9 10 18

2

Central

12 Sossusvlei

1 4 7 3

3

1 1

2 10

The South

4

These positions are a general indication. For more precise locations visit our website at www.travelnewsnamibia.com.

15

8

2

7


NAVIGATION MAP

ZAMBEZI REGION

6 The Northeast

10

8 9

9

RESTAURANTS, COFFEE SPOTS, BREWERIES & DISTILLERIES RESTAURANTS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Joe’s Beerhouse The Tug The Wine Bar The Brewer & Butcher The Stellenbosch Wine Bar and Bistro Pepata Restaurant Brauhaus

See on page 40

COFFEE SPOTS

8. Deluxe Coffeeworks 9. Slowtown Coffee Roasters 10. The Stellenbosch Market 11. Two Beards Coffee Roasters 12. Conny’s Restaurant

10 EXPERIENCES YOU'LL ONLY FIND IN NAMIBIA

LOCAL BREWS AND DISTILLERIES

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

See on page 56

See on page 30

See on page 42

13. Stillhouse Atlantic 14. Copper and Coal Distillery 15. Naute Kristall Distillery 16. Erongo Mountain Winery 17. Namib Dunes Craft Brewery 18. Roof Beers

SPECIAL SPOTS 1. NamibRand Nature Reserve 2. Kanaan Desert Retreat 3. Gondwana Namib Park 4. Hoanib Valley 5. Etendeka Valley 6. Epupa Falls 7. Khaudum National Park 8. Mudumu National Park 9. Nkasa Rupara National Park 10. Bwabwata National Park 11. Skeleton Coast National Park See on page 48

Balloon trip over the Namib Visit the Bogenfels rock arch Visit the iconic Deadvlei Wander the ghost town of Kolmanskop Wonder at the enigma of the White Lady Take a photo with the world’s largest meteorite Be amazed by the Fish River Canyon Sandwich Harbour: Where the dunes and the ocean meet. 9. Do the Welwitschia Drive 10. Play where the giants roamed

MOST INSTAGRAMMABLE SPOTS IN NAMIBIA 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Namib Desert Luxury lodges Epupa Falls Hot-air balloon over the Namib Rock Arch at the Spitzkoppe Zambezi River & Carmine Bee-eaters Deadvlei Kolmanskop Sunset on a northeastern river

See on page 80

TRAVEL NEWS NAMIBIA SPECIAL EDITION 2020

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Anja Denker

Dear Friends of Namibia,

N

amibia is becoming ever more popular with travellers. In recent years visitors from all over the world have travelled to the land of vastness. No wonder, Namibia is one of the most diverse countries in Africa: breathtaking landscapes, intense colours, an abundance of animals and plants and the extraordinary mixture of African culture and European influences make Namibia an ideal destination for independent holidaymakers, animal lovers and those looking for activity or nature.

population lives there. Tourism is still in its infancy, which makes the Owambo experience all the more authentic. Goats, donkeys and cattle block the traffic, small food stalls line the roadsides and lively markets sell mopane worms, bright pink garments and Kalahari salt.

The unique dune formations of the Namib, the red sands of the Kalahari, the green river landscapes in the northeast, the rough Atlantic coast, gravel plains, rugged canyons and untamed savannahs – all this is Namibia. But there is more. Because Namibia is huge, about three times bigger than Britain. And new adventures await everywhere.

The harbour town of Lüderitz in the south, on the other hand, is quite placid. With its colourful Art Nouveau buildings it is still reminiscent of the time when Namibia experienced a diamond rush. Did you know that Halifax Island, a small rocky outcrop off the coast of Lüderitz, is home to the country’s only penguin colony? Halifax is part of the Penguin Islands, a group of more than 20 small islands. As the name suggests, the black and white tuxedo birds are more than comfortable there. Although elsewhere the numbers of African penguins are shrinking due to overfishing of coastal waters, the Namibian population is stable.

Have you been to the Owambo region north of Etosha National Park yet? Also known as the "Four O Region", it is the most densely populated part of the country. About half of the total

A greater variety of animals can only be seen in Etosha National Park? Far from it. Namibia's secret wildlife paradise is its northeastern corner. Four large rivers – the Okavango, Kwando,

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Xenia Ivanhoff-Erb

Annabelle Venter

MESSAGE FROM NTB

Zambezi and Chobe – criss-cross the region and make it a haven for animals, including hundreds of bird species. Huge elephant herds graze on the riverbanks, hippos inhabit the quiet side arms and rare antelope species hide in the dense vegetation. Off the beaten track Namibia still has some surprises in store that we do not want to keep back from you. This issue of Travel News Namibia is dedicated to our favourite country’s secrets, small and large. Meet people of different cultures, discover exciting small towns, breath-taking views, hidden animal paradises and adventures that are often overlooked. No doubt you have come across Namibia in your everyday life as well – on television, in the newspaper, on your favourite blog or at the till after shopping. Thanks to the wide coverage of our media and marketing co-operations we are generating positive attention for the travel destination Namibia on all platforms. We also work closely with strong brands from relevant industries to conduct innovative marketing campaigns. However, this would not be possible without the excellent and longstanding cooperation

with our partners in the travel industry in Europe and at home in Namibia. This is an opportunity for a big thank you for your continuous support!

Yours sincerely,

Maureen Posthuma Head: Marketing (Global) Namibia Tourism Board

TRAVEL NEWS NAMIBIA SPECIAL EDITION 2020

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CURRENT PRESIDENT: Hage Geingob

Secular state

Multiparty parliament Democratic Division of power between constitution executive, freedom of religion legislature and

90%

Christian

judiciary

Freedom of the press/media

ECONOMY MAIN SECTORS:

Mining, fishing, tourism and agriculture

BIGGEST EMPLOYER:

46%

Agriculture

MONEY MINING: MATTERS

FASTEST-GROWING SECTOR: Tourism Diamonds, uranium, copper, lead, zinc, magnesium, cadmium, arsenic, pyrites, silver, gold, lithium minerals, dimension stones (granite, marble, blue sodalite) and many semiprecious stones

CURRENCY:

The Namibia Dollar (N$) is fixed to and on par with the SA Rand. The South African Rand is also legal tender. Foreign currency, international Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Diners Club credit cards are accepted.

TAX AND CUSTOMS

All goods and services are priced to include value-added 15% tax of 15%. Visitors may reclaim VAT.

ENQUIRIES: Ministry of Finance

Tel (+264 61) 23 0773 in Windhoek

TRANSPORT

Public transport is NOT available to all tourist destinations in Namibia. There are bus services from Windhoek to Swakopmund as well as Cape Town/Johannesburg/Vic Falls. Namibia’s main railway line runs from the South African border, connecting Windhoek to Swakopmund in the west and Tsumeb in the north. There is an extensive network of international and regional flights from Windhoek and domestic charters to all destinations.

17%

NATURE RESERVES:

of surface area

HIGHEST MOUNTAIN: Brandberg OTHER PROMINENT MOUNTAINS: Spitzkoppe, Moltkeblick, Gamsberg PERENNIAL RIVERS: Orange, Kunene, Okavango, Zambezi and Kwando/Linyanti/Chobe

EPHEMERAL RIVERS:

Numerous, including Fish, Kuiseb, Swakop and Ugab

FLORA

LIVING FOSSIL PLANT:

BIG GAME:

Elephant, lion, rhino, buffalo, cheetah, leopard, giraffe antelope species mammal species (14 endemic)

reptile species frog species bird species

ENDEMIC BIRDS including Herero Chat, Rockrunner, Damara Tern, Monteiro’s Hornbill and Dune Lark

DRINKING WATER Most tap water is purified and safe to drink. Visitors should exercise caution in rural areas.

TIME ZONES

GMT + 2 hours

ELECTRICITY 220 volts AC, 50hz, with outlets for round three-pin type plugs

www.travelnewsnamibia.com

37,000 km gravel

HARBOURS:

Walvis Bay, Lüderitz

MAIN AIRPORTS: Hosea Kutako International Airport, airstrips Eros Airport

46

RAIL NETWORK: 2,382 km

narrow gauge

TELECOMMUNICATIONS:

lines per

Welwitschia mirabilis

20 240 250 50 676

5,450 km tarred

6.2 telephone

200 ENDEMIC 14 vegetation zones plant species 120 100+ species species of lichen of trees

PHYSICAL

CAPITAL: Windhoek

INDEPENDENCE: 21 March 1990

ENVIRONMENT INFRASTRUCTURE ROADS:

100 inhabitants

MOBILE COMMUNICATION SYSTEM: GSM agreements with

Direct-dialling facilities to

221 countries

117 countries / 255 networks

INFRASTRUCTURE

SOCIAL

824,268 km²

FAUNA

GENERAL

SURFACE AREA:

13,650 people 4 medical doctor per

privately run hospitals in Windhoek with intensive-care units

Medical practitioners (world standard) 24-hour medical emergency services

POPULATION

2.5 million 400 000 inhabitants in Windhoek (15% of total)

ADULT LITERACY RATE:

85%

DENSITY: 2.2 per km²

OFFICIAL LANGUAGE:

English

14 regions 13 ethnic cultures 16 languages and dialects POPULATION GROWTH RATE:

2.6%

EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS:

over 1,700 schools, various vocational and tertiary institutions

FOREIGN REPRESENTATION More than 50 countries have Namibian consular or embassy representation in Windhoek.


Namibia at its best. Ondili Maeumbo originates from the Ovambo language and means: I am at home. Feel yourself at home. At home in Africa, the cradle of humankind. In five of Namibia's most impressive landscapes the Kalahari, the Namib, the Erongo Mountains, the northern Damaraland, the Etosha Region - and in the capital Windhoek our hospitality awaits you. Within the infinite vastness of Namibia's bizarre landscapes you can experience the comfort and convenience of modern lodges. Inspired by the deep love of African nature, we offer our guests a unique experience. At every lodge Ondili offers characteristic short to multi-day activities to make your visit a most memorable experience.

Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge

Teufelskrallen Lodge

Desert Homestead Lodge

Desert Homestead Outpost

KALAHARI

KALAHARI

NAMIB - SOSSUSVLEI

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Twyfelfontein Adventure Camp

Etosha Oberland Outpost

Ti Melen

ERONGO - DAMARALAND

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ETOSHA

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where your

adventure begins

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info@ascocarhire.com www.ascocarhire.com

Tel +264 64 46 4144 Fax +264 64 46 4155 info@eningulodge.com www.eningulodge.com

...space and tranquillity; creativity, style, art and inspiration; fine food and good company…

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F ind t he

Extraordinary in t he ord inar y We design and create personalized, detailed and tailor-made itineraries suiting your individual needs and wishes. We specialize in guided tours and safaris, luxury fly-in safaris, nature adventures, romantic getaways and incredible wildlife encounters. We invite you to experience the exceptional destinations in sun-filled Namibia, the wilderness of Botswana and the secrets of the vivacious Victoria Falls. Location: Shipwreck Lodge (JN) Photographer: Shawn Van Eeden

T: +264 61 228 101

T: +264 61 223 699 /+264 81 472 3070

E: info@desertair.com.na

E: safaris@desertair.com.na

www.desertair.com.na

a truly exceptional experience

www.desertairsafaris.com


ETOSHA

Annabelle Venter

AND THE CENTR AL NORTH

P

rides of lion, prancing springbuck, unabashedly-staring kudu and the grey ghosts that are the elephants. Undoubtedly Namibia’s most popular tourist attraction, Etosha National Park is the heart of the north-central region. In it's centre is the largest salt pan in Africa that can even be seen from space. Etosha owes its unique landscape to the Pan, a vast, shallow chalky-white depression of approximately 5000 km2 that forms the heart of the park. Once a large inland lake fed by rivers from the north and east, it dried up 120 million years ago as continental drift changed the slope of the land and the course of the tributaries. What we call Etosha today was proclaimed as Game Reserve No 2 in 1907 by the then German Governor Friedrich von Lindequist. With subsequent additions it became the largest game reserve in the world, covering a vast area of ±80 000 km2. For political considerations its size was progressively diminished, until by 1975 it had been reduced by 77 per cent to

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its present surface area of 22 912 km2. Nevertheless, it is still one of the largest game reserves in Africa. Of the 114 mammal species found in the park, several are rare and endangered, such as black rhino and cheetah, and the lesser-known blackfaced impala, which is endemic to north-western Namibia and south-western Angola. Etosha’s current population of black rhino represents one of the largest populations of black rhino in the world. A series of waterholes along the southern edge of the pan guarantee rewarding and often spectacular game viewing. From camping-only at Olifantsrus to other lodgings inside the park, there is an even greater variety of accommodation options outside the park. The park is the ultimate stopover before heading on to the arid northwest, the verdant northeast, or even the surrounding culturally-rich land of the Aawambo people. The jewel in Namibia's crown will most likely forever remain one of the most famous and favourite national parks in Africa.


Elzanne McCulloch Elzanne McCulloch Anja Denker

FEATURES

Etosha was first proclaimed a game reserve in 1907

Today’s Etosha National Park spans across 22 912 km²

The Etosha Pan covers 23% of the surface area of the park

It is the largest saltpan in Africa, visible even from space

The park hosts 114 mammal species and 340 bird species

The park is home to large herds of elephant, special and rare species such as black rhino and prides of lion, as well as healthy populations of other big carnivores such a leopard, cheetah and hyena.

TRAVEL NEWS NAMIBIA SPECIAL EDITION 2020

17


OUR ETOSHA RESORTS

SOME OF OUR PRIZED POSSESSIONS

ONKOSHI RESORT

HALALI RESORT

OLIFANTSRUS CAMP

 +264 855 502 342  +264 67 687 362

 +264 67 229 400  +264 67 229 400

 +264 65 685 809  +264 65 685 885

OVERVIEW

L

DISCOVER

ocated in seclusion, on the rim of the majestic Etosha Salt Pan and far away from the public self-drive routes, Onkoshi provides a beautiful escape within the Etosha National Park. The 15 freestanding chalets (30 beds) overlook the vast pan, which is home to a variety of exotic wildlife, including a crowd of pink flamingos and 4 of the big 5 game in the rainy season.

The unobstructed panoramic sunrises and sunsets are spectacular sights to behold. At night, the stars fill the vast open African sky, allowing for sensational stargazing opportunities.

OVERVIEW

OVERVIEW

H

L

Some of the most popular waterholes of the park are located in close proximity to Halali, and the floodlit waterhole at the camp is an attraction to both wildlife and the visitors seeking to spot it. The guided morning, afternoon, and night game drives arranged at the resort provide flexible opportunities to see the wildlife.

The campsites take a maximum of 8 pax per site. There are braai facilities for campers and flat bases to make fire. The camp opens at sunrise and closes at sunset as per the general park regulations and day visitors are only allowed to use the picnic facilities up until 16h00.

OKAUKUEJO RESORT

DOLOMITE RESORT

 +264 67 229 800  +264 67 229 852

 +264 65 685 119  +264 65 685 116

OVERVIEW

OVERVIEW

aLaLi Resort is situated at the base of a dolomite hill, nestled amongst shady Mopane trees in Namibia’s legendary Etosha National Park. The thick vegetation in the area makes it a popular draw to leopards, rhinos and elephants.

ocated in the western part of the Etosha National Park between the Okaukuejo and Dolomite Resorts, Olifantsrus Campsite is a camping-only facility, there are no chalets available here. The facility has 10 campsites with 5 power stands whereby two campsites are sharing at one stand.

ACROSS THIS LAND OF ENDLESS HORIZONS

NAMUTONI RESORT  +264 67 229 300  +264 67 229 306 OVERVIEW

Let Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) offer you a new

B

uiLt into an old German Historic Fort built in 1897, Namutoni Resort is the perfect setting for a cultural adventure African savannah. It is located in the eastern part of the Etosha National Park in close proximity to the Fisher’s Pan – a hotspot for birders.

The romantic fort overlooks the flood-lit King Nehale Waterhole from which visitors can enjoy views of wildlife without leaving the resort. The swimming pool and bar offer moments to relax and socialize.

of the Etosha National Park, is famous for its floodthe western region of Etosha National Park, rich in biodiversity o D perspective. With 21 resorts across Namibia we have due to the absence of mainstream tourism. The dolomite formations lit waterhole, where visitors can observe at close quarkaukuejo ,

located 17 km from the southern entrance

oLomite

Resort is located in a previously restricted scenic area in

ters a spectacle of wildlife congregating and interacting.

in the area give the resort its name and provide a lush vista. With no

Accommodation is provided to suit every need, in premier

the resort and provide excellent photography opportunities. Black

something for everyone, including the children. From less than 15 waterholes, wildlife sightings are very common around bush chalets overlooking the waterhole; bush for chalets and douWhite Rhinoin haveyou often been at the Klippan waterhole. camping to hiking trails the thrilland seeker orspotted when ble rooms; or family chalets. Other facilities include a restauMoreover, the specially arranged game drives bring you to the most

bar, shop, swimming pool, kiosk and camping facilities. of the park, generally only known to conservationists. allrant,you need is a breakaway f rom theexclusive big areas city monotony.

BOOK ON THE GO Our app has been reimagined from the ground up so you can get a little more from it. You can now make and pay for your bookings while on the go. View our resorts and camps even when you are offline. NamLeisure Card applications can also be made right from the app. Download it now for your iOS and Android device.  www.nwr.com.na/app

+264 61 285 7200

www.nwr.com.na

+264 61 22 4900


ETOSHA AND THE CENTRAL NORTH

activities &

ADVENTURES Stay over in a traditional village at the Ongula Village Homestead Lodge

Indulge in birding in Etosha National Park and the surrounding areas

Self-drive through Etosha National Park, Namibia's most famous wildlife spot, or enjoy a guided game drive on one of the neighbouring private nature reserves.

Nina van Zyl

Pale Chanting Goshawk

Annelien Robberts

Learn about life in the northern regions at the Nakambale Museum

Nina van Zyl

Elzanne McCulloch

Guests enjoy a private game drive on Ongava Game Reserve, which neighbours Etosha.

TRAVEL NEWS NAMIBIA SPECIAL EDITION 2020

19


African Jacana in Bwabwata National Park

Gerhard Thirion

Annabelle Venter

Elzanne McCulloch

Leopard in Etosha National Park

WILD THINGS

I The endangered black rhino

Gemsbok

TO SEE IN NAMIBIA

Gerhard Thirion

’ve often come across the concept of Namibia being the ‘last frontier’ or ‘last true wilderness’. It peaks the interest, does it not? And in so many respects these phrases are true. Namibia really is home to some of the last truly wild corners of Africa. Special places where man’s destructive and encroaching reach has not yet penetrated. Wild places for wild things to thrive. And even beyond these strongholds there exist sanctuaries and reserves for wildlife to roam, protected from “civilisation” and its consequences. Namibia is a wild place, and a wildlife-lover’s utopia.

Elephant calves playing at a waterhole in Etosha National Park

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Annabelle Venter

Matthew Walters

Gerhard Thirion

Bat-eared fox


Annabelle Venter

The jewel in the crown Blue Crane

Matthew Walters

Let’s start with one of the most acclaimed and famed wildlife reserves in Africa - Etosha National Park. For more than a century, Etosha has been a beacon of conservation. With an abundance of species and vegetation zones, an astounding variety of wildlife is found here. Etosha is home to the Big Four (elephant, rhino, leopard and lion), as well as other big numbers. There are 642 species of terrestrial vertebrates. Lions, leopard, cheetah, hyena, jackal, African wildcat and other predators prowl the fertile hunting grounds of the savannas surrounding the Etosha Pan. Enormous herds of plains antelope, giraffe and elephant roam across its reaches. It is safari heaven. 16 species of amphibians are found in the park, or under the park rather, as they live underground for most of the year. Etosha even has its own endemic lizard, the Etosha agama (Agama etoschae). There is also the giant tree skink, which can reach over 20 cm in length. For twitchers the park offers 61% of Namibia’s 644 bird species. The Kori Bustard population is the highest recorded globally. Other species of international concern include the Blue Crane, which has a special breeding ground around the Andoni plain waterhole in the east. During the rainy season, when the pan is filled with water, birds descend on it in droves, including over one million flamingos that have made the trek from Walvis Bay on the coast to breed in the pan.

