An Oasis of Passion & Pride

Situated in the heart of the Kalahari farmlands and thirty minutes drive away from the ancient red dune Kalahari Desert we find fresh produce and a delicious array of cheese and cold meats that can easily be sold in any swanky city delicatessen. The Self Suffiency Centre (SSC), Farmhouse lodge staff and intimate chalets welcome guests with heartwarming farm style food and smiles.

Cow at Kalahari Farmhouse - Photo: Tanja   Meyer

Collett & Wilhelm at Kalahari Farmhouse – Photo: Tanja Meyer

Eleven quaintly decorated chalets, each with en suite bathrooms, cooling air-conditioning and winter warming fireplaces are flanked by rows of towering Palm trees. A few steps away, the pool with the age old Camel thorn tree overlooking it, is a refreshing refuge for the road weary traveler and all that’s needed is a half opened book before the inevitable pool side nap…

Swimming Pool at Kalahari Farmhouse - Photo: Tanja Meyer

Swimming Pool at Kalahari Farmhouse – Photo: Tanja Meyer

Farm style food is served in the century old Manor.. There are no s mall portions here! From the breakfast buffet table – puffy golden croissants, soft sugar dripping doughnuts, a variety of softly spiced cheeses and cold meats.. all are made freshly in the kitchen each day and produced at the SSC which is a few steps away.

Cheese lady at Kalahari Farmhouse - Photo: Tanja Meyer

Cheese lady at Kalahari Farmhouse – Photo: Tanja Meyer

Breshnef heads up the Self Suffiency Centre team. Beaming with pride he instills his passion and knowledge for fresh produce in each member. From the livestock to the dairy, to the Cheesery and the Butchery. This is where the milk and meat get transformed into mouthwatering delicacies. Salamis, smoked game cuts, Biltong, gourmet cheeses… you name it.

Here guests of the Farmhouse can enjoy the sights and sounds of true farming methods and animals. Fat bellied pigs snorting away under shady thorn trees,  cows walking slowly around on Kalahari time, goats performing and what would a farm be without chickens.

Pigs at Kalahari Farmhouse - Photo: Tanja Meyer

Pigs at Kalahari Farmhouse – Photo: Tanja Meyer

The farm empowers and employs locals and supplies not only the Farmhouse lodge with fresh produce but also camps and lodges within the Gondwana group. Breshnef also oversees the shaded vegetable and herb gardens. Crunchy fresh lettuce, rows of parsley and chives, big shiny purple eggplants, peppers, tomatoes and sweet corn, you name it… for me a sure stop over and I will be going back. A place of Passion and Pride!

Guest Relaxing at Kalahari Farmhouse - Photo: Tanja Meyer

Guest Relaxing at Kalahari Farmhouse – Photo: Tanja Meyer

 This Blog post was written by Tanja Meyer.

About Tanja Meyer

Tanja MeyerTanja Meyer is a South African Travel and Food writer and photographer whose principal motive is to inspire all to travel, to embrace different parts of the world, diverse cultures and cuisine. Her book called “A Passion for Travel and Taste – The Swahili Coastline and Islands (Zanzbar, Pemba, Mafia, Lamu and Kiwayu)” are in final editing stages and quick to follow up she has now embarked on her second book, “A Passion for Travel and Taste – Namibia – The Brave Land.”

Contact Details:

email: meyer.tanja@gmail.com

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Gondwana – A masterpiece of prosperity

NAMIBIA’S biggest success story originated in the South, when the Canyon Lodge was founded 17 years ago. From this humble beginning the Gondwana Collection grew throughout Namibia, employing in excess of 600 workers, with 54 shareholders looking after the interest of this empire.

Canyon Lodge was the first of the 12 lodges of the Gondwana Collection

Canyon Lodge was the first of the 12 lodges of the Gondwana Collection

“It had a slow and wobbly start, but gained substance in 1996 and by the end of that year the Canyon Lodge was opened. Now the 12 lodges throughout Namibia are accommodating approximately 140 000 guest per year. Therefore we have a huge responsibility and role in the tourism industry,” said Manni Goldbeck, managing director of the Gondwana Collection.

After the success of the Roadhouse and Canyon Village, Gondwana expanded into the rest of the country. Goldbeck said extending from the deep South into the Kalahari and Namib deserts, and the area south of Etosha and Damaraland was a significant milestone in the company. The next acquirement’s came in short succession: Namib Desert Lodge, Etosha and the Damara Mopane Lodge.

Kalahari Farmhouse

Kalahari Farmhouse

“Most important, the growing company also started to attract people who shared and appreciated our vision. This was the time when many new shareholders from all walks of life and culture groups jointed the various companies.”

According to him the first acquisition of an urban property was a giant step in strengthening the collection’s economic standing. Another step in the right direction was when Gondwana purchased property in Swakopmund three years ago, with the idea of entering the hotel business in an urban area.