TRAVEL NEWS NAMIBIA SPECIAL EDITION 2020

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Green Wood Hoopoe

African Wild Dog Paul van Schalkwyk

Probably one of the least tamed corners of the country, the northeast boasts four national parks, each of which is home to an abundance of fauna. In Khaudum, Bwabwata, Mudumu and Nkasa Rupara national parks you will find species that do not occur anywhere else in the country. Hippo, sable antelope, roan antelope, lechwe, sitatunga, bush buck, African buffalo and many more. Carnivores, including African wild dogs, thrive on a large variety of prey in the lush bush savannah. The area is part of KAZA, the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area. This, the largest conservation area of its kind globally, is a stronghold for tens of thousands of elephants that migrate through the five member states - Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Angola. Watch in awe as elephants cross deep border rivers, their trunks raised like snorkels above the water’s surface. It is also, quite obviously, a paradise for birders, with over 450 bird species recorded here.

Pompie Burger

The Lush Northeast

Untamed Kunene

Elzanne McCulloch

Elzanne McCulloch

The rugged terrain of this north-western region is home to a variety of specially-adapted species of mammals. Surviving against all odds in seemingly impossible terrain and climates, these creatures have adapted to thrive with little to no ‘luxuries’ of easy-living. Desert-adapted elephant, rhino, giraffe and lion are rare and wonderful sights to behold on a safari through the region. Go on a tracking experience on foot, or join a special game drive with experienced guides for the best opportunities to explore the wildlife of the region. There, elephants have learnt how to preserve trees by not stripping their bark, so that the trees may live longer. They walk for hundreds of kilometres for water and can survive on much less than their counterparts in other parts of the country. The region is also home to the largest free-roaming population of black rhinoceros in the world. Further west, along the Skeleton Coast, the now famous desert lions roam. They are no different from other lions in Namibia, but have adapted their hunting skills to their harsh surroundings. Brown hyena also roam the tumultuous shores of the Atlantic coastline and feed off prey such as seals, of which there are thousands in colonies all along the coastline.


WILD THINGS TO SEE Pangolin

Shy and Nocturnal species to spot

Honey Badger

Rare, Endangered and Endemic to Namibia

*Interesting fact: Mistakenly referred to as oryx, Namibia’s gemsbok is a distinct species of the genus oryx, but is only found in the drier regions of the subcontinent. Though the name oryx is commonly used to refer to our gemsbok, it is in fact not completely correct. Many oryx, only one gemsbok. (Also not to be confused with the small Alpine antelope of the same name in German.)

Pompie Burger

Special species to spot in Namibia because they are rare, endemic – or both – include: 1. Desert-adapted black rhino in the northwestern Kunene Region 2. Black-faced impala in Etosha and surrounds 3. Dune Lark, the only truly endemic Namibian bird, in the Namib Desert, or Namib-Naukluft National Park 4. Hartmann’s mountain zebra in the central parts, Etosha and the northwest 5. Gemsbok*, Namibia’s national animal, throughout the country

Dune Lark

Hartmann’s mountain zebra

Elzanne McCulloch

Matthew Walters

Elzanne McCulloch

Nocturnal, agile and downright sneaky, here is a list of five mammals you are not too likely to see on safari. But they are here in Namibia, so keep your eyes peeled. Pangolin – The only mammal wholly covered in scales, for protection against predators. When threatened, pangolins will curl into a tight ball and use their sharp-scaled tails to defend themselves. They are currently the world’s most trafficked mammal. Brown hyena – One of Africa’s rarest large carnivores, they occur throughout Namibia but are most commonly found in the Namib Desert along the coastline. Aardvark – A nocturnal mammal that spends its days in cool underground burrows dug with its powerful feet and claws. Aardvarks can dig into the rock-hard clay of termite mounds to get to their meal of choice – termites. Bat-eared Fox – This small mammal is known for its enormous ears (which can be over 13 centimetres long). These foxes are insectivores, with termites making up 80% of their diets. Honey Badger – Pound for pound, this small yet tenacious carnivore has a reputation for being the most fearless animal in Africa.

TRAVEL NEWS NAMIBIA SPECIAL EDITION 2020

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KAOKOLAND

AND THE WILD NORTHWEST

Epupa Falls


K

aokoland lures lovers of remote and wild places. Extending south from the Kunene River across a sparsely populated and harsh environment down to the Hoanib River, the area is home to the semi-nomadic Himba people. The rugged terrain tempts drivers who come to put their four-wheel-drive vehicles to the test as they negotiate challenging routes such as Van Zyl's pass. Other travellers hope to see the desert-adapted elephants, visit the impressive Epupa Falls, go to off-the-beatentrack destinations such as the expansive Marienfluss and Hartmann valleys, experience the wild and beautiful Khowarib Schlucht, and visit historic Witbooisdrift, site of a Dorslandtrekker monument.

Henri Slabbert

FEATURES

The region hosts one of the largest waterfalls in Africa

It is the stamping ground of the world-famous desert-adapted elephant

The semi-nomadic Himba call this arid land home

The area is a geological wonderland

It has off-the-beaten-track destinations aplenty

Gerhard Thirion

Desert-adapted elephant

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Our journeys change lives

Desert Rhino Camp

Pioneering conservation coalitions in north-west Namibia since 2003, and a proud runner-up of the Namibia Responsible Tourism Awards.

www.wilderness-safaris.com


KAOKOLAND

activities & •

Track desert-adapted elephant and rhino with a qualified guide

Visit a Himba settlement

Take a dramatic sunset photo at Epupa Falls

Camp on the banks of the Kunene River

Take your 4×4 and tackle a proper off-road challenge

Enjoy the abundance of bird-watching opportunities

See if you can spot one of the mysterious Lone Men rock sculptures hidden throughout the region

Anja Denker

Elzanne McCulloch

Elzanne McCulloch

Anja Denker

Elzanne McCulloch

ADVENTURES

Namibia is home to the largest free-roaming population of black rhino in the world.

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Le Roux van Schalkwyk

Xenia Ivanhoff-Erb Paul van Schalkwyk

10

EXPERIENCES

E

Le Roux van Schalkwyk

Elzanne McCulloch

xperiencing Namibia is a lot more than just seeing the sights and getting a quick photo to post to Instagram and prove to the world that you've been there. It is about experiencing the warmth of the people, the wide open spaces and beautiful sunsets. With this in mind, there are some experiences unique to Namibia. Here are ten of them:

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Xenia Ivanhoff-Erb

YOU'LL ONLY FIND IN NAMIBIA


1

BALLOON TRIP OVER THE NAMIB

Elzanne McCulloch

Peacefully float over the oldest desert in the world in a hot-air balloon as the early morning sun transforms the Namib landscape with different hues of red and orange. Allow the desert vista of mountains, dunes and huge plains to take your breath away while you try to fathom the beauty of this harsh country. Keep an eye out for the mysterious fairy circles that are dotted across the desert grasslands as the crisp morning air pushes the balloon across the ever-changing scenery.

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VISIT THE BOGENFELS ROCK ARCH

Paul van Schalkwyk

Sign up for a day trip deep into the heart of the Sperrgebiet, the restricted diamond area that surrounds LĂźderitz, and visit the impressive Bogenfels rock arch (55 m high). Carved out over centuries by the rough seas below, it resembles a bridge that takes you from the mainland into the unknown of the cold Atlantic Ocean. Seeing the colossal rock arch in real life is truly impressive as photographs cannot capture its sheer size.

VISIT THE ICONIC DEADVLEI One of the most photographed places in Namibia and with good reason: Deadvlei close to Sossusvlei is any photographers dream. Deadvlei was formed centuries ago when the flood waters of the Tsauchab River created ideal conditions for camel thorn trees to grow. The changing climate then killed the trees, leaving a white pan surrounded by dunes and the ghost-like remains of the dead tree trunks. The contrast of the stark white pan, the dark shapes of the trees, the red dunes and blue sky has tourists flock to Deadvlei all year round.

Paul van Schalkwyk

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Nina van Zyl

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BE AMAZED BY THE FISH RIVER CANYON

Le Roux van Schalkwyk

4

WONDER AT THE ENIGMA OF THE WHITE LADY Discovered in the Brandberg Mountain in 1918, the White Lady rock painting has puzzled numerous intellectuals over the years, creating different theories about its origin and what it depicts. A widely believed theory was that it portrays a woman and was done by travellers from the Mediterranean visiting the area some 2000 years ago. This is due to the white figure depicted in the painting believed to be similar to female figures in the bull-leaping fresco in Knossos, Crete. Today, however, the prevailing theory is that the “lady” actually represents a shaman with white body paint. Visit the rock painting and decide for yourself.

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TAKE A PHOTO WITH THE WORLD’S LARGEST METEORITE In 1920 a farmer was ploughing a field on his farm Hoba West, when his plough struck an obstacle. Curious as to what caused the sudden halt he started digging and unearthed the world’s largest meteorite! Named after the farm on which it was found, the Hoba Meteorite weighs a whopping 66 tons. Its weight doesn’t come as a surprise as it consists of 84% iron and 16% nickel. Scientists believe that the meteorite fell to earth some 80 000 years ago. Although excavated, it has never been moved due its massive weight and can be seen in the very spot where it fell.

Willie Olivier

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6

Liza de Klerk

WANDER THROUGH THE GHOST TOWN OF KOLMANSKOP

The decadence that came with the diamond rush in the south of Namibia at the beginning of the 1900s is spectacular. The discovery of diamonds near Lüderitz brought ships full of fortune seekers and caused an unsustainable economic boom. A town called Kolmanskop was established close to where the diamonds were mined. Using the diamond money to build mansions for themselves, the wealthy inhabitants of the town lived in utmost luxury. The start of the First World War, however, brought an end to this brief period of prosperity. Today all that is left is a ghost town. Walking through the abandoned buildings you can only imagine what life must have been like here a century ago.

The Fish River Canyon is the world’s second largest canyon after the Grand Canyon in the United States. It was formed 500 million years ago when a combination of tectonic movement and water erosion slowly started to create the canyon as we know it today. At 160 km long, 27 km across at its widest point and more than 550 m deep, the Fish River Canyon is guaranteed to dazzle every visitor with aweinspiring views.


Xenia Ivanhoff-Erb

Elzanne McCulloch

9

DO THE WELWITSCHIA DRIVE

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SANDWICH HARBOUR: WHERE THE DUNES AND THE OCEAN MEET Sandwich Harbour is renowned for its dramatic scenery of giant sand dunes that run straight into the Atlantic Ocean. It includes a bay in the north and a lagoon to the south. The protected wetlands of the lagoon are considered one of the most important in southern Africa due to the array of marine bird life that it attracts. Situated 50 km south of Walvis Bay, the route to Sandwich Harbour can become tricky to navigate for inexperienced drivers, but luckily there are plenty of tour operators that visit this unique place.

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Endemic to Namibia and southern Angola, the Welwitschia mirabilis is quite a remarkable plant. It can live for many centuries and has only two leaves, although through weathering and animal disturbance it can appear to have an enormous tangle of leaves. A great way to see these plants is the Welwitschia Drive west of Swakopmund. It is estimated that on the Welwitschia plains through which the route goes, 6000 of these plants can be found. The main attraction is a giant Welwitschia at the end of the route. This plant is between 1000 and 1500 years old.

PLAY WHERE THE GIANTS WALKED

Le Roux van Schalkwyk

About 14 km northeast of Keetmanshoop a surreal landscape called Giant’s Playground can be found. Giant boulders stacked on top of each other like play bricks and strewn all over the place make it easy to imagine that once upon a time giants walked the earth and used this area as their playground. Created over millions of years of erosion these rock structures are one of Namibia’s many unique rock features.

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A Great Escape So much more than just another restaurant. For people who still dream of truly great escape. +264 61 232 457 | info@joesbeerhouse.com | www.joesbeerhouse.com

Windhoek Office: Tel: +264 61 249 268 Email: windhoek@scenic-air.com

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www.scenic-air.com

Swakopmund Office: Tel: +264 64 403 575 Email: swakopmund@scenic-air.com


EAT LIKE A

uring your time in Namibia make sure you try some of the local foodstuffs before you leave. The combination of German colonial history, arid and dry weather conditions and a long coastline has for the most part determined the culinary culture for the majority of the country’s population. Here are our recommendations for what you need to try (and why!) to get a taste of Namibia:

VENISON

Gemsbok, springbok, kudu, zebra. Even ostrich. Consider game meat the healthiest option on any Namibian menu. Free-range, organic, low fat and good for the environment. Plus super tasty. Lodges throughout the country frequently feature venison on their menus, the novel item cooked to perfection - a tasty dish to enjoy.

Nina van Zyl

D

LOCAL Dried fish on offer at the massive Frans Indongo Open Air Market in Oshakati.

KAPANA

MOPANE WORMS

France has frogs and Asia has grasshoppers. In Namibia there are mopane worms. These little critters get their name from the mopane trees the leaves of which they peacefully munch, whiling away the days before metamorphosing into moths. That’s if they don’t get picked. The crunchy texture and high protein content of the worms made them a staple in the Owambo culture, and they are sold at open-air markets in northern Namibia’s major towns, but more recently you are even able to order them off the menu at traditional restaurants in Windhoek.

Matthew Walters

Meat is the national cuisine and you will easily see why when you visit Namibia’s capital city and towns. Informal vendors along Windhoek’s streets sell strips of spiced meat barbequed on open fires and known as kapana. Make your way to the Katutura Market where you can pick out pieces of meat to be cooked for you right there and then.

Try kapana at Single Quarters on a tour of Katutura.

VETKOEK

Perhaps not entirely Namibian, vetkoek is nonetheless an iconic street food that you will be sure to find throughout Windhoek, if not the country. Balls of dough are deep fried in hot oil, hence the name, which is Afrikaans for “fat cake”. The “cake” is eaten with butter, jam, cheese or even plain. Women carry large transparent containers with Vetkoek on their heads to sell the baked goods to workers on their tea breaks in Windhoek’s industrial areas.

LOCAL BEER

Namibians have been brewing beer commercially since the first German settlers arrived, and the local tribes can tell you how before that the fruit of indigenous trees was fermented to produce traditional beer. The largest brewery in the country, Namibia Breweries Limited, produces its beers according to a strict purity code that means no preservatives, additives, artificial flavours or in fact anything other than hops, barley and water are used in the brewing process. Translation: no hangovers or at least, that’s what the locals say.

Windhoek's Octoberfest is a fun annual event. Try the Festbier, which is specially brewed by Namibia Breweries Limited for the festival each year.

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THE COAST

A

Elzanne McCulloch

strip of desert sand that stretches from the Kunene to the Orange rivers, hugging Namibia’s coastline north to south. The Namib Sand Sea, a UNESCO World Heritage Site stretching between the Kuiseb River and Tsau //Khaeb National Park, is a mass of rolling dunes in shades of gold, ochre, and honey, that tumble into the cobalt-blue water. Many ships and their crews have met their end along the Skeleton Coast. Now a national park, the area covers the expanse between the Ugab River and the Kunene River, protecting the northern third of Namibia’s coastline. Between the Ugab and Swakop rivers, the sensitive ecosystem of lichens and Damara Tern breeding grounds make up Dorob National Park. Its most northerly settlement, Cape Cross, is the site of the largest colony of Cape fur seals in the world. The ice-cold Benguela current brings essential nutrients to Namibia’s coastal waters, supporting life under the water as well as above it. Consequently, the beaches of Dorob National Park are popular fishing sites and have resulted in settlements such as Henties Bay and Wlotzkasbaken. South of these, Swakopmund, with its charming architecture and quirky personality, is a favourite destination for travellers after hot safaris inland.


FEATURES

• The coast is Namibia’s adventure mecca • It offers abundant history, culture, art and crafts

• The coastal strip is a haven for unique plants, animals and birds

Elzanne McCulloch

• Namibia has many beautiful, pristine beaches

LIza de Klerk

• Skeleton Coast National Park protects the northern stretch of the Namibian coastline, and Namib-Naukluft National Park protects most of the southern part.

Xenia Ivanhoff-Erb

Over 1000 shipwrecks can be found along Namibia's coastline.

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Nina van Zyl

THE COAST

Paul van Schalkwyk

activities &

ADVENTURES

• Go sandboarding, quad-biking, fishing, windsurfing, sailing, skydiving, paragliding or dolphin cruising in one of the popular coastal towns • Take a stroll through the centre of Swakopmund and admire the historical buildings • Climb Dune 7 and see the world from a different perspective Elzanne McCulloch

• Go on a cultural township tour through Mondesa or Kuisebmond • Admire flamingos and other avifauna at the Walvis Bay Lagoon, a RAMSAR site for coastal birds • Take to the dunes and beaches atop a fatbike, horse or camel on a guided tour just outside Swakopmund

A brown hyena scavenges near a seal colony somewhere along the northern beaches.

Anja Denker

Gerhard Thirion

Take a stroll through historical Swakopmund

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Joe's Beerhouse Elzanne McCulloch

7 RESTAUR ANTS

Ruairí Hammond

F

rom famous Lüderitz oysters to locally raised meat, farm vegetables and mopane worms, Namibia’s restaurants make the most of what is available to create delicious and satisfying dishes. The most popular eateries are found in the capital city and along the coast.

But don’t be scared to explore what is on offer further afield. Michelin star restaurants there may not be, but you never know when a tiny town hides the best carrot cake you’ve ever tasted. Go where the locals go and you won’t be disappointed.

Joe's Beerhouse

«

JOE’S BEERHOUSE

Located in Windhoek’s Eros neighbourhood, Joe’s Beerhouse is an eclectic and adventurous establishment featuring German cuisine inspired by Namibia’s wilderness. Opened in 1991 by Chef Joachim Gross, the menu’s focus is on meat dishes as well as a few German and local favourites. With a number of bars and seating areas decorated with rustic clutter and, often beguiling, memorabilia, diners can dig into a dish of perfectly crisp eisbein (pork knuckle) with a side of mustard and sauerkraut, try a zebra or ostrich steak, or simply sit back and relax with a local draught beer.

Le Roux van Schalkwyk

«

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THE TUG Found inside a converted tug boat in Swakopmund, the popular seaside town, The Tug is a cosy restaurant specialising in mouthwatering seafood. Perched right next to the beach, the restaurant offers a unique interior created around the ship’s shell, an outdoor seating area with views over the crashing waves and excellent service. A simple dish like baked fresh fish with lemon-butter sauce makes for a memorable meal. Reservations are a must.


Ruairí Hammond

THE STELLENBOSCH WINE BAR AND BISTRO Set in the shady courtyard of the whimsical Bougain Villas Centre in Windhoek, the Stellenbosch Wine Bar and Bistro on Sam Nujoma Avenue is one of the capital’s most popular restaurants. Patrons can not only sip on one of the many award-winning wines on offer but also indulge in prime cuts of Namibian meat. At the helm of the dining establishment is the Windhoek Collection, which also created the Stellenbosch Tasting Room and the Stellenbosch Market in the same property.