Springbok a familiar sight in the South

Springbok a familiar sight in the South

“Moving from the classic Namibia route, encompassing the Fish River Canyon, Sossusvlei and Etosha, we decided recently to add another route, stretching from Etosha to Victoria Falls, one of the best known attractions in the world. Expanding northwards to complete the Gondwana circuit, we purchased Hakusembe River Lodge just west of Rundu, and Namushasha River Lodge Caprivi, on the edge of the Kwando River,” Goldbeck said.

According to Goldbeck the tourism sector can significantly contribute to redress the legacy of inequalities inherited by the apartheid system, and the Gondwana Collection also took the lead in this regard.

The Employment Equity Commission (EEC) evaluated the Affirmative Action (AA) reports submitted by 738 companies between 2009 and 2011 and Gondwana Collection Namibia was rewarded as Overall Best Performer for its AA-Programme. Apart from this trophy, Gondwana received two further awards: First Prize Best Performer and Best Performer Private Sector, taking home three of the total number of 20 awards.

Gondwana Collection Namibia was rewarded as Overall Best Performer for its AA-Programme

Gondwana Collection Namibia was rewarded as Overall Best Performer
                                                              for its AA-Programme

“We invest a lot in our staff to make them successful. In return, our staff are one of the major pillars of our success in the tough tourism business,” said Hilma Amutenya, HR Manager and shareholder of Gondwana Collection.

 This article was originally published by the Namibian Newspaper Informante 

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A Passion for Travel & Taste Namibia

From the lush tropical heat of the Zanzibar archipelago, Tanzania, Kenya and Lamu archipelago we travel to the brave land, Namibia. The second least populated country in the world, but possibly the friendliest.

Sculptured by heavens hand, this lands’ vast open spaces allow us as travelers to experience: a night sky filled with millions of stars that seemingly kiss your forehead; gigantic red sand dunes with its wind woven serpentine nature (the highest sand dune in the world is in Sossusvlei); the 160km long Fish River Canyon, the second largest one in the world; the Kalahari Desert with the largest continuous stretch of sand on earth where oryx, springbok, ostrich and bat eared fox roam; from the Sperrgebiet Rand Park, Garub near Aus, heart of the fiery spirited Wild Horses to Kolmanskop – The Ghost Town where champagne once was cheaper than water and the once grandiose mansions built during the diamond trade era not only play host to sand; to windy Luderitz which bears the Diaz cross as he was the first European In Namibia’s South Coast in 1488.

We experience Damaraland and Twyfelfontein, a World Heritage Site renowned and protected for the ancient animal and symbol carvings, its Savannah with the Desert Elephants. From there the 22,700km (square) Etosha National Park. Etosha“large white place” where elephants, zebra, lion and springbok roam. On the Okavango and its unwavering flow into the heart of the Caprivi and Zambezi with tiger fishing, bird watching and slow cruising animal watching boats… getting closer to one of the world’s most magical wonders, Victoria Falls.

You’re welcome to follow the journey here on this blog, where we will be cooking all the way in the Gondwana lodges and camps. Join us in the activities, animal sightings and close ups of brave Namibian faces. Please comment and share as you like. Let’s Travel and dream together. Heaven bless this magnificent trip and this beautiful vast diverse land and its people.

About Tanja Meyer

Tanja MeyerTanja Meyer is a South African Travel and Food writer and photographer whose principal motive is to inspire all to travel, to embrace different parts of the world, diverse cultures and cuisine. Her book called “A Passion for Travel and Taste – The Swahili Coastline and Islands (Zanzbar, Pemba, Mafia, Lamu and Kiwayu)” are in final editing stages and quick to follow up she has now embarked on her second book, “A Passion for Travel and Taste – Namibia – The Brave Land.”

At the age of four and she was promptly send off to primary school. Her dad went to a medical conference in USA and gave her a rotating map of the world on his return, she told him that one day she wants to be a personal assistant for a big businessman that flies all over the world so that she could get to see it too.

Instead, her modeling career took her to Europe and throughout all the years she continued writing, which up to the first book was mostly poetry and short stories. Now she prefers creating awareness for the the Gift of travelling Born in 1970 near a small town called “Perdekop” in Southern Transvaal her writing started at the age through highlighting specific countries, cultures, cuisine, resorts, lodges and historical data within easy reading.

She is passionate about landscapes, people and loves cooking, but by no means classifies herself as a super chef; instead she works closely with the chefs in the respective Hotels & Lodges to provide readers with the recipes of their success! She also had the opportunity to photograph Master Chef Pierre Gagnaire cooking with his team in the ANA Hotel in Tokyo.

Adventurous and wanting to know more she also shows us what activities we can enjoy, but most of all to be inquisitive when we travel, to be open minded and to explore… this is how we learn and grow.

Work by Tanja

Contact Details:

email: meyer.tanja@gmail.com

 This blog post was written by Tanja Meyer

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