«

PEPATA RESTAURANT Pepata Restaurant specialises in providing an authentically Namibian dining experience. The friendly establishment offers diners a menu inspired by the delicacies and dishes of the Owambo people. Omutwe (sheep’s head), beef or goat tripe, “marathon” chicken (a colloquial name for free-range village chickens, perhaps because they try to outrun their turn in the pot), sides of ombidi (a type of spinach grown in the north of Namibia), oshifima (maize porridge) and traditionally brewed Oshikundu are just a couple of highlights awaiting guests. Not to forget the mopane worms!

Elzanne McCulloch

The Wine Bar is a local favourite, the restaurant abuzz on weekends as well as weekdays. The relaxing environment together with a wine list boasting quality yet reasonably priced names are a winning recipe created by the owner, Namibian constitutional judge David Smuts. It is easy to see why The Wine Bar is so popular: it is a great spot for after work drinks or catch-up sessions with friends. The sunset views over western Windhoek and the historic photographs of pre-independence Namibia by the late photographer, Tony Figuerra, are two eye-catching features of the establishment. Beers, ciders and cocktails, and an array of savoury dishes and local favourites are also available.

Situated on the boardwalk, overlooking the moody Atlantic Ocean and the Mole Beach, is the welcoming Brewer & Butcher restaurant at the Strand Hotel Swakopmund. During the summer the outside area is full with visitors basking in the sunshine, while misty coastal days call for fireside meals. With a wide selection of beers available, some of which are brewed in-house by the Swakopmund Brewing Company, diners will not only be treated to skilfully prepared dishes but also an authentic dining experience.

«

Ruairí Hammond

Le Roux van Schalkwyk

«

« THE WINE BAR

THE BREWER & BUTCHER

BRAUHAUS IN SWAKOPMUND Located in Swakopmund, the Brauhaus is a Bavarian-style festive eatery with a Germaninspired menu which makes for a charming experience not to be missed. Set within a quaint and quiet shopping arcade in the heart of the town, the restaurant is surrounded by other charming stores, including a bookstore, leather products shop and antiques dealer, yet it is often the site of lively gatherings, with more than one “Stiefel” - a bootshaped glass vessel filled with two litres of beer - shared among friends.

«

OTHERS TO TRY WINDHOEK • Leo’s at the Castle (Hotel Heinitzburg) • Butcher’s Block • Cape Town Fish Market • Sardinia Blue Olive • The Kitchen • Isabel’s Table

SWAKOPMUND • Ocean Cellar • Altstadt • Tiger Reef • Hansa Hotel

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Coffee lovers have it good

C

offee has taken over the world. Tea-drinkers may be fuming into their porcelain cups, but the craving for coffee is as strong as it ever was. Even at the southern end of Africa, coffee-lovers abound. Which means for those who crave the black bean’s bitter brew, that Namibia’s popular, special and downright secret coffee spots will have you on a caffeine buzz in no time.

Ruairí Hammond

Where there’s a capital, there’s coffee. It might be tiny compared to some of the world’s powerhouse cities, but Windhoek is nonetheless Namibia’s capital and as such is the place where, should anything be available in Namibia, it will by definition be available in Windhoek. Caffeine connoisseurs should have no problem finding a cup to suit their addiction, from the haunts in the city’s main shopping centres, to the independent street-side cafés. However, if you find yourself rushed for time and still haven’t had your first cup of the morning, stave off that monster brewing inside you and check out our list of favourites.

If you are looking for a place to grab a rainbow mocha soy frappuccino with sprinkles on top, then this is not your place. Deluxe is all about simplicity, about stripping a coffee shop down to the basics to provide customers with what matters: a great cup of coffee. No frills, no faff, no fancy straws or funky glassware. You go to Deluxe for the coffee. Their baristas are great and so is the music. You won’t be disappointed.* *Unless you really wanted a rainbow mocha soy frappuccino with sprinkles...in which case no one in Namibia can help you.

Charene Labuscagne

DELUXE COFFEEWORKS

SLOWTOWN COFFEE ROASTERS

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Nina van Zyl

Liza de Klerk

Slowtown was the first local roastery in Namibia, and it’s clear from their popularity and the pace with which the brand has grown that not only did they start when Namibians were eager to support a local product, but that the coffee is delicious. There are two Slowtown branches at the coast and three in Windhoek, and two of those are even in the same shopping centre. If that doesn’t convince you, order your coffee, relax, take a moment and take a sip.

WWW.TRAVELNEWSNAMIBIA.COM


THE STELLENBOSCH MARKET

Nina van Zyl

Not every great coffee spot is known as such merely due to the intricate and artisan manner in which the coffee is brewed and served there. The Stellenbosch Market sees many an entrepreneur and business person in the early hours of the day, networking and reading the paper in the Market’s shady courtyard at Bougain Villas. The location is enough to entice anyone, but the clientele makes it a popular choice for meetings and business lunches, probably helped along by the stellar reputation of the sisterestablishments, The Stellenbosch Wine Bar & Bistro and The Stellenbosch Tasting Room, located next door.

FURTHER AFIELD

Charene Labuscagne

Charene Labuscagne

Two Beards Coffee Roasters are quickly making a name for themselves as the Namibian roastery. Located in a warehouse in the industrial area of Swakopmund, the father-son duo serve a variety of caffeinated beverages made with their signature roasts.

Günther Martens has a passion for coffee that is a surprising find along the route from Rehoboth to Sossusvlei. The owner of Conny’s Restaurant serves coffee made the classic way: slowly, with a gas stove, paper filters and glass cups. The result is an amazing cup of a brew.

Nina van Zyl

Sometimes, even the best coffee shop cannot do justice to a place. And in such cases the best java is from the flask you filled before you left home (or at the previous destination of your tour). So take a minute, take a sip and sit back and enjoy the moment. You are in a special spot. Take a coffee break at these spots: • The Spreetshoogte Pass • The Fish River Canyon lookout point • The gate to Skeleton National Park • Next to the road on your way to anywhere in Namibia

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DAMARALAND

Elzanne McCulloch

Paul van Schalkwyk

Le Roux van Schalkwyk

AND THE RUGGED SURROUNDS

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A

n ancient land of myths and mysteries. Where tales of epic hunts, peculiar dreams and major events are carved into the stone of our collective history. A glimpse into another time. The southern part of the Kunene Region, which is commonly known as Damaraland, is a rugged scope of awe-inspiring landscapes, specially-adapted species of fauna and flora, geological marvels and ancient historical sites. Home to interesting geological hotspots such as the Spitzkoppe, Burnt Mountain and Messum Crater, and Namibia’s first World Heritage Site, Twyfelfontein. Here you will find a wealth of ancient rock art, some estimated to be more than 6,000 years old. The mountainous terrain of daunting rock-climbing challenges, of fossilised forests and singing stones, with Namibia’s highest point - the Brandberg - standing sentinel over it all. Be intrigued by the mystery of the White Lady rock painting of the Brandberg, gape in awe at the mega-fauna that call the region home and meet the friendly smiling locals at their roadside stalls, where you can stock up on handmade crafts to take home.

FEATURES

The region hosts Twyfelfontein, Namibia’s first World Heritage Site

It offers handmade arts and crafts aplenty

The region is dominated by the Brandberg, Namibia’s highest mountain

Rock paintings and mineral deposits abound

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Discover Namibia at its best!

SWA SAFARIS

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NAMIBIA

WWW.TRAVELNEWSNAMIBIA.COM


activities &

ADVENTURES Admire 6,000-year-old rock engravings at the Twyfelfontein World Heritage Site

Stock up on locally sourced crystals at the craft market near the Spitzkoppe

Buy a marble souvenir at the Karibib Marble works

Go arty in Omaruru

Visit the Damara people at their Living Museum

Go on a desert-adapted elephant or rhino tracking excursion offered by lodges in the area

Track endemic species with a qualified guide at many of the lodges in the area.

Annabelle Venter

Le Roux van Schalkwyk

Le Roux van Schalkwyk

Anja Denker

DAMARALAND

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SPECIAL SPOTS : SKIP THE CROWDS & VISIT NAMIBIA'S

LESSER-KNOWN PLACES


Hartmann’s Valley

The road less travelled As Namibia becomes an ever-more popular destination we are very conscious of the fact that we need to have a responsible approach to how we travel and traverse this awe-inspiring country. A game plan, a strategy and a sense of awareness of the impact that we as humans (and in this case travellers) have on our environment, the imprint we may leave on other people and the after-effects of our journey. We so often use the adage Leave only your footprints behind, but are we truly conscious of each footprint? And perhaps they aren't only physical. We want Namibia to remain the special and authentic experience which we can proudly say it is today. Over-tourism is a rapidly growing global issue and we, here in this far-flung corner of southern Africa, are not immune to it. So we'd like to encourage you to travel consciously. Pick travel partners (like lodges and tour operators) who are aware of their impact, and thus by extension yours, on our earth. Sometimes going off-the-beaten track can be far less damaging than encouraging hordes of visitors to demolish a specific spectacle... when off-the-beaten track is done right. So here are our recommendations of special places to visit in Namibia that may not pop up on the first page of your search engine results, that haven't made it to the majority of Top 10 lists, and therefore have been able to retain their authenticity and charm. Skip the crowds, take the road less travelled. Enjoy Namibia for what it was always meant to be. Raw, authentic and unique. We hope it stays that way.

NamibRand Nature Reserve


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Cradled amongst Camelthorn trees and vistas of undulating Kalahari sands crusted in golden grass, Otjimbondona offers those seeking luxury, exclusivity and tranquility the ideal African retreat.

Contact: Tel:+264 81 243 5478 or Tel:+264 81 127 4358

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Four luxurious Villas offering modern comforts in an exquisite Kalahari landscape, each decorated to depict a different theme. The Villas offer complete privacy to complement the romantic setting.

. welcome@otijmbondona.com . www.otjimbondona.com

A delightful setting and peaceful bush ambience. No matter the occasion, River Crossing Lodge has something special to offer. +264 61 40 1494 | reservations@rivercrossing.com.na | www.rivercrossing.com.na

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22 Heinitzburg Street, Windhoek | +264 61 249 597 heinitzburg@heinitzburg.com | www.heinitzburg.com


SPECIAL SPOTS

To the Desert The Namib Desert is surely one of Namibia’s most unique features, and the most famous point of attraction is Sossusvlei. Yes, even the desert can have crowds, and heading into Sossusvlei can sometimes be quite a time-consuming exercise. It is very high on everyone's list, and deservedly so. Few things compare to the beauty and majesty of the towering ochre dunes and the contrast of the massive white clay pan that is Deadvlei. You may not be aware, however, that this is not where the Namib Sand Sea starts or ends, and neither is it the only place where you can enjoy the awe-inspiring and breath-taking aura of our special desert. There are in fact a number of private nature reserves that surround Namib-Naukluft National Park and are equally special. The biggest and best-established of these is NamibRand Nature Reserve. The reserve stretches across an area of more than 215 000 hectares and is a landscape-level conservation initiative that was started in 1984 by integrating former livestock farms to develop a sanctuary for nature, and the desert. Today, NamibRand is host to various upmarket lodges, like the Wolwedans Collection and andBeyond's Sossusvlei Desert Lodge, The Family Hideout, an old farmhouse turned into selfcatering accommodation, as well as adventure activities such as Tok Tokkie Trails guided walks and Namib Sky Balloon Safaris. It is also home to NaDEET, a non-profit environmental education centre.

Elsewhere, also not far from Sossusvlei, the N/a'an ku sĂŞ Foundation has established Kanaan Desert Retreat on a similar principle of turning farms into a nature reserve. A lodge, camping, wildlife orientated activities and voluntourism can be found there. Gondwana Namib Park is host to various lodges and campsites, as well as activities that include nature drives and ebike cycling routes. Another option is to see the orange desert hues form above in a hot-air balloon or on a scenic flight over the vast sandy peaks. Take it all in. Spot a gemsbok wandering over a dune, or a tiny critter scampering along. This is the oldest desert in the world, and the amount of life that prevails here will astound you... We don't refer to it as the Living Desert without good reason.


Get lost in the Hinterland We’re sure you have heard or read about the wild hinterland that is Namibia’s arid northwest. We won’t further inundate you with tales of desolation, far-flung wilderness and unexplored reaches. We will rather highlight three very special experiences that will make for a unique and marvellous adventure. Flanked by rugged mountainscapes the Hoanib Valley and the Hoanib River with its towering Ana trees are host to wildlife brave enough to take on the often extreme climate of Namibia’s Kaokoland. It is a destination that should surely be on every avid explorer’s itinerary. There are two luxury lodges along the riverbanks, which are mostly dry all year, and community campsites for the more rugged traveller. The scenery is unsurpassed and it is rural enough to not be on any ‘main’ or ‘first-timer’ itinerary. An epic and engaging adventure awaits in the Etendeka Valley near Grootberg. Etendeka Mountain Camp’s slack-packing walking trails take explorers on a journey through rugged terrain, where you will be immersed in the enigmatic natural world. Discover plants you’d never imagine could exist in such a harsh landscape, watch wildlife from your rocky trail and spend your nights sleeping under an unbelievable canopy of stars. All the way north, on the Kunene River which forms the border between Namibia and our northern neighbour Angola, the thundering Epupa Falls sit perched in their dramatic glory. Namibia’s largest waterfall is a visual spectacle, and the surrounding area is just as appealing and unique. Visit the nomadic Himba people of the area, attempt a daring rafting trip down the river, or just leisurely marvel at the beauty of the falls from one of the lookout points. Various lodges and campsites are available along the riverbank, some even overlooking the falls.


Annabelle Venter

SECRET SPOTS

Namibia has a few ‘secret national parks’. Khaudum. Mudumu. Nkasa Rupara. Bwabwata. We call them secret because they are not on your easy-to-reach and simple-to-experience Namibian destinations lists. They are tucked away in the far north-eastern reaches of the Kavango and Zambezi regions, not too often talked about and thus sadly overlooked on a regular basis. What they have going for them, though, is the very fact that they are wild, untouched and most definitely not a tourist hotspot teeming with vehicles and large groups of travellers. This, to us, is what makes them utterly special. Add to that the stunning landscapes, an abundance of animals and birdlife and that they are off-the-grid, and you have a culmination of epic reasons to visit them if you are an adventurous traveller. Namibia has its own wetlandwonder region that may even rival the famous Chobe riverfront or the Okavango Delta. Explore the Okavango, Kwando, Linyanti, Chobe and Zambezi rivers from Namibia’s side. All the riverine forests, wildlife and natural beauty, minus the crowds.

Paul van Schalkwyk

A Wetlands Paradise in a dry country

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LUXURY ACCOMMODATION

set amongst centuries-old camel thorn trees, magnificent gardens & apple groves

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for memorable weddings, milestone celebrations, exclusive events & romantic dinners

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for corporate functions, product launches, prize-givings & meetings

SUBLIME FARMTOTABLE CULINARY CREATIONS complemented with 180-degree views of the garden & apple grove

UNDENIABLY ATMOSPHERIC BAR & RELAXATION SETTING a period pub and lounge rivalled by none other in Windhoek

DROOMBOS | +264 83 288 8352 | info@droombos.com.na | w w w . d r o o m b o s . c o m . n a ACCOMMODATION

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Paul van Schalkwyk

SECRET SPOTS

Paul van Schalkwyk

Namibia’s coastline stretches for more than 1500 km from the Orange River in the south to the Kunene in the north. Along these tumultuous shores are strewn what is estimated to be over 1000 wrecks of ships and crafts that never reached their destination. The northern section of the country’s coastline and the desert landscapes inland form Skeleton Coast National Park. From the Ugab River northward to the Kunene River, and some 70 km inland in certain places, this conservation area protects some of the most pristine and untouched desert and arid landscapes in the world. Its wilderness is home to desert-adapted species of wildlife and ancient flora specimens. Dramatic vistas are mostly untouched by destructive human hands. One of the park’s most captivating features, however, is surely the wreckage of crafts to be found on its beaches. Stories of these ill-fated vessels have become part of the area’s infamy. They stand sentinel along these lonely shores, warning others of the dangers of the treacherous, but beguiling Skeleton Coast. Harsh, and far away, this destination is becoming ever-more popular. The fact that it is in a national park with strict concessions ensures, however, that it is not easily over-visited. Camping and accommodation options include Terrace Bay, and Torra Bay in December. A luxury establishment, Shipwreck Lodge, was opened in a private concession area 45 km north of Möwe Bay in 2018. Guests can also explore the Hoarusib River and other points of interest from there on guided day trips. Scenic flights or 4x4 concession tours are other ways in which to delve into the infamous desert landscapes of this special and unique place.

Gerhard Thirion

Infamy and a far-away land

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LOCAL BREWS and distilleries

Situated in the coastal town of Swakopmund, Stillhouse Atlantic is a small family distillery owned and run by Pierre and Sandy le Roux with help from their sons Jason and Danyon. The name of their small-batch artisanal distillery originated from their love of the Atlantic Ocean. Stillhouse was established in 2017 and immediately impressed with gin that goes by the same name. This Namibian dry gin is a perfect balance of traditional botanicals with the addition of the endemic !Nara melon, hand-harvested kelp and eight other locally found botanicals. The Umber Coffee Liqueur is the latest addition: fresh-roast cold brew coffee from local coffee roasters Two Beards and a Saint, infused with Stillhouse produced spirits.

& Coal Distillery was founded by husband and wife team, Andries and Marizaan van Schalkwyk. The company also opened its doors in 2017 and currently focuses on gin only. The range consists of Desolate Classic 7 Gin made from a selection of seven botanicals, the Crystal Clear Desolate Devils

COPPER AND COAL DISTILLERY Only 40 km to the south, in Walvis Bay, another small batch distillery called Copper

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Claw Gin that uses the indigenous devil's claw for its main flavour foundation and the Oak Rested Desolate Devils Claw Gin, which is slightly aged in French oak.

Le Roux van Schalkwyk

STILLHOUSE ATLANTIC

Le Roux van Schalkwyk

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raft spirits and beer have grown in popularity over the last couple of years due to a movement that saw people value authentic, locally produced products that are much more unique in taste and flavour than their mass-produced counterparts. In this regard, Namibia is no different and currently boasts a number of artisanal distilleries and breweries of its own.


NAUTE KRISTALL DISTILLERY About 500 km south of Windhoek, close to Naute Dam, Naute Kristall Distillery was set up by Michael Weder to create a range of fine spirits from the fruit varieties cultivated near the dam and in other parts of the country. Namgin is this distillery’s answer to the gin craze and it utilizes devils claw from the Kalahari to give it a Namibian flavour. Naute Kristall really excels in fruit schnapps. The Dandy is an elegant oak matured date brandy. The Matisa is known for its unique mature fruity taste from the finest Namibian prickly-pears. Furthermore, Naute Kristall produces a Namibian grappa named Nappa and a pomegranate schnapps called Granate.

ERONGO MOUNTAIN WINERY

four types of beers: the Roof Draught, the Roof Unfiltered Draught, the Roof Pilsner and the Roof Dark Lager. Be aware that the only place where you can find these beers is the Roof of Africa restaurant.

NAMIB DUNES CRAFT BREWERY Namib Dunes Craft Brewery was founded in 2017 and calls Swakopmund home. This hands-on microbrewery is known for its weissbier, Irish red, blonde ale, pale ale and Belgian witbier.

ROOF BEERS Roof of Africa is a hotel and restaurant that brews its own delicious selection of inhouse beer. The beer taps in the restaurant bar are directly connected to storage tanks in its microbrewery for the freshest beer you’ll find in Namibia. The range consists of

Le Roux van Schalkwyk

Set on the banks of the Omaruru River, Erongo Mountain Winery is mainly a boutique winery, but also produces some interesting spirits. The wine-based products

consist of the Jewel, a matured brandy, and the Gravino, a truly Namibian Apéritif. The fermentation of the Gravino is stopped by adding grappa. Then there is the Devil’s Claw, a herbal liqueur infused with the indigenous devil's claw and selected herbs. Lastly, the Eembe Cream liqueur is made from the traditionally important Eembe fruit that is harvested in the north of the country.

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Le Roux van Schalkwyk Tobie de Klerk

Tobie de Klerk

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he most spectacular geological phenomenon in Namibia is without a doubt the Fish River Canyon. The Canyon is the second largest in the world. It was formed over millions of years by the slow erosion of sand and stone by the water that flows in the Fish River. Visit the lookout point on the western side and watch the sunrise. The Orange River is a hub of activity and adventure, with river rafting a popular activity down the rapids. There are other attractions in the south, such as the ghost town of Kolmanskop, just outside the historic town of LĂźderitz, which in itself is well-worth the visit. Indulge in fresh LĂźderitz oysters straight from the Atlantic Ocean off the Namibian coast. Further south, on the border between Namibia and South Africa, Oranjemund is a diamond town that only recently opened to the public. Play a few rounds of golf on a course most frequently visited by grazing springbok and gemsbok, explore the Dabaras Canyon on the road toward Rosh Pinah or the lookout points along the Orange River just outside this quirky little mining town.

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DEEP SOUTH


Tel: +264 61 22 88 69 No. 2 Chapman Street, Windhoek www.naankuse.com www.naankusecollection.com

Namibia’s first charity lodge, a wine estate at the foot of the Naukluft mountains, luxury canvas tents overlooking the Namib, or budget and executive urban accommodation; the Naankuse Collection caters for every tourist’s dream holiday. These unique ecotourism destinations all generate income for the Naankuse Foundation, which is a non-profit organisation dedicated to conserving the landscape, cultures and wildlife of Namibia since 2003. Guests are invited to step into the enchanting world of Naankuse, founded by renowned conservationists, Doctor Rudie and his wife, Marlice van Vuuren. For an authentic Namibian experience, we invite guests to sign up for an array of activities offered at the Naankuse Collection lodgings across the country.


Nina van Zyl

DEEP SOUTH

The region is home to one of the most magnificent canyons in the world

It hosts Namibia’s first transfrontier conservation area - the Ai-Ais/Richtersveld

A diamond-mining industry of note was established here

Lüderitz is renowned for its distinctive German colonial architecture

Namibia’s most famous ghost town is found in the region

Nina van Zyl

FEATURES

Nina van Zyl

ADVENTURES

Tobie de Klerk

Elzanne McCulloch

Le Roux van Schalkwyk

activities & •

Take a step back in time in the deserted mining village of Kolmanskop – be sure to take your camera along!

Hike the Fish River Canyon or enjoy a more leisurely day visit while staying at a local lodge.

Sample some fresh home-grown oysters in Lüderitz

Brave the waves of the Atlantic Ocean in the Lüderitz waters

Visit the Quiver Tree Forest and Giant’s Playground

Go on a guided canoe or kayak adventure down the Orange River

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10 WAYS TO BE A

GREEN TRAVELLER

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Le Roux van Schalkwyk

eing a green traveller means a lot more than just throwing your trash in the bin. It already starts at home when you plan your trip and includes loads of factors like transport, accommodation and even daily routines. Below are 10 ways to be a green traveller when visiting Namibia. It is obviously not always possible to adhere to all of these, but it will already make a difference if you can change your behaviour by incorporating some of the suggestions in your travel plans.


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FLY NON-STOP

Paul van Schalkwyk

As far as possible try to book direct flights. Takeoffs and landings create most of an aeroplane’s carbon emissions. Besides, you’ll not only be helping the environment but also cutting down on travel time.

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SAY NO TO SINGLE-USE PLASTICS

One of the biggest evils, not only in Namibia but worldwide, is bottled water. As a general rule water in Namibia is safe to drink, therefore pack a reusable water bottle. To further cut down on plastic bring your own reusable straws, shopping bags and even reusable cups for takeaway coffees or teas.

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There are busses and shuttles to most of the main towns, but since Namibia is a big country most tourists will rely on a rental car to get around. Do some research before renting a vehicle as tarred roads and most of the gravel roads are generally in good condition and big fuel-guzzling 4x4’s are not always required. Consider renting a smaller car that will be more eco-friendly.

Marita van Rooyen

CHOOSE THE RIGHT MEANS OF TRAVEL

Walk, cycle or skate to really explore towns. Not only are these modes of transport carbon-free, but they allow you to experience these places a lot better than from behind a car window.

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STAY AT SUSTAINABLE ESTABLISHMENTS Look for eco-friendly accommodation on your own or visit the Eco Awards Namibia website – the country’s own sustainable tourism certification programme.

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GIVE IN THE RIGHT WAY

Do not give money or sweets to children and villagers as this often encourages begging. Rather ask your tour operator in which ways you would be better able to sustainably support these people, or support local NGOs who provide education and other social support.

Elzanne McCulloch

Charene Labuscagne

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LEAVE NOTHING BUT FOOTPRINTS Always respect nature. Roads are there for a reason, never drive off-road with your vehicle unless it is a marked track. When hiking, stay on hiking trails to avoid unnecessarily destroying vegetation. When camping, only stay in designated campsites and take everything along with you when you leave.

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Anja Denker

RESPECT WILD ANIMALS Namibia is rich in wildlife, which is one of the reasons why so many tourists visit the country each year. Do not spoil the experience for other people. Always keep a safe distance from wild animals as they are unpredictable. By chasing after them for that close-up shot you put yourself, others and them at risk. Don’t be that person who takes a selfie with a wild animal. Never feed wild animals as this encourages them to approach humans for food and cause them to be killed when they become aggressive and possibly injure other tourists.


Elzanne McCulloch

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RESPECT THE LOCAL PEOPLE AND THEIR CULTURE

Elzanne McCulloch

Always be courteous and ask permission before taking someone’s photo. Namibia is rich in cultural heritage and you will learn a lot more when you engage with local people rather than just take a photo and walk away.

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USE ECO-FRIENDLY TOUR OPERATORS

SAVE WATER

As a country with two deserts, it goes without saying that water is a very scarce resource and should always be used wisely. Before you set off on your trip, research ways to be water-wise and always remember that saving water is something that should be ingrained in everyone’s daily routine no matter where they live.

Paul van Schalkwyk

Use local tour operators that subscribe to sustainable and green practices. Tour companies usually have easy-to-find information on their sustainability on their website.

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Elzanne McCulloch Elzanne McCulloch

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Tarry Butcher

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he Kavango and Zambezi feel wild and untamed. Visitors to the area get a glimpse into authentic African lifestyles. The perennial rivers and expansive floodplains, lush tropical vegetation and absolute abundance of game and birds make the northeast a surprising contrast to the rest of the country. Boat trips on the Zambezi and the Chobe rivers provide exciting opportunities to view hippopotamus, elephant and crocodiles, as well as scores of antelope. Tiger fishing is also a popular activity in the area. Local villages and settlements are vibrant and visitors have the opportunity to take home baskets and wooden artefacts skillfully made by hand. A dramatic juxtaposition to the rest of arid Namibia, the wet and wild wilderness of northeastern Namibia teems with life and exciting adventures. Well over 400 of Namibia’s bird species occur in this part of the country, and the region is becoming ever-more popular amongst bird-watchers, nature lovers and specialist travellers. It is also of growing interest to scientists studying the wetlands system and its flora and fauna.


NORTHEAST THE K AVANGO AND ZAMBEZI

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Welcome to the Kwando River in Namibia’s famous Zambezi Region Elephants on your doorstep. Packs of wild dogs roam the land. This is what awaits in the heart of KAZA, the world’s largest conservation area. Nambwa Tented Lodge and Kazile Island Lodge offer exclusive accommodation in Bwabwata National Park. Indulge in the beauty of a stunning sundowner on the banks of the Kwando River. Float beside hippos on an early morning boat excursion. Discover the wilderness on a game drive and get to know the community and their enigmatic culture on an excursion to a cultural village. Explore The Sijwa Project: the repurposing and reinventing of all recyclable waste from the African Monarch Lodges and from the local community into exquisite sellable arts and crafts. Sijwa is about offering an artisanal skills training centre, but also features an organic permaculture nursery, a beehive project, a free-range egg producing scheme and a junior ranger training venue. The ultimate luxury safari experience awaits!

reservations@africanmonarchlodges.com

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+264 81 125 2122/+264 61 400 510

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www.africanmonarchlodges.com


Elzanne McCulloch

NORTHEAST

FEATURES

• Top activities are fishing, game viewing and bird-watching • The regions are home to five of Namibia’s national parks • Local artists and craftspeople abound • The area enjoys the highest rainfall in the country

Paul van Schalkwyk

• The northeast is rural Namibia at its best

activities & •

Visit the Living Museum of the Mafwe and learn more about local cultures

Do some wildlife watching in one of the five national parks

Appreciate arts and crafts, next to the road, or at any of the craft outlets in the region

Take to the river on a canoe trip with a qualified guide

Matthew Walters

Take a sunset cruise on the Okavango, Kwando, Chobe or Zambezi River

Paul van Schalkwyk

Rista Erasmus

ADVENTURES

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CENTRAL AND THE CAPITAL CIT Y

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amibia's capital city, Windhoek, is a bustling hub smack bang in the heart of the country. It is surrounded by mountains on all sides, the Eros Mountains in the northeast, the Aus Mountains in the southeast and the Khomas Hochland to the west. The city is cosmopolitan while at the same time retaining a small-town atmosphere. It is a walkable city, with many of its attractions located close to one another.

Charene Labuscagne

Two and a half hours north of Windhoek lies Waterberg National Park, an extraordinary wilderness island that rises 200 metres above its surroundings. The resplendent brick-red sandstone formations and lush green vegetation make the park a major attraction in the area. Other attractions include the Hoba Meteorite, the largest meteorite on earth, and ancient dinosaur footprints at Otjihaenamaparero guest farm. Further east is Tsumkwe, the main town in what used to be referred to as Bushmanland, and Khaudum National Park, a far-flung and remote reserve for wildlife.


Liza de Klerk

Windhoek is Namibia’s capital and largest city

It is known by the traditional names of /Ai//Gams (Khoekhoe for ‘hot springs’) and Otjimuise (Otjiherero for (‘place of steam’)

Windhoek is the economic, social, cultural and political centre of Namibia

There are many historical sites of colonial German heritage, which contrast the contemporary architectural styles of modern buildings

The Waterberg Plateau, 250 km north of Windhoek, rises 200 metres above the surrounding savannah

The Hoba Meteorite is the largest known meteorite in the world

Tsumkwe and surroundings are home to Namibia’s earliest ancestors

Lavinia Kapewasha

FEATURES

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“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Leonardo da Vinci’s famous quote captures ZANNIER HOTELS’ vision and philosophy perfectly. The key principle behind every project is the devotion to simplicity and the product’s authenticity. ZANNIER HOTELS are pure, elegant and unique − nestled in exquisitely beautiful parts of the world. The welcome is personal and the accommodation sumptuous. And yet it’s the total experience − the unique impression imparted by the hotel’s combination of qualities and its ambiance in that particular locality − that makes your stay unforgettable. Omaanda: contact@omaanda.com | Sonop: contact@sonop.com | www.zannierhotels.com


CENTRAL

activities &

Take a walk through Windhoek, find your bearings, meet the locals, see all the main attractions and exercise those jet-lagged legs

Visit the Namibian Craft Centre to stock up on goodies for those who stayed at home, and get a sense for traditional artwork

Go on a city tour, learn about Windhoek's history and visit vibrant Katutura. Try some kapana and the locally brewed oshikundu

Go on a guided game drive through Waterberg National Park and spot buffalo, eland and rhino on the mountain plateau.

Learn about the ancient skills of the San people at the Ju/'Hoansi-San Living Museum near Tsumke

Learn more about wild cat conservation with AfriCat at Okonjima Private Nature Reserve

Go see Hoba, the largest meteorite in the world

Liza de Klerk

Elzanne McCulloch

Paul van Schalkwyk

ADVENTURES


Founded in 1967, Westair Aviation has more than 50 years experience of flying in Namibia. Westair offers tailor-made aircraft charter services to make your Namibian safari comfortable, cost effective and efficient. With a diverse fleet ranging from a luxury corporate jet to smaller aircraft that are suited to land at bush airstrips across the country, Westair guarantees solutions to your travel needs.

t +264 839378247 w westair.com.na e reservations@westair.com.na PO Box 407, Aviation Road, Eros Airport, Windhoek, Namibia


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here’s no better way to get to know a place than through a tour. Tours allow for a guided and informative up-close experience of a place and its people, from authentic unscripted cultural encounters to the discovery of hidden treasures. Here are a few tours you need to try during your visit to Namibia.

GET TO KNOW THE LOCALS

The best way to get a feeling for a place is to take a little time to experience how the locals do things and to understand their history. On a city tour or township tour you get the chance to experience the local culture, visit a shebeen, taste kapana and chat to interesting characters from the community. We recommend a tour of Windhoek’s highlights to introduce yourself to the capital, a bicycle tour of Katutura, a walking tour of quirky Swakopmund or a tour of its Mondesa township at the coast. You can also immerse yourself in a culture dramatically by visiting one of the many Living Museums across the country.

EXPLORE THE NATURAL SURROUNDINGS

It’s easy to miss the little things without a trained eye to guide your gaze in the right direction. That’s why following an experienced tour guide leading you through nature is a great way to uncover the hidden creatures and intriguing features of this enchanting land. Explore the living desert’s secrets on a day tour through the dunes near Swakopmund, or take your time journeying through the desert for a few days, sleeping under the stars and waking up to absolute peace.

HAVE AN ADVENTURE

If you are looking for something a little more adrenaline-inducing, there are a number of tours around Namibia that are sure to get your blood pumping. Swakopmund is known as the country’s adventure capital, and with good reason. Take a tour out onto the open sea in a kayak or catamaran, go shark fishing, spot dolphins and whales or speed over desert sands on the back of a quad bike. You might enjoy the lay of the land on horseback, from up above in a hot-air balloon, via a scenic flight, on a fatbike or as you navigate challenging terrain in a 4x4. Whichever tour you choose, the result will all be the same: an unforgettable experience.

Nina van Zyl

Elzanne McCulloch

Elzanne McCulloch

TAKE A TOUR

GO ON AN ADVENTURE! Here are a few recommendations:

COAST

Mondesa Township Tours

WINDHOEK

Ees City Tour Chameleon Safaris City Tours

DESERT TOURS DAY TRIP

Charly’s Desert Tours

MULTIPLE DAY/OVERNIGHT Tok Tokkie Trails Skeleton Coast Safaris

BOAT TOURS Mola Mola

FATBIKE TOURS

Swakopmund Fatbike Tours

SKYDIVING

Sky Dive Swakop

HOT-AIR BALLOONING

Samawati Hot Air Ballooning Camp and Tours Namibia Namib Sky Balloon Safaris

SCENIC FLIGHTS Westair Desert Air African Profile Safaris Scenic Air

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SOSSUSVLEI

Paul van Schalkwyk

AND THE NAMIB-NAUKLUFT


Elzanne McCulloch

Tarry Butcher

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eadvlei’s iconic fossilised camel-thorns are synonymous with images of Namibia. Set against a backdrop of burnt orange sand dunes and bright blue skies, this is one of the country’s top tourist attractions. The vlei, a spectacular white pan surrounded by some of the highest dunes in the world, is located close to the legendary Sossusvlei. The surrounding area is known as the Namib-Naukluft National Park. Proclaimed in 1975, it is an amalgamation of several areas into one unified reserve. Skip the crowds by visiting one of the private nature reserves nearby, and fall in love with the dramaric beauty that is Namibia's red sand dunes, special desert fauna and flora, and endless horizons.

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Historic Solitaire, at the edge of the Namib-Naukluft National Park, has something for everyone. Delicious food and wine, fresh pizza, draft beer, and our famous apple pie. A General Dealer, petrol and tyre repair will get you sorted. Stay-overs include popular Solitaire Lodge and secluded Solitaire Desert Farm. Take a guided scenic drive, or relax by the pool. Enjoy our desert vistas and free-roaming wildlife habitat on foot, by fat bike or from a hot air balloon. Visit historic Solitaire in the heart of the 18,000ha Solitaire Land Trust - Lodging, Food, Activities & Services Book online at: www.solitairenamibia.com Solitaire Tel: +264 63 293 621 Web: www.solitairenamibia.com Instagram: instagram.com/solitairenamibia/

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SOSSUSVLEI AND THE NAMIB-NAUKLUFT

Sossusvlei is Namibia’s second-most popular tourist attraction

The dunes at Sossusvlei are up to 325 metres high

Namib-Naukluft Park is home to the famous Welwitschia mirabilis

The Naukluft Mountain massif is a geologists’ paradise

The mysterious Fairy Circles of the Namib can be seen here

Elzanne McCulloch

Elzanne McCulloch

Paul van Schalkwyk

FEATURES

activities &

Paul van Schalkwyk

ADVENTURES •

Be brave enough to attempt the climb up Dune 45 or Big Daddy and marvel at the beauty of Sossusvlei from a higher vantage point

Hike through NamibRand, Namibia’s largest private nature reserve

Explore the natural wonders of Namib-Naukluft Park

Learn about dune flora and fauna at Gobabeb

Enjoy the wonders of stargazing under the magnificent African night sky

Take a balloon ride over the dunes of Sossusvlei at sunrise

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THE 9 MOST

INSTAGRAMMABLE PLACES IN NAMIBIA

Here are our top choices of awesome places to take that ultimate shot of your Namibian adventure

1. The Namib Desert, and especially in NamibRand Nature Reserve

2. Luxury lodges across the country

3. Epupa Falls on the Kunene River

5. Have a little fun with friends at the

6. With Carmine Bee-eaters next to the

4. A hot-air balloon over the desert 7. At Deadvlei, but be original, and don't

Rock Arch at the Spitzkoppe 8. At Kolmanskop, Namibia's famous

sit in any of the fragile ancient trees

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ghost town

Zambezi River 9. At sunset on a north-eastern river - any one, they're all equally spectacular


www.wolwedans.com

Wolwedans is more than a collection of desert camps and lodges. It’s a collection of dreams. Experience an eco-tourism destination committed to the long-term conservation of the NamibRand Nature Reserve. At Wolwedans, we strive to set an example in conservation-centred, sustainable tourism, balancing people, planet and prof it, since 1995.

...simply out of this world


Photo: Alexander Heinrichs

Namibia. Endless Horizons.

With sweeping views as far as the horizon and a light that bathes the landscapes in a kaleidoscope of colours, Namibia truly touches the soul. A journey to the country is unforgettable. The land of contrasts really does have something to offer every visitor: magnificent landscapes, fascinating wildlife, numerous outdoor activities, beautiful places to stay and hospitable people. Namibia is a year-round destination with more

than 300 days of sunshine and exploring the country is both easy and safe. After a comfortable flight, you will arrive in a completely different world. Namibia is exciting, exotic and familiar all at the same time.

Head Office Corner of Sam Nujoma Drive & Haddy Street Windhoek Namibia

Europe Schillerstraße 42 – 44 D-60313 Frankfurt am Main Germany

South Africa 25th Floor, Atterbury House, Unit 2502 9 Riebeeck Street Cape Town, 8001

Tel. +264 (0) 61 – 290 6000 info@namibiatourism.com.na www.namibiatourism.com.na

Tel. +49 (0) 69 – 13 37 36 0 info@namibia-tourism.com www.namibia-tourism.com

Tel. +27 (0) 21 – 422 3298 naminfo@saol.com www.namibiatourism.com.na

Postal address: Private Bag 13244, Windhoek, Namibia, 1001

Postal address: PO Box 739, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa

Profile for Venture Media

Travel News Namibia Special Edition 2020  

